Exercise and the Office

2 Apr

Most people inherently want to be healthy. Maybe not as healthy as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, but certainly not couch potatoes. “Regular people” typically want to fall somewhere in the middle of the health spectrum.

Your health can be judged by what you eat, how often you exercise, your bodyfat percentage, etc. When you decide you want to take action on getting healthier, the amount of information can be a little overwhelming.

StretchingHealthy Tips for Busy(ness) People

To help you stay healthy while putting in your time at the office, here are some guidelines that shouldn’t feel too overwhelming.

Keep a snack drawer at your desk. Load it with healthy snacks that you can eat guilt-free throughout the day. Staying full will help keep your mind focused and prevent your brain from convincing you at lunch time that the triple bacon cheeseburger makes a great appetizer! For some examples of snacks that may pleasantly surprise you, go to http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/lifestyle/food-drink/10-healthy-snacks-office.

Take a walk at lunch. In winter, this is not always an option… unless you want to pack your snow boots, snow pants, and a parka four months out of the year. (This winter in the Midwest, it’s more like 6 months out of the year.) But seriously, consider the benefits of walking. If you sit at a desk all day, even a simple 10-minute walk can make a big difference. Whatever time you have is time well spent to get your heart pounding, blood moving, and increased metabolism. Plus, walking relieves stress. In some cases, walking may also burn as many calories as jogging. For a compelling argument on both sides of this statement, go to http://www.thatsfit.com/2009/07/08/does-walking-or-running-burn-more-calories/.

Start or join a wellness program. A healthy employee is a more productive employee. Employers have many options to promote healthy employees. Establish a wellness program, start a wellness committee, set a walking route for employees to follow at lunch, host weight loss contests, or work out a corporate partnership between your business and the local fitness club so your employees can join at discounted rates. Your health insurance provider may provide discounts to companies and employees who engage in healthy activities. Remember that employees are company representatives, and if they are happy, healthy, and stress-free, they are better able to represent their organizations for the long term.

Being healthy is a state of mind. A health plan doesn’t need to take over your life, it should conform within your life. Baby steps are the key to longevity. Take your time. Add a snack drawer or take a walk at lunch once a week until a habit forms and build from there. In time, the pieces will fall into place. Eventually you will get to where you want to be and taking it slow ensures you’re more likely to be able to stay there. Good luck!

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