Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Desk Job Health Tips

It's surprising how little you hear from writers about how to keep fit. Maybe that's cause we are busy brainstorming and writing and promoting and all that jazz, but it's something maybe we ought to talk about more. Cause writing requires a lot of sitting and a lot of sitting often ends up in bigger pant sizes and a myriad of potential healthy problems. For me, personally, fitness is a battle. I don't love exercise, I don't look forward to it, and I love food--mostly high calorie bad-for-me food. I don't have a weight problem, but I truly believe that's because I work at it even though I don't want to. And I'm 15 pounds heavier than I want to be--than I think I should be so I'm not someone who can not consider the implications of good choices. Last week, I was challenged by Nuts. com to blog about what I do to keep healthy during the work-week. They would provide a graphic and tweet out my post. After I opened the email I laughed and snapped this picture:

Not only was I at my office that day, but I had thought ahead and brought healthy snacks too. So, basically, her timing was perfect :-)  I offered three of my favorite stay-healthy-during-the-work-week-tips and incorporated it into the following graphic with some of their tips. Here's what they put together for me:

I've printed this out to keep as a reminder, not because I'm going to forget my own suggestions, but because making good choices are easier when it's at the forefront of my mind. I do the same thing with favorite quotes and family pictures to remind myself what fuels me and what matters.

I'd like to expand on a couple of these tips:

Keep healthy snacks on hand, no junk food! ~ If I bring M & M's to my desk, I will eat M & M's. If I bring wheat thins, I'll eat the whole box before the day is out. If I bring almonds, I'll eat those instead--and almonds tend to fill me up. I love the black pepper flavored Harvest Snaps Snappea Crisps. They are a yummy, healthier version of a potato chip. I not a big fresh fruit person, but I like bananas and I like clementines. I also like string cheese and I love nuts--you can find some great work-snack options at as well as some really yummy recipes for things you can make-and-take. It doesn't do a lot of good to bring healthy food you don't like, so find those healthy things you do like, bring them along, and don't keep junk food around. Chances are, you'll eat what you have on hand. Rocket science, I know. :-) Do I always do this? No. But I am always glad when I do.

Eat a protein-packed salad for lunch! ~ You can get a salad anywhere these days. Fast food, sit-down restaurant, bring it from home. I don't like low fat dressings--too much chemical stuff--but I truly believe a full fat dressing on a good veggie and protein loaded salad is going to be better than a cheesburger. Wild Coyote ranch is my favorite dressing, as is Good Seasonings Italian that you mix up yourself. Make sure your salad's got some chicken, shrimp, salmon (my favorite) or hard boiled eggs. I love nuts on my salads. One of my quick-grab salads is the California Protien Cobb from Zupas with their fresh herb vinaigrette. I don't like chicken, so I ask for extra hard boiled eggs instead. My favorite home salad is baby spinach, fresh blueberries, walnuts, feta cheese and Italian dressing. By making a "rule" that I'll always eat a salad for lunch, I guarantee I'll have some veggies that day--veggies are not something I gravitate to naturally. I end up feeling full but not heavy and can pat myself on the back for a making a good choice. Do I always do this? No. but I am always glad when I do.

Stay hydrated! ~I drink water all day long. I have a favorite water bottle--insulated so the ice stays all day--and I drink one in the morning, 2-3 during the day and another in the evening. I get between 80-100 oz of water a day. There is no limit to the good that plain old water can have for you. If you don't like water--consider adding some lemon, cucumbers, strawberries, or raspberries. A few dried craisins can make it yummy without adding a bunch of artificial colors and flavors or calories. If you currently drink soda, start with subbing one soda for water and then in a few weeks sub another one. Try room temperature water, try it with ice. Find a cute water bottle that fits in your car cup holder and is easy to transport. Do I always do this? Yes. I always drink water all day. I bring my water bottle with me everywhere and fill it up anywhere with a soda fountain or drinking fountain. Easiest good choice I make in a day. 

Exercise! ~ I take a hot yoga class about once a week. It has remedied some aches and pains, especially in my hands and wrists, and I truly believe it is a super-packed-vitamin for me. It's good for my body, my brain, my emotional center, my spirituality--all of it. I don't LOVE being in class, but I do it anyway and know it's good for me. Do I go to a class every week? No. But most weeks I do and when I skip a week, I notice a difference in the way I feel when I wake up and the way I manage my thoughts and emotions. 

I also have a home-work-out that includes a 7 minute warm up and a 25 minute interval work out that I do a couple of times a week. I use this 7 minute work out app on my phone for the warm up and then do the Body For Life interval work out which has been my favorite quick work out for almost 15 years. If you do the math, that's 32 minutes start to finish--possible to do before I head to the office. I work up a sweat, I get a good full body work out, and can then go on with life. Do I always do this work out twice a week? No. I've only started this up again in 2016 but so far I'm liking it and most weeks I do this 2-3 times a week. I've been doing it with my kids before school and they are liking it too (when they wake up.)

Take Vitamin D and B Complex! ~ I recently learned that Vitamin D supports good sleep, since I've been taking it every morning I'm sleeping better at night. Vitamin B gives me energy and mental clarity. You might take other things--I do too--but I think these things are "Good for everyone" basics. Find a good brand. Do I always take them? No. I forget sometimes and I get out of habit, but I try to and I notice a difference when I do it. 

In conclusion: I might do all these things, and come home and make brownies--but I believe home made junk food is better than store bought. I might go days between eating veggies. I might go a full week without a work out. But when I make one good choice, it is easier to make another one, and when the good choices build upon each other it gets easier and easier and I FEEL better. That's what healthy choices are really about for me, feeling better. That I feel better in my size 8 jeans counts toward that solution :-) I will make no apology for wanting to look good. I'm turning 42 years old in a few months, if I don't give my looks and my health some attention I won't have either one. 

I encourage you to go to and take a peek at the great products they have. I've already made some upcoming gift decisions based on their fabulous gift packs and I've put in an order of some of my favorite things I know will help me toward my own goals. I appreciate quality and I love convenience--they've got both. And if you feel so included to share your OWN healthy work-place habits, that would be welcome too!

What do you do? I would love to hear what it is you to do keep healthy during the work week! Thanks for reading. 


stanalei said...

Great post, Josi! Totally impressed with your routine!

Unknown said...

I walk in the sun for 30 mins by myself- clears my mind & eases my anxiety for the whole day.

If it is raining or super-cold, I dance in the living room with my toddlers to swing music. :) & take a Vitamin D.

OHHH...and read some fun-but-clean & excellent quality novels to take my mind off of things & give something to look forward to!


-Jocie M

Anonymous said...

Here, here! I agree. So much sitting and stressing over writing. I try to bike or walk each day and throw in some weight routine at least every other day since age is slowing my metabolism more and more (so not fair). I like your tips, especially just keeping healthy snacks on hand. If the bad stuff is around, it's so tempting and I find I have terrible willpower to resist. Better to just not buy it for the kids (they don't need it either, right?)