Work can totally derail your health goals. Busy professionals often spend well over 8 hours a day sitting in chairs, eating whatever food is convenient (and healthy food is never convenient), and are stressed out on top of everything. For careerists trying to get ahead, this makes sense, but it doesn’t jive with health goals a lot of times, and that’s the rub. So what do you do if you want to be a rock star at work, and have a healthy lifestyle? There are a lot of options, but here are 3 great choices for staying healthy at work:
Switch to a Standing Desk
You may have heard that “sitting is the new smoking“. That might be a bit hyperbolic, but it’s not far off. Humans are built for movement. In the over 100,000 years since modern homo sapiens emerged, we’ve been hunter gathers for about 90% of that time. Starting about 10,000 years ago humans moved into agriculture, which was a wild change, but still involved a very active lifestyle. Factory work came after that, about 200 years ago; still a lot of movement. Office work began about 50 years ago for most people in the Western world, and it’s the first phase that involves almost no movement. For the fist time in over 100,000 years, we’re spending all day not moving, and our bodies just haven’t adapted yet.
The world isn’t going to radically change. The office culture is here to stay for the foreseeable future. So what can be done? Get a standing desk, and an anti-fatigue mat. It’s not as good as moving, but it’s way better than sitting.
Pack Your Lunches
This one is obvious, and you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: don’t eat out or eat what people just happen to bring in to the office. Take control of your health, and pack lunches that are in keeping with your nutritional plan. When you have a meal plan, and you stick to it, you get the body you want. Pure and simple.
Learn to Meditate…and Then Do It
Stress kills. That might sound like an exaggeration, but unfortunately it isn’t. This is another one of those things that we can’t really change. Humans evolved to live life hunting and gathering with family and friends all day, every day. For most of human history, stress was a quick thing; a saber tooth tiger jumping out from behind a bush or a forest fire. Stress triggered biological responses that were helpful, like a flight or fight response. However, those same biological responses are not useful now, when stress is constant and unyielding. Your body reacts to a looming deadline the same way a caveman’s body would have reacted to a predator. The difference is, his stress would end the second he escaped (or got eaten), your stress will continue indefinitely.
So what’s the solution? You can’t change the world, but you can change how you react to it. Meditation is a great tool to reduce stress. Spend some time learning how to meditate, and then do it a few minutes every day. It’s great on a quick break at work, and can really help you calm down during a fast-paced day.
We get it. Staying healthy is a lot of work, and it can be hard to go at it alone. We’re here to help. Let us know what your biggest challenges are, and we’ll let you know which one of our programs is right for you.