A major portion of our day is indeed spent at work. On an average, we spend roughly around 45 – 60 hours every week at work. One of the biggest challenges facing adults is “How to stay fit while balancing a career and personal life?”
After all, with so much of our time spent either at work, commuting, running errands, and doing myriad other things (including endless mindless browsing on the phone), where’s the time to stay fit and healthy?
Worry not! In this week’s post, we give you smart tips and strategies to stay fit and healthy, while focusing on your job. We have divided this post into two categories – one for those who are involved in sedentary jobs (desk jobs, where you’re chained to your desk from morn till eve) and two for those who are floor workers and who have varying shifts.
Both these categories require different strategies to ace their health and improve fitness levels. Without further delay, let’s get started.
Tips & Strategies for Shift Workers to Stay Healthy and Fit
When you work in a shift-based work schedule, your exercise and eating habits get changed from your routines. Very often, people who work in shifts skip meals, binge on unhealthy food and find it difficult to stick to a regular exercise schedule.
Did you know that shift workers are more likely to pile on the extra kilos, thereby opening the doors to heart diseases, increased blood pressure and other lifestyle diseases? Here are ten easy tips to stay fit, even when you work in an irregular shift schedule.
- Keep healthy foods at Hand
People who are tired, cranky and sleepy are more likely to reach out for unhealthy foods. Make sure to keep healthy snacks at hand always. Some options include – sprouted grains, raw almonds, fruits like bananas, apples and oranges, easy-to-eat raw veggies like carrots, cucumber and so on.
By having healthy snacks at hand, you’re less likely to binge on greasy pakoras and samosas.
- Prepare meals before your Shift Commences
Shift workers generally become tired and energy-deprived at the end of their shift. Hence, it’s not possible for them to cook their meals on reaching home. So, make sure to prepare your meals beforehand, so that you can quickly eat when hunger strikes.
- Bring homecooked meals
By bringing a dabba to your workplace, you don’t end up eating unhealthy food in the canteen at the office. In fact, workers who eat homecooked meals have better overall health levels.
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day
Instead of gorging on large meals that leave you filled and sluggish, practice the habit of eating several small meals throughout the day. This way, you can easily practice portion control.
- Try to Eat at Regular Times
Even if your shift is at an irregular time, try to have your meals as you usually do. This way, your circadian rhythm isn’t disturbed. Also, avoid eating very late at night as it could lead to digestion problems.
- Practice Mindful Eating
Make sure to take a break for eating. Don’t have your meals hurriedly or while standing up. This not only causes mindless snacking, you also end up overeating. Instead, take proper breaks and engage in mindful eating.
- Limit Caffeine Consumption
Make sure that you don’t go overboard with the caffeine for the instant energy it produces. And, don’t drink coffee or tea at least five to six hours before you go to bed. Remember that caffeine stays in the bloodstream for a long while and it prevents your body from relaxing and unwinding, making you fidgety at bedtime.
- Stay Hydrated throughout the Day
Very often, people end up eating when they are actually thirsty. This is because the body signals both thirst and hunger in the same way. Make sure to bring a water bottle to work and keep on sipping water throughout your shift.
If drinking plain water is boring, you can add a few mint leaves and a citrus slice for added flavour. However, avoid sugary and fizzy drinks, as it leads to weight gain.
- Include Moderate Exercise
Make sure to do some light exercises during your shift. Take a quick walk around the hallways, walk up and down stairs, stretch before and after your shift and so on. People who move exercise during the day not only stay fit and healthy, but also sleep better at night.
- Get Adequate Snooze
People who work in shifts find it hard to get sufficient rest. when you don’t get enough sleep, you not only end up feeling tired and cranky, but also are likely to make fatal mistakes at work increasing workplace accidents. So, make sure to get adequate rest. If shift workers aren’t able to get a single 6 – 8 hour sleep at a stretch, you can try to squeeze in naps wherever possible.
Now, coming to the other half of the working staff,
How to Stay Fit while having a Desk Job?
- Phone Walking
Every time your phone rings, pick it up, and start walking. Keep on walking for the entire duration of the call. Even if you have a corded phone on your desk, keep walking from one side to another, till the distance the cord extends.
- The Half-hour Challenge
Set up an alarm for every half-an-hour on your mobile. As soon as the alarm goes off, do a small two-minute exercise. Here are some activities that you can do in cramped cubicle.
- Walk in place
- Jog in place
- Jumping jacks
- Triceps dips on the end of your desk
- Wall sits (30 seconds, repeat thrice)
- The Lunch Walkathon
Irrespective of your lunch break time, make sure to spend half of it walking about.
- Have Fitness Gadgets in your Cubicle or Desk
You can easily place small fitness gadgets in your cubicle and use them while phone walking, during your half-an-hour breaks or your lunch walkathon.
Some suggestions include
- Resistance bands
- Jump rope
- Medicine ball
- Stepper (they use this for step aerobics)
- Walk, Walk and Walk some more
Continuously sitting at a desk presents several problems – obesity, heart diseases and more. Try to think of different ways to include walking at your job.
- Have standing meetings. Instead, of sitting everyone remains standing during the entire meeting.
- Organise a walking club in your workspace.
- Purchase a moving working desk. This one is a bit expensive, but if you have the budget you can get a communal desk, that will be shared by all.
No more Excuses
Stay fit at work and enjoy a longer, happier and healthier life! start on creating a physically active culture at work today!