"I am too busy", "I'm in meetings all day", "Ugh! My coworkers ordered pizza again". You are probably pretty familiar with these excuses. Honestly, it is very difficult to have a corporate life and still stay healthy, especially as you get more successful. We all know the more successful you get, the richer the food you eat and the more you have to network over meals. This could mean a few inches on your waistline as well.
Don't let this depress you though. It really doesn't mean you have to choose between being successful and being healthy. You just may have to work a little harder. Here are a few of the usual roadblocks and how you can attack them:
I sit all day
Well, this one is easy. You do get bathroom breaks, right? Set a timer to remind you to go on a "water break" every hour. This water break just means you get up and walk somewhere for a couple of minutes and get a cup of water while you're at it. You need to get the blood flowing in your legs, get your muscles working a bit, burn a couple of calories, and make sure your back and neck aren't getting stuck in that wrong peering-over-the-computer posture. All you need is a computer or a phone to set up this alarm, and you'd be getting much needed hydration as well.
I am so busy
Business creates a couple of problems: You may not eat when you are supposed to or eat the wrong things (Bad Diet Habits), or not find time to exercise (Lack of Activity).
If you find that you are starving yourself and then jumping to the vending machine for candy when you're hungry, start to keep power snacks in your purse; your best options are fruits, nuts, or cereal bars. And then set an alarm for every 3 or 4 hours so you can remember to snack on something.
If you find that you are becoming sedentary, your best option may be to break up your workouts. Wake up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and get a quick workout in. I know it sucks, but the energy burst you get from your morning workout could actually improve your mood throughout the day and give you that burst of energy you need for those morning meetings. Also add in another 15 minutes somewhere else in your day, like on your way back from home or during lunch. If you do get a semblance of a lunch break, squeeze the time to work out in there, and spend just a few minutes actually eating.
There is always candy around me at the office
This sucks too because you can't really control what other people do. Sometimes, I think my colleagues are trying to sabotage me when they go "But you worked so hard at the gym. You can afford that piece of chocolate!". So I know how you feel.
But that does not mean there is no way around it. Politely ask your colleagues to move the candy to a particular spot where you would not see it. If it is not in your sights, you are less likely to go looking for it. Also, if you stock up on your own power snacks, when you feel the temptation, you can reach for something else in your purse.
It also helps to not carry cash with you around the office. Why? It prevents you from chipping in when that colleague comes around with the fundraising candy or cookies. You know the ones I mean, right? We all have someone who is always selling fundraising snacks.
I get hungry between meals
We all do. So this goes back to the point of stocking up on power snacks and not carrying cash around. You are less likely to head to the vending machine if you have no money and you already have healthy snacks to munch on.
I have to network
As you climb the corporate ladder, it becomes increasingly important to network. And networking sometimes means richer foods and more alcohol than you would usually have in your routine. There are a few ways to try to get around the networking calories. One, if you tend to eat in a general area, research the healthy restaurant options or the healthy food and drinks on the menus in the restaurants around you. So whenever you take a client out, you already know what your options are.
Two, order in. If you have a meeting in the office and have it catered, you have more control over what gets delivered. Just make sure you already know what the attendees are allergic to!
Three, find other ways to network besides food. Take clients out to a golf course or to play pool. Find out if he/she is into the community and set up a volunteer networking session. There are many other options besides eating and drinking that may be fun to try. And it actually may give the client a good impression of you.
If you are the client, when a meeting is set up, send dietary restrictions. Usually, anyone setting up a business meeting would want to impress the client and so would ask for preferences or options. Don't be shy to provide yours.
How do you stay healthy in the workplace?
Cheers Eights & Weights!
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