For many of us, the majority of our week is spent at work. That's why it's important to make work a healthy place to be. The nutrition component can be handled in several ways- eating breakfast at home rather than on the go, packing a lunch complete with healthy snacks, or taking a pass on goodies in the break room. It tends to be the physical activity component that stumps people a bit. Use some of these ideas to improve your personal workplace wellness.
- 1. Count your steps. Research has shown the magic number is 10,000 steps every day. How much walking is that? It's estimated that 2,000 steps equal a mile, so getting to 10,000 steps covers some serious ground. Log your steps from day to day and set goals to take yourself even higher. Try to increase your total by 500 steps a week until you hit 10,000. Better yet, when you get to 10,000 keep on steppin! In order to fit your steps in, plan brief walk breaks throughout your day- take the stairs, visit a coworker's cube, hit the restroom on the opposite side of the building, venture to the cafeteria two floors up, or simply take more trips to the water cooler- it's a win-win!
- Dance! A quick music break can lift your mood and energize you for the afternoon. So draw the blinds, invite a few friends, and dance away to a song or two.
- Belly laugh. Watch a funny video, share a joke, or chat it up with your hilarious colleague. Because laughing releases feel good endorphins and boosts energy.
- Create activity where it wasn't before. For example, replace your chair with a balance ball (remember safety first!). Stash dumbbells under your desk, march in place, lunge the distance of your office, or crunch away some stress. For other fun ideas, check out the Squeeze It Inwebsite at http://www.squeezeitin.com/exercises/.
- Going out to lunch? Walk there! Bring your tennis shoes so you can walk comfortably. Take a loop around the block if you have extra time.
- Swim. Not in water, but either from your chair or standing up. You'll be amazed at how this 60's dance craze increases heart rate.
Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of www.Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto www.FFactorDiet.com.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.