Deskbound: 5 Ways to Stay Fit
Many of us work in office environments, where we are sedentary for most of the day. This prolonged inactivity throughout the week really isn’t good for our bodies. I'll keep it real though: If I have to sit down all day to chase a check, I surely will!
I don’t have the luxury of owning a standing desk, or a balance ball to sit on during the day. SIDENOTE: Do any of you use a standing desk or ergonomic chair? I keep hearing mixed reviews on their effectiveness.
In any case, I’ve tried to find ways to make sure I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to be healthy during the day. Here are a few of the things that I do to address my workday health. I’d love to hear what you do to stay healthy too!
- No Office Food: I find this one particularly difficult because I work in an office where there is a lifetime supply of free food. I’m in the breakfast club at my job (I know, I’m corny lol), and most of the time people just bring bagels, doughnuts and muffins. I tried divorcing bagels and cream cheese a few years ago, but we always seem to reconnect. Try to exercise some self control. If you keep making exceptions for every holiday, every event, and every free lunch, then you will ALWAYS be eating too much of the things that you don’t need. If your coworkers have candy at their desks, learn to look past, or just have ONE rolo, and not 7. Too much of anything, regardless of how small they seem, are detrimental to our diets and body goals!
- Sustenance on Deck: Keep NUTRITIOUS snacks at the desk. I don’t really consider myself to be a snacker, but I do tend to get a little hungry during the mornings, and afternoons. The vending machine often calls out to me, but many of the options contain empty calories. Instead of starving during the day, or opting for the vending machine, I bring my own snacks. I personally prefer to bring snacks that have fiber or protein to keep me full. Some of my favorites are: berries and Greek yogurt, fiber one bars, popcorn, nuts, and cheese. These are much better options than buttery crackers, chips or cookies.
- Hydrate: Keep a refillable water bottle at the desk. How many times have you heard the phrase, “you’re not hungry, you’re thirsty?” Well, it’s true. Most people don’t drink as much water as they should per day. I’ve found that water helps to keep me full, which deters me from overeating. I have a 20 oz water bottle, that I refill 3-4 times per day. I could really refill it more, but I need to be able to spend time working, and not constantly running to the women’s room. Drink your water!
- Bye Bye Elevator: So, I’m still working on this. There are a lot of factors that come into play when I decide to take the steps. The most important factor is if I’m coming into work on time, or running a few minutes behind. In the latter case, ain’t nobody got time for steps! I work on the 6th floor, so it is somewhat of a trek to my work space. No, taking the steps doesn’t burn tons of calories, but when you’re taking the steps multiple times per day, and multiple times per week, it does add up. The combination of small activities lead to big results.
- Walk It Out: If the weather permits, I go for a midday walk most days of the week. I come to work prepared to walk for 20-30 minutes during my lunch hour. Some days I bring sneakers to work if I’m wearing heels that aren’t fit for walking long distances. I thoroughly enjoy my walks. I love getting outside during the day to get a breath of fresh air and get some sun. If you work with other health-conscience people, you may even be able to make it a group effort.
In order to stick to our fitness journeys, we have to be mindful at all times of our eating habits and activity levels. We can’t sit at our desks, and gorge on snacks all day, and think that it won’t affect us. Getting active isn’t just about getting in those 30 minutes of aerobic activity everyday, it’s also about making choices to be physical throughout the day. Every little bit counts.