Can You Improve Your Health While Working 9 to 5?

StayHealthyAtWork_Slide1Illustrated by Daniel Koppich.
Whether you work out of an office, your home, or are still in school, it can be tough to stay on track with your health and fitness goals while managing a large workload. It’s easy to prioritize your to-do list and put yourself on the back burner; however, I’ve learned that the healthier and happier I am in my personal life, the better I am at my job.
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Last year, we shared some tips and tricks for staying fit while working a nine-to-five, and because this month is all about working it, I thought I’d share a few more. So, to help all of us stay on track with living a healthy life while working long hours, I’ve put together my top five tips for the working girl who wants to feel good, and look good.
Drink Up
It’s so important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and it's very easy to forget about. With deadlines, meetings, and conference calls consuming your day, it can be hard to gulp down the recommended eight glasses of water. However, staying hydrated throughout the day can help keep your energy up, reduce headaches, and allow you to be more in touch with your hunger (sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I’m really just dehydrated). If you’re like me and need some extra help to remind you to drink water, there are tons of free apps that you can download that track your water intake, and send friendly reminders throughout the day to start sipping. One more tip: Squeeze a little lemon into your water. It’ll taste great, and give you some added benefits, too.
StayHealthyAtWork_Slide2Illustrated by Daniel Koppich.
Plan Your Meals
Planning what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner takes the guesswork out of an already stressful day, and can also save you from making bad diet decisions when your hunger turns to hanger (hungry + angry). What I try to do is take a little bit of time on Sundays to go over my schedule for the week, make a trip to the grocery store, and prep as many of my meals as possible. Also, bringing your own food to work, or cooking at home, can save lots of money. If you plan out your week — including your meals — ahead of time, you’ll find it easier to stay on track.
The Buddy System
Having a partner-in-crime when it comes to health and fitness goals can be hugely helpful. Whether it’s someone at your office, or just a friend that you can chat and text with, having a friend who’s working toward the same goals as you can really help you stay on track. I like to have people that I can check in with periodically throughout the day, who can also help out when those intense sugar cravings come along. It’s also a fun way to get to know the people you work with. I’ve made a bunch of friends by finding workout buddies at the office. And, you’re much more likely to actually make it to that workout class or go on that hike if you’ve got a friend who’s doing it with you.
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StayHealthyAtWork_Slide3Illustrated by Daniel Koppich.
Stay Accountable
With all of the amazing technology out there, it’s easier than ever to stay on track and hold yourself accountable. I’ve found that spending the money on something like a Fitbit or Jawbone Up can make a huge difference. Wearable devices like those count your steps, let you know how many calories you’ve burned, and can remind you when it’s time to get up and move around a bit. I set mine to buzz every hour to reminds me to get up, stretch, and take a little walk (even if it’s just to the kitchen).
Work It Out
Fitting a workout into a long workday can seem nearly impossible. However, I’ve found that making the time for an hour-long sweat sesh is critical for me. It boosts my mood, makes me more productive when I’m working, and just makes me feel happier and healthier in general. It’s easy to skip out on the gym when you think of it as something you have to fit into your busy workday. But, if you change your perspective a little bit and think about it differently, you’ll find the time. Now, I plan my workday around my workout, instead of the other way around. If I have a late morning meeting, I’ll work out in the morning. If my day is going to start super early, I’ll make sure to leave work a bit early so that I can make that barre class, or go for a hike before the sun sets. It’s not always easy to do, but when you’re able to make it a part of your everyday routine, it can make a world of difference in your mood, performance at work, and overall happiness.
Do you have any tips or tricks to add to the list?

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