Healthy Energy & Motivation At The Office
Health and motivation go hand in hand. It can be hard to get motivated if you’re not feeling your best. If you’re struggling with staying focused and energized, consider making some healthy changes. Exercise and diet are two of the biggest factors in your overall health and energy levels. Creating good habits can increase your job performance, your motivation, and your mood. Below are some easy ways to look after yourself during your work day.
If you’re working in an office setting, you’re probably sitting for around 8 hours a day. Society has normalized sedentary work lifestyles, but studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is anything but healthy. Excessive amounts of sitting can lead to back and muscle pain, loss of bone density, and even eventually contribute to insulin resistance. Sitting for 6+ hours a day has been shown to decrease your lifespan.
For those of us who are at a desk for most of our day, the amount of time spent sitting can be a major health concern. You don’t have to make a career change to take care of your health, however! Make a few small changes throughout your day, and take every opportunity to stop sitting and stand up.
Switch to a standing desk to eliminate excessive sitting from your work day. Studies have shown that using a standing desk lowers fatigue and stress while increasing energy. Start with just a few hours at first to avoid soreness and slowly increase the amount of time you spend standing.
Office Chair Alternatives
They might look a little silly, but sitting on an exercise ball rather than an office chair will help keep your mind and your body more active. Because the exercise is constantly ball moving around, you will need to be on your toes (figuratively – but maybe slightly literally) to keep your balance. It stops you from slumping into your chair and gives you a little bit of a workout.
Balance stools are another option similar to the concept of an exercise ball. A balance stool looks like a normal stool, but it has a rounded bottom that constantly moves your seat around. They have a little more stability than an exercise ball, but still put your core to work.
If you’re up for something even more out there in the world of office chairs, try a kneeling chair. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Kneeling chairs distribute your weight more evenly and align your spine, leading to increased circulation and overall better posture.
Get Enough Sleep
Nothing is worse than starting your morning still tired. Make sure you’re getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep allows your body to recuperate from the day and reset itself. Lack of sleep leads to a whole slew of health problems. It compromises your immune system, puts you at risk for heart and kidney problems, and it strains your brain function.
Studies have found that people who experienced inadequate sleep were four times more likely to have problems concentrating and focusing. Job performance suffers when your brain isn’t able to rest. Lack of sleep also affects mental health, potentially leading to depression.
Water is absolutely essential to your overall health. The human body is made up of about 60% water, and needs to be consistently rehydrated. You should be drinking at least half a gallon of water every single day in order to stay properly hydrated. That’s eight 8oz glasses of water per day.
Drinking enough water improves kidney health, digestion and brain function. Dehydration may lead to headaches, trouble focusing, decreased memory, and anxiety. Make sure your brain is getting the water it needs in order to maintain cognition.
Energize with Lavit
Rather than reaching for an energy drink or a sugary soda, opt for something with little or no sugar. Lavit has lots of drink options to keep you energized without the sugar crash. Teas and fruit drinks bring you the energy you need to get through your day in a much healthier way.
Most sodas and energy drinks contain more than the recommended amount of sugar in just one serving. Sugar is addictive, and the rush of energy that it brings is short-lived, prompting more sugar to be consumed. Lavit has several sugar-free options to break this cycle and get you energizing with smarter options.
Walk or Bike to Work
If you live close enough to your office to be able to switch up your commute, try walking or biking to work to get energy flowing as you start and end your day. The endorphins will improve your overall mood throughout the work day.
Turning your commute into daily exercise will lower your stress levels (no more sitting in traffic!) and improve your overall health. You’ll be building your fitness, reducing anxiety, and getting fresh air. It’s more affordable and environmentally friendly, too.
Meditate and Focus on Mindfulness
Meditation has been proven to increase brain function, elevate your mood, and reduce stress. Once you get comfortable with it, meditation can be done anywhere, including in your office chair. It takes a little practice and there is definitely a learning curve, but the benefits are worth the effort.
Studies have shown that people who meditate regularly had better focus and cognition than those who did not meditate. It’s not just about clearing your mind. Meditation teaches you how to deal with distractions around you, as well as internally. It will give you the skills to truly focus, which will increase your job performance.
Eat Healthy for Lunch
It may be tempting to go with fast food options for lunch because of their convenience, but try to stay away. What you eat affects every aspect of your health. Fast food options are high in sodium, unhealthy fats, and a ton of chemicals that shouldn’t be in anyone’s diet. Some of the largest fast food chains are using potentially carcinogenic preservatives, food coloring, and other unhealthy additives in their menus. Even the “healthier” options on fast food menus are still troublesome.
There are a couple of ways to eat cheap, convenient and healthy during your lunch break. Bringing a packed lunch allows you to control exactly what ingredients you’re consuming. Plus, all you have to do is microwave it (or eat it cold, if it’s something like a salad or a sandwich). Bringing leftovers from the previous night’s dinner is a great option. Making your own food ultimately ends up much cheaper than eating out.
If you decide to start packing a lunch, get into meal prepping! Just a little bit of effort and you can prepare wholesome, nutritious on-the-go meals for the whole week. It’s simple – make a meal plan, prepare ahead of time, store in tupperware, and grab and go. You can take advantage of bulk food pricing with this method, too.
Avoid Sugary Snacks
It’s a common sight – there’s a pastry box in the break room. Uh oh, someone brought in donuts again! Glazed, frosted, cinnamon sugar, covered in sprinkles… they’re hard to resist. Before you go to grab one, remember that donuts and other similar sugary treats are full of fat, refined carbohydrates, sodium and sugar. They may have become popular as a breakfast treat, but there’s no benefit to starting your day with food that won’t fuel you.
If you’re craving something sweet in the morning, reach for something with natural sugar instead. Fruit will energize you without the sugar crash later. It’s full of antioxidants and nutrients, making it a great choice for any time of the day. Fruit is an ideal mid-day snack, too. Bananas, apples, berries, mandarins, plums, or pears are all easy and will give you a quick boost.
Take an Exercise Break
Exercise is important for many reasons, and those of us who spend most of our time at a desk might not feel like we have the time to fit it into the office lifestyle. In reality, it’s not that hard! Set out five or ten minutes in your day to do simple exercises. It’s just a fraction of your time devoted to your health and it can make a difference. If you have the space to get out of your chair, pushups or jumping jacks are great. You can also try wall-sits or squats. Even if you don’t have the space to do an exercise routine, try sitting exercises such as leg-lifts. Just stretching at your desk can get the blood flowing and benefit you.
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