Even the most intrepid among us spend more time behind the computer screen than we do on the trail or in the mountains. Toiling, squinting, and fidgeting in our chairs is the world we live in. While we know guys who get up every day to knock out a 5:30 a.m. swim-bike session or go for a long post-work run, not all of us have the time or inclination; as one of our esteemed editors suggests, you get to do two things well at one time, so if you’ve got a job and a relationship, good luck staying ultra fit.
Of course, all of us want and can achieve a basic level of fitness, which we take to mean looking pretty good and having the foundation to go out for a weekend of hiking or playing a pick-up ball with colleagues and not sputtering like a 1989 Geo Metro. The question is, given the limitations of having obligations at home and working in a cube, how can you achieve a basic level of fitness, or as fitness and lifestyle gurus have taken to saying, getting the “minimum effective dose” of exercise?
A lot of suggestions out there will have you doing desk push ups or flapping about like a bobwhite, which in our book doesn’t provide a high enough return on investment to make it worth the humiliation. Instead, we’re suggesting a combination of simple high intensity interval workouts, stretches, and easy lifestyle changes that can make you a relatively fit person. If you have a suit and tie job, some of these will be practical and others will require a change of clothes. Sorry, square.