Creating Workday Wellness
Many of us spend our working hours sitting at desks and typing on our computers.
Make Every Meal Count
Planning in advance can be the biggest first step toward an enhanced daily work routine. Many people get breakfast on the go, eat lunch out and snack on processed goodies between meals. You can better manage your eating habits at work by following these four food tips:
- Always take time to eat a balanced breakfast. Eating breakfast in the morning can help your mind and body stay fit and fueled throughout the day. Skipping breakfast or grabbing a coffee and a pastry can cause your blood sugar to drop quickly and your energy to wean. Adding protein to your morning meal can balance blood sugar and stabilize your appetite. Some meal ideas include:
- Veggie scramble with corn tortillas and refried beans
- Apple and peanut butter
- Oatmeal with chopped almonds, ground flaxseed, berries and plain yogurt
- Chia seed pudding with coconut milk and bananas
- Whole-wheat toast with avocado, sliced tomato, salt and pepper
- Arm yourself with healthy snacks. When hunger strikes between meals, you need to be prepared. Stocking healthy snacks at work, whether in the staff refrigerator or in your drawer, can set you up for success. Bring a bag of fresh cut veggies and hummus, whole fruit, nuts and seeds for easy eating.
- Know all your ingredients. Although the best option is to bring a wholesome lunch from home, it can be difficult to find time to make a lunch in advance every day. Try creating a list of restaurants or grocery stores nearby that offer whole-food choices. If you can identify every ingredient in your meal, then you are eating much cleaner.
- Bring a water bottle and put it in plain sight. Staying adequately hydrated is key in monitoring your appetite and staying focused. Keeping a water bottle on your desk can be a gentle reminder to drink throughout the day. Aim for 9 to 13 cups of fluid per day.
Adding 5- to 15-minute movement breaks into your day can help support circulation, reduce stress and regain focus. Try to break every one to two hours to stretch and move your legs. Great ways to add movement into your day include:
- Cut your lunch break in half: eat the first half and walk the second
- Walk to your favorite lunch place
- Walk up and down a few flights of stairs
- Stretch at your desk
Create a Spirit of Wellness
Sometimes the work environment is the most difficult aspect to change. Being an advocate for workday wellness can be challenging but may also inspire others to join along. Even making simple changes in your day-to-day work routine can positively impact those around you.
By Selva Wohlgemuth, MS (’14), Bastyr University 2015 dietetic intern and blogger at poppiesandpapayas.blogspot.com.