Looking after your health and wellness when you work long hours is no easy feat. However, it’s important to treat your body like a business or at least, something you need to focus on like any other important task you might meet when at work. These few simple steps will help you stay healthy while doing your duties at work.
Wake up in the morning and go to bed at night on the same day!
This is hard for those who work long hours or work on shifts. As much as possible, get seven to nine hours of sleep and don’t watch TV into the night on a working day. Waking up groggy the next day reduces your alertness, thus reducing work productivity. When you sleep less, ghrelin and leptin – hormones that regulate your appetite – are then disrupted. This imbalance would induce you to eat more, which in turn can lead to weight gain.
Stretch before shower
If you can make time for a 30-45 minute exercise session when you wake up, do so. If not, even a ten minute stretching session would improve your alertness and help you focus better at work.
Always have breakfast at home
When you get all that sleep and wake up without having breakfast early, you are starving yourself. In actual fact, you have been fasting, going without food for a good 12 hours since your last meal at dinner the night before. When you wake up, you need to replenish yourself. Left too late, your body would crave for more food, making you overeat when you have that late breakfast. Now, if you do back breaking work like construction work, it makes sense to have bread cereal, eggs or oats for breakfast – at home – it’s cheaper, cleaner and healthier. You just have to make time for it.
Pack your lunch
Put leftovers in a microwave safe container so that you can heat it up in the pantry. Or pack a sandwich. Of course, once a while it is nice to have lunch with your office mates there is a tendency for you to eat oily, fried or fatty food that would make you feel heavy after lunch. Ever noticed how you feel sleepy just after midday?
Take a lunch time stroll
If you have had a light lunch and have some extra time, do some window shopping for exercise. But make sure that it’s just window shopping, otherwise your quest for health may bore a hole in your pocket! Stretch at work. Every now and then, stretch at your workstation. Keep your back straight at all times during these stretches. Sitting down, lift your arms up and lock your fingers above your head. Hold for 30 seconds. Pull your arms to your back and do the same. With heals on the ground, lift your toes and hold for five seconds. Repeat 20 times. Shrug your shoulders, repeat 20 times. Make forward circular movements with your shoulders, hands hanging down, 10 times. Do backwards 10 times. Twist your body to the right, hold for 10 seconds. Then twist it to the left, hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times on each side. Now go back to work!
Drink lots of water
If you work in air-conditioned room, there is a possibility that you may become dehydrated so drink lots of water. Being thirsty can be misunderstood as hunger. So when you are thirsty, remember to drink or you may feel that you want to snack.
Snack on fruits
It is ok to snack but on fruits or nuts (make that unsalted or unsweetened). Avoid biscuits that are creamy, sugary or high in trans fats.
Plan an after work exercise routine
If you cannot make time for an exercise routine in the morning, plan it for in the evening. Aim to do it most days of the week – five to six days as this would increase your immunity and keep your body supple and alert the next day. Get some friends to join you.