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Easy ways to kick-start physical activity and lose weight when you’re busy at work

Even without factoring in exercise and keeping fit, there's never enough time in the day. However hard it is, finding the time to build physical activity into your day is vital to keep healthy, reduce the risk of obesity and prevent other serious illnesses. It's also a great stress buster and a healthy way to lose weight.

Only one in 20 people are doing the correct amount of physical activity they need to every week, which means most of us are falling short of the government guidelines. These recommend adults need to be physically active for at least 150 minutes a week to reduce risk of developing heart disease, a stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Knowing the benefits of exercise isn’t always motivation enough to get started. Exercise myths often become excuses that get in the way of exercising so we've decided to help bust some of the most common. They might not be as much of an obstacle as you think. 

Common myths around exercise

Myth one: 'If you don't exercise hard enough or at a gym, then it's a waste of time'

You don't have to sweat it out for hours at the gym to make a difference. Short bursts of exercise, such as climbing stairs, are a great way to easily burn calories. In fact, stair climbing actually burns more calories than jogging.

Myth two: 'I don’t have the time'

Even a quick burst of activity will get your blood pumping and burn calories. StepJockey has been designed so you can seamlessly fit stair climbing into your working day.

Myth three: 'It's too much like hard work'

You don't have to start out with running a marathon or swimming the English Channel. Start small but aim high by picking something you can do easily and build on it.

Myth four: 'I'm too tired'

Exercise wakes you up.  It gets your blood pumping, releases endorphins and makes you feel more energetic. 

Myth five: 'You only need to exercise if you're overweight'

Being physically active benefits you, regardless of your size or fitness level. Exercise positively impacts your health and improves your mental wellbeing.

Stair climbing is the perfect way to build exercise into your busy working day. You don’t have to think about expensive gym memberships or fancy equipment, stairs are everywhere, climbing them is free and it’s one of the best ways to burn calories, build muscle and keep fit. 

Here are some tips to get you started, and to keep you going

1. Make it part of your day. The easiest way to start exercising is to build it into your everyday life. Do activities that fit in with your busy day. Use the stairs and take regular breaks to climb the stairs. 

2. Start small. 150 minutes of physical activity seems like a lot. Start by adding short bursts of stair climbing into your day and it will quickly add up. By exercising climbing stairs for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes in the afternoon, you’ve already completed 30 minutes of physical activity. 

3. Set yourself achievable goals.  When you're starting out, having too many or difficult goals can be off-putting. Set one specific and measurable goal and build on it. Use the StepJockey app to set yourself a daily stair climbing goal. 

4. Get others involved. Exercising with someone is a great motivator. You can support and encourage each other and it means you have someone to 'report' to. Ask a colleague to join you for a stair climb. You’ll be helping them as much as yourself!

5. Track your progress. Seeing how well you’re doing will encourage you to continue. You can push yourself to go a bit further when you next exercise. The StepJockey app allows you to track your stair climbs, see your calorie burn overtime and set personal goals that are right for you.