Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post. This feature allows readers like you to ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness or nutrition related, so send your undying health questions to [email protected]. You just might see them posted on the site in the future!
I’m trying to lose weight, but I just started a retail job where I stand on my feet for about 6 and a half hours a day. My feet are killing me after work, and I barely even feel like walking home—I walk to and from work (roughly 3 miles total). I definitely don’t feel motivated to work out, especially anything requiring me to stand on my already sore feet. Am I burning enough calories during my job that I don’t have to work out? If I’m not, what kinds of exercises would you recommend? Also, I noticed that after my first day, I gained 2 pounds! I didn’t change my eating between my first day and the week before that. What is going on?
Dear Elle (and her poor tootsies!),
Oh, the joy of retail jobs, right? I worked at Old Navy for a summer back in college and the concrete floors tore me up! So I feel your pain. The good news is that you have an active job! So many of us are working totally sedentary jobs that are actually hurting our bodies because we’re sitting so much. So definitely be thankful that you get to move around all day. However, I can see how a full day of that plus a 3-mile round-trip walk to and from work would wear you out. That’s a lot of walking—and a lot of time on your feet.
First, I’d recommend making sure that you’re wearing supportive shoes that have some cushion. You may want to consider walking to work and back home in a pair of tennis shoes and then putting on another pair of supportive shoes for work. We really like Ahnu shoes that are both cute and functional. Second, pay close attention to your posture. There are simple ways to put less pressure on your joints and back, and therefore make standing and walking easier on your body. Third, how is your diet? I know it can be hard to eat regularly when working a retail job, but it’s important to feed yourself clean and nutritious foods with enough protein, fiber and carbs to keep you fueled through the day. A good breakfast and lunch, plus small snacks between meals can help keep your energy up throughout the day.
Because you just started your job, you’re probably really feeling this. Your body will adapt over time, and your daily routine won’t remain as challenging, but consider hopping a ride to work a few days a week to give those legs a rest or bike to work. And once you feel up to it, don’t just walk to or from work—power walk and work up to a walk/run or full jog. If you can get your heart rate up so that you’re breathing heavy (but can still carry on a conversation) that counts as cardio! If you can add in two or three strength workouts a week (always have a day of rest in between weight-lifting sessions) and maybe some alternate cardio like swimming (which would feel awesome on those tired legs!), you’ll be in good shape.
Oh, and don’t worry about the weight. Your body is prone to water retention and bloat when you’re on your feet for that long—your weight should normalize in a week or so.
Keep on keeping on, lady!