For those who spend most of their waking hours feeling chained to their desk, it can sometimes feel like a battle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Staring at a computer screen for majority of the day can really take a toll on your health if you neglect simple practices such as posture, nutrition, and exercise.
Embracing the Digital Nomad Lifestyle, I need to ensure that I maintain a balanced lifestyle and I know that is a struggle for many in the corporate and technology fields.
Here are some tips on how to keep a healthy routine going while working the 9-5 lifestyle.
- Check your posture. Are you slouching? Is your back, neck and shoulders screaming at you? If you feel constant discomfort, this is a sure sign that your body is telling you to re-check your ergonomic positioning of your desk. Studies are now showing that sitting is the new smoking! Gross right??
If you are having a hard time keeping your shoulders back, your head in line with spine, or sitting up straight-switch out your chair for a exercise ball to sit on instead! Even better, a standing desk will help tremendously.
- Try a stretching routine Every hour, on the hour, stand up and stretch any muscles that you feel are tight from sitting in that stagnant position. This includes your hip flexors, Quadriceps, chest, shoulders, neck, and glutes.
- Just say NO to junk! Many people in the workplace love “treating” their co-workers to “treats” such as donuts, croissants, muffins, and any refined, sugar laden baked goods. Instead of filling your body of the junk food, fuel your body with healthy alternatives such as fruit, and homemade healthier treats. Not only will this save your own health, but also, this will lead by example and inspire others to boycott the junk and opt for the healthier options as well!
- Find ways to move and exercise throughout the day. If you are driving to work, park your car in the farthest stall, which means that you have more ground to cover walking instead. If you are taking public transit, get off one or two stops earlier. If your building has an escalator or elevator, take the stairs instead. All of these habits can really add up over time. Invest in a pedometer to keep track of your extra movement, you will be surprised with the results!
- Drink water like you never have before. Yes, that does mean that you will have to go to the bathroom more, but your body will get used to it! Aim for approx. 8 glasses a day, and this does not include coffee. In fact, if you drink coffee, that means that you need to drink even MORE water to counteract the diuretic effects that coffee has on your body. An easy way to get more water, pack a big water bottle so that you do not have to keep refilling it throughout the day, and this way you can also keep track of the amount of H20 that you are consuming. You can even infuse your water with delicious fruits and herbs such as cucumber and mint, or lemon and ginger! Yum!
- Set a mini break time alarm. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you every hour, on the hour, to take a quick little mental break and stretch. Walk a lap around your office, take some deep, meditative breaths and rejuvenate the mind. This will aid in productivity and help you keep things fresh with the tasks at hand.
- Tupperware is not only your new best friend, it is now your hero.
Food prep is literally your secret weapon to success. Sunday’s are a great day to plan and food prep for the week. You are less likely to stuff your face with unhealthy take-out meals if you are prepared with proper snacks and meals for the day. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” –Benjamin Franklin.
- Smile and Laugh! According to the British Organization of Dental Health, a smile has the level of stimulation as eating 2000 chocolate bars. The results are found when the researchers measured brain and heart activity in the volunteers. Enough said? A happy worker is a productive worker. To keep those smiles flowing in the workplace, initiate some games you and your co-workers can play at the beginning of every day, or post some silly MEME’S and jokes around the office. Bottom line-incorporate more play into your day!
- Start your day with a bang! However you start your morning, will set the tone for the rest of the day. Start your day off right by waking up on time, as rushing in the morning is only going to spike stress levels and set that as the mode of the day. Instead, take some long, slow meditative breaths, visualize how awesome your day is going to be, speak positively to yourself and plan to take over the world!
- Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. Along with a proper mindset to start the day, you also need a proper breakfast. This will ensure you stay in your zone of genius throughout the day. Rushing through a drive-thru for a coffee and bagel will only make your body dependant and addicted to sugary, refined carbs for the rest of the day. Instead, opt for lean protein such as eggs, complex carbs such as whole oats, or even a good protein shake (sneak some spinach in there, your taste buds will not notice- I promise!)
The Fit Gypsy