5 ways to transform your work style for better health
Losing energy and gaining weight at work? It’s time to transform your working life and work towards achieving healthy success with these top tips.
Think about how much time you spend at work each week. Full-time employees spend 54% of their waking hours at work. Often, when we want to improve our overall health we make changes to our lifestyle, but what about our workstyle?
Is that 54% of time spent benefitting or harming your body, mind, and ability to succeed in the long term? Here are my top tips for transforming your life at work and creating healthy success.
- Move More
Human physiology means that we are meant to be in a frequent state of movement while we are awake. Sitting down for hours at a time, most likely with bad posture, is a phenomenon of modern times. Sitting for a prolonged period on a regular basis can slow down your digestion, increase your blood pressure, increase your risk of heart disease, and is likely to cause excess fat to collect around your middle. So get moving!Every 30 minutes stand up and go for a quick walk around the office for a couple of minutes. If this feels awkward just walk to the bathroom or go to get a drink. You could even go for a short walk outside on your lunch break. Every little bit helps!
Why not take it up a notch and use a Fitbit monitor to track the number of steps you take in a normal day and set a challenge to increase your steps each week.
Swop your chair for an exercise ball or pilates seat, and use a standing desk or variable height desk to encourage more movement in your normal daily work routines.
- Be Prepared
When I was working in the corporate world, I was so focused on my day and what I had to achieve that food didn’t factor in to any of my planning. I generally got something from the vending machine or from a nearby fast food restaurant. Sometimes I didn’t eat and opted for a coffee instead. Over the years, this behavior resulted in extra kilos and fatigue that no amount of caffeine could seem to overcome.After my burnout, I started to fuel my body with real food and wow, what a difference! I lost a heap of weight, I had energy, and I felt so much happier. Avoiding processed food was the key to my transformation, but that can be very hard to do if you don’t take the time to prepare your food ahead of time. Not only does that involve packing a healthy lunch to take to work, but a lot of healthy snacks.Snacks are great because they help keep blood sugar levels steady, provide nutrients, and stop you from getting overly hungry between meals. Prevent the temptation of the vending machine by preparing healthy snack to have at your desk, ready for when the afternoon munchies kick in. But it is important to be eating healthy snacks like fruits and nuts, as snacking on unhealthy, processed foods will cause your energy levels to drop.
Feel like munching on something sweet and chocolaty? Try my recipe for delicious Raw Chocolate Rounds!
- Drink Up
It seems a bit too simple, but simply drinking more water can make a huge difference to your health and daily energy levels.Even being mildly dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired very fast. If you feel thirsty that means you are already dehydrated, which can result in muscle weakness, dizziness, and fatigue.To make sure you get enough H2O in your system each day, take a water bottle to work with you, keep it at your desk, and sip it regularly. When you feel like having a snack drink some water first – often we confuse thirst for hunger – and when you eat your lunch, avoid having other drinks with it and instead drink at least a quarter to a half of your water bottle.
- Take a Break
Unfortunately a lot of workplaces have a culture where taking a lunch break is frowned upon. As humans, we are built to work, but we also need regular breaks in order to sustain a high level of work.Take athletes for example: they are very strong and healthy people who can achieve incredible things. They train their bodies to perform at a very high level and part of that training is a healthy diet, hydration, sleep, and regular rest. Even within a cross country run, athletes are trained to pace themselves and play to their strengths, to go faster in some areas and slower in others, in order to maximize their chance of winning.Likewise we should be pacing ourselves, working to our strengths, taking breaks when we need them, and going home at a decent hour. For example, if you are a morning person, you should do you most intense and hardest work in the morning, take a break, and then take on the more simple tasks in the afternoon. Work to your strengths and take the time to rest and rejuvenate during your break. Don’t spend your break taking phone calls, or brainstorming ideas for a meeting, etc. try to relax and remove your mind from work for a short while. Read a book, people watch, or catch up with a friend – but don’t let yourself work. Trust me, you will be so much better for it!
- Clean Up
Public spaces are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, especially during flu season, and your workplace is no exception!Simply giving your phone, mouse, keyboard, and computer screen a wipe down with some cleaning alcohol on a regular basis will help eliminate many of the germs that are lingering around the office. While you’re at it, throw away any unnecessary items/rubbish, organize your documents, and de-clutter your space so that it is ready for a fresh start.Spending the time regularly sanitising and tidying up your work space could make such a difference to your overall health and mental clarity.
Taking responsibility for your health, is taking responsibility for your success. Keeping your mind and body functioning at their highest possible level is important to achieving the success you crave. For more information on getting fit for work, be sure to tune in to podcast episode #67 with Sally McMahon, CEO of Fit for Work Australia.
If you are ready to master a healthy model for success, come to my workshop – Vibrant Women Succeed More. (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney)