The best jobs for staying in shape

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Image credit: OSTILL is Franck Camhi
Pick your PT wisely!

Those who like to get in shape spend a lot of their spare time working out. But wouldn’t it be better if you could workout at work? Or even better, workout for your job?

There are clearly chances to do just that, but there are also some left field jobs which aren’t half bad for getting in shape.

So let’s look at the spectrum of employment and see what places offer the most running lifting and everything in between.

The obvious

There are many aspiring athletes out there, and it those that will probably end up, or are already in, jobs that give them the workouts they crave. For example, Premier League footballer Dan Gosling, has run the furthest distance of any player who has played 20 games or more this season. His 11.92km a game becomes even more impressive when you realise that unlike runners, he has to turn, stop and control a ball from time to time.

That isn’t to say that runners aren’t incredible athletes. Mo Farah’s average speed for his 10,000m run was 21.8 kph. Which is astounding when you think about the distance he has covered, and the fact he only eats quorn Whack the treadmill up that next time you go to the gym and you’ll see!

Of course, your personal trainer might have something else to say about that. And in general, they too are always in shape. Coming in different sizes, with different skills, some will be lean mean running machines, the others, well they like to lift.

And in the extreme cases of lifting, we have a real paradox. We are told everyday that being “fat” is bad, and its simplest term, that is 100% true. However, it could easily be argued that you can be fat and fit. Just ask any strongman and they will tell you the same.

Strength may be the key ingredient to the strongman recipe, and that’s why they will eat so many calories, and take weight gain supplements to help them along the way, but the stamina needed to keep on going is just as important.

The not so obvious

If you work, or have ever worked in retail, you’ll know that you are on your feet for pretty much the whole shift. This means two things, first of that you can decide for yourself whether standing is better than sitting. Secondly, it means you get to, or to put it more accurately, have to walk around a lot. And this means some functional “steady state cardio”.

Highstreet staff may indeed get a good workout, but according to some, it is the online retailer, Amazon, that works its staff the most. 11 miles walked in a shift is pretty impressive (we’ll ignore any possible worker’s right violations for the sake of fitness here).

Away from shopping, we can look at Supplement Centre Elite Athlete, Alan Crutch. As a plasterer, he is constantly using his forearms, and though repetition does not necessarily mean gains, it does mean that you can improve endurance. Indeed there are many manual labour jobs where at least a decent level of fitness is required, with the wheelbarrow carrying, concrete block carrying, guy with a spade, otherwise known as the labourer, perhaps topping the lot.

This is of course what the training montage in Rocky IV was getting at, and why using a sledgehammer against a tyre, or simply chopping wood has become more popular in the world of fitness.

The really not very obvious

You could call it left field, you could call it out of this world, but if you want to go to space, you have to not only be in shape, but you have to exercise everyday. But as getting in shape goes, being an astronaut perhaps isn’t the best plan. Your muscles will waste away when in space, so though it may be a good option for the pure act of exercising, perhaps we should look somewhere closer to home with regards to real fitness.

Such as the last gig you went to. For in 2008, a study which included Clem Burke of Blondie, concluded that drummers have to be incredibly fit. 90 minutes of drumming reportedly raised his heart rate to 190 beats a minute. If you factor in that most music venues tend to be very hot, and that if a drummer is on tour, he or she will be playing most nights, it’s pretty clear that you have to have a good level of fitness. Burning 400-600 calories in a hour is no mean feat.

The last, and arguably the sexiest on our list, is pole dancing. The combination of resistance training and cardio creates an incredibly strong core, builds stamina, and helps the dancer to improve muscle size and tone. Pole dance workout classes have even become a big thing and the International Pole Sport Federation launched a campaign to make it an Olympic sport!

Though men may struggle to find pole dancing employment, they can go to classes and compete just fine.

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