7 Tips to Staying Healthy at Work
When you’re busy at work it can become hard to prioritise yourself. You may find yourself eating your lunch at your desk (again!) and working for hours on end with no break.
It’s no secret that regular breaks and hydration are important, but substantial meals and good snacks are often overlooked. Good food is essential to fuel your brain and keep you productive – and it doesn’t have to cost you $20 for a boring salad consisting of 3 pieces of kale, some tomato and a limp carrot!
So, for all of you 9 to 5’ers or regular workers, here are some simple and practical tips to help you stay healthy and work more productively.
*Disclaimer: These are general tips. They may not suit everyone and please consult your trusted health care practitioner prior to significantly modifying your diet.
1. Don’t skip breakfast before you leave
Eating a balanced breakfast, rich in protein, carbohydrates and fats can be beneficial for overall health and wellbeing for both adults and children. A well-balanced breakfast can help you feel satiated and set you up for the rest of the day by:
- Helping to regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day;
- Supporting brain and cognitive function, as well as your mood and overall energy levels;
- Helping to maintain your appetite and metabolism.
2. Prepare the night before
If you know you’ll snooze your alarm several times in the morning and only give yourself just enough time to get ready for work, chances are you won’t cook a full meal in the morning. So, don’t! Be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve.
One way to help is to prepare your breakfast and lunch the night before so you can just grab them and go. Dinner leftovers make great lunches. Some good pre-prepared breakfasts include:
- Keeping cut up fruit and veggies in the fridge;
- Keeping boiled eggs in the fridge;
- Freezing cut up fruit and greens in zip lock bags for quick smoothies.
3. Healthy snacks in your drawer
If you find you’re reaching for a mid-morning or afternoon snack, then make sure you keep some in your bag or desk drawer. This can help to balance blood sugar levels, as well as give you a quick break.
The best snacks on the go? Fodbods!
4. Eat a balanced meal in the middle of the day
For all of the same reasons as eating breakfast! Your brain’s main source of fuel is glucose (from carbohydrates), so ensuring that you continually fuel your brain throughout the day will help you maintain focus and concentration.
Opt for a meal with protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies to help your overall mood and cognitive function.
5. Take a lunch break and eat mindfully
Once you’ve got your lunch, being conscious while eating is just as important! Not only do you become more aware of what and how much you’re eating, but it helps you digest your food properly. Digestion starts in the mouth, so take time chewing and swallowing your food.
Taking some time out of the middle of your day to actually have a lunch break (even if it’s a short break) and switching off from work tasks provides your brain with a much needed break, ultimately improving cognitive function and making you more productive throughout the day.
6. Stay hydrated
This is something that’s often overlooked or forgotten but is essential for your whole body!
Every cell, organ and tissue in the body requires water to function. Dehydration can lead to impaired cognitive function and reduced productivity, irritability and many other unpleasant symptoms. As the body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion, we need to replenish fluids through eating and drinking.
If you struggle to remember to drink water, try having a large 1L bottle on your desk and aim to finish one before lunch and then one after lunch, before you go home. If you don’t enjoy drinking water or just want to make it more interesting, try infusing with your favourite fruits, herbs or sugar-free cordials.
7. Regularly get up from your desk
Have you been meaning to visit a colleague in a different department for weeks now, but keep putting it off? Walk there and take a much-needed breather.
Regular movement throughout the day can improve cognitive function and keep you focused. Plus, it may help reset you and give you a different perspective on a task.
Ideally, we should all be trying to get up from our desks every 30 mins. These breaks don’t need to long (in fact, regular short breaks can be more beneficial).
Let us know which of these tips you’re going to try!