Working in a labour job is like a workout in itself – you’re moving all day by walking, bending, lifting, pushing, etc. For hours, your heart rate is increased and you’re burning way more calories than you would if you had a desk job. People who work in physical labour jobs tend to have more endurance and “natural strength” than a lot of people who workout at the gym. With that being said: once your body gets used to your new active position, it won’t feel so strenuous anymore. There is also no progressive overload when it comes to most labour jobs – you’re lifting and pushing the same weight everyday so you won’t be challenging your body enough to build new muscles (If you’re hoping to build muscle or become more lean). This is when you will want to balance out your active days with focused workouts at home or at the gym. So, how does one balance a fitness routine when they’re already active for their day job?
Let yourself get used to the new job first. It’s going to take time for your body to get used to the new labour everyday, especially if you’ve mostly worked at desk jobs in the past. You don’t want to push yourself when you’re first getting used to being physically active at work. This will be a different kind of soreness from your usual workouts, because this isn’t in a controlled gym environment and you’ll be exercising for much longer. So, give the body time – a few weeks to a couple of months depending on who you are – before adding workouts on top of your job. What I will say is that stretching becomes very important at this stage.
Make sure you stretch everyday. Stretching is always important when it comes to your physical health, but it becomes paramount when your day job needs you to be active and agile for 7+ hours per day. Stretching helps to prevent injuries, improve your range of motion, and relieve tight and sore muscles. Don’t wait to start stretching once you’ve started working at a labour job – if you do, you’ll likely be really sore and you don’t want to risk being injured.
Start slow with the workouts. Once you’ve grown accustomed to your new active job and you feel like you could use more of a workout, be sure to start slow. Focus on functional workouts such as core strengthening exercises, yoga for flexibility, full body pilates, a jog, etc. It’s important that you listen to your body to know what it’s ready for. Some days you’ll feel totally wiped out after a long day, especially if it’s mentally stressful as well, so in that case a gentle stretch would be better. The workouts don’t need to be long at first – try a short 15 minute routine and see how you feel the next day.
Remember that you need rest days. Some people are active 7 days per week and for the short term that’s okay if you have the energy, but even then the body simply needs rest. If you’re very active, it’s important that you take at least one rest day per week to let your muscles recover. If you’re restless, a long walk or a low impact activity at the park is just fine (An active rest day). Just be mindful to take care of yourself and that you’re not overtraining, because this can lead to injuries down the line.
Is it necessary to workout when you have an active job?
The short answer: It’s not “necessary”, but it’s helpful.
The long answer: Technically, lifting, walking, climbing, and pushing for 7-8 hours per day goes beyond the daily exercise time that doctors recommend. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a different kind of workout. Your body becomes used to the repetition and it won’t be challenged in the way that a structured workout would challenge it.
Taken from an article at Verywellfit.com, a health professional breaks this down for us. “Strength or resistance exercise can counteract the stresses of a manual labor job,” says Fishman. The stronger and healthier your body is, the longer you will be able to complete tasks that require repetitive stress. The best way to prepare for that stress is to make your body stronger.
So exercises that strengthen the core, glutes, back, arms, and legs can actually enhance your work performance while preventing injuries. These can also help reduce blood pressure, as some studies show that working an active job can actually increase blood pressure since your heart rate is up for hours at a time with few breaks. An unfortunate truth, but it’s something to bear in mind (Keeping up a good fitness routine on top of your labour job can help offset this increased blood pressure, though).
All in all, balance is key. If you enjoy working active jobs, that’s great! 🙂 I tend to gravitate towards them, too, once I’ve grown tired of a desk job or if I want to have more of a hustle to my day. Balancing a labour job out with a healthy diet, daily stretching, and functional workouts will help maintain good health and offset the high blood pressure that some labour jobs can cause (I think a lot of this is probably linked to some labourers drinking and smoking a lot after work, moreso than the work itself, but one would need to do more research on the matter).
So, there we have it! I hope you enjoyed these tips if you’re working at an active job. I know some days the last thing you want to do is workout when you’ve been on your feet all day – and that’s when something gentle like Pilates or yoga is better. On those days you have more energy, a strength training session can help maintain your health and reach your fitness goals. (Disclaimer: I’m not a health professional, but all of this information is taken from advice given by health professionals in addition to personal experience from being fit and working in physical jobs from time to time).
Thanks for stopping by today! And don’t forget to stretch. 😉
A great and well written blog.
Love the topic, would love to write on this topic further.
Little things can make difference in the busy schedule. Like office workout, workout on chair, on bed could be great help. Squeezing workout here and there, could be great help.
Ps- I’m reading and enjoying your content. I am reading and dropping my genuine comment to show my reverence towards your work. It would be cool if you could check out your spam section to see if it has my comments.
Yes so true. Thanks so much for reading! 🙂
My comments are going into the spam.
I tried to tell you before.
Really?! I’ve been seeing them. 👀
Well most of the comments are in the spam. I tried to tell you before.
I’ll double check on my end
Wow that’s bizarre and I don’t know why they were marked spam. I approved them all and will keep an eye out in the future to make sure they’re not spammed.
Comments keep going into the spam for those who comments too much.
I like to comment a lot.
Also, if you don’t approve at first, it will keep going into the spam.
Wp has no policy of what it identifies as the spam. 🙂
You can now see, I’m reading your blogs with sincerity and not just randomly liking.
That’s really wonderful thank you so much. 😊 Also i didn’t know they marked alot of comments as spam. 😦 I’ll be sure to check my folder regularly.
Comments go to the spam everytime. There was no way of telling you. Well, I could have if you ever comment on any blog of mine. It’s best to check regularly. I believe interaction makes the experience enjoyable. I do get lots of spams, not all comments can be approved.
Some of them do, but I was getting some of your comments as well. Yes indeed so true. 🙂
Excellent 👌. I think this post was just for me. I find it difficult to work out and when I eventually do, I start with really strenuous exercises. Thank you 💓
You’re very welcome. I’m glad you found this helpful! I wish you the best on your fitness journey, too. ❤
I’ll try and stretch – but I thik that pose will do me some mischief lol
LOL yes it’s always best to try the stretches that work best for you.
This is true
I have to stretch more and do more yoga.
It feels so good and it literally takes away back/neck/leg pain.
I made a promise to myself to get back to yoga so tomorrow I will star! Thanks for the motivation 😍
Yahoo! I hope you have an amazing session. 😊
I like your blog,its useful,keep writing.
Thank you so much for saying so. 🙂 I very much appreciate it.
[…] Sara Flower Kjeldsen’s blog, “How to Balance Working Out with a Physical Job.“ […]
Inspiring post Sara and I definitely agree with each and every word here that stretching and working out need to be considered so that the body becomes stronger, active and develops healthy muscles. As for me I like to walk long distances as a form of stretching my legs.
Also, when it comes to these workouts rest is key , yes the gym and moving is needed but too Much of a thing is a danger thus the workouts need to be done in moderation🙌🙌🙌😊
Yes indeed I was sure to mention rest days in my post as well since they are very important. That’s great you go on long walks. 🙂
Yes, have a great Sunday💕🙌
Great post!!! Having a workout Routine definitely helps make the physical day job easier as you find new energy and feel less tired
Yes that’s very true. Thank you for reading. 😊
[…] How To Balance Working Out With A Physical Job […]
Great post! A lot of people don’t realize the benefits of a strong lower body plus yoga. I am also trying to get out there and inform everyone. Good stuff.
That’s very true. 🙂 I appreciate you reading!
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