Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tips for Being Active at Work

Tips for Being Active at Work

Unfortunately, due to many of today's social practices and hectic individual lifestyles, many people find it difficult to stay active and stick with healthy eating habits that promote wellness. If you work in an office environment, it can be especially hard to stick with your plan. Workers who spend their careers in sedentary jobs can generally be heavier than people in highly active jobs, but having a sedentary job shouldn't be an excuse. Find new and innovative ways to make your healthy, active lifestyle a priority and a part of your daily routine.
  1. Challenge your coworkers to live healthier with you.
    1. Make your active lifestyle more interesting by sharing it with your coworkers or challenging them to live healthier. Invite your coworkers to a workout or for athletic group functions, suggest healthy eating options, or institute a workplace walk for charity. Make it competitive so people actually feel driven to accept your challenges.
  2. Prevent eating out of boredom.
    1. Try not to eat just because you’re bored. If you must eat something between meals, try chewing gum or stash healthy snacks in your desk drawer instead of eating candy or fattening treats throughout the day. Try having low-calorie energy bars, fruits or nuts (make sure to opt for the unsalted and unroasted nuts). Little changes in your snacking habits can provide a much needed boost to your healthy lifestyle.
  3. Choose your snacks wisely.
    1. If part of your daily routine is heading downstairs for that midmorning coffee with cream and a bagel, you can cut down on unnecessary calories by picking healthier choices such as a low-fat yogurt and regular coffee with skim milk.
  4. Don't forget to eat.
    1. A typical workday can be hectic. With meetings, answering emails and returning phone calls, it's hard to find a moment for yourself. Even though you're busy, it's important to consume balanced meals throughout the day. This might mean brown-bagging your lunch or stashing quick and healthy meal options in your desk or in the refrigerator to give yourself energy to get through your day. If you decide to bring microwaveable dinners with you, don't forget to read the label first.
  5. Make the right choices.
    1. Whether you usually eat in the cafeteria or go out for lunch, try to stick to your healthy eating plan as much as possible by learning how to eat out. And if you find that your cafeteria or workplace doesn't offer choices that fit into your plan, ask whoever is in charge of food services to prepare healthier options that will benefit not only you but the entire company as well.
  6. Keep moving.
    1. If you live close to work, walk or bike to the office rather than driving or taking the subway in every day. If you drive to work, park farther away from the entrance to get in a couple minutes of activity. Or jump off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.
  7. Bring appealing alternatives to deter that mid-afternoon sugar rush.
    1. Halfway through your day, it may seem as though the only thing that can get you through the rest of the afternoon is that glazed donut or that chocolate bar from the vending machine. Bring alternatives to work such as hummus and a pita or some fruit to snack on.
  8. Stay active even when you're not.
    1. Advances in technology may be making the workplace more convenient, but they're decreasing the chance of physical activity throughout the day. Instead of sitting at your desk and sending an email, get up and take a memo over to your coworker or supervisor. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator. You'd be surprised how quickly the little things add up to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  9. Join a gym or purchase some home gym equipment.
    1. To keep employees active and healthy, many workplaces have started offering to pay for gym memberships or to compensate employees for part of their memberships. Find out if your workplace offers any compensation programs for joining a gym or purchasing exercise equipment. And remember, once you get a membership, use it. Don't spend your money on a gym membership that you’ll only use a few times.
  10. Change up your social networking.
    1. Instead of meeting coworkers at the bar for drinks and wings after work, try some new and fun activities that don't necessarily revolve around food. Instead, try bowling, playing a round of mini-golf or enjoying some other leisurely team sport such as softball with a bunch of coworkers. You'll still have a great time without the extra calories.
Hopefully this will help you change some parts of your daily routine. Don't let unhealthy practices become habitual. Incorporate these simple tips into your workday to help you achieve healthy living habits.

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