It’s all about balance: how to keep yourself healthy without losing time at work
Whilst there is no shame in being a workaholic, spending such long hours at work can sometimes mean sacrificing other parts of your life. You might not feel guilty about missing out on certain social occasions or having to skip your hobbies whilst you work late one night, but you should never compromise on your health just to reach a deadline. In the end, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep you around a lot longer and improve your mental acuity, thereby improving the quality of your work. Your friends and family will forgive you for missing a weekly barbeque or get together, but they won’t be as ready to forget if you put your own life at risk through ignoring your health.
But if you are working such long hours, getting yourself started on a better path can be tricky. At the moment, the media is overrun with advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, but if you are low on time and just don’t know where to start, it’s hard to filter through all the information that’s out there. We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks that will keep your health a top priority, without losing out on the job you love. It’s all about striking the right balance, and with a little bit of effort, you can get both parts of your life on track.
- Be prepared and plan ahead
If you are trying to put the best foot forward with your health, preparation is key. Spending an hour or two on the weekend planning and prepping your meals for the week will save you time in the morning before work, and also save you from being caught out and spending money on fast, but ultimately unhealthy, food on your lunchbreak. There are plenty of resources out there that will help you find the right recipes, and even things that can plan your meals in advance for you. Sticking to a balanced diet will keep you alert, improve your energy levels, and a healthy lunch will help you avoid that post-lunch slump plenty of people fall into.
For tips on how to plan your meals and easy but healthy meal ideas, take a look at BigOven, Evernote Food, and Cook Smarts.
- Stay hydrated
If you haven’t bought a water bottle yet, now is the time to do so. Studies show that we should be drinking around 2L of water a day, and that doesn’t include our coffee intake, as caffeine can actually help cause some of the nasty side effects associated with dehydration. Keeping yourself hydrated is of huge importance if you want to keep yourself alert, and will improve your brain function immensely. You can also boost your metabolism by drinking water, and your body will feel and look a lot better for it.
To help keep yourself motivated with your hydration, check out these apps that track your water intake levels: Waterlogged, Water Your Body, and WaterMinder.
- Stick to a sleep schedule
Keeping healthy is more than diet and exercise. You should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and if you aren’t, you’re putting yourself at risk for a lot of health issues, with increased chances of developing heart issues, diabetes, and mental health problems. In fact, recent studies have shown that getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night can lead you to an early grave, with your chances of developing a debilitating illness increasing by up to 12%. Putting aside the time to get enough sleep will do wonders for your awareness, and those 8 hours will keep you focused at work the next day.
If you want to try tracking your sleep schedule to find a routine that fits, take a look at these apps: Sleep Cycle, Sleep, and Sleep Bot.
- Keep yourself moving
It won’t come as a shock to anyone that exercise is one of the key components of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. But if you have long hours at the office, the last thing you want to do is head to the gym after work, and finding time otherwise can get tricky. Make sure you get yourself out and about on your lunchbreak and go for a wander to stretch your legs and get your heart rate up a bit. Your muscles will thank you for it!
If you have a bit more time on your hands or want to push yourself a bit further in the fitness scheme of things, consider setting your alarm a bit earlier. A morning workout will wake your body up and get your mind on the right track for the day ahead. For ideas of workouts, look to sites like Fitness Blender, which offer 100% free workouts for everyone from beginners to experts, for people who have 5 minutes to spare up to 60 minutes.
To keep track of your fitness, look at apps like the Nike app, PumpUp!, and LoseIt.
Getting yourself on the right path to a healthier lifestyle is difficult, particularly if you have a hectic schedule, but it is incredibly worth making a few changes. There’s no need to cut down on the time spent at work, but with forethought and some extra planning, you can make sure your health comes first. Whilst it might not seem like a lot of fun at the time, your body will thank you for taking the time to think of it, and a packed lunch and a walk around the block on your break might help add a few extra years onto your life.