10 Ideas on How to Stay Healthy in a Stressful Work Environment

Pesky work always seems to ruin your plans to get healthy. In a stressful work environment filled with ambition and commitments, exercise and healthy living often tends to fall away. Here are ten simple tips on how to maintain health whilst propelling your career.

1. Find five half hours of the 336 available each week

A common excuse is that there is just not enough time in the week to commit to exercise. However, it only requires 5 half hour sessions per week to maintain a solid level of fitness. Of the 336 half hours each week, we commit around 112 to sleep, 14 to eating dinner, and up to 140 to work. Of the remaining 70, you only need to find five to maintain a healthy exercise regime and still have worked a 70 hours week and slept 8 hours per night!

2. Do back exercises whilst you wait

Most of the work done in any job is completed using the anterior muscles. Very rarely does the back muscle get any action, especially sitting at a desk. This creates an imbalance and leads to poor posture and recurring back pain. To ensure correct posture, complete a set of back rolls every time you get a drink or go to the toilet. This simple exercise stimulates the back muscles and assist in preventing back pain as well as horrendous chiropractor bills.

3. Always have a bottle of water

Pretty self-explanatory! Maintaining adequate hydration is a simple step in ensuring health.

4. Snack on nuts

Nuts are a great option to fend off hunger during the long work day. Instead of caving into the cravings for something cheap and nasty, reach for a handful of cashews. They are low GI, high in protein, and vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc. A handful of nuts can provide the perfect snack between meals to keep you powering through your day.

5. Ride to work

An easy way to tick off your half-hour of exercise, is to combine it with your daily commute. There are so many benefits to riding to work! It saves money and potentially saves you time. You arrive at work awake and raring to go. Find out if your work place has locker and shower facilities, and a secure cage to lock your bike. Quality bikes can be purchased for under $1000 through independent sellers such as Reid Cycles.

6. Plan your meals, especially lunch and breakfast

With no meals planned, it is easy to get lazy and select a poor meal option. By having a simple plan and organising lunch the evening before, you avoid the temptation of quick take-away food. A move that will not only help the waist line but also the hip pocket. Plan the meals for the week and ensure that you are maintaining a balanced diet over the 7-day period. Consider implementing a fish night into your routine. Fish, especially salmon, is a great source  of Omega 3 which an essential fatty acid, and is linked to a reduction in cancer, dementia, developmental disorders and cardiovascular disease.

7. Find a work buddy to exercise with – meetings on the run

Exercising with colleagues is a great way to ensure that you are able to stick to your commitment. Furthermore, you can even super-set your meetings and complete them on the run, or on the ride. Brisk exercise should be completed at a level that you can hold a conversation but not sing. Therefore, unless your one-on-one meetings involve karaoke, there is no reason why they cannot occur on the go.

8. Make an appointment with yourself

Everyone’s schedule is almost always full and it is impossible to find a space. Therefore, before it fills up, make several appointments with yourself throughout the week. This time can be used for whatever you want – mediation, sleeping, exercise, chess. You don’t need to tell anyone, they just need to know ‘you have an appointment and are unavailable.’ This process is not only good for your physical health but also a useful way to maintain mental stability and fend off insanity, or a melt down.

9. Consider morning exercise, it is the only time of the day that you have control over.

Getting up in the early hours of the morning to go for a run can be tough! However, in a busy lifestyle, it may be the only time of the day that you have control over. If you can get in your daily exercise before the first phone call is made, the rest of the day can be dedicated to work. Furthermore, by starting your day with exercise, you feel more awake for work and it will kick-start your metabolism.  If you can muster the self-control to drag yourself out of bed an hour early each morning, you will be repaid tenfold for the remainder of the day.

10.   Find a 24 hour gym.

Most gyms close at 10pm, and sometimes this does not fit into your busy schedule. Around the clock gyms are becoming more and more prevalent in the capital cities, with most offering low weekly rates and no commitment options. They are generally cheaper than a regular gym due to their lack of staff and group fitness classes. A great option for the early bird or the more common night owl.