Most hard working, goal-driven, adult Americans are stressed out! Yep – and it usually has something to do with work or school and the pressures associated with it. So, here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy while away from home. After all, if you work so hard that you lose your health, what’s the point?
Every hour, if possible, get up and walk around. Grab a glass of water or a quick, healthy snack. While you’re up, apply a cool towel to your face, go outside and breathe in some fresh air, stretch and laugh. It will get your blood flowing again and clear your mind. When you return to your desk you’ll be ready to get back to business!
There’s nothing like getting up from your chair after a long day and finding that your knee is locked into place, you have an aching back and your left hand is asleep. Sit straight, put your feet flat on the floor, keep your head and neck in alignment – follow the rules of correct posture and your day will end on a much happier note.
Leave Your Work at Work
When you head home at night, try to switch gears. Begin thinking about what you’ll do at home, and what’s for dinner, stop thinking about tomorrow and all of it’s associated responsibilities – it will be here soon enough! You need a break, you’re a hard worker, and you deserve some time to wind down and get back in touch with yourself and your home life.
Eat Balanced and Healthy Meals and Snacks
If you treat your body well it will return the favor for years to come. All of us want to be healthy, but in today’s day and age it takes some work. So, focus on eating between five and thirteen fruits and vegetables a day. Use fresh fruit and raw veggies as snacks. Take along a plastic baggie of dried fruits and nuts for that afternoon fix. Make sure to eat breakfast – it will start your day off on the right foot and eat a light but nutritious lunch so as to ward off those 3 pm “crashes”.
You’ve heard it before, there’s nothing better for quenching a thirst than a tall, cold glass of water. Water makes up a large portion of the human body. It makes sense then that we need to replenish the water we use while breathing, eating, perspiring, thinking and in general – living! Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The human body needs time to recuperate from the daily stress we place on it. It does so at night, while we’re sleeping. Our organs are replenished with nutrients, our blood is cleansed and our minds are relaxed. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep, so book it into your schedule, just like you would an hour at the gym or an important meeting with a client. Don’t let anything get in the way of taking care of your own health!
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Let’s face it — metabolism slows with age, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still look great and maintain a healthy weight over the long haul. If the pounds have crept on over the years you can make a plan now to get back to a weight you feel good about.
Meeting your weight loss goal will require deliberate, sustained changes in your diet and activity level. If you want to lose weight and maintain the weight loss, you will need to take in fewer, and burn more calories. On average, you will gain one pound for each 3,500 calories you ingest.
Experts recommend the following three strategies for maintaining a healthy weight – food diaries, goal setting and exercise planning.
Using a food diary is as simple as keeping a record of everything you put in your mouth. When you are really in touch with your eating pattern it becomes more clear where changes need to be made. Food diaries improve your chances of success by eliminating mindless eating.
It is not enough to say that you want to lose weight or start exercising. You must also understand why this goal is important to you. What is your motivation? Take some time to write you’re your reasons. Do you want to lose weight so that you can have more energy to enjoy your family and friends? Has your doctor given you cause for concern about your current weight? Are you planning for a class reunion or vacation? Write down your motivation as well as the benefits you think will come with meeting your weight loss goal. It is also a good idea to state specific, measurable goals. These will help you to stay on track (pictures are a great help too). Make a chart to track your weekly progress. Enlist a friend or join an online group for support and encouragement.
It can be difficult to fit exercise into a busy schedule but the bottom line is we find the time to do the things we have identified as priorities. Treat your exercise time as a sacred appointment just as you would a business meeting or other important engagement because it is important. There are no miracle pills; the miracle is in your movement.
Pace yourself as you begin your new exercise regimen. If you haven’t had a physical in the last 12 months it is a good idea to have one before you start. In the first few weeks aim to work at reaching 50% of your target heart rate. Gradually move toward 75%. You can build stamina and shed pounds by walking, playing tennis, swimming or anything that gets your heart rate up for a sustained period. Just choose an activity that you enjoy and put the support you need in place to stick with it.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not about starvation and sweat. It is about making and keeping a commitment to do something that is important to you. If you want a cookie have one – just don’t have ten. Focus on the benefits weight loss will bring and the feelings of deprivation will fade.