Four Reasons to Exercise Even if You Have a Physically Demanding Job

There are definitely fitness benefits that come with working a physically demanding job, but don't write off structured exercise. Here are four reasons to keep moving, even when you're not at work:

1. To maintain a strong core.

Your core keeps you twisting, pulling, reaching, and MOVING. Strengthening these muscles is the best way to keep your back injury-free.

Some simple exercises that can help keep your core (and back!) strong:
  • plank
  • side plank
  • dead bug
  • Superman
  • back bridge

Try yoga or a pilates class to help strengthen your core and relieve tightness in your hips and lower back!

2. To maintain a healthy heart.

If you don’t get many steps in during your working hours, this is especially important. Health Canada recommends 10 minutes (or more) of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a few times a week.

How to reach a moderate-vigorous level of aerobic activity:
  • walking quickly
  • running
  • cycling
  • anything else that gets your heart rate - up a few times each week!

3. To get stronger.

If you have a job that involves repetitive movements, then you’ll definitely want to add strength training to your weekly routine. The stronger and healthier your body is, the easier it is to complete manual tasks and prevent injury.

Health Canada recommends body strengthening activities at least twice a week. So, if you work in a job that involves a lot of lifting and moving, try to use your days off of work to complete strength training workouts.

Some full-body moves that can help strengthen your full body include:

  • lunges
  • squats
  • pushups
  • tricep dips
  • planks

4. To stretch.

Stretching is THE MOST important part of any workout. Without stretching, muscles shorten and become tight. Tight muscles are unable to extend all the way and, as a result, they can prevent proper posture and movement. This can be a recipe for serious injury, especially when you have a physically demanding job.

"The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities: your calves, your hamstrings, your hip flexors in the pelvis and quadriceps in the front of the thigh” according to David Nolan, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

If you’re not sure where to start, here is a great daily stretching routine that you could also use before each workouts:

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