I am going to spend the majority of my adult life working.
I work two jobs, which adds up to about 45 hours a week, plus freelance work in my spare time. Some people have jobs that keep them active all day long. I, on the other hand, have two jobs where I sit in a chair almost all day. Because the majority of my day is sedentary, I try to keep my work life as healthy as possible.
Here are a few things I do that are easy to incorporate into any environment.
1. Healthy Eats
It’s not easy to eat healthy all the time. Trust me, I know. The thing is, you don’t have to be healthy 100% of the time. Just being healthy 50% of the time can make a huge impact on your life and your health.
I eat healthy at work because I bring my own food. It baffles me how some people can eat out for lunch every single day. Not only because of the cost, but also because of the food options. It’s fun to splurge sometimes on lunch. My favorite local place is a Mexican restaurant, but I there is no way I could eat like that every day.
A few days a week my sister and I whip up breakfast and lunch and pack it in the fridge. This way in the morning when we are rushing we can just grab something healthy to bring with us. For a while it seemed like a chore, but the more we did it, the simpler it became. Now it is a way of life and I think I would go crazy if I didn’t make my own food (at least most days).
I also keep healthy snacks in a drawer in my office. This way if I get hungry during the day I am not running down and getting chips or cookies from the vending machine.
2. Water, Water, Water
At work I am a constant water drinker. Luckily we have a water cooler in my office so it makes getting water pretty simple.
For some people water is just not enough. Sometimes I need a little something more. That is why I got a water bottle infuser.
The bottom of this water bottle twists off. You can add any kind of fruit you want (raspberries, lemons, strawberries). Then you twist the bottom back on and add water. I usually let it sit for a few minutes to really boost the flavor, but then all you do is drink from the bottle and you have healthy infused water. I love that you can make any flavor you want and it’s all natural.
This water bottle really helps when I am craving something with flavor, but I don’t want sugary juice or soda.
3. Get Moving
I am a gym rat. I work out almost every day, but it’s not always easy to find the time.
I usually exercise in the morning before work, but if I can’t I try and go on my lunch break. I am lucky enough to have a gym a few minutes away. I eat my lunch at my desk and then head to the gym to run or walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can really help your mood. It helps me deal with any stress I might have at work and it’s nice to just get out of the stuffy office sometimes.
I have even been known to walk down the street to get coffee or even just walk up and down the stairs. Any way to get your body moving during the day (especially if you sit all day) is great!
4. Be A Role Model
Not everyone likes being told about the other people in the office who are healthy. They hate hearing about how I bring my own lunch and exercise on my lunch break. Not everyone is like that though. Most of the people that I work with ask me all the time about my next race or what gym I go to.
A lot of people I work with ask me questions about how to start running, or ways to eat healthier. I am not, by far, the healthiest person in my office. I am, however, the most annoying. I post a lot on Facebook so people see me at races and on outdoor adventures. I think knowing that people that I work with look up to me keeps me accountable. I think twice before getting fast food at lunch when I am in a crunch. I like being able to tell people I did 3 miles on the treadmill at lunch when they ask. It might seem weird, but I like being someone that people might look up to. Even if it’s all in my head.
5. Surround Yourself
Make sure you love where you work. Not only the job that you have, but the environment that you are in.
I really love my job. The office I am in may be cramped (there are 3 of us in one office), but we make the best out of it. We keep the horrible overhead lights turned off and have softer desk lamps. It has really helped with eye strain and headaches from staring at the computer all day. We also added a lot of character to our office. Each of us has decorated our cubicle with fun, inspirational things. I have a lot of pictures up of runs or hikes I have been on, as well as pictures with family and friends. It makes the office a happy place to be.
So there you have it! Small changes over time can really make a difference in your health and happiness at work.
I know not everyone has a conventional job. A lot of people (especially bloggers) work from home. I recently came across a company called WeWork. They set up shared office spaces around the country for people to be able to work in a community space. If I worked from home or started my own small company I would definitely need to get out of the house sometimes, and WeWork makes that simple and fun!