TAKE A FEW EXTRA STEP TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH DAY.

Hard work builds character, pays the bills and may even be good for the soul. But recent research shows that some aspects of work life—the stress, long hours, missed sleep and constant sitting—is terrible for our bodies and general well-being. Many of us spend a lot of time in an office—a place that encourages a sedentary lifestyle punctuated by sugary snacks. Here are some easy hacks to help keep you moving and a little more fit around the office.

PARKING DISTANCE

Getting that parking spot next to the main entrance may not be such a prize after all.  Taking a little walk is a much better choice.  So, do your body a favor and park as far from the door as possible and take a few extra steps. Pick a remote parking spot or even down the street from your destination and take a little walk.  This little trick will make the extra steps add up and help you be healthier.

CLIMB THE STAIRS

We can all handle some good old stair climbing.  Just because a building had an elevator, does not render the stair unusable.   You will be surprised how quickly your start climbing endurance improves if you pick the stair case instead of pressing the elevator button.  Your apartment, condo, or office can take the place of the stair master at the gym.

BRING YOUR OWN MEAL

Although there are more healthy restaurants and take-out places, nothing beats a healthy meal prepared at home, where you pick your ingredients and decide how much sugar, fat, and salt.  Knowing what you eat and what is added to your food make a huge different in your overall food intake and quality of your meal.   Then there is the obvious pocket book health, as its much more affordable.

PACK HEALTHY SNACKS

As the day drags on and your hunger increases, we will all naturally pick a quick snack of whatever is available.  So, even if you don’t like donuts, you will eat a donut come 5 p.m. if you’re starving. The key is not to be starving. Bring small snacks like almonds, fruit and protein bars to work or having them available at home, so when our willpower gets weak.  Just Keep a few healthy snacks on hand in case of emergency and avoid the unhealthy choice when the craving kicks in.

WHY NOT HOLD “WALKING” MEETINGS?

This is actually one of my favorite times of my day.  Rather then gathering in a meeting room, grab you co-workers, get our in the fresh air take hold your meeting while taking a nice walk.  This is a great way to enjoy being outdoors, get a little exercise and bond with your co-workers.  Apply the same to your phone calls at after work.  Take a stroll while you talk and you will be surprised by all the benefits you get.

TAKE A BREAK

Recent medical research shows a clear correlation between sitting and heart disease. We all know we need to get up and move, but it’s easy to get lost in work and let the hours roll by. Set your an alert every 90 minutes or so to remind you to get up, move around a bit, look away from your screens, and do some stretching. Stretch your arms, hands, shoulders, and work all the way down to your quads and calves if you can by the end of the day.

MAKE A CHANGE TO YOUR COMMUTE

In some places, biking or walking to work is simply not an option. But if you can swing it (perhaps with an assist from public transit), challenge yourself to get to work under your own power, starting with just once a month. You will arrive feeling empowered, energized and ready to take on the day. (Pack an extra shirt as needed.)