Now that I am in the “real world” and hold a big girl job down, I am starting to realize there were a lot of things I took for granted while I was in college. While I definitely miss getting to dress like homeless person in norts and a tshirt every day or planning my classes around my sleep schedule, I’d have to say the thing I miss the most if getting to move around all day whether it be breathlessly walking up the seemingly 40 flights of steps in front of our University center, or hauling butt to across campus to get to class with a 20 lb backpack strapped onto my body. It was WAY easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle in college than it is sitting at my desk all day at a Fortune 500 company. After much trial and error, I have found ways to stay healthy at work to increase my productivity, health, and happiness. Check out my tips on how to stay healthy at a desk job below.
A healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure that you’re eating a healthy protein packed breakfast to jumpstart your metabolism and keep you fueled for the morning.
Pack your lunch and healthy snacks
Packing your lunch in the mornings (or the night before) only takes an extra 5 minutes that could significantly improve your health! If you need a snack to keep your energized, pack things like fruit and nuts to keep you going.
Make packing your lunch even easier by meal prepping on Sunday’s. I typically plan all my meals for the week, go grocery shopping, and cook and store them all on Sunday nights. This ritual keeps me from having to stand over the stove for an hour after a long day and helps keep me accountable. It’s hard justifying getting fast food for dinner or lunch when you know you have $80 worth of ready to go food in your freezer.
Say “No” To Office Snacks
I know this is a hard one as I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say “no” when someone has waved a piece of cake in front of my face. There are probably multiple birthday celebrations a week in my department, and I have learned to respectfully decline any offers for office snacks. Think about how long it will take to burn those calories for ONE piece of deliciousness. A moment on the lips means a lifetime on the hips.
There are plenty of ways to “deskercise.” Just look at Pinterest if you lack ideas or inspiration. I took the extra step and got an elliptical machine for underneath my desk. It’s super easy to pedal and type or do whatever. It even has become an office hit (coworkers stop by to get a workout in while I’m gone) and it was only $100 at Walmart. Sitting for 8 hours a day atrophies your butt muscles, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting some action so you can keep your booty round and perky.
Always take the stairs
Treat the elevator or escalator like public enemies #1. Unless you are physically handicapped, you have no reason not to take the stairs other than the fact that you’re lazy.
Don’t be thirsty
Drinks tons (not literally of course) of water. There’s no excuse not be getting you 32 oz in when most offices offer their employees access to filtered water. I try to fill up twice a day to make sure I stay hydrated.
Stretch at your desk
At about three o’clock I find myself getting tired and a little burnt out on whatever I’m doing. This is when I typically take the time to stretch and take a short break. Stretching helps increase blood flow to your brain which in turn increases productivity, so your boss will thank you for it.
Maintain good posture
Sometimes when I need a good laugh, I look around my office and inwardly make fun of all the people hunched over their desks who look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. But really, I am totally guilty of having poor posture at all times (it’s not easy being 5’10). Good posture not only helps cut down on lower back pain, but it keeps the oxygen flowing to your pretty little head.
Exercise at lunch
While not all of us have time to go to the gym to get a full workout in, there are still plenty of things we can do to stay active at lunch from walking around a park, riding our bike to lunch, or lifting weights at your desk 10 minutes before you head out. As Elle Woods (kind of) said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their annoying cubicle buddy. They just don’t.”
Most of ALL
Whether it be thinking about what you’re going to eat for lunch, or listening to trap music on your earphones while you work on your reports- do what it takes to keep a smile on your face. Keeping a positive attitude will keep you from losing your mind when the printer jams for the 10oth time today, or you boss sends you another annoying cryptic email.
Need a workout playlist that will make you feel like Beyoncé? Check out my “Ultimate Girl Power Workout Playlist” here!
*All Images found on Google images