Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tips for a Healthier Work Day- Guest Post!

Thanks Caitlin for reaching out and asking to guest post!  Here's a great post from her about a healthy work day.  Enjoy! :)

Hi all, I'm Caitlin Hudson, a full-time SAHM, nature lover, writer, and health nut! I am in the process of starting my own blog, but in the meantime, Colleen has been generous enough to have me as a guest on her wonderful blog. Today, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite tips for keeping the work day healthy! If you have any questions feel free to email me!

Tips for a Healthier Work Day

We all have the best intentions when it comes to diet and exercise. We’re going to only eat healthy, homemade food and get moving several times throughout the day. Unfortunately, working full-time can derail those plans. But with some forethought and planning, the office environment can encourage better overall health.

Eat Right

There is possibly nothing more draining to a healthy diet than the office vending machine. You can probably hear the Snickers calling to you right now. No! Do not listen. Pack your own lunch; it is far tastier and better than anything that Mars or Nestlé have to offer. Preparing food on the weekends can be a saving grace. I usually do my grocery shopping on Saturday. At that time, I cut up fruits and vegetables and separate them into portions. Then, they can be easily accessed throughout the week. On Sunday, I prepare at least three entrées. For the ones that you want to take to work, you can put them into reusable containers in the portion sizes desired. When you’re choosing between something as delicious and aromatic as homemade lemon-herbchicken and a KitKat, there really is no debate.

lemon-herb chicken

Desk for Success

Ah, the desk: killer of backs, huncher of shoulders. Isn’t there a better way? Yes, there is. That balanceball I bought from Beachbody when I was pregnant has so many uses. These days, experts say that sitting on a stability ball instead of a chair encourages better posture and can decrease back pain. When I sit on it, I automatically start to bounce up and down. That works my hamstrings and gluteal muscles almost without my knowing it. 

Balance ball
And there are other ways to stay in shape and burn calories while sitting at a desk. When there’s no time for a workout, keep a small setof dumbbells in your desk drawer. It allows you to take a quick break and do some bicep curls. The best part is that because it isn’t cardio, you won’t build up a sweat while you do it.

Get Up

When at work, try to move. Don’t look for the closest parking spots, and try to take the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible. One of the best ways to avoid desk burnout is to get up and move. Don’t ever sit somewhere in the same position for more than about an hour. Every hour or so, get up to get a drink of water or just do a quick lap around the office. If you have time and the weather is nice, try to take a mid-morning or afternoon break and go outside for a walk. When working on a particularly thorny issue and trying to figure out how to approach it, taking that extra time while walking allows time to think and meditate. You can often find solutions more readily while walking than while staring directly at the problem (or a computer screen).

Don’t do this alone. Whenever possible, encourage having meetings outside or on a walk, instead of being trapped in a conference room. That way, everyone gets a little workout and feels better when they get back. And it makes it easier to avoid the temptation to eat the donuts that somebody brought.

Maintaining a healthy life can be hard in this sedentary world. But when you take the time to prepare meals, maximize desk time, and keep active, the work day can give you energy and motivation, ending on a high note.

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