Stuck In The Office All Day Long? - Stay Fit and Healthy

by skywalker

When doing office work for years, it starts affecting your health and looks. But, how to stay fit when you are stuck in the office and have no time for exercise?

The obesity is one of the most dangerous health threats of a modern time. The modern way of living is forcing us to sit in front of our computers, have a long drives to work and eat a lot of junk food. We have less and less time for our physical health and exercise. If you are a bank worker, an engineer or doing any other job that is done mostly sitting, you will certainly know how it affects your health and your mood . The result is the excessive weight, potential cardiovascular and spine related problems, and very often, low self esteem.

But, even if we are forced to do this kind of jobs and have a little time to devote to our body, there are some things we can do to feel better and live a healthier life. We could adopt a set of better habits and ditch the ones that are harmful.

If you want to know what are the easiest ways to stay fit even if you are an office worker, read on.

Healthy Food
Healthy Food

FOOD

Don't skip breakfast

A lot of people start their day without breakfast. They are either in a rush and don’t have time for it, or they assume that will help them lose some weight. This is one of the most common, and one of the most harmful habits.

When you sleep, your metabolism slows down to a minimal level. When you wake up, your metabolism is still very slow and your body is not ready for daily tasks. Eating early breakfast, not later than hour or two after waking up, starts your organism and help it recover from sleep. It not only boosts your energy, but also makes your body start burning calories and actually helps in losing weight.

Of course, this doesn’t apply if you eat a big, fat steak for breakfast. Avoid all kinds of greasy food and start your day with a healthy breakfast, like some eggs and cheese, or some nutritive salat.

 

Don't starve yourself

Speaking of salads, they are your best friend during a work day. You should consider preparing some light mixture of healthy fruits or vegetables, and take it to work with you.

Many people eat their breakfast, go to work and have a launch when they come back home. In the meantime, they starve themselves almost to the collapse. This approach tortures your organism, and makes you overeat when you come home, in order to compensate for the lack of nutrients. Then you don’t know when it’s enough and you often end up having stomach troubles.

Eating a light salad somewhere around the middle of your working hours can improve this situation significantly and it should be just enough to help you get through the work day. You will come home with less appetite and you will eat just how much you really need to eat.

If you don’t have time or the possibilities to make a salad, you can apply this advice using your favourite fruit. Most of the times  banana, some grapes or an apple will do the trick.

 

Avoid quick snacks

Are you one of those people that always have a candy bar in their top drawer? When you are bored or you feel even a hint of a hunger, you reach for the candy? That's a no-no …

Even if some people recommend eating a candy now and then because it increases your energy level, I stand against it. Yes, it really does increase your energy because of the sugar and stuff, but for that same reason it makes your body store the extensive sugar supplies and the fat to pile up. Besides, there is a lot more than sugar in most popular candies. And a very few ingredients are really useful.

So, if you want to avoid this, replace your daily candy with some sweet piece of fruit or a glass of healthy juice.

 

Drink up
Drink up

DRINKS

Drink a lot of water

If you open any page on the net that deals with health related subjects, you will find this advice. That is not due to content copying, but simply because of the importance of that advice.

As you know, our body is mostly made out of the water. We are losing significant amounts of it doing regular things: breathing, sweating, fulfilling our physiological needs… When we lose water from our body, the organism becomes weaker, our immunity drops, our metabolism slows down, our brain suffers and we concentrate harder… The list goes on.

In order to avoid this, we need to compensate this water loss. As we are not sponges and we can’t just absorb water we have to drink it. The average man in his 30’s should take between 2 and 3 litres of water a day, depending on his weight.

The correct water intake will boost your metabolism,  prevent toxins to pile up in the body, increase your concentration, improve calories burning. If you don’t drink enough water, create a recurring reminder to keep you on schedule.

Make a lemonade

Drinking a lot of water alone can be quite a challenge if you are not used to it. If it is too much for you, you can make it easier by squeezing a lemon in a glass of water. You will get a juice that is a lot more enjoyable to drink.

Besides that, the lemon has it own health benefits. It is great for detoxification and a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Consuming lemon will improve production of digestive juices, helping your body to process the food more efficiently and helping the food to move on from the stomach faster. This way lemon increase the metabolic processes and prevents fat piling up.

 

Take advantage of caffeine

There has been a lot of debates whether the caffeine is good or bad for you. These debates are still in progress, but the short answer it yes, the caffeine is good for you if you don’t “overdose”.

A lot of studies have shown that caffeine helps the organism run better by giving it a short time energy and metabolism boost.

The caffeine speeds up the calorie burning by stimulating the thermogenesis - the process when the body creates heat by digesting the food. 

The other effect of the caffeine is that it suppresses the appetite and reduce your desire to eat.

But, overtaking the caffeine may have also negative effects, like nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.

Pregnant women and chronical patients should avoid caffeine, or reduce its usage to an appropriate level.

 

Avoid sweet sodas

Sweet sodas may seem like refreshment, but they do more harm than good. According to Harvard.edu, they are one of the biggest obesity inducers.

The average can of sugary soda (any kind) contains about 150 calories, almost all of them in the form of sugar. That amount is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of table sugar which increase your energy levels, but also contributes to the fat creation by creating insulin resistance leading to increased fat storage.

FUN FACT: If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year.

Fructose found in sugar also causes resistance to leptin, which prevent the  brain to“see” that the fat cells are full of fat. In return, this leads to increased food intake and decreased fat burning.

So, in order to avoid weight increase and fat creation, reduce the sweet beverages intake, or, in the best case, eliminate them from your daily routine.

 

Avoid alcohol

The reason for this should be obvious - you might get fired! But, that is another subject.

Besides getting you fired, alcohol can harm you in another way. Alcohol is highly caloric, containing a lot of proteins and carbohydrates as well. Actually, alcohol has almost the same caloric value as fat, while it has almost no nutrients that are beneficial to our health.

If taken in the form of different cocktails, with alcohol you also get a lot of calories from other ingredients that are a part of that cocktail. Sneaking with alcohol, they almost instantly enter your bloodstream making caloric intake even bigger.

As if it wasn't enough, alcohol often increases appetite, making a clear path for other contingent of calories.

So, in the next business lunch, just skip the alcohol and order a glass of water.

CalCore Professional Strength Swiss Ball for Office
CalCore Professional Strength Swiss Ball for Office

ACTIVITY

Buy a balance ball

Sitting in a office chair is just boring. It’s not much healthy either.

When you spend all day sitting in an office chair, your muscles are just put on a stand by, as office chairs requires no muscle activity. Most of your body weight is being supported by your hips and spine.

If you add to that the bad posture most of people have while seating, the back pain is inevitable, and it can even lead to spine deformation after a few years of the office work. 

Pressure on the hips and back thigh causes your limbs to become numb, your blood flow to reduce, and may even increase the risk of heart problems.

The balance ball can change this. If you replace your office chair with a balance ball for a few hours every day, you will notice a difference after a while. Balance ball activates your muscles as it is forcing you to work for the balance of your body. That way, the ball keeps your muscle groups tense, which requires certain amount of energy and calorie burning.

Besides that, balance ball allows you to stretch whenever you feel the need for it. That way you can allow your blood to reach every part of your body faster and speed up your metabolism.

And equally important, it’s just fun.

Print away

If your office role requires you to print a lot of documents, you can use this as great exercise for yourself.

Just don't print to the closest printer. Simple as that.

Use some other printer in the other part of the office or even building whenever your time allows you to. If you must use your printer only, move it away from your desk and put it at least three meters from you.

This approach will make you stand up and sit down more often, which is similar as doing crouches. In result, you will engage your abdominal and thigh muscles which will result in a better body shape.

The distance you walk to your printer and back will also be significant (even if it doesn’t seem so), especially it you print multiple times a day. This will bring additional physical activity and calorie burning.

Walk for the errands

Going to the bank, a business lunch or a meeting can be also used as an exercise. All you have to do is to leave the car at the parking, and walk wherever you need to be. When your time allows you to, of course.

The distance you walk will help burn a lot of  calories. Only one mile walk with average pace (4 mph) will burn around 100 calories for a 70 kg person. So, if you walk to the nearest bank and back, you would burn a half of your breakfast. Do it twice a day...

You get the picture... 

Get a standing desk

If you pay attention to the fact that death rate is 20 % higher for the people that spend six or more hours a day sitting (40% for women), you will immediately understand the need for the change of your daily habits.

Getting a standing desk and spending a few hours doing your work on your feet might help you eskape from that group. Standing will allow your muscles to be stretched and active and your hearth to work properly because of a straight, non bent, less resistant blood vessels.

Additionally, standing requires more energy than sitting, thus increase calorie burning up to three times more when compared to sitting for the same amount of time.

So, by simply standing a few hours a day at your work you could contribute to a better body shape and a longer and healthier life.

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Updated: 08/20/2016, skywalker
 
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candy47 on 10/07/2015

I usually get up and walk for a while, then go back to sitting. The office ball is a great alternative to include.

skywalker on 10/05/2015

Thank you Mira. And yes, switching between sitting and standing is great solution, as it allows you to find your perfect balance.

Mira on 10/03/2015

These are great tips. I've been thinking of working standing up, and I see you have found a solution on Amazon. It's good to have a stand like that one: you can alternate between sitting down and standing.

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