by Colin Joyce, Accountancy & Insurance Talent Resourcer at Abrivia
For many of us a typical day of work will consist of 8-10 hours sitting at our desk. With this, it can be hard to maintain a balance between a healthy lifestyle and our sedentary day to day work life, but through a couple of small changes it is possible to stay fit and healthy or even drop a few inches in the lead up to your summer holiday. Things like meal timing, evening routine or even down to your hydration can ultimately have a massive effect on how we look, feel and perform in work each and every day.
Timing your meals around your workday or finding a routine that works for you is massively important in terms of energy, concentration and overall health/fitness. Maybe skip breakfast; this may go against everything you have read or been told in the past; but think about it for a second. The reason we eat is to fuel activity or movement. Going into work at 8/9am generally you will not be doing a whole lot of moving and so food is generally not a necessity at this point.
As well as this, holding off on food and maybe opting for a black coffee as well as plenty of water will mean there will be little or no early morning spike in your blood sugars, which generally would lead to further cravings or hunger throughout the early stages of the day. Consequently, a spike in blood sugar can reduce cognitive performance or concentration.
This will vary from person and it is important to find what works for you, but by doing this you should find your hunger levels are much less throughout the day; aside from the first few days when it can take some getting used to.
Plenty of Water
Water is the elixir of life. The more you drink the better. The average person should aim to drink between 3-4 litres per day depending on a number of factors, such as BMI, age and gender. Not only will it keep you hydrated and allow you to perform or concentrate better, but it will allow your body to perform better internally, in terms of all its metabolic processes.
Water is especially important in the case of coffee drinkers! Given that caffeine is a diuretic it will force any and all excess water out of your body. With that said it is vital that you put back in what you give out; try to aim for 500ml of water per cup of coffee, on top of your daily intake, as a basic rule of thumb.
Get Active in the evenings
Coming home from a long busy day of work the first thing you want to do is sit on the couch and have a snooze. However, when we are busy or tired, we will still make time for the important things such as sleep or food but often neglect the single most important thing our body needs: Exercise.
Exercise is vital in terms of physical and mental health, with countless benefits such as improvements to cardiovascular fitness, cognitive performance, stress management and the way we look! Whether it is simply getting out to walk the dog or going for a run; anything is better than nothing. Any form of exercise will help to minimize the negative health effects of sitting at your desk all day, keep your heart strong and promote metabolic health.
Try getting your exercise in before going home for the evening, because it can be very difficult to get back up off the couch when you know Love Island is on in an hour! Another tip for those who are lacking the motivation or find it hard to hold yourself accountable, would be to book a class in your local gym or organise a 5-a-side with your friends.
Over the coming weeks, give some or all of these tips a go and find what works for you! It is amazing the difference a couple of small changes can make both physically and mentally. Hopefully through some trial & error you will find what works for you. By fitting some of these changes into your long-term day to day routine you will increase your performance in work, but also improve the way that you look and feel.