Lunch time is a perfect chance to take a step back from the work bench and let your thoughts carry you wherever they may. To give your brain a bit of a prompt during a sluggish work day, “Food for Thought” is here to offer the mind an adequate serving of information. Bon appetite!
Today's Special: Keeping Active At the Office
It's Monday at the office, and you're coming back from a weekend of fun activities and solid workouts. You fought that snooze button, begging for another five minutes of weekend time, and yet here it is again, a new week and another five days of eight hours in front of a computer.
But long periods of inactivity, such as sitting and typing up this week's spreadsheet, can be more problematic than simply putting a damper on weekend plans: it can also be hazardous to your health. From increased risk of diabetes and obesity due to metabolism slowing down, to cardiovascular problems stemming from decreased blood flow, inactivity has quite an extensive list of health risks associated with it for such a common occurrence.
Fortunately, all these risks can be avoided with ease and without requiring life altering actions. Here are a few ways to get active and stay active throughout the work week:
Walk It Out:
The simplest of things, and yet the one that seems to be veered around the most at the office, there are plenty of opportunities to walk at the office. Save yourself the frustration of fighting over parking in the morning and look for a spot with a little distance from the workplace. You can also dodge the elevator congestion by taking the stairs. Getting the blood moving throughout your legs before the day begins is a great way to keep them from cramping up or "falling asleep" later.
11 o'clock rolls around and you have a brochure to hand to marketing, or perhaps you want to ask someone from customer service to get lunch today. Rather than emailing marketing and making a call over the service department, walking to take care of tasks can be a much needed break from the desk and chair. Face to face interaction is also a way to build up communication and connections at work; you never know if someone you have a matter to discuss with is in need of seeing a friendly face!
Mind Your Meals:
Lunch time is the reckoning hour that can make or break the rest of your day. Remember, since metabolism slows down with reduced movement, a high sodium and fat meal from a fast food joint can hit harder now than it would after a day swimming at the beach. If local eateries offer it, look for lunches that pack good carbs, veggies, and protein to keep your belly full and your body happy.
Drinking water in place of soda throughout the day cuts out increases in blood sugar that are harder for your body to bounce back from when it is relatively inactive. Limiting daily fat and sugar intake can also reduce the pains of midday energy crashes. If you choose to eat out instead of packing a lunch from home, be sure to walk there if possible instead of ordering delivery or driving. Save the gas in your car and use your body's natural fuel source.
Get A Good Laugh In
Every job is bound to have someone loaded with good jokes. Getting a good laugh in gets the body moving, uncontrollably if the joke is a real gut buster, and laughter is known to boost the immune system and increase blood flow. Keep in mind that the funny chain email you got this morning may have helped your body fight the cold going around the accounting department, and at the same time, lowered your blood pressure.
The psychological effects of laughter are also just as important as feeling good spiritually can act as a subconscious incentive to get up and move around during the day. Depression and anxiety can be a huge road block in wanting to get up and walk down to the cafe for a coffee, thereby causing potential physical health risks. Laughter can break these feelings, if only for a little, to give you the boost you need to get up from your seat.