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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

active-19413_640Sitting at a desk all day is known to be a contributor to poor health. From bad ergonomics, or bad posture, being sedentary, to snacking on unhealthy foods, there are a number of factors that impact upon your health and wellbeing.

Some of the results of this are headaches, and other body aches and pains, poor fitness and lack of strength, and overweight which can lead to obesity and a range of other associated health issues. It can also make you cranky, and not feel like doing much.

So what three things can you do to stay healthy at work?

  1. Move it!

Getting up from your desk is a must but whilst it gives you 30 seconds of possible stretch time, it really doesn’t do much. Use the opportunity to go for a quick walk; around the office, around the block, or up and down a flight of stairs.

Make your lunch break the time you get in a good 20 minutes walk, more if you can. Take in some runners, put them on, and go.

Use stairs if the opportunity is there for you. Whether this means avoiding the lift entirely, or getting off a floor or three before or after, is up to you. Walk up escalators, and if you catch public transport in, walk to the train station or bus stop that is further away.

You can do this morning and afternoon.

The point is, take every opportunity you can to move it!

  1. Watch the snacks

Snacks can be a real killer, in more ways than one. Whilst we often remember to have lunch, we forget that our body’s need to be refuelled a little more often.

Take a handful of nuts, and a small container filled with berries, grapes and other small fruits. These are easy to eat whilst you sit at your desk, are full of nutrients, and low in those things that make you feel tired and hungry.

If you’re smart about it, you’ll have your snack box located in a place you have to walk to to get to. This serves two purposes; you’ll only get up to snack if you’re really hungry, and if you are, you have to actually get up and move!

  1. Drink up

Or better still, remain hydrated. Where we fall down in being healthy at work is that we don’t drink enough water.

As a result, we become tired, so we resort to caffeine and/or high sugar snacks to wake us up. Caffeine, and foods high in sugar and salt leave us feeling more tired and the cycle continues.

Have a water bottle on your desk, and make sure you drink it before lunch. Refill it before your lunchtime walk, and make sure you rehydrate during and immediately after. You should also manage a third bottle between lunch and the end of the day.

A bottle that holds 500ml will be fine, and it’s a nice way to ease you into drinking water and getting into a healthy habit.

Most importantly, it’s necessary to ease yourself into it. Start with a walk once each week, and slowly build it up to 3 or four times per week. Focus and be conscious of how much you’re sitting, and when you have opportunities to walk.  All of these healthy habits will require you to think about them before they’ll become habits for you.

Once they do, you’ll become aware of the benefits. So will your colleagues.

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alone-62253_640While many run their lives under the “work hard, play hard” banner, we all should be aware of the early signs of burnout. Working long hours with great enthusiasm can be a road to great success, but if you burn the candle at both ends for too long you might need some tools to manage the negative results.

Though everyone’s thresholds for burnout are different, the Sydney Morning Herald reported research on the matter lay blame at the feet of three key experiences – ‘exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency’.

So it stands to reason if we can beat these three, the sky is the limit! Consider the following tips.

Include exercise – Even a brief walk at lunch time, rather than remaining sedentary for too much of the day can make the world of difference. Is there a park nearby where you could eat lunch? Can you walk or ride a bike to work once a week, or more? A change of scenery can lead to greater productivity later. For some, an exercise class between work and home is perfect for maximum efficiency.

Make personal calls – Make sure, no matter how devoted and into your job you are, that you have some non-work time, with friends or family, where something unrelated to work crosses your radar. No-one can be ‘on’ 100% of the time, so avoid burnout by staying connected to the world at large.

Let go a little and delegate – Recognise that you can not control everything, and work to remove minor headaches before they can affect operations. For instance, consider hiring someone to do the monotonous, time consuming tasks that slow you down.

Get tech-free downtime – The beauty and great problem of computer based work is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Make sure there are times in your day, everyday, when your devices stay off.

Foster supportive relationships – Keep the humanity about your work by befriending colleagues close to you. Remember you are never in it alone, and having their perspective will help in the tough times, and make the good times that much more enjoyable.

Work hard, play hard is okay some of the time but if you want to go the distance with any great success, you need to ensure you keep it balanced.

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We all have 24 hours in the day. Why is it that some people manage to achieve their goals and dreams and yet some seem to never have enough time? Lorraine Pirihi, Productivity Coach has some great ideas on how to get more done by (amongst other things) writing down your goals both business and personal in Expect more from 2008 (page 20).

At the start of each month, I document my goals under four categories (business, personal, physical and spiritual). To carry these through I also document what it will look like when I achieve the goal, what I’ll remember when lacking motivation, my reward for achieving the goal and the steps I have taken to achieve the goal. This approach is a combination of Lorraine’s suggestion and a focus chart from Michelle Hext from Glow Womens Fitness.

This strategy has been very helpful in giving priority to exercise to improve my physical health and ensure I can keep going for the long haul in small business. Previously there was “never enough time for exercise”. The true was I was giving priority to other things and to rectify the situation I needed to set and monitor goals to achieve what is important.

What is important to you? Do you write down your goals and the steps to achieving them? Do you never have enough time to achieve what you really want? Maybe it is time to start writing down your goals and taking steps to steal back the time and use the 24 hours each day that we’ve all been given.

Adminbandit Here’s to volunteer treasurers

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