I love my job. Unfortunately, the digital prefix to my job title can throw a wrench into any health or fitness regimen I may be on. In fact, this is a common problem among office workers of all industries. Early mornings, late nights, cup after cup of coffee and irregular meals can wreak havoc on our bodies. Lucky for us, “Fitness for Geeks” by Bruce W. Perry is here to give us some direction and much-needed fitness guidance. Here are five easy tips to keep you in top form.
1. Watch your coffee intake! – Coffee can be an office worker’s best friend. But only if it’s served up without the additions. Minus the addition of sugar and cream, coffee (and tea) can be good for you. Caffeine has its own drawbacks, though, so be aware of the time of day you drink it. Drinking it in the morning will help perk you up for the day ahead, but drinking it in the afternoon can negatively affect your sleep cycle and prevent your body from resting and rejuvenating itself. So, stick to black coffee or black tea and limit your intake.
2. SLEEEP! – While we’re on the subject of rest, we need to recognize just how important sleep is. To become and stay fit and healthy, you need to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. Your body needs that downtime to rest and recuperate from the stresses (both physical and mental) of the day. Whether or not we need 8 hours of sleep has been debated, but 8 hours is a good rule of thumb to begin with — especially if you’re used to getting far less and need to drastically change your sleep schedule. To help ensure that you get that much-needed rest, turn off and avoid your phone, computer and tablet once you turn in for the night. Yes, you’re bound to get emails during the night (from some poor fools who haven’t figured out that they also need sleep), but putting off checking them until the morning will help you rest.
3. Make better food choices!- Adding more water, fruits, veggies and lean meats (or other proteins) is a no-brainer. But eating better extends beyond what you eat into where you get it from. Avoid big box supermarkets if possible. The fruit, veggies and meats you can get from a local grocer or farmer’s market will be fresher, more nutritious and will help stimulate your local economy. Stock up on fresh foods on the weekends, and then plan ahead to incorporate them into your meals and snacks for the week. It’ll keep you satisfied and keep the siren song of the 7-Eleven snack aisle from ringing in your ears.
4. The Great Outdoors – A large part of our work and non-work related lives involve the online world. The fact that our work often follows us home makes it difficult for us to just shut it off and escape from it. The fact is, our bodies crave fresh air and sunlight, and now that spring is here, it’s easy for us to satisfy that craving. Make an effort to venture outside for your lunch hour. Talk a walk or sit and read in a nearby park, do something that will get you outside and separate you from the Internet…at least for an hour. Increase your outdoors time by walking or biking to and from work (if possible). It will help clear your head and give you a chance to soak up some much needed vitamin D.
5. Walk more! – Because our jobs have become tethered to computers, phones and offices, it has made it difficult to avoid being sedentary. Just by adding movement before, during and after your workday, you can battle the damage that sitting for hours causes. Go out for a stroll during your lunch hour with some friends or coworkers, or use the time to catch up on your favorite podcasts as you walk around town. You don’t need to spend your lunch hour at the gym pumping iron in order to have a positive effect on your health. Use walks as ways to de-stress and soothe anxiety, as well as burn calories. Embrace stairwells and avoid elevators and escalators as much as possible. Every little bit helps!
What tips and tricks have you added to your daily work routine to help keep you fit and trim? Share them with us! And get your copy of “Fitness for Geeks” here.