Tips for Staying Healthy at the Office
by Samantha Coogan, MS, RDN, LD
A lot of people who work in an office setting find themselves quite lethargic and sedentary for most of the day. Here are some tips to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals, while increasing productivity at work. That’s a win-win! Think about the fact that the healthier you are, the better you perform at work, which could lead to a promotion! Health = Wealth!!
Eat at home before work
Wake up a few minutes earlier to get breakfast in before you leave. That way you’re ready to go once you arrive at work and can look forward to your next snack. Waiting too long to eat after waking causes your metabolism to run more slowly throughout the day. Breakfast literally means to break the fast (from sleeping), so it is crucial to get some food in your system within about an hour of waking up. The dry ingredients in the Breakfast Bowl can easily be prepared the night prior, then you just need to add the water in the morning!
Do not skip meals or snacks
This is a big culprit for people overeating. If we go for too long without eating, we tend to become ravenous due to blood sugar levels dropping, which makes us feel fatigued and shaky. We tend to become disoriented as our brains are running low on fuel and can’t concentrate. If we make sure to eat every 2-4 hours, our bodies (and organs) are constantly being replenished with nutrients for maximum work capacity. However, make sure these foods are healthy choices, such as an apple with 2 tablespoons of almond butter, or an orange and half an avocado. Snacking is perfectly acceptable if done with proper choices. Again, stick to that principle of eating until satisfied, not until full. You should feel hungry by the time your next meal or snack is scheduled.
Get yourself moving, even if you have a desk job.
You can get up and walk around the building or the hallway (depending on the size and layout of your office). Stretch your neck and shoulders or stretch out your legs by visiting your coworkers’ desk rather than electronic communication. Heck, do a set of 10 bodyweight squats between customer emails! Just try not to be sedentary for the entire day. Get up every hour or so, even if that’s a trip to the restroom or to make a cup of coffee. For lunch, even if you bring it with you, get up and get out to go eat it. Go to a park or eat out in your office’s courtyard. And try to bring an office buddy with you!
One of the hardest parts of living a healthy lifestyle is being prepared. Yes, meal prepping can be a little tedious and annoying, but if you can put in a few hours once a week, the rest of the week is a breeze, and you’ll be sure to stay on track. When we get lazy, we often look for the easiest thing to put in our mouths, and this includes lunchtime at the office. We will go to the closest, cheapest fast food joint if we forgot our lunch or just didn’t have time to prepare it that morning. By having all your meals prepped in advance, you will always be sure that you are properly nourishing your body.