Do you spend all week looking forward to Friday, only to wind up too exhausted to do anything? Is exercise impossible after work because you have no energy? Does a stressful shift wind up driving you to junk food and sweets? Does being deskbound all day make you feel like you can’t increase your health? If you’re agreeing with any of these questions, then you’re far from alone. I am personally a health coach, but I understand these things because I have professional history in the corporate sector. I know all too well how challenging it is to stay in shape with an office job.
Even though you’re sedentary most of the day at work doesn’t mean you don’t have the power to stay trim and fit. You just have to incorporate a few simple lifestyle changes and alter your habits. So, the following 10 techniques and tips are my ideas for how you can stay in great shape when working an office environment:
1) Include inspirational materials in your work area:
Create a personal bulletin board where you put up inspirational photos and quotes to help you remember constantly to focus on the health and fitness objectives you establish for yourself.
2) Increase your activity outside of work:
Go walking whenever you can. Join a gym if possible. Spend what time you can in nature so you can get exercise and destress; being outdoors is great for your eyes and lungs. If stress is getting to you, take up meditation or breathing exercises. Do nice things for yourself like spending time with people you love, reading books, calling or visiting friends, listening to music you like, or just cooking. Avoid television to rest your eyes from unnecessary radiation; remember that TV means more sitting instead of activity.
3) Move within the office when you are able to:
Every once in a while, walk around your office and stretch. Take hourly breaks and just move parts of your body. Take every chance you get to burn some calories. Work in movement in your chair if you have to wait for programs to get done loading. If you need to talk to a coworker, visit their desk in person rather than firing off an email of making a phone call. Use stairs when changing floors, instead of the elevator. Team up with a workplace friend for motivating each other and doing exercise breaks together.
4) Avoid sugary drinks and soda:
You might like how they taste, and they can certainly keep you awake during the boring stretches of your work day. However, if your work day has lots of boredom, then you’re sucking down empty sugar calories devoid of nutritional value. Coffee is a better choice for caffeine, or even green tea. Just do it in moderation.
5) Say no to candy and sugary snacks:
Much like with sodas, they offer energy and taste but also pounds around your middle. Office environments also have these everywhere. Your body digests them quickly, leading to rises and crashes in your blood sugar, which can lead to more eating later. Rather than hitting the vending machine, why not bring your own snacks from home. Pack up baby carrots, nuts, cucumber slices, fresh fruit (sliced or whole) savory crackers, dried fruit in small servings, hummus, or cheese sticks. If you do need some spark to get through the afternoon doldrums, one piece of some dark chocolate is still better than anything the vending machine has to offer.
6) Have breakfast:
This meal is a basic fundamental of healthy living. Your wholesome starting meal can kickstart your energy and power you through half of your day, plus it keeps you from eating junk food.
7) Give up the Smokes.
8) Drink like a fish:
Drink water as much as you can. Not only is it calorie-free, it’s actually really good for you. It can stave off cravings for food, and help you say not to coffee or soda. Sleepiness is sometimes a byproduct of dehydration, so it can be an energy drink in a healthy way. The taste can get bland though, so use slices of cucumber, lemon, or lime in your water bottle to get flavor.
9) Stand tall:
Standing is better than sitting. It’s good for your back, and it burns off more calories. Alternatively, switch up your chair for a good exercise ball. That works your abs and helps your balance.
10) Sleep enough:
Waking up in the morning refreshed and vigorous in the morning can help you avoid binge eating and afternoon caffeine cravings.