7 Ways to Keep Your Body Healthy and In Shape While Working a Desk Job
Most people sit way too much.
Myself included. I’m sitting while I write this and then I’ll go to work where I’ll sit all day at my desk job.
The average worker with a full-time job will sit for approximately 10 hours a day. That’s terrible for our health. Washington Post reports that the effects of sitting too much have been linked to higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems.
Additionally, sitting too much has lead to many discussions about the direct link to people being overweight and obese. With working full-time and not having much wiggle room for a workout, exercise is often lost in a full-time daily routine.
While the solution to correcting the sitting epidemic may simply be to stand up, the thought of standing for an 8-hour shift is rather daunting.
Instead, here are 10 ways to keep the body healthy and in shape throughout the workday.
1. Meal Prep
We all know the craze and popularity of diet plans. Meal prepping is a great way to stick to and cater your own diet plan.
For me, meal prep is my only guarantee that I won’t eat out every meal.
Yes, meal prep takes time. No, I don’t enjoy cooking.
What I do enjoy is saving money and (trying) to eat healthy. The only way I can do this is if I meal prep on Sunday’s for the entire work week.
For breakfast, I typically do a green smoothie (often made the night before work). My smoothies consist of either spinach or kale, strawberries, banana, mango, and chia seeds.
For lunch, I don’t get very creative. I either go with baked salmon and broccoli, pasta and broccoli, or chicken and broccoli. If I’m feeling fancy, I throw in carrots or cauliflower.
The point is, find what you enjoy eating (something preferably on the healthy side) and meal prep that.
Don’t think you have to stick to the same basic foods that I cook. Remember, I don’t enjoy cooking!
Find different recipes and get creative with it, especially if you’re a foodie. Eating right is a surefire way to stay healthy and in shape.
Recommended: The Keto Diet is also a great option when considering meal prep. Check out Keto Diet Fundamentals for more information (This article was originally published by HVMN).
2. Water, Water, Water
Everyone’s going to tell you to drink water. But, have you ever wondered why it’s so important?
For one, water helps the body work properly. Your body needs water for your insides to run the way they should. Water also helps prevent headaches, relieve constipation, gives the brain energy, helps with weight loss, gives the body a sense of feeling full, and so much more.
While water isn’t the magic cure-all, it contains exactly what our body needs.
Start by drinking a glass of water in the morning and then literally drink water all day long. A great reminder to drink your water is to keep a refillable water bottle at your desk.
After a while, you’ll start to crave water and see the benefits it has on your entire body.
3. Bathroom Workout
I’ve talked about this before on my blog and have had positive feedback about it. I completely attribute this step as the kickstarter in my healthy journey.
I know working out in the bathroom may seem silly, but hear me out.
We all know that the best way to lose weight is to exercise. When I decided that I wanted to lose the 15 pounds that I gained (by sitting all day long), I knew I’d only let myself down if I tried to commit to a daily workout.
That’s when I thought of the idea of having mini bathroom workouts. Since the bathroom is the only time that you are guaranteed to get up, it’s the perfect time to get your body moving.
I’ve tried many different exercises during my trips to the bathroom and these are the ones that I had the most success with:
This one saved my butt. Literally! If you only pick one bathroom exercise, pick this one. Squats help reshape the butt (which could be flattened from sitting so much) and it works out your thigh and leg muscles. I started doing 5 squats every time I went to the bathroom. After a few weeks when the squats got easier, I changed it to 7.
This is a simple exercise that anyone can do, even in heels (but still be careful). Just stand up straight and bring one leg up to a 90-degree angle, then switch. No need to jump or move at a fast pace. Remember, the whole point of this is to get your body moving. I do 5 knee-ups on each leg, so 10 in total.
These may be the only workouts that can’t be done inside a bathroom stall. But, if you can do them, your body will thank you! I committed to doing 15 jumping jacks every time I used that bathroom. That’s it. Only 15. It takes 15 seconds and it gets the body moving.
These three exercises are plenty to do in a single trip to the bathroom. They are low impact and still show results. If you often wear heels or a dress to work, find a way to modify these exercises or pick new ones.
There are plenty of easy and quick exercises to choose from, these three just happen to be my favorite.
If you stick to these daily bathroom workouts everytime you use the restroom, your body will feel more energized and there’s a serious possibility that you will lose weight just like I did. The best part is that it’s a great step in mantaining a healthy and in shape body.
4. Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
I love to snack during my workday. It’s probably a nervous or bored habit.
I even have an entire drawer in my desk dedicated to all my snacks. Before I cared about my health, my drawer was filled with chips. I would literally buy the party pack of chips and stuff them into my drawer all for me to eat by myself.
Now, my drawer is filled with fruit, nuts, and tea.
Tea is amazing for stress relief and health. For more on how tea can help with your wellness, check out: Tea’s Amino Acid for Overall Wellness
By removing the tempting snacks and replacing them with delicious, healthy snacks that I still enjoy, snack time is still possible for me. I just don’t have the guilt of eating 3 bags of Hot Cheetos a day anymore.
5. Walk During Your Lunch Break
Get out of the office. Leave the building. Exit the property entirely.
Even if it’s just for 30 or 40 minutes, use your lunch break to go for a walk. Walking during your lunch break is a great and easy way to maintain a healthy and in shape body. Simply leave a pair of sneakers and a change of clothes at your desk and use your break to go on a nice walk.
You can either walk at a brisk pace to get in more of a workout or you could take it slow and enjoy your surroundings. Regardless of how fast or slow you walk, it will be good for you.
Walking is actually proven to be a huge factor in weight loss if done consistently. Additionally, walks during lunch provide the perfect refresher for the second half of the day.
If you want to take this a step further, gather a group of co-workers and make it a social thing.
6. Work Standing up
This is a luxury that not everyone can do, but if you are lucky enough to have a standing desk or a podium to work at, utilize it!
While you might not be comfortable standing for your entire workday, alternate between standing and sitting every few hours.
Standing automatically helps the body move around more than sitting and keeps the body more active, healthy, and in shape. Standing can also help with the back pain sitting in a chair causes.
While standing is not some trick to lose weight, it does help remind the body to move around and it provides a nice change to the sitting norm.
7. Take the Stairs
Do you often use the elevator or escalator when getting to your workstation?
Switch it up. Take the stairs! This is such a simple way to get the body moving every day. This is a quick workout without even realizing it.
Stairs are good for the body. There are even workout machines that mimic the movement of stairs.
Just by taking the stairs every day when you arrive and leave work, you are training your body in getting the slightest workout that will make a difference over time.
If you feel like you can’t dedicate the entire week to this, pick 3 days a week that will be stairs only days. This is just as helpful.
It is possible to work a desk job and stay healthy and in shape. There is some conscious effort that needs to be done on your part but it is completely worth it.
Best of luck to you during your work days!