Each new year presents the perfect opportunity to start anew. For many of us, that comes with resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. And since you spend the majority of your waking hours in the workplace, what better place to start? At the same time, work gets busy, and without proper planning, your intentions to stay healthy can quickly fall by the wayside. To make sure this year starts — and stays — healthy, incorporate these six tips into your workplace routine.
1) Keep a stash of healthy snacks.
Since the holiday season usually means a smorgasbord of office goodies, you might be more than ready to steer clear of sugary snacks come January. But while good intentions are a great thing, unless you come to work prepared, it can be too easy to resort to less-than-healthy options — especially when you’re busy and short on time. You have better chances of resisting the baked goods in the breakroom if you’re armed with a stash of healthy snacks. Keep alternatives like almonds or dried fruit in your desk drawer, and you’re less likely to turn to unhealthy treats when you’re hungry.
2) Increase your water intake.
Health experts recommend that adults drink 2 liters, or eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. That can feel like a lot of water during the workday, but increasing your water consumption is worth it. Hydration keeps your energy levels up and prevents fatigue, which can make you more productive in the workplace. And to our earlier point, it can keep cravings for unnecessary calories at bay. Beat dehydration and keep the water flowing by stashing a reusable water bottle close by. Take note of how much your water bottle holds so you can track how much you’re drinking each day.
3) Cut down on caffeine.
We know, this one’s easier said than done. Starting the day with a cup of joe is a treasured morning ritual for many of us, and can be the pick-me-up we need. However, too much of a good thing can be bad when it comes to caffeine. Since it’s a diuretic, it dehydrates you. And for those more sensitive to caffeine, it can cause anxiety and shakiness. We’re not suggesting you miss out on your daily fix, of course, but moderation is key. So, if you’re overdoing it on caffeine (experts suggest no more than 400 milligrams per day), start reaching for the water instead.
4) Make sure to move.
Sure, sedentary office jobs in front of a computer don’t necessarily lend themselves to regular movement. But, there are ways around that, and you should get your movement in while you can. Not only is regular movement good for cardiovascular health, but it keeps your energy levels up, which is much needed during the workday. If your schedule permits, get a lunchtime stroll — or even a workout — in. If that’s not realistic, take periodic breaks and walk around the office. Besides health benefits, movement is a great way to clear your head and de-stress, making you more effective when you’re on the job.
5) Take breaks.
It may seem counterintuitive when your work is piling up, but taking breaks can actually make you more productive in the workplace. As you’re buried in the task at hand, allow yourself to take breaks periodically. To make sure those breaks happen, schedule them throughout the day. While you may be reluctant to take the time away, in the big picture, it’s minimal. And giving your brain a break can leave you feeling rejuvenated and more creative.
6) Don't go it alone.
Sticking to your health-related goals is easier when you have support. Join forces with colleagues who will keep you motivated and hold you accountable. But don’t just rely on your colleagues — turn to technology. Tracking your activity with fitness watches and apps can serve as a great source of motivation, and can help you to reach your goals.
Like what you just read? We have all sorts of other tips for you from considerations for setting up a wellness program to how to be more efficient in the workplace. Check them out and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for even more updates!