You know what you’re supposed to do to get in tip-top shape, but the eight-plus hours a day spent glued to your computer screen, plus the stressful commute to and from work, plus the sugar crashes that follow an overindulgent client lunch…well, if you didn’t know any better, you’d say your job was trying to sabotage your health. Yikes.
Here’s the cold, hard truth: You only have one body. Try as you might, you can’t negotiate with it and it doesn’t care about that high-strung client, that last-minute proposal, or your short-fused boss. If you don’t take care of your body, you won’t get a new one and that’s that.
The solution: Figure out a way to strike a balance between doing your job while still taking care of yourself. Here are some tools that will help you stay healthy despite your not-so-accommodating work situation.
Learn to love running, or at least walking. Whether you skip the bus and jog to work, head outside for a lunchtime run, or take a mid-afternoon stroll along a nearby trail, giving yourself a little fresh air while pounding the pavement will do your body good.
Not only will you be working on your cardiovascular strength, but you’ll also give yourself a chance to clear your mind and breathe in some fresh air for a little mental rest. Leave the ear buds behind; instead, use your run to sneak in a little meditative action. Running: It’s the ultimate triple threat.
Start by picking up a quality pair of running shoes. Skip your sporting goods superstore and head to a specialty store so you can be fitted with a quality pair that suits your body.
We can hear you groaning through the screen, but hear us out: If you can find yourself a nice gym that’s near your place of employment, you just might be able to make a habit of squeezing in a quick workout before or after work.
Look for a gym that offers fitness classes, or seek out one with a lap pool. Stick to it, and before you know it, you’ll crave that energizing pre-work swim or the stress-melting post-work Pilates class.
Ergonomic office tools
If you’re reading this at work, freeze—and take note of how you’re sitting at this very moment. If your neck is craning forward, your arms are bent awkwardly, or you’re hunching over, then you’ve got some work to do. Side effects from poor posture will creep up over time, and they take just as long to undo as they do to build up. Take preventive action now by investing in some ergonomic office tools, such as a sit/stand desk, a computer mount that allows you to adjust your monitor’s height, or a chair that encourages you to sit upright.
These tools are expensive, but your company might be willing to foot the bill on this one if it results in a healthier, more productive employee; at any rate, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Here’s a goal you can get behind: monthly massages to help you work through physical aches, pent-up stress, and mental blocks. Not only do massages feel great, but they’ll benefit you both physically and mentally. If you’re lucky, you may have work benefits that cover the cost of a regular massage. If not, make this your monthly indulgence; unlike many other vices, this one’s actually good for you!
We’ve tackled physical health, posture, and relaxation; now it’s time to talk about accountability.
Exercise monitors are a great way of showing you what exercise you’re doing throughout the day, at the gym after work has finished, and even how you’re sleeping once you get home at night. Wearing an exercise monitor will keep you accountable by giving you an excuse to get more steps in per day, and like any gadget, it will be a fun addition to your life that you can mess around with as you get to know its uses.
Meal delivery service
There are inexpensive ways to keep your diet in check. Bringing your lunch to work is one way to track exactly what you’re putting into your mouth. If your work requires client lunches, research restaurants ahead of time to equip yourself to make healthy decisions.
If you don’t have the time to make your own meals from scratch or if you have trouble staying away from calorie-laden menu picks, take the guesswork out by subscribing to a meal delivery service focused on serving healthy, filling lunches. If you work in a larger city, chances are good that one of these is available locally. The price is a little steep, but it requires next to no effort on your part, and if that’s what it takes to get you eating healthily, then it’s absolutely worth it.
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