Having a desk job can be detrimental to one’s health because it keeps the body in one position for hours on end, locking up muscles, weakening joints, and forming blood clots. It allows people to eat out more often than they normally would as well, leading to weight gain and muscle loss.
Read on to discover easy ways to keep on track and stay ahead of the game, even while in the office.
1. Stand Up & Stretch!
Sitting at a desk for hours every day can cramp up the muscles, cause blood clots to form in the legs, and lead to terrible posture. Taking a few seconds every hour to stand up and stretch out those unused muscles can not only keep all those things from happening, it gives the brain a break from the stress of work and frees the eyes from the strain of staring at a screen for hours on end.
Try taking a brisk walk down the hall as well.
2. Take the Stairs
Many offices have multiple floors, and most people don’t want to climb up all those flights of stairs before the day has even started, but if that is going to be the only source of physical activity for most of the day, it might be a good idea to bypass the elevator. Taking the stairs gets the heart pumping and legs working, so it doubles as a cardio and strengthening workout.
Try taking the stairs for a week and see what happens!
3. Prepare a Breakfast & Pack a Lunch
A lot of people like to use the excuse that they don’t have time to make a healthy breakfast before work, or that when they get to work, there isn’t time to go find anything healthy to eat, so they go out and grab fast food. Or maybe their friends always invite them out to eat for lunch. Whatever the reason, there always seems to be an excuse as to why people can’t eat healthy at work.
Healthy eating is not as hard as people think, nor is it as boring as some believe.
The most common reason people give for not eating a healthier breakfast (or in many cases, any breakfast at all) is that they don’t have the time in the morning to cook something and then sit down and eat it. In today’s world, a lot of things, including food, have to be able to go on the road. Fast food places are extremely popular these days for this reason. Most people think ‘I don’t have time to make something, I’ll just grab some McDonald’s on the way to the office.
This is just an excuse. A healthy, balanced breakfast can be easy to make, and can actually go out of the house. Preparing food the night before is especially helpful if someone wants a filling savory breakfast to go. There are dozens of recipes out there for quick breakfast meals that are both nutritious and will keep people full until lunch. Overnight Oats have become especially popular, and breakfast wraps are a classic favorite that can be prepared beforehand. There’s no need to hit the drive through when the internet offers so many different options.
Lunch is simple as well. Instead of ordering a pizza or hitting the Chik-Fil-A down the block, bringing in a nutritious lunch and storing it in the break room fridge or keeping it at the desk (out of sight to keep temptation away) is the perfect solution. Last night’s leftovers make the perfect office lunch, as well as sandwiches, salads, and basically anything else one may have in their kitchen. Eating a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be complicated.
Don’t make excuses; make plans as to how to stay on track.
4. Take a Gym Lunch Break
A lot of people use work schedules as a reason why they can’t go to the gym. Working eight hours at the office, then making the commute back home, followed by carrying out errands, chores, and making dinner can leave no time to go to the gym after work, and not many people want to wake up an hour earlier to go to the gym before, so what can somebody do?
Many places offer an hour lunch break, which is plenty of time to go to the gym (so long as it’s near the office). Use that time to get in a quick workout instead of eating lunch, and then eat at the desk.
5. Commute to Work the Green Way
Instead of driving or taking the bus, consider biking to work instead, or even walking if it is safe enough. Riding a bike is one of the best workouts anyone can do, and most people have been doing it since childhood. Many cities even have lanes marked out on the road for bikers to stay in so they are not in danger while riding near traffic.
Be careful to wear bright colors while riding, or wear reflective outerwear during darker hours.
6. Do Some Basic Exercises Throughout the Day
Limited office space doesn’t mean a good workout can’t be done. There are plenty of body weight exercises out there, eliminating the need for weights or machines, and most of them can be done in a small space. Squats, planks, push ups, crunches, even lunges are great workouts that require little space to actually execute them. And since they require no equipment, they can be done throughout the day, keeping the body moving and cramps away.
7. Dress for the Gym (or Bring Backup)
A big reason people don’t go to the gym after work is because they leave their shoes and clothes at home. The obvious solution? Packing gym clothes and shoes in a bag and storing them in the passenger seat. This way, there is no need to go home, which often leads to people deciding not to go at all.
If the job allows, wearing the workout clothes to work is an even better way to eliminate this excuse. Just go straight to the gym!
8. Bring Healthy Snacks
Snacking is something people do for varying reasons; boredom, hunger, socializing, the list goes on. Whatever the reason for snacking, an important trick is to bring only healthy snacks, and set them where they are accessible during the day. Be sure to hide the not as healthy options, or even leave them at home for enjoying at other times. Bringing fruit, nuts, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, or any other natural food to enjoy throughout the day encourages healthier eating habits for the rest of the day.