By Olivia Janisch

Desk life – whether you love it or hate it, it’s a reality for most of us. The habits and routines that we subscribe to all day have a big impact on our overall health and well being. By managing our time and activities in a mindful way, we can support our health and have the opportunity to make a typical day a lot more interesting. Try one or more of the following ways to make your workday more active, simply and effectively.

1. Wake up earlier

Exercising first thing in the morning is great for your metabolism and energy levels, and sets the tone to make more healthy decisions throughout the day. Take 30 minutes to do an online class or take a jog around your neighborhood before the madness of daily life sets in.

2. Create an office challenge

Take the lead and create a challenge with a co-worker or the entire office. By sparking some friendly competition, you create more commitment to your goals and also enhance the office culture. You can do a weight loss goal, see who can take the most steps in a day, do a lunch challenge, or commit to an evening workout together.

3. Take a break every hour

Sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to your metabolism, muscle strength, and longevity. Set an alarm on your phone to take a ten minutes break every hour. Breaking up these long periods will help protect against many of the issues it creates. Walk around, stretch your legs, take a breath of fresh air. It will help you re-focus, ease the strain on your eyes and wrists, and activates your large lower body muscles.

4. Take a meeting on the move

Studies show that walking and talking sparks creativity and actually increases connection to the person you’re walking with. Not only does this enhance a positive working spirit, it burns calories and gets your blood flowing. It also stimulates oxygen flow to your brain which improves your ability to problem solve and come up with novel ideas.

5. Trade happy hour for a fitness class

Learning how to unwind with exercise instead of alcohol is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself. Drinking sugar loaded bevvies after work makes you much more likely to go for those half-off spicy wings, and is the most unhealthy way to end your workday. Bring your gym clothes to work and find some fun classes to get to 3 days a week.

6. Stock your desk the right way

Don’t get stuck buying stuff from the vending machine. It’s full of junk and is the worst thing for your productivity. Eating whole foods will help you stay focused, energized, satiated, and free of toxins and additives. Be smart and load up on hummus, chopped veggies, nuts, raw macaroons, fruit and tea so that you’re prepared when you feel hungry.

7. Use the stairs

Taking the stairs is an efficient way to get your heart rate up quickly and is really good for you. See the stairs as your friend and give yourself a hi-five every time you use them. You’ll soon view the elevator as an unnecessary luxury.

Photo By Alejandro Escamilla

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