We live in a world where it seems like all we do is wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, repeat. It’s like every day is a reenactment of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. We get so set in our ways that we don’t make our health and fitness as much of a priority as we should. Why do we have to think of work as “work”? We can work on our health and fitness right in the office and here’s fives easy ways how.
1. Have a water bottle by your desk
Put down the can or bottle of soda and pick up a reusable water bottle. Fill it with ice cold water and put it on your desk or nearby if you can’t have food/drinks on your desk per company policy. Drink water throughout the day to help not only stay hydrated, but to also help reduce hunger pangs. Depending on the size of your water bottle, make sure to drink enough that you are filling it up anywhere from 2-4 times throughout the work day.
Water makes up a huge portion of your body. For that reason, your internal organs, muscles, and brain require adequate water intake to function properly. If you find yourself in a mental fog during the day, you may be in need of some water, so grab your bottle and start drinking.
If you don’t have a reusable water bottle or simply prefer to bring bottled water to work, bring in a bunch and leave them in the refrigerator at work so all you have to do is grab a bottle when yours is empty.
2. Find likeminded people in the office
If you are the type of person who needs help adhering to a health/fitness program, try to find a coworker who also shares a passion for improving their health. Motivate each other and keep each other on track. When you see your coworker slipping, keep them accountable—and likewise, ask them to do the same for you. The buddy system will keep both of you on track. Or open it up to the entire office and see who all would like to join in. If enough coworkers decide to make it bigger than just one or two people partnering up, then you might even be able to change some of the policies in your workplace to be more health-friendly.
Ask your boss if he/she would be willing to allow coworkers to get up and move around more. Maybe even have the ability to take a longer lunch if you use it to go to the gym to exercise. If you have a soda machine, maybe they could replace that with a water dispenser if the office doesn’t have one. Or maybe install a new vending machine that only houses healthy food options and snack items.
3. Keep healthy snacks at your desk
When we are in a pinch and need something quick to eat at work what is the first thing most people grab? Junk. Candy, popcorn, chips, pretzels, pretty much anything from a vending machine or snack items left in the breakroom. Don’t fall into that trap—plan ahead. Keep some healthy snacks like nut-based bars, nutrition or protein bars, protein powder with a shaker bottle, a re-sealable container of healthy nuts, or something similar that doesn’t require refrigeration in your desk. When you feel the urge to eat something unhealthy or find yourself in a pinch where you didn’t get a chance to eat yet due to your schedule, you have the ability to grab an item from your cache.
It is also a great idea to pack some healthy snacks with your lunch for the day as well. This can be something as simple as an apple with some natural peanut butter, or even a bag full of healthy nuts so you don’t dig into your backup stash that you keep at the office. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, in fact, the simpler it is to put together the more likely you are to take it with you to work and eat it.
4. Be sure to get up and move
I’ve been in corporate America for a while before starting my own business and I couldn’t believe the number of people who would glue their butt to the seat of their desk chair and not budge all day. Rather than walking over to the office directly next to them, they would send an impersonal email. Get up people! MOVE! Getting up throughout the day helps improve blood circulation which also just happens to circulate up to your brain. See where I’m going with this? If you’re a hermit living in a cage eventually everything slows down, including cognition. Don’t allow yourself to be a slave to your office or cubicle. Get up and move when you can. Get up and refill your water bottle. Get up and use the restroom. Get up and talk to an associate who emailed you about a question they had. Find an excuse to get up and move so long as you’re being productive and your movement involves completing a piece of your workload for the day.
5. Make time in your schedule for exercise
This could be one of the most used excuses around. If I had a penny for every time I heard someone say they don’t have time to exercise you’d find me on an island somewhere laying on a beach relaxing with my feet in the sand without a care in the world.
You can easily find time in your day to exercise—I don’t care how busy you are. If you have a long lunch, use that time to get in your workout. You can either join a local gym near your office or simply use the landscape around your office to get it in. Walk, run, jog, hit some bodyweight exercises if you can. Anything is better than nothing at all. Your workout will even increase endorphin levels, making you more productive when you walk back into your office.
If you can’t workout over your lunch break, then (even while it’s not really at work) wake up 30-60 minutes early each day to fit in a workout. Or if you have downtime each night where you normally watch television, turn off that reality tv BS and go get in your workout. What’s going to prolong your life and give you a better quality of that life? A workout or seeing what the Kardashians are doing? You know the true answer to that even though you don’t want to give up missing your shows. No one can make decisions for you, you need figure out what is more important to you.