There is an entire universe of people who have great intentions when it comes to their health and fitness levels. Every Sunday night, they make a solemn vow to kick Monday morning off on a healthy note, start running, join a gym, and prepare a healthy meal. That elusive Monday never comes and the realistic Monday in which everything remains the same occurs yet again. Does this sound close to home? If so, it’s time to get out of the vicious circle and start doing great things for both your body and mind. We understand that 60+ hour work weeks are taxing and if you have other obligations such as kids, maintaining a household, or a busy social schedule, it can seem difficult, if not impossible, to ‘jam’ a healthy lifestyle in. But here’s an easy and radical thought – why not try making tiny sacrifices and making great use of your time at work. Believe it or not, the long hours you spend at the office can actually work to your advantage, and we’re here to give you a few pointers on how to make the best of them.
Before You Head Out
The way you start your day is crucial, so after you’ve gotten a minimum of seven hours of quality sleep time, (essential for energy, concentration and much more), the first thing you need to do is get some fuel into that body. The best morning fuel that will keep your energy levels constant is protein, so put that blender to good use and make a habit of creating a protein smoothie. There are tons of amazing recipes and at least ten of them feature your favorite produce. They’re easy to make so there is no room for the “I don’t have the time” excuse. Also, don’t drink excessive amounts of coffee. Yes, it can keep you sharp, and the antioxidants present are beneficial, but there is such thing as too much and if you go overboard you’ll only end up dehydrated and with a low battery.
We all reach obstacles and we all need a little push from time to time. One of the best things you can do to increase your desire to get fit and healthier is to surround yourself with motivational quotes. They can be put on post-it notes that you stick on your desktop, so you’ll always be surrounded by them. You would be amazed at the impact these little messages can have.
Of course, keeping hydrated is highly important, but instead of just regular water, try filling up your bottle with some lemon and ginger. Ginger serves to improve digestive functions and lemon is there with its antioxidant properties that help you detox and even lose some weight in the process. Plus, this beverage is far tastier than plain water.
There is a little scientific term—enclothed cognition—which is used to describe the “systemic influence clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes”. To explain it plainly, this means that what you wear doesn’t only affect people’s perception of you, but your own perception of yourself. If you wear a black suit, you’ll feel powerful and capable, and if you wear gym clothes, you’ll become motivated to work out. Now, the leisurewear trend has been on the rise for quite some time, and most companies have a more laid-back dress code. Therefore, now you can afford to rock leisurewear or your favourite basketball apparel at work – that way, not only will you be motivated to hit the gym on your lunch break, but you’re already in your gym clothes, you won’t have a valid excuse not to exercise.
Physical Workplace Safety
Before getting into some physical activity around the office ensure that space is safe and that everyone has undertaken slips trips and falls training to prevent accidents and injuries. Have appropriate and comfortable furniture that fosters good posture and well-being. Small things such as a footrest or pressure relief cushion can reduce strain and increase comfort.
Work and Workout
Yes, it’s possible to have it all, you just have to get a bit creative. For instance, you can get a standing desk for your office and minimise the impact of a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re not that keen on the idea of not sitting for a minimum of eight hours, get an exercise ball. It won’t only improve your posture as there is nothing to lean on, but the lack of a back support will keep you alert and moving. Get up after every hour you spend sitting down, stretch your legs, and do a few squats while you’re up. Hey, since you’re up, why not do a few push-ups in front of your desk too? You have some printing to do – head to the farthest printer in the office, stretch your legs and do some walking. Also, instead of public transportation or car, why not ride your bike to work, or even walk if you have the extra time? Get the whole office involved by organising walking groups or even friendly basketball games at break times. Get custom basketball jerseys to motivate players and encourage participation in a fun way. Team sports are also great for fostering team building and friendship in the workplace. The point is, no gym – no problem; your commute, as well as your time at work, can serve as a great alternative to traditional workouts and soon enough you’ll begin to notice results. Staying healthy and fit is not that difficult, you just have to juggle a bit and get creative.