How To Remain Active During Working Hours By Lynn Adada
Does your back hurt after sitting on your desk all day hunched over your laptop? Or do you feel guilty after you’re done working that you have zero energy to exercise?
Licensed Nutritionist and Dietitian, Lynn Adada has a few tips and tricks on how to stay active during working hours in an easy and healthy way.
Why stay active during working hours?
Sitting still for long periods of time negatively affects your health. In fact, it can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases. Research has demonstrated that sitting for an extended period is linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Excessive sitting may also slow metabolism, which has an impact on the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as break down body fat. Injecting physical activity into your working day could reduce some of the health risks that are elevated by being sedentary. One study found that doing just 30 minutes of activity on 5 days each week — be it going to the gym, cycling to work, or going for a lunchtime walk — could prevent 1 in 12 deaths globally.
How to stay active during working hours?
Here are Lynn’s tips:
1. Track your steps
It’s a lot easier to be active when you can keep track of how much you’re really moving. Yes, there’s a reason everyone is wearing activity trackers like Fitbit! Put one on your wrist and find out how many steps you do in a normal day, then set yourself a goal to improve on that number every day. Tracking your activity can be an excellent way to motivate yourself and keep you reminded of your goals.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
We all know we should take the stairs instead of the lift, but how often do we actually do it? The trick is making it a habit, so you stop thinking about it as a choice you have to make every time. Start by aiming to take the stairs once a day, then work up until it’s automatic.
3. Walk instead of calling or emailing
Use every opportunity you have to get up from your desk. Pretend it’s the ‘90s – instead of emailing or texting your colleague across the room, walk over to their desk and have a chat with them face to face. The steps add up, and it gives you the extra benefit of having some social interaction.
4. Find time to walk
If a call is taking too long or the meeting that could have been an email seems to be never-ending, stand up and do some basic strength and balance exercises, like squats, desk push-ups, wall sits. Keep small hand weights or a resistance band at your desk for bicep curls, lateral raises, rows, and overhead presses. Watch demos online to make sure you’re doing exercises correctly to avoid injury.
5. Set reminders
Put some time in your calendar and set an alarm to remind you to take a break – then get up and go for a short walk around the building, or up and down the stairs. You don’t have to go for long – just make sure you take a 5-10 minute break a couple of times throughout the day. Not only will it get you moving, but it will also help clear your head, so you go back to work feeling a bit more refreshed. Get a friend to come along and you can combine activity with social interaction that will give you another wellbeing boost.
6. Eat healthily
There’s no substitute for a healthy diet. Absolutely, you’ll long for appetizing or junk food amid the tedious responsibilities. You’ll be moving less which results in being inactive, sluggish, and sleepy. To fight this feeling, try these foods while in the office to prevent drowsiness and become more productive. Try to pack healthy snack options, such as string cheese, carrots, celery, yogurt, and nuts.
7. Meal plan
One of the most important benefits of meal prepping is that it can help reduce the stress that comes with trying to eat healthier. It also allows you to reach your health goals more easily by not ordering out and eating balanced meals instead. You can choose one day to prepare all your meals ahead of time to save up on prepping before and after work and relieving your stress regarding food choices.
8. Replace sugary drinks with water
Cutting out soda completely can be difficult—the more soda you drink, the more you crave it. So, don’t be too hard on yourself! It can take a while to wean your body off of all the sugar and caffeine. Start first by increasing your water intake without cutting down on the soda yet. You’ll feel the difference in no time. Then, once you get used to drinking more water (get ready to use the bathroom a lot) you can start cutting back on your soda drinking.
Start slow! If you drink two cans of soda a day, try drinking just one. You can also try switching to sparkling water—you’ll get the same carbonated sensation, as well as some lemon or lime flavor, without all the sugar and calories.
So how do you stay active during work hours? Head to Mint Basil Market to check the healthy snacks options suitable for a desk job!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.