Turn Your Work Day Into “Healthy Time”

Sally-Blog.jpg_smallFor most of us, we spend more time at work than anywhere else. So if you’re going to make healthy lifestyle changes, why not use that time? There might be some healthy opportunities you can take advantage of that can make a big difference. To give an example, we asked our employee wellness specialist, Sally, to tell us how she got her wellness ball rolling. Before she was a wellness guru, she had her own health challenges to overcome. Here’s her story:

It all started with a great job I had in Seattle. I was working admissions at the Culinary School at the Art Institute Seattle. Not only was I enveloped in the culinary education of Seattleites, but I was positioned in a foodie’s paradise. The Art Institute is located 2 short blocks from Pikes Place Market, centered between the Belltown and Downtown neighborhoods. Basically this meant that my lunch hour was filled with endless delicious options, whether I cruised the market, visited a 5 star restaurant or perused the kitchens of the culinary school, my passion for great food was quickly fed and fed and fed. In my first two months I gained 15 pounds, and despite the fact that I did regular aerobics, jogs, and soccer, the delicious food was outweighing the exercise (literally).

Things were getting out of hand, so I made the decision to make some permanent changes. It wasn’t easy, but I decided to transform my work time into my healthy time! Here are the steps I took to get healthy at work:

Walk-graphic1) Eating out was substituted with daily walks. Yes, I was surrounded by incredible eating opportunities, but I was also right next to an amazing walking path that wrapped along the Elliott Bay Waterfront. So my extravagant food turned into walks with my co-workers! Not only was it healthy, but recruiting more and more co-workers made it really fun.

2) I came to work prepared.
I realized that I could use that 8.5 hours a day as an opportunity to eat my veggies, take my vitamins, drink my water, and watch my calories. It made perfect sense, I knew what I could expect in a given work day, so it would be easy to add a few healthy habits. With that in mind, I came to work prepared with cut veggies, hummus, nuts, and fruit for snacking all week. I was prepped to eat healthfully all day long!

deskercise3) I deskercised. A lot of my time was spent on the phone, so I looked for ways to shake things up. Using a wireless headset allowed me to pace around my small office, do knee raises or arm movements, all while talking on the phone. Wouldn’t you know that my co-worker across the hall followed my lead (employee wellness was definitely in my near future)!?

These changes weren’t huge, but I made changes that I could consistently keep up. And they worked! Not only was I able to get back down to fighting weight, but my debit card had a minute to chill out and relax!

What other ways do you stay healthy at work? We’d love your ideas, and if we find some commonalities, we’ll craft a post with your “healthy at work” ideas.

To learn more about workplace wellness, check out this infographic: Conquering Wellness at Work 

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  1. Workplace Wellness: 5 Tips to Stay Health in an Office « Million Ideas
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