Celebrities love to post pictures of their healthy meals and videos of them working out with their personal trainers in the middle of the day on Instagram. It’s easier to stay healthy when you have the time and resources of a celebrity. But what about the rest of us? How do we stay healthy while typing on our computers for hours and sitting through way too long meetings? How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in an office?
We’ve spoken before about the importance of staying hydrated. Making sure you’re drinking the correct amount of water (actual water, because soda doesn’t count, Karen) is vitally important not just for avoiding thirst, but keeping your body running efficiently. Also, keep your snacks healthy. It’s easy to just munch on oreos and M&Ms throughout the day, but that’s just pointless calories you’re adding. Try to find a low-salt and low-sugar snack that keeps you going through the day. Something that gives you an energy boost, like almonds, or something that nourishes, like celery and carrot sticks (just make sure it’s something you like eating, don’t force yourself to eat something you hate).
Plan for healthy lunches. Taking homemade lunches to work is not only much more cost effective, but also much healthier (and can be way more delicious if you make the right stuff). Things like making a batch of soup can be eaten over several work days. Eat a light lunch, nothing too heavy (salads, soups, and sandwiches are great for this). Your daily lunch at Taco Bell may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re doing it five times a week for twenty years...your heart won’t be happy with you.
Don’t forget to take physical breaks, especially if you’re sitting at a computer (or just in a chair) for long stretches of time. Your body needs movement occasionally to help the blood circulating in your body. There are other benefits as well, like resting your wrists to hopefully avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Add some light exercises into your life, maybe going for a walk in the early morning before work (and make sure you shower afterward), or starting some basic yoga. Adding some stretches throughout the day can be helpful as well. Mental exercises such as meditation can also give your days a marked improvement.
Make sure you’re sleeping enough. It’s so easy to put off sleep because we’re just so busy. Who has time for things like sleeping? But people who get 8 hours a night don’t just feel better, they do a better job too. Cramming in more things on a to-do list when you’re already drained isn’t nearly as effective as tackling tasks when you’re well-rested.
Try to add some natural light in your day. Is there a window in your office that lets in natural light? If not, maybe take your breaks outside, or eat lunch on a bench outside. Make sure to get some fresh air and some sun for a refreshing change of pace and some much-needed vitamin D.
Starting (and then keeping) healthy habits can add literal years to your life. Small little changes add up significantly over time. Once you get used to the healthier changes in your life, they become easier and easier as the habit forms stronger over time. Plus, the longer you keep it going, the more benefits you’ll start to see.
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