10 Work Day Health Habits (easy to implement!)
Work day health habits can optimize the benefit of a routine. Having to be somewhere at a specific time can be a good thing, even if you sit a considerable amount of time. Women over 50, or younger ladies and gents for that matter, can benefit from simple habits that boost productivity, creativity, and even fat burning. Here’s the round up of my top 10.
Simply drink water throughout the day. You’ll think faster too, about 14% faster if you’re well hydrated than if you’re not. It’s probably among the easiest to implement of these work day health habits. It may prevent your metabolism from slowing too. It doesn’t help you burn more fat but, drinking so little that you’re even 2-3% dehydrated can prevent fat burning. A body that is stressed won’t release weight or have optimal metabolism. So drink up.
Begin to bump your intake gradually spread throughout the day as you and your body will begin to use it. You won’t end up in the restroom as much as you might be worried about. If you are, getting up and down is a good thing too!
When you exercise on workdays, your mood and productivity soar. In fact, if you exercise during your workday, say you take an active lunch, when you leave a 5 (wishful thinking?), your job satisfaction will be higher than on days you don’t exercise. Creativity, problem solving skills, and tolerance of others also get higher ratings in a growing number of studies showing workplace wellness is worth it.
You don’t have to get sweaty for this to happen. Intensity doesn’t matter. Movement, just movement, can make a difference. So try a restorative yoga session, a walk, or even a foam roller session can help you fire away at that pile on your desk this afternoon.
Sure, exercise any time of day gets you a check mark for work day health habits but timing could be a big factor if you’ve fallen out of love with your job.
So maybe you’re not convinced you could break away for some exercise at lunch and you want to get your high intensity workout elsewhere. Get it in early. Interval training is best done before work, especially if you’re a woman flipping 50. It doesn’t have to take more than 20 minutes start to end including a warm up and cool down that are a must for injury prevention.
Yes, there are programs supporting 4-minute intervals. If it’s intense enough to do good in 4 minutes, it better have a warm up preceding it. Hurt and fit don’t belong in the same sentence. That warm up (and cool down) helps you expend more energy, burn more fat, and reduces your risk of injury.
Challenge with Team Wins
Group challenges are effective in the workplace. But there’s a catch. Everybody has to win. You don’t want to reward weight loss or inches changed. People can’t control that as much as we’d all like to so you set everyone up for failure.
You can put people on teams and encourage participation with everyone enjoying equal value. Reward activity and wellness habits with points. That way whether someone has 5 lbs. or 50 to lose, or whether they’re a triathlete or a beginner, everyone can contribute to the team at the same level.
People who encourage our health habits are bound to be people we have better relationships with and that will boost your worksite wellness.
Watch what you put in your bowl and on your plate. Protein, rich in amino acids, helps boost dopamine. Dopamine can help you concentrate. Start your day with a high protein smoothie (my favorite) or sneak it in another way, and then be sure lunch includes some too. (Get my favorite smoothie recipes and $15 in coupons off your order of Flipping 50 protein)
Carbs increase serotonin and they can help offset the decline of cortisol (in this case, your energy hormone) that leads to edgy, hangry, inability to focus. You’ve got plenty of cortisol in the morning unless you’ve got adrenal fatigue going on. But by lunch it’s time to be sure you add some carbs to that salad.
You might want to try a bowl of blueberries for one of your carb sources with lunch. Studies show focus is better for up to 5 hours after consumption!
Your brain is 60% fat, so don’t go low fat at lunch and expect high performance in the afternoon. Omega 3s are best for brain health. Shoot for salmon at lunch after your morning supplement.
I know what you’re thinking. Sprint in heels? No. I addressed intervals above so no it’s not even that. We do best working in short cycles though. Our daytime habits are very similar to our sleep cycles at night. Have you noticed that after 90 minutes or so your attention span crashes? Even if you’re working on a project you’re excited about, you start reaching for the phone, you’re more tempted to open a browser, and fall down a rabbit hole. That’s just a sign you need to get up and take a break.
Taking 10-minute breaks every 90 minutes can increase your productivity at the end of the day even with an average of 50 minutes of “down” time. The way western civilization has conditioned powering through actually increases less work, at lower quality than could happen with frequent breaks. Try a 90/10 or a 60/5 schedule and see what works best for you. It might be that 90 minutes works in the morning but you need a break after 60 in the afternoon.
Leave your desk to take the break and you’ll fit in active time too. No Candy Crush or social surfing.
Your creativity and concentration are highest in the morning. That’s so true that student GPAs were significantly increased if they were taking math and English courses in the morning vs. the afternoon.
When you’ve got cortisol at an optimal level in the morning you can optimize it by doing your closed-door creative items that only you can do then.
Try to schedule meetings, email returns, and more necessary but not creative work later in the day. You’re workday productivity will soar.
I wouldn’t get all giddy about the 56 calories you can burn in 10 minutes but there are definite perks to moving more and telling your meetings to take a hike.
There’s the culture you create. This is no business blog but when you walk side-by-side with an employee or boss depending on who you are, you create more equality. There is a much better relationship that emerges than when sitting at a conference table, or worse, across a desk where one of you has the “big chair.”
Movement, of all kinds, falls under Non-Exercise-Activity-Time (N.E.A.T.) and it is a powerful predictor of overweight and obesity. It’s much more tied to them in fact than “gym time” or actual workouts. So walking for your meetings can even eliminate the need for finding that gym time. Overall it will increase your energy, and productivity, such that you can find the time more easily!
High on the work day health habits list it can be hard to implement this one due to the conditioning people have about the nature of meetings. Don’t give up if you’re in charge of meeting with someone. Just respect some may shy away from this because they fear the ability to keep up.
Working outside the home (or in it)? What work day health habits have you implemented to boost energy and productivity during the day?