Sometimes it seems like the pursuit for a balanced work life and a healthy lifestyle is an impossible goal. However, for most people, it’s the time you invest that can make or break the work and health balance you may be struggling with.
As a marketing intern at OrthoIndy, I wasn’t prepared for the sedentary lifestyle as much as I would have liked. As a college student, for the past few years, I have had the privilege to go on a walk or run around campus at any point throughout my day. I was lucky enough to workout at the gym and cook my meals at any point in my day, aside from class. At OrthoIndy, I was spending more time sitting at my desk and I knew I needed to find a way to be healthier. So I decided to ask employees what they do to stay healthy at the office. Fortunately, my co-workers had many insightful suggestions.
Moderation is a key factor to think of when deciding how much to eat. It goes without saying that if you eat a whole bag of chips every day, you most likely will not lose weight. However, if you have a handful of chips here and there, you should be just fine. Try to pre-package your lunch before work and balance out your portions of fruits, fats, carbohydrates and vegetables. For example, I pre-package my lunches with plastic measuring containers I bought off the Internet to help balance out my portions.
Moderation is also important when balancing out what not to drink and what to drink. So think before you drink your daily dose of coffee. Go easy on the caffeine before or during work. Caffeine may make you feel energized at first, but the crash people tend to feel later may make you think, “was the coffee even worth it?” However, water is worth drinking. Water intake is extremely critical in order to transport nutrients throughout your body and help digest food easier.
Again, moderation is crucial to think about even for your breakfast. It is good to keep breakfast between 200 to 300 calories, so try not to have a feast first thing in the morning. By eating breakfast, you are allowing your metabolism to get a jump start on burning calories and the ones you will later consume. If you are one to skip breakfast, your metabolism starts to burn muscle instead of calories since you do not fuel your body with any. For example, I spread a teaspoon of peanut butter on a whole grain waffle and eat it before I go to work.
OrthoIndy nutritionist Jessica Moosbrugger spoke about the importance of small snacking. “I always bring small snacks to work that are filled with good nutrients and proteins to keep me full throughout my day,” said Jessica. “They give me energy during that afternoon slump, satisfy my sweet tooth and prevent me from overindulging in those not-so-healthy-treats.”
OrthoIndy graphic design intern Jenny Alvaro commutes over an hour to and from work. However, she will always try and make her meals at home instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant. “This way takes longer but it is worth it in the long run for a healthy meal,” said Jenny.
Additionally, your mental wellness is, if not more, important than the food you eat. OrthoIndy marketing coordinator Chelsea Tuttle shares how to motivate yourself in the workplace. “In an email folder I’ve stored compliments and kudos people have sent me as well as handwritten notes,” Chelsea said. “When I am having a hard day or need a boost of encouragement, I’ll read through them.”
Lastly, people tend to forget about the importance of sun exposure. Sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D and also tends to boost your happiness level. Although, you need to balance the amount of sun exposure because it is a major cause of skin cancer, so don’t forget the sunscreen.
If you are someone who gets carried away in your work, try setting an alarm to remind yourself to get up from your desk. For someone who is consistently sitting, the added reminder may help you go on a short walk two to three times a day and get a few more steps. Staying active is an important part of a person’s daily routine. Take advantage of the weather during your lunch hours, go for a walk or eat lunch with a friend outside.
OrthoIndy senior graphic designer Jackie Bilskie spoke about how she keeps her family healthy after work hours. “I try to take my kids and dog on nightly walks or go to the pool in the summer for at least an hour or two a couple times a week,” Jackie said. “It’s not a hard workout, but it keeps me active after a long day of sitting at my desk.”
Another great way to balance work and your health is to exercise before work. OrthoIndy public relations specialist Megan Golden likes to take work out classes with her sister at a local gym in the morning before she leaves for work. This is a great way to get your steps in early and feel energized throughout the rest of your day.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning but having a workout buddy really helps,” said Megan. “Plus I always feel happier when I go and more motivated to get things done at work.”
In conclusion, it is important to work towards balancing your career and your health. “Balancing the two can be very difficult, but by using our helpful tips, it should make it a bit easier,” said Jessica.