Some of us are cutting sugar, some recommitting to gym routines, and a few are even going full Gwyneth with juice cleanses and macrobiotic food. And, while we love to see the "go big or go home" attitude brought on by the end (and subsequent beginning) of another year, it's been our experience that going slow and steady really does win the race.
With that in mind, we've nailed down five easy (and utterly maintainable!) tweaks to our workweek that'll seriously boost wellness without emptying our bank account — or requiring that we swear off solid foods.
Eat lunch anywhere other than your desk. Seriously. Your brain, your eyes, and your soul need to see something besides your cubicle. Sit in a nearby park while you eat your Thai leftovers and soak up some vitamin D. (We’re betting you’re depleted.) It takes less than 10 minutes to eat a sandwich. We timed it. Unless you’re a doctor, no one is going to die if you’re gone for 10 minutes. Capiche?
We’ve all heard it — and, so many times we’re sick of it. “Sitting is the new smoking!” From metabolic rate to brain function, prolonged periods of sitting are bad for pretty much everything. Thankfully, some clever SOB (who’s worth millions now) came up with alternatives for those of us who aren’t willing to accept that a corporate lifestyle equals an early death sentence.
For the most affordable standing desk, ever, try Standesk 2200. Colin Nederkoorn used IKEA parts costing a total of $22 to build this ergonomically correct standing desk. Just follow this recipe to turn your existing desk into a standing-optional workspace.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to standing, but want to make a change, replace your standard office chair with a balance ball. The round shape encourages core stability and, as a bonus — bouncing.
Repetitive motion causes stress, right? That’s why athletes are always getting injured. But, the sport is their livelihood, so they protect themselves with braces, wraps, massages, and any other preventive measures that’ll keep them in the game. Think of your job as a sport. You type, read, and meet 40-plus hours a week. You should have the best possible equipment to keep yourself healthy and productive.
An ergonomic keyboard is designed to suit the body’s alignment, reducing shoulder, hand, and wrist stress. (And, it keeps you from needing those weird computer gloves. They are the equivalent of headgear for your hands.)
Perhaps the only thing most of us do more than type on a computer is stare at one. Staring at a fixed screen, reading tiny words for hours causes serious strain to our peepers and can lead to long-term problems. One way to vastly improve your setup is to get a jumbo monitor. Anything over 24” will be an improvement over most laptops and bigger is just icing on the cake. Swap your baby screen for one of these mama bears.
Mid-afternoon, sugar cravings are at their fiercest. But those Skittles pack a double crap whammy by spiking your blood sugar, then letting it crash. Translation: You’ll be less satisfied and focused than you were before. But, there are ways to get a sweet fix without the crash (or the guilt).
R29's latest grab-and-go obsession is ENLIGHTENED Ice Cream. With bars at 70 to 80 calories and eight grams of protein a pop, it’s basically a frozen protein bar — except delicious. The brand, first brought to our attention by this writer's boyfriend (ENLIGHTENED C.O.O. Neal Ludevig) is bringing ice cream sandwiches in vanilla and mint to stores early this year. They ring in at 100 calories per serving, and make us believe in miracles.
For a DIY treat, mix one cup Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup Nutella and dip your favorite fruit in it. (We love it with apples and strawberries. Got time to chill? Refrigerate the mixture for an hour for a richer, thicker consistency.
Unless you’re using the projector, or people are dialing in, it’s hard to think of many good reasons to have meetings in a conference room. Remind your colleagues how innovative and efficient (read: awesome) you are by hosting touch-base meetings in a nearby park. For bonus points, invite your team to brainstorm over cardio. Unusual surroundings perk up your brain, and heart-pumping workouts increase the flow of oxygen to your brain, so you’re pondering at peak efficiency. Score!