I’m going to get fit, I thought, as I typed my name into My Fitness Pal for the
first third time (I wouldn’t actually begin my fitness journey for another year). I matter-of-factly answered the app’s prompts – height, age, weight, activity level… activity level? For all intents and purposes, My Fitness Pal considers activity level as an individual’s daily routine – at home, at work, or a combination of both – not including purposeful exercise. Be honest with yourself, my inner fit-girl nudged as my finger hovered from active, to lightly active, and finally, sedentary. I actually had to google “sedentary” to convince myself it applied to my day-to-day. Much to my chagrin, it most certainly did. A graphic designer by trade, 8-10 hours of my day are spent with my nose pressed into my Macbook, perched in a rolling chair, housed in a cubical, situated in an office.
There was a time when I viewed my 9-5 as a limitation to achieving my health and fitness goals. But we all know so-called limitations are often poorly-dressed excuses; and we all know we gotta pay the grocery bills (shout out to my main man Trader Joe!). So what do we do? We work, and we Make. It. Work. Today, my workplace is an extension of my healthy lifestyle, and by implementing theses simple practices, yours can be, too!
- Meal Prep. You’ve read it before (probably from me), “a Sunday well spent brings a week of content.” Truer words have never been written. To make the office a happy, healthy space, we must start outside of the cubicle. Setting aside 2-3 hours on a Sunday to prepare meals for the week makes it easy to pass on the office pizza delivery and prevents pricey lunch-time purchases. Don’t know where to begin? Check out my Meal Prep tips here! (Tip: Pick up a trendy lunch tote to transport your meal prep containers in style.)
- Fill Up First. Walk into your office, greet your coworkers with a smile, and head straight for the water cooler, girl. Before you get lost in your inbox and to-do lists, fill up a tumbler with cold H2O and get to sippin’. Make filling your cup a priority, and you are more likely to continue refilling throughout the day. To support your healthy, active lifestyle, it’s recommended that you consume at least half of your body weight in ounces, per day. Why water? Proper hydration prevents cravings (not today, office donuts), eliminates bloat, metabolizes all those meals you prepped, and improves mental alertness. Not to mention, a mermaid-inspired tumbler or chic S’well bottle is the perfect desk accessory.
- Take a Walk. More often than not, the only breaks we take from our work day are to fuel our post-HIIT hunger. Which, if you’re anything like me, means mindlessly munching on M3, one hand on the keyboard and one hand on the fork. I encourage you to dedicate time (5, 10, 20 minutes) to break from the bustle and get outside, free of distractions. Become aware of your surroundings and let the fresh air flow through your mind and muscles. Chances are, you’ll return to your desk energized, inspired, and ready to take on that tough-to-tackle task you’ve been avoiding.
- Stretch it Out. If you’re reading this from your desk, get back to work! Just kidding 😉 Keep reading and take note of your posture. Are your shoulders tense? Neck pressed forward? Leg tucked up in your chair? Back and core hunched? I find myself in this position far too often, and it’s my cue to get up and stretch! Take it to a private place and extend your gaze to the ceiling. Sweep your hands over head and take a forward fold. Repeat this a few times, wiggling your toes, bending your core, rolling your shoulders or doing whatever feels good for you. Return to your workspace with a refreshed body and mind.
- Personalize and Project. Whether you have a corner office with a view or a quaint middle-of-the-office cubicle, it’s important to make your workspace a vibrant reflection of your balanced lifestyle. From private details like a motivational desktop wallpaper (download here) to #girlboss-inspired desk accessories and stationery, your surroundings will project your Positive Mental Attitude and keep those post-BootyCall endorphins flowing all day long.
- Tone it Up. Workin’ it out doesn’t have to stop while you’re working. Take your fave moves from the gym to the office and fine-tone all day long. Give me 20 calf raises at the water cooler, 15 squats in the restroom, 10 booty kick-backs while M3 is in the microwave, and keep the core engaged from 9-5.