Let’s get really honest for a minute. It’s hard to focus on your health and fitness when you work a full-time job, or at least it sometimes feels that way. If you’re like me and spend the vast majority of a 40 hour work week sitting at a desk in front of a computer it can be really hard to prioritize your personal health and fitness goals.
I’ve started to spend a lot more time thinking about this lately as I found myself feeling consistently drained, lacking energy and motivation, and just feeling kind of crappy about myself in general, both physically and emotionally. Life is draining, work is draining, and it can be difficult to get out of that rut. I decided that things needed to change.
While I’ve started to make some pretty significant changes in my personal health and fitness habits that I’ll share more about soon, there are some simple things I’ve found that make a big impact on my mood and how I feel physically that really don’t take all that much effort at all. If you need somewhere to start, I think these 5 actions are a great place:
1. Don’t hit the snooze button.
I used to hit the snooze button 3 times everyday before getting out of bed. 3 times!! What a waste of time! Not only was I not getting any extra restful sleep, just 30 min or so of groggy waking and dozing, but I would end up getting up after those 3 alarms feeling worse than when the first one went off. If you can, just set your alarm for the latest time you should get up and actually get out of bed at that time, or better yet, keep it set for an early time and give yourself some always pleasant spare time in the morning. I’ve now found a time kind of in the middle, that allows me not to feel rushed on most mornings and allows me an extra few minutes to iron a shirt if needed and grab something for breakfast before I head out the door. How much better is that than running out the door feeling rushed before the day has even begun?
2. Start the day with breakfast.
Although I often have a few extra minutes in the morning, I don’t have time to fix and omelet and squeeze fresh orange juice (a girl can dream though). Most days breakfast has to be something that can be carried out the door and that I can eat without spilling on myself in the car. My go-to has become Shakeology brand protein shakes. If you haven’t heard of Shakeology, check it out. It’s a low calorie, high protein shake with a ton of other great nutrients that fuel me for the day. If you want to learn more about them, please let me know. No matter what you prefer though, find something with great nutritional value that can get you fueled up for the day, otherwise I guarantee you’ll crash sooner than later.
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you work in a large office or somewhere that the elevator is an option, don’t take it! I find that most of the time I can walk up 4 flights of stairs in less time than it takes to wait for the elevator, plus (regardless of how many times I’ve done it) it raises my heart rate for a couple of minutes, which is great for your health. Why not work in a little heart healthy exercise on your way in to work, on your way to and from lunch and on your way out.
4. Walk to the furthest restroom you reasonably can.
I work in a big office, so I’m not talking about taking a 20 minute stroll across campus every half hour to do what you need to do, but why not move a little more when you have to get up anyway? Instead of using the restroom that is 20 steps from your desk, why not walk an extra 100 feet to the one just down the hall. We’ve probably all heard the standard mantra that it is healthy to get 10,000 steps in a day. For the average person that is approximately 5 miles of walking a day!! If that seems like a lot to you and you need some more advice on how to build up to more steps, check out this great, concise online resource for more ideas on how to reach that goal.
5. Drink lots of H2O.
I’ve gone back and forth on how well I stick to this one a lot. We all know its healthy to stay hydrated, and although research doesn’t agree on an exact amount of water you should drink a day, the standard tends to land around 2 liters (or about 8 8oz glasses) a day. I have to say, when I really just try to drink more water, I genuinely feel better. I keep a reusable cup at my desk and try to fill it 4 times a day. Not only does this help me stay hydrated, but it helps be achieve some of these other simple tips as well by helping me get more steps in from trips to the water fountain and the restroom!!
I know this stuff isn’t rocket science, and likely you’ve heard it all before. It’s all simple and it’s all changes you could try to make starting tomorrow if you choose to. So pick one! Try it out and then add another when you’re ready. One step at a time can help get you on the right track. Go Do It!
– The Working Girl