How to stay healthy at the office

The office kitchen: Beware, all ye who enter here.

Remember one month ago when you were going to get in shape, eat better and quit smoking in 2012? Too often, work becomes a place of limbo for those goals.

Fitness guru Mark Allen, co-author of “Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You,” stresses the importance of setting realistic goals for your schedule — and then taking time to reflect on those goals throughout the work day. “Sometimes the reason we get discouraged is because we allow our mood to influence our actions,” he says. “Maybe you’ve had a bad day and tell yourself it’s pointless to work out, or you convince yourself it’s too hard. Instead, set aside a quiet time to reflect on your goals.”

If the constant barrage of sugary snacks in the break room is beating down your diet willpower, Allen suggests you get back on track by writing yourself a contract that you can stick to. Keep it simple, clear and attainable, such as: “By my June 1 doctor’s appointment, I aim to have lowered my cholesterol by 10 points and lost 10 pounds.”

The buddy exercise system can be valuable in the office, not just at the gym. Jill Spiegel, author of “How to Talk to Anyone About Anything! The Secrets to Connecting,” believes in finding a “walk partner” at work. “Next time you’re chatting in the break room or talking in the lobby, positively share your [health] goals with your co-workers,” says Spiegel. “Energy is contagious.”

Quick fit tips

Looking to get a little exercise in at work? Laurie Kendall-Ellis, executive director of the American Physical Therapy Association, gave us these tips for boosting energy at work.

1. Park the car farther away. Alternate swinging your arms as you walk at a brisk pace. This will increase your heart rate and the value of the walk.

2. While at your desk, squeeze your shoulder blades back and down while taking a deep breath in. Look straight ahead as you do this. It’s a chance to move out of the head-down posture that so many of us assume with texting and computer work.

Work & weight

What’s holding you back? In a survey by CareerBuilder, the majority of workers identified being stationary at a desk as the main culprit. But that wasn’t the only problem:
   
Sitting at a desk: 36 percent
Eating out: 16 percent
Skipping meals: 13 percent
Workplace parties: 12 percent


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