From the Locker Room to the Board Room:
A Guide for Athletes Transitioning to the Work Place

Division I volleyball provided me with valuable exercise knowhow and excellent overall physical fitness. Whether you were a college athlete like me or someone who simply enjoyed spending time in the campus gym, you may have found the transition to a nine to five job difficult. I know I did! In this article, we will explore a few key challenges athletes face in maintaining long term fitness in the working world.


1.  Time

A wise man once said, “You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” When it comes to maintaining fitness as a working adult, no words could be truer. Finding time to work out between caring for children, going to work, cooking, and paying the bills can seem near impossible. Make time by scheduling regular exercise on your calendar. Embrace the opportunity to focus on your health and make it an imperative, not a choice.

Also be sure to plan it for when you feel most motivated. If you rise like Snow White, with singing birds in tow, then jumpstart your day with a workout. If getting out of bed feels worse than a root canal, plan for an evening sweat. Remember that fitness doesn’t have to mean pumping iron in a gym for hours. Something as simple as a 20 minute walk or run a few times a week can put you on the right track.

from the locker room to the board room transitioning to the work place
Mornings got you like Snow White

2.  Motivation

What motivates you to exercise? I bet every person reading this would answer that question differently. Given that I played a team sport, I enjoy the camaraderie of working alongside a partner or group. Watching others give it their all motivates me to match their effort so we can progress together. If you’re like me, consider group classes at the gym and find a peer group that will hold you accountable.

If you prefer exercising alone, but find motivation in tracking your results, record your fitness and nutrition metrics regularly. Before recommencing your fitness journey, think about what you loved about being active in the first place and get back in touch with that. It will fuel your fire and help you stay accountable to yourself.

a guide for athletes transitioning to the board room
A little comradery can go a long way

3.  The Effects of Workplace Ergonomics

The CDC and numerous other respected organizations within the medical community have warned about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. Most people with regular jobs sit at a desk for several hours a day. This can have serious impacts on the cardiovascular, circulatory, and musculoskeletal systems.  To combat this, my workplace provides sit-stand desks. I am able to go back and forth between sitting and standing throughout the day.

If your employer doesn’t provide this benefit, there are many other ways to incorporate movement into your day. I like to set reminders in my calendar at regular increments to make sure I get up, move around, and stretch. I also brought in a foam roller, yoga mat, and small had weights which I store under my desk if I want really want to get my blood flowing. It doesn’t take much, just a minute or two here and there, but it can make a significant difference.

From the Locker Room to the Board Room: A Guide for Athletes Transitioning to the Work Place
Dont get stuck at work

Maintaining physical fitness as an adult can get complicated. Life happens. However, if you plan your time well, get in touch with what motivates you, and focus on little changes, you can set yourself up for success. Hopefully incorporating some of these tips will help make it easier to put your health first and thrive.


Written by Marilyn Brown
From the Locker Room to the Board Room

Marilyn Brown is a former Division I volleyball player and fitness enthusiast pursuing her NASM Certification. She enjoys lifting weights, playing beach volleyball and spending time with her family.

Photos Courtesy of (center to bottom): Lightfield Studios/, Yastremska/

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training  and Nutrition services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.

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