With many full time workers spending the entire day at their desks, it’s not surprising that their health can suffer as a result. Being a part time PT and passionate about health and fitness, here are my top 10 tips on how to stay healthy while maintaining a full time job.
It’s all about timing
Incorporating exercise into the busy work week can be a major challenge. My first piece of advice is to pick a time of day that works for you. There’s no point booking in gym for 6am if you’re not a morning person, if you prefer to sleep in or hit the office earlier, make time to exercise after work or during lunch.
Choose exercise you enjoy
It’s important to find what exercise works for you. Enjoying your choice of exercise will make going to the gym a lot easier. Some people find doing yoga first thing in the morning leaves them energised and ready to tackle the day, whereas other people find a HIIT class after work the perfect release. There are also many great local sports clubs you can get involved in. This is great not only for your fitness but a fun way to meet people and be social.
Book in! Keep yourself accountable – a lot of gyms and studio classes have late cancellation fees which is an incentive to not waste money and get yourself to the gym. If group workouts aren’t your thing, having a workout bud or PT is another way to keep each other accountable.
Step away from the desk!
Spending long days sitting down at a desk can lead to a myriad of health issues including weight gain, fatigue and headaches. My tips on combating these are:
– Keep a glass or bottle of water at your desk that you need to get up and fill regularly
– Make time to go for a walk at lunch even if it’s a quick 10 minutes around the block
– Instead of snacking on unhealthy food when 3pm hits, go with co-workers to get a chai or fresh juice so you get to stretch your legs and curb your cravings
Slow and steady wins the race
Work can become quite stressful at times, so it’s important to find balance in your exercise routine to prevent burnout and overexhaustion. Be wary of fads and fitness ‘challenges’, many of which see people exercising 7+ times per week for 60+ minutes. This isn’t for everyone!
Also be wary of diets or ‘detoxes’, a lot of these can be quite extreme in their approach to cutting calories and restricting certain foods. They often cause fatigue, binge eating and burnout. Try to maintain a balanced diet with carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins.
Watch your water intake
Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, ideally 2 litres. People often think they are hungry when they’re actually dehydrated. Staying on top of your water intake prevents headaches, exhaustion and overeating.
Pack your lunch
Bringing your lunch to work can also keep you healthy. You save money (win!) and know exactly what’s in the meal. Portion sizes can often be far too big for what we should be consuming when we eat out. You may think that purchasing a chicken salad is a tick, but ask yourself: what sauce are they using? Is there sugary dried fruit in it? How big is the meal? You’re better off cooking it fresh at home the night before and bringing it into work. I love a grilled chicken salad with rocket, tomatoes, avocado, capscium and a fresh lemon/vinaigrette dressing or some hummus.
Make sure to avoid sugary, processed and packet snacks! These may be easy to keep at your desk, but try replacing them with some fresh, healthier snacks such as:
– Celery with peanut butter or hummus
– Greek Yoghurt (Chobani + YoPro are personal faves)
– Rice cakes with tomato + avocado or peanut butter
– Lo-carb protein bars (check the calorie content on some of these, they can get quite high)
– Fresh fruit
– Mixed nuts
– Fruit/veggie smoothie
Appreciate your journey
Unfortunately, some people can find eating healthy and exercising a negative experience. Whilst it can be a struggle to get yourself to the gym, you always feel better after a good work out. It’s easy to binge on chocolate when you’re tired or craving sweets, but try and remind yourself of how much better you’ll feel by choosing a healthy option that won’t result in crashing and bloating.
Maintain a positive mindset
Take time to reflect on how great your body feels when you actually take care of it with exercise and eating well. If you choose to be positive and open minded about your health choices you will (over time!) actually look forward to a nice healthy balanced meal and appreciate taking the time to move your body in a way that works for you. Lastly, everything in moderation – treat yourself time to time, life is short!
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