Wellness can be challenging, no matter the environment. Workplace vending machine temptations abound, and numerous studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods throughout the day can damage your health. An expanded waistline, slower metabolism, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the prices you may pay for being too sedentary. Consider the suggestions from TOPS Club, Inc, the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, for simple ways to build more healthy choices into your workday.
Here’s 8 ways to stay healthy at work:
- Create a vision board that represents what you want to achieve or who you want to be, using photos, magazine cut-outs, motivational quotes or sayings—or anything else that inspires you to make healthy choices. Perhaps you’ll choose bright and colorful photos of fruits and vegetables, running shoes, hiking, or simply being active with children.
- Pack your own lunch every day. You’ll control what you consume and save money by skipping the drive-thru. A $5 fast food lunch once a week ads up to $260 in a year.
- Wear a pedometer and set a step goal for the day. It may not seem like you’re doing much, but adding extra steps whenever or however you can adds up. Park further away in the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and visit a coworker in person instead of emailing or instant messaging them.
- Jot down what a typical day’s worth of tasks looks like. For example, you might write, “Answer emails from 10 to 11:30 a.m.” Next, jot down some ways you can plug in a little extra activity in between, or during, daily tasks.
- Packing healthy snacks in reusable plastic containers is a great way to manage portions and ignore the call of the vending machine. Cocoa-roasted almonds and dried cranberries can help satisfy a sweet tooth, while low-fat string cheese and crisp-bread crackers can suit salt cravings. An apple with a tablespoon of light, whipped cream cheese is a fiber-friendly snack with a twist.
- Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to get up and move throughout the day.
- Plan meals so that half of your plate is vegetables and fruit. The rest of your plate should include lean protein and grains—preferably whole grains such as brown rice or whole wheat bread.
- Keep a water bottle handy and fill it often. Stand up and march in place, do lunges, or stretch to touch your toes whenever the bottle is empty.