Tips for staying active and healthy during the work day

As I reported yesterday, almost half of all Americans work “remotely” at least one day a week. But that figure also means plenty of folks still have to earn a living by leaving the house most days of the week.

Fortunately, even if you do work outside your home, there are simple, healthy habits you can adopt to improve your energy, focus, and happiness…

So, here goes…

1.) Stand up regularly

Being sedentary for more than six hours each day is associated with increased risks of chronic diseases. So, I always recommend standing up regularly throughout the day. You can even ask your company to invest in a standing desk, which allows you to work while standing.

I remember the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously worked at a standing desk at the Pentagon during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This good habit kept things moving efficiently at the Pentagon because people who met with Rumsfeld (some of whom I knew well) couldn’t sit down either.

2.) Take regular activity breaks

Each hour or so, I recommend incorporating a little activity into your day by stretching different parts of your body. Some people set an alarm to prompt them to take these kinds of activity breaks.

In addition, when you arrive at work (or anywhere), park farther away from the entrance. And take the stairs if you work on an upper-level floor. (Walk one flight up and two flights down, instead of using elevators.)

I also recommend getting outside for a short walk (or swim) at lunchtime. This healthy habit gets you out into the sunshine. And at this time of year, simply spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun will jumpstart your body’s production of vitamin D. Plus, getting out into the fresh air does wonders for reducing stress.

3.) Take a five-minute mindfulness break

Whether you work remotely or in an office, a short mindfulness meditation session during the day can help keep your stress down and improve your focus.

Ultimately, we’re creatures of habit. So, try to schedule your meditation at the same time every day.

And remember, you don’t need to enter a Buddhist Monastery to meditate. You just need five minutes in a quiet space. (To learn more about how to meditate in the midst of your busy life, check out my book with Don McCown called New World Mindfulness.)

4.) Opt for healthy snacks & lunches

As I mentioned yesterday, I found it difficult to consistently stick to a Mediterranean-type diet when I was working in an office. But there are some tricks you can employ to stay on track.

For one, instead of eating out during the work week, commit to packing a lunch. There are some great blogs about how to prepare a week’s worth of lunches at one time over the weekend.

I also suggest enjoying your packed lunch outside in a park.

In addition, instead of sugary drinks, limit yourself to coffee with a little cream, water (preferably spring water bottled at the source in glass), and tea.

If you have tips from your own experience, please send me an email at [email protected] or post a message on my Facebook page.