Most people can agree that your office isn’t the easiest place to prioritize a healthy lifestyle. With tempting snacks on a colleague’s desk, long hours glued to chairs, and short lunches between meetings (sometimes no lunch at all) it’s easy to develop unhealthy habits.
These unhealthy habits can cause even the healthiest of people to slip away from their healthy living goals. Stress and exhaustion are very real problems in the workplace. And when you’re stressed it’s hard to stay focused on daily tasks — which is definitely not productive.
So, if you’re finding it hard to manage a growing business (and the first one in and the last one out) it’s time to make some positive changes.
1. Pay attention to your meals
Every time you skip a meal, your blood sugar level falls and your metabolism slows down. Your body starts saving energy and suppresses your immune system. Sound scary?
Well, what this mainly means is that you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to frequent headaches, tiredness and any bug or virus doing the rounds. In the long-term, unhealthy eating can cause chronic inflammation, arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer. So, start paying more attention to the fuel you put in your body and try to organize your schedule to include at least three meals a day.
2. Replace your coffee with water or tea
The best way to stay hydrated during the day is by drinking lots of water. Stocking up on H2O will help your body function correctly and keep your skin, joints, and muscles in good shape.
So get a 16-ounce bottle of water on your way to the office and refill it at least twice during the day. If you’re not crazy about plain water, then drink some unsweetened tea. Fresh juice is an alternative, but it’s high in sugar and not always the best option for your teeth or waistline.
Add a slice of lemon or some fresh mint to your water bottle instead, to get a better taste without the extra calories. Caffeine in excess can cause anxiety, restlessness, dizziness, palpitations, and stomach problems; so have a maximum of one or two cups of coffee a day.
You may think you can’t get through the day without your Starbucks, but try chugging down a gallon of water instead. A lot of tiredness in the morning is caused by dehydration, after eight hours without taking in liquid.
3. Get better quality sleep
If you often wake up feeling tired, then you’re probably not getting enough sleep. And if you wake up multiple times a night or suffer from a sore back or neck, it could be that you need to make some changes.
Good sleep is essential for a productive day, so try to sleep eight hours a night, in a dark room, if possible. Why? Because our brains need complete darkness to produce melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
Humans are creatures of habit, so it’s important that you maintain your sleep schedule on the weekends as well. Otherwise, you’ll lose your rhythm and start off a new week more tired than you were on Friday afternoon.
If you want to get a better quality of sleep, it’s important that you invest in a comfortable bed. You spend a third of your life sleeping, so this isn’t an area you should skimp on. Check out consumer reviews sites, such as Memory Foam Doctor, where you can read reviews and professional opinions to help find the right mattress for you.
4. Exercise creatively and regularly
You may not have time to hit the gym or go to yoga classes, especially if you’re working late to finish a presentation. But keep in mind that your sedentary lifestyle isn’t doing your health any good.
Even if you’re working to a deadline, make sure that you get up and stretch your legs now and then. Also try including “deskercises” into your routines, such as toe taps, chair squats, and wall sits.
If you live near your office, trying riding your bike to work. If you take a bus, get off a stop earlier and walk the extra distance. If you drive, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you work from home, make sure you step out for a walk from time to time.
Try to exercise at every opportunity you can, because it’s necessary for your overall wellbeing, as well as well as productivity.
5. Get your eyes checked out
People who work in offices or spend prolonged periods of time at the computer have higher chances of developing visual problems. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t just down to screen time alone. Your eyes can suffer as a result of musculoskeletal problems caused by bad posture, as well as poor office ergonomics (a mix of air conditioning and poor lightning).
Getting your eyes checked out twice a year can help you keep your visual problems under control and improve your overall health. It may sound like a hassle taking the time to go to the eye doctor, but you can probably spare two 30-minute sessions a year for the sake of your health.
This article has been edited.
Will Blears is an entrepreneur and founder of Perceptive Digital a boutique agency which specialises in digital paid advertising for medium to large brands. He is also a blogger over at One Mans Brand where he helps teach people how to make an income from online marketing. Connect with @williamblears on Twitter.