When it comes to keeping up with your health and fitness, it can seem impossible when you have a full-time job in an office. Being sedentary for 8 or more hours a day can take a toll on your fitness progress, but it doesn’t have to.
If you struggle to balance your healthy lifestyle with your long office hours, you are not alone. More and more adults are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with work and fitness, but healthy eating habits and maintaining relationships can be a challenge as well.
The good news is, with a bit of time management and planning, eating right and staying active can be easy.
Skip the Gym
This may seem like the exact opposite of what you want to do, but hear me out. Going to the gym is not the only way to get moving and stay in shape. Besides, when you work 40 or more hours every week, fitting gym time in can certainly be a challenge.
Luckily there are several great options. Many companies have an office baseball or bowling league. Otherwise, you may have options available through your local rec center, community center, or park districts, such as baseball, basketball, or soccer.
Eat a Healthy Lunch
As someone who spends long hours sitting in the office, it is essential to try to eat a healthy lunch at work. It can be straightforward to grab something from a drive-thru or order delivery, but these are not the healthiest choices.
Keeping some shelf-stable options on your desk is a smart plan for when the urge to snack comes up. Some of the best choices are cured meats, such as jerky and meat sticks, weight loss shakes, and pre-packaged tuna or chicken salad.
Keep Track of Dates
One of the most important things in staying happy and healthy is having fulfilling relationships with your friends and family. If you’re not so great at remembering dates or plans that you made weeks ago, using a planner can help keep you from getting caught off-guard when your best friend texts you to see if you’re still on for dinner tonight or from missing your loved ones’ birthdays.
Don’t Worry About Cooking Daily
If you’re the type of person that spends hours trying to figure out what to make for dinner, only to give up on cooking and grab some takeout on your way home from work, meal planning is definitely the way to go. If you spend Sunday afternoons grocery shopping and cooking for the week, not only can you prepare dinners, but you can also put together some easy breakfast and lunch foods, as well.
Using a food scale is a smart method to portion out your servings. For example, you can weigh out servings of low-calorie snacks, and you can use it to weigh the ingredients for your meals, as well. Some meals you can keep in your fridge, others you should stick in the freezer to keep them fresh until you’re ready to cook.
Some easy things you can make ahead are:
- Protein pancakes
- Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast wraps
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Chicken and tuna salad
- Sheet pan meals
- Slow cooker/instant pot meals
Get a Hobby
Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is taking care of your mental health. Spend a day at your favorite local museum, take a painting class, read that book you’ve meant to read, or even take a Zumba class.
Spending time doing something you enjoy can help reduce your stress, improve your mood, and even improve anxiety and depression. So the next time you have a few hours free, do something fun that you will truly enjoy.
Get Some Sleep
After a long day at work, you’re exhausted, yet it can be so easy to stay up watching TV or scrolling through Facebook until you’re just hours away from hearing your first alarm. While it can be tempting to stay up a bit too late, maintaining a consistent nightly routine has several health benefits, including disease prevention, mental clarity, and it makes you feel better.
A regular sleep schedule can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your hair and skin health, and give you the energy to handle the day. In addition, going to bed and getting up simultaneously every day could make a big difference in how you look and feel.