For many people trying to stay healthier, our 9-5 is a surprising drag on our attempts. Packed with temptation, chained to a desk, and unable to pursue your health goals actively, what can you do to ensure a healthier, happier work day that supports your wider efforts to live a better life?
Beat the Snack Monster
If the vending machine- or those delicious snacks your coworker keeps bringing in- are proving your dietary downfall, then it’s time to reframe how you eat on the job. No one is immune to the lure of a delicious treat, and enjoying a slice of cake or home-baked muffin now and again won’t hurt your overall healthy lifestyle. It’s when it becomes a habit you face real problems. We don’t make smart decisions when we’re hungry, and many people choose to incorporate healthy snacking into their lifestyle to help even out blood sugar crashes and keep your goal on track. Try keeping office-based temptations ‘out of sight, out of mind’, and instead bring a stash of healthier snacks to help fend off the munchies.
Likewise, we tend to push caffeine and sugar into our systems at work. Whether it’s a midday pick-me-up, the fuel to get the day started, or just a lack of options, there’s plenty you can do to drink smartly instead. Carry a water bottle with you, and keep it prominently on your desk to ensure you’re staying hydrated and on your peek game. Take this to another level, and skip the caffeinated drinks for a healthy energy drink that supports your body and helps beat the knock-on effects of workday stress, like Moment, or your favorite health brand.
Build in Activity
Can’t hit the gym because you work too hard? Luckily, you can do a lot to offset the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day. Skip the sit-down lunch break, and instead hit the streets for some gentle exercise. Set a reminder in your calendar to stand up and stretch. Take the stairs, or park further away, to build a little more activity into your day.
Eat a Good Lunch
Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring! Taking in tempting food you love, but with a healthy twist, is another great way to ensure your 9-5 doesn’t destroy your healthy lifestyle. Avoid the temptation to skip lunch because you’re busy, too. Not fueling yourself adequately for a busy day will just leave you tired, drained, and more prone to make poor decisions later in the day.
Yes, yes, it feels silly! But we spend an extraordinary amount of our time in front of screens. Make sure your screen is at the right distance for your height and eyeline, and invest in a chair that supports good spinal health. When you’re still supple and living life large as your peers age into aches, you’ll thank yourself. If you work in an industry where safety equipment is needed, use it- it’s there to keep you healthy. Don’t let peer pressure or a ‘jock’ mindset put your long-term health at risk.
Pair these 5 healthy work habits up with a general sense of what your body needs. If you’re constantly feeling hungry, you might need to restructure your lunches to focus on healthy fats and protein. Or if your shoulders are always aching, you might need to stretch more, or adjust your desk setup.
With decent awareness of what your body is telling you, and some healthy habits on standby, you can make your work part of your overall lifestyle goals effortlessly.
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