Happy Monday my friends! Since we have been talking a lot about fitness and motivation in the new year, I wanted to keep the momentum going and share some tips on how to stay healthy while you are at work. As a nurse, I totally understand how challenging it can be to eat healthy, get enough rest, and fit exercise in with a busy schedule. I hope these tips help you to keep reaching your goals in 2016!
Lately, I have been utilizing my Fitbit to help me track some of these things as I aim to start 2016 on a healthy note. I have been tracking my sleep almost every night which helps me get to bed earlier as I set a goal of eight hours of sleep each night on my Fitbit. I also track my water intake daily. My goal is 64 ounces of water everyday which is a little hard to reach, but definitely a good goal. Lastly, I track my workouts on my Fitbit and I set my goal to working out five days a week. Setting goals and tracking my progress definitely helps me keep track of my health. There are so many different apps and fitness trackers out there now which is great! Now lets get to some tips shall we…
- Pack your own food- It can be easy to not pack your own food and settle for buying something at your work’s cafeteria or a local fast food restaurant. However, even some of the sandwiches and salads offered at the cafeteria at my work are packed with unnecessary fat and carbs. It is important to know what you are putting in your body and packing your own lunch can help with this. Some of my favorite lunches to bring to work include a chicken salad sandwich or a salad packed with veggies and either salmon or chicken.
- Eat small snacks throughout the day- To help keep your energy up and increase your metabolism, eating snacks throughout the day is key as long as they are healthy. For example, the other day at work I had a banana for my first snack a few hours into my shift, my lunch mid-shift, and then I had chocolate almond milk for my last snack. Some nutritious snack examples are yogurt with fruit, almonds, or a nutrition bar.
- Stay hydrated!- I don’t know about you guys, but I feel 100 times better when I drink water throughout the day. I bring a reusable water bottle or cup to work and keep it filled so I can grab a drink whenever possible. Buying some cute water bottles definitely helped to motivate me to increase my water intake.
- Get to bed early enough- Aiming to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night is important so you can feel energized for your day of work. With so many distractions, it can challenging to get to sleep at a decent time. Working twelve hour shifts, I don’t get home until about eight o’clock which doesn’t give me much time to eat and unwind for the night. I try to get into bed 15 minutes to a half hour before I want to be sleeping so I can relax a little bit first (I usually read a chapter or yes you caught me, browse social media). The Fitbit tracker shows how long it takes you to fall asleep (usually 7 minutes for me) as well as how many times you were restless during the night which takes away from the amount of sleep you actually got. It can be kind of daunting to track your sleep, but it definitely helps me realize how much I actually get!
- Plan your workouts- Planning your exercise schedule ahead of time helps to eliminate excuses (i.e. too tired, errands to do after work). My dad, for example, brings his workout clothes to work with him so that he can stop by the gym on the way home. My sister sweats it out in the morning before she goes to work (major props to her!) knowing that she doesn’t always want to exercise after a long day . For me, I schedule Pure Barre classes early in the week and know which days I want to hit the gym according to my work schedule. If I don’t feel like doing either, I usually at least try to do a workout dvd or Pinterest workout. Some workouts I have been loving lately include 21 day Fix, Jillian Michaels, and Yoga with Adriene (on youtube). Find what works for you and stick with it!
- Get your steps in at work- Being a nurse, I usually don’t have trouble getting my steps in. However some professionals may be stuck at a desk for most of the day. When my shifts are slower, I walk the halls to get my steps in (and stay awake). I have also done stretches after charting and staring at the computer for a long time. It is important to rejuvenate your body after sitting for long periods of time. If you are in an office, take the longer route to the bathroom, go up and down stairs a few times, or walk outside and get some fresh air when possible!
I hope these tips help you to stay healthy despite busy work and personal schedules. It is important to focus on your well-being so you can be your best self at work and home. Feel free to share your healthy living tips in the comments!