Like millions of people in the UK, my job means that I spend the vast majority of every day sitting at a desk. Obviously, this has implications for not only my physical health and fitness, but for my mental health too! It’s a proven fact that people who spend much of their working day sitting with limited movement and food options have higher chances to develop conditions such as carpal tunnel, depression, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Making the change to healthy food and exercise
Added to that, an office is not always the easiest place to eat healthily, as there are often plenty of temptations and distractions to deal with too. So as someone who would like to lose some weight and do more exercise before the Tour de Trigs challenge that I am committed to doing in December, what am I doing to get fitter and eat better?
Be honest with yourself
Obviously, I need to be aware of what food and drink I am consuming. It’s also essential to drink more water and less caffeinated drinks, so I can stay hydrated, but what else is important to increase my movement and control my input of the right food?
Check out my top tips that I will be implementing this month.
- Work out roughly how much food you need to eat during your working day then take it with you. If you have lunch and two snacks at work, include in your daily food one or two pieces of fruit, two or more servings of vegetables, some healthy carbohydrates (grainy bread, crackers, rice, pasta, leftover roasted vegetables and some protein such as meat, chicken, fish, tofu, pulses or eggs. Most of us need one or two servings of dairy at work, too – think about a yoghurt or cheese here.
- If you regularly forget lunch or snacks, have a desk drawer full of emergency foods that are healthy – these may include nuts, seeds, berries, raisins/sultanas, canned soups, ready-made pasta or rice, canned tuna and salmon and tubs of fruit. And perhaps keep a box of cereal or a bag of oats at work to ensure you don’t miss breakfast.
- Learn to say no to unhealthy office snacks or kind offers of food from your work colleagues
- Try to reduce dining out, it’s often easier to choose healthier options when you are home or have your own food with you. And cut down on alcohol too.
- Be active whenever you can. If it’s possible, ditch the car for your daily commute and walk or cycle whenever possible. If you get public transport, why not get off a stop earlier and walk the rest. And when you are at work, remember to avoid the lift and take the stairs instead.
- Take breaks during the day to get the blood flowing. Leave your desk, walk round the office every hour, do a few stretches and/or go outside to get some fresh air.
- Instead of sending emails to coworkers, why not walk across the office and speak to them in person?
- Improve your posture. Good posture contributes to better breathing, circulation and digestions, so think about your office furniture. Could you change your chair for something more ergonomic, or what about having a standing desk?
- Make time to be active. Walk up 30 mins earlier and do some yoga, go for a walk or head to the gym before work. Or remember to take a change of clothes and go straight to a gym, pool or sports club after work – avoid going home first as this can dilute your enthusiasm.
- If gyms intimidate you, you can opt to do something at home in the evening, a Pilates session (there are plenty of apps to choose from), squats, push-ups or some kind of prescribed exercise work out.
Forming good habits
Finally, tell everyone at work and your friends/family outside work that you are looking to eat better and do more exercise, they can then help and support you in your goals. Remember planning and preparation, consistency and routine, together with encouragement from those around you can help you to make the change to a healthy lifestyle.
The main thing to remember is that small positive changes will soon become a habit. For help and support in developing good habits, please get in touch 07780 692784 or email@example.com