5 tips for staying fit and healthy at your desk
When I jumped back into PR full time from teaching, my biggest worry was sitting behind a desk again all day. I LOVED being on my feet, moving around the classroom, easily walking 20,000+ steps in one day (that's without working out). Luckily I walk about two miles round trip to and from work, but still--sitting all day is just not my thing. Now that I've been in SF and sitting behind a desk for a bit, I've been thinking on ways to stay fit and healthy during the day, and hopefully these work for you, too.
1. Drink water, cut the soda.
You've heard this one before, but I'm telling you, this is key especially if you work a desk job. I used to be obsessed with Diet Coke. It was disgusting. I would drink two or three each day, and I would rarely drink water. It kind of frightens me to think about what I did to my body. Water hydrates you, of course, but other important benefits of water are that it flushes everything out of you, it can help control calories, it keeps your muscles energized and it's great for your skin (added bonus). Soda doesn't do any of that. Sure, it tastes good (depending on who you ask), and it gives you a caffeine boost, but there's coffee for that. ;) I aim to drink four full glasses of water from my mason jar in the photo above. I also live by, "hydrate before you caffeinate." I drink one full glass of water before my first cup of coffee every day.
2. Bring free weights for conference calls/reading time.
Sometimes I find myself doing a lot of reading throughout the day to get caught up on something or while catching up on emails, and I end up being completely stationary during that time. I had the idea of bringing five-pound free weights to work so I can squeeze in some reps while reading or listening in on conference calls (via phone, at my desk, of course). This is a great way to get some work done on your arms without even leaving your work space. Sure, you may get some funny looks, but it's only a matter of time before your colleagues ask to borrow your free weights. :) #trendsetter
3. Eat [a healthy] breakfast.
This is another beaten piece of advice, but it's so important. Think about it this way. If you eat dinner at 7-ish, and don't eat lunch until noon (I don't even eat at noon most days), that is 17 hours of depriving yourself of food, which is terrible for your body. This can lead to overeating at lunch and dinner, resulting in more calorie intake than you intended. Additionally, your body needs some form of nutrients to get your metabolism going in the morning, and you'll feel so much more energized if you eat something. I don't eat a full-on breakfast, but I make peanut butter toast if I have time at home or I'll have a banana and Greek yogurt with my coffee once I get to the office. Eating something of nutritional value at some point in the morning is vital.
4. Get a standing desk.
Sitting all day is extremely bad for you in so many ways. I'd tell you all of the negative effects of sitting for six or more hours each day, but this handy infographic does that for me. We have standing desk stations throughout my floor that you can camp at to get your legs moving. One of my colleagues, seen here in a creepy, behind-the-scenes shot, sits maybe two hours a day. The rest of the day he stands and works at his standing desk. I also think he likes to keep an eye on everyone. (Disclaimer: this is totally posed; I gave him a heads up about this photo.)
5. Take a lap every hour.
Obviously you have to work. I'm not saying get up and spend 10 minutes every hour walking around and socializing. Even if you get up to go get water once an hour or maybe you just stand up and walk around your work space, it's important to get moving. Don't get cemented to your chair. Remember, sitting is killing you.
Do you have any tips for staying fit and healthy while working behind a desk? I'd love to hear from you!