Do you make food and health excuses at work? We spend 40 hours or more per week at the office, and this time can really make or break our overall health. Stress, sitting all day, deadlines and moving from one meeting to the next can all take a toll on both our bodies and our minds.
It’s easy to make excuses during the workweek. Some of my personal favorites include: "I need to work late so I HAVE to order Chinese food ... for the third time this week," and "We ordered pizza and I had to have eight pieces. Didn't want it to go to waste," and my number one, "I mean, it’s free, right?"
We’ve all been there! Don't beat yourself up; just arm yourself with better habits. Here are a few easy tips to keep you healthy during your workweek:
1. Schedule a lunch break.
That means actually setting the time in your calendar — no meetings and no interruptions. The company will go on if you take 30 minutes to eat, I promise.
2. Leave your desk to eat.
Request a communal lunch area to escape your desk for a few precious minutes. Taking this time will recharge you mentally and physically.
3. Sneak in walks.
There's a rising trend of walking meetings at many companies. A few benefits of getting out from behind the boardroom table include burning calories, stimulating brain function and creativity, and getting some fresh air to increase energy. To top it off, with limited distractions you may find yourself more productive after the meeting as well. For more great insight into the growing trend of "Killing your meeting room," check out this awesome article.
4. Request healthy food options at meetings.
The norm for meeting food has become massive trays of sandwiches, bags of chips and a 0% green food policy. These options are all a calorie suck for your day and will leave you feeling groggy in no time. You’ll be wishing you'd taken me up the on the walking meetings! Try filling your plate with mostly greens instead and have just half a sandwich, if you must.
5. Turn your office kitchen into a health mecca.
Many (smart) companies are beginning to really invest in employees health. Drinks, snacks and even lunches are now being included as perks for employees, but the options may not always be that great. Request healthy snacks and drinks like fresh green juice, Kind bars, a nut station with seeds and nuts to create your own trailmix, and a blender to create your own smoothies.
6. Stay positive.
Keep it real at work. If you have something on your mind say it, don’t let it fester. This will create a much better workspace for you and your colleagues. Nothing is worse than closed-door complaining.
7. Leave on time.
At least three days a week. You’ll feel better the rest of the week and won’t find yourself as fatigued, which will decrease your urge to resort to more and more caffeine throughout the week. Your statue of Red Bull cans may look impressive, but it’s not helping you stay healthy!
8. Don’t get overly happy at a midweek happy hour.
One drink, period. It's only Wednesday, after all.
9. Request a standing desk.
Try it. According to a Forbes article benefits include increased energy, better posture and improved communication, not to mention you'll be viewed as a total trendsetter. It may take some getting used to, but ultimately you'll feel better throughout the day
10. Drink water!
Make sure your company is providing clean, filtered water, and keep a large cup at your desk to drink throughout the day. Shoot for eight cups. That way, if you have slightly less, you’re still likely to be hydrated.