Are you trying to get or stay healthy, but feel you don’t have enough hours in the day? You are not alone. Most folks these days have very hectic schedules and find it challenging to fit time in for “healthy stuff.” If you are employed, you likely spend a significant number of your waking hours at work. That could work to your advantage. Just think of all the moments during an average work day when you could be engaging in some type of healthful behavior — a daily investment to improve your health immediately and in the long run.
Check out the tips below for some ideas on how to fit health into your workday:
Pack a healthy lunch and snacks that include whole grains, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and low-fat dairy. Make sure to use a frozen ice block that keeps perishable foods below 41 degrees. To find out more about healthy eating go to www.choosemyplate.com. Your primary care physician may be able to refer you to a registered dietitian (an expert in the science of nutrition) for more personalized healthy eating assistance.
Sitting is the new smoking! Don’t sit for long periods of time. Move frequently throughout the day to improve your health. Park farther from work and walk a few extra steps to the front door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your breaks and lunchtime to get some physical activity. Ask your supervisor if you can have walking meetings when it’s appropriate. Get up periodically and walk around or just stand for a few minutes every hour. Walk over and talk to a coworker instead of sending an email. Ask Human Resources about discounts to health club memberships, or if you can start an on-site group fitness program during lunch. To find out more about the benefits and guidelines for physical activity go to https://health.gov/PAGuidelines/.
Get Your Employer Involved:
Get involved in your employee wellness committee, or if there isn’t one talk to Human Resources about starting one. Wellness committees often start with one enthusiastic champion. Why not you? Encourage your employer to offer healthy foods in the break room if that is a perk at your job. Learn about benefits provided by your employer’s health plan.
Avoid Bringing Germs to Work:
Stay home when you are sick. Get regular health screenings and immunizations. Wash your hands frequently and effectively. You can learn more at www.cdc.gov/handwashing/. Talk to your health care provider for specific guidelines for you.
Get Your Rest:
Lack of sleep is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and several other chronic diseases. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/chronic_disease.html.
Taking care of your health does not have to be a big chore. Learn how using a combination of small efforts throughout each day can have lasting impacts. Health is wealth, so take the time to invest in yourself. It will be well worth your efforts!
For more healthy living tips, follow us on Twitter @LCPHSS.