Tips to make the most of your time on in­door ex­er­cise equip­ment

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Job Market - — Marco Buscaglia, Ca­reers

For many of to­day’s em­ploy­ees, work­ing while work­ing out has be­come a daily norm, a chance to grab a lit­tle ex­er­cise while check­ing off a few tasks for work. Nu­mer­ous em­ploy­ees across the coun­try spend a set amount of time on the tread­mill, el­lip­ti­cal or sta­tion­ary bike in the morn­ing, while on their lunch break or at the end of the work­day. And in­stead of binge-watch­ing ’70s sit­coms while burn­ing a few calo­ries, some fit­ness-minded em­ploy­ees ac­tu­ally do some­thing pro­duc­tive — no of­fense, Suzanne Somers and Jim­mie Walker — while they work out.

We checked with a few work­day war­riors to find out what they did while tak­ing an ex­er­cise break. Here’s what they had to say:

“I check my email in the morn­ing on the bike. I usu­ally don’t re­spond un­til I get to my desk at work but at least I know what to ex­pect and I know what I need to pay at­ten­tion to right away. If it’s a sim­ple re­ply, I’ll take care of it right then and there but if it re­quires a lit­tle bit of thought, I’d rather do it while I ac­tu­ally have ac­cess to my files and have time to re­ply in more than one- or two-word an­swers.” — Nora Canon, Hous­ton, Texas

“Lately, I’ve been lis­ten­ing to au­dio­books, usu­ally work-re­lated. I don’t like to read busi­ness books at home be­cause it just feels like a con­tin­u­a­tion of my work­day so I’ve been lis­ten­ing to a lot of books lately when I work out. If I hear some­thing that I think might be re­ally help­ful to me or one of my co-work­ers, I can al­ways mark it on my phone and get back to it later.” — Paul Jor­dan, Erie, Penn­syl­va­nia

“Not ex­actly re­lated to work but I try to call my mom or my dad. I try to work out three days a week so I try to check in with each one of them dur­ing at least one of those work­outs. I used to call my sis­ter too but she gets re­ally an­noyed when I’m on the tread­mill, even though I’m just walk­ing. She says she can hear me breath­ing. It’s not ex­actly like I’m out of breath but for some rea­son she says it’s too big of a dis­trac­tion. My par­ents don’t care. They’re just happy that I call. And it’s some­thing I don’t have to do while I’m at the of­fice. Once I get home, there are so many things to do with the kids, I don’t get the chance.” — Vera Mueller, Chicago

“I’m in HR and so I feel like I re­ally need to stay on top of the busi­ness trends that re­late to HR and ben­e­fits so I ba­si­cally use that time to read all the news I can han­dle, es­pe­cially as it re­lates to em­ploy­ment trends. I used to skim head­lines but I’ve learned that a lot of the in­for­ma­tion I need is some­times buried in a story be­cause it doesn’t re­ally have that much rel­e­vance to the sub­ject but it has a lot of rel­e­vance to me. HR is chang­ing so much and there are so many in­no­va­tive things that com­pa­nies are do­ing. It re­ally helps to ac­tu­ally read a story all the way through to have an un­der­stand­ing of some of the new ap­proaches that are out there. I use my time on the el­lip­ti­cal to freshen up on the HR play­book.” — Sarah Ad­dams, Bak­ers­field, Cal­i­for­nia

“I do what­ever I need to do — check voice­mail, check email, look at my sched­ule, plan out my day. Noth­ing too in­tense. It’s al­ways great to get to work and hit the ground run­ning with­out hav­ing to deal with all the mun­dane stuff that drags down your work­day.” — Peter Mus­grove, St. Paul, Min­nesota

“I’m sure it’s an­noy­ing to the peo­ple around me but I ac­tu­ally talk to my­self. I leave my­self a re­ally long voice­mail — re­ally two or three voice­mails be­cause the time runs out — that are ei­ther re­minders of things I need to do that day or thoughts I had about some­thing I’m work­ing on. In some cases, I will have this great idea and since my hands are sweaty, I just leave my­self a long mes­sage. There is some­thing about phys­i­cal move­ment that gets me a lit­tle bit more cre­ative so I try to take ad­van­tage of it.” — Micheal Her­nan­dez, Nor­man, Ok­la­homa

“I don’t do any­thing. I usu­ally run on the tread­mill in­side the health club in my build­ing dur­ing lunch. I’m at the point in my life where I need to take a break from work to just clear my head. I don’t even lis­ten to mu­sic any­more. I just run. I feel like I can go back to my desk with­out all that noise and that helps me have a much more pro­duc­tive af­ter­noon.” — Ja­son Spelling, Chicago

In­stead of binge-watch­ing shows while burn­ing a few calo­ries, some fit­ness­minded em­ploy­ees ac­tu­ally do some­thing pro­duc­tive while they work out.

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