How to help stay fit at work

Being busy at work is a structure to our lives that the majority of us rely on, but having a demanding schedule inside and outside of work can move keeping fit way down your list or priorities. However, looking after the health and wellbeing of number one should be our main priority, and where do we spend most of our time? At work. Bluecrest Health Screening reviews some top tips to keeping fit:

The commute
Your daily routine of attending work most certainly involves some sort of travel. This must be done, by a certain time of day, every day. A few small tweaks to your journey into work can really expose you to a lot more activeness still within the allotted time of work. Try cycling to work, as many employers adopt a cycle to work scheme. Walking to work is even more manageable – park a greater distance away or get off the bus one stop further away and walk the rest of your journey. This will allow you to increase your aerobic capacity, feel the fresh air and clear your mind before you start your day at the office.

There is no escalator to success…
If you are office-based then the likelihood is that your building has numerous levels – here is your chance to get started. Using the lift or escalator is cheating yourself out of a good daily form of exercise. Use the stairs as often as possible, moving around the building or returning to the building from meetings could mean you uses the stairs two or three times a day, which is great news for your metabolism.

Meetings on the Move
If you have a meeting with a colleague or line manager then does it really need to be held at a desk? Wellbeing meetings, or keeping in touch hours, can easily be held on the move. Suggest meeting with your colleague and taking a walk around the block or to the coffee shop on the other side of premises. Your meetings don’t have to be sedentary, you can catch up on the go.

Use Others
Motivation is key here, the responsibility of sticking to an appointment made with a colleague to meet them at lunch is often enough to keep you going. By arranging to go for a walk, swim a few laps of the pool, organising a burpee challenge for all or meeting after work to attend a class is enough to keep you motivated and in a good frame of mind. If there are at least two of you that have agreed this, then the power of two is often enough to keep these good habits up.

Tool Up!
A few slight changes to your office environment could be all you need to encourage the increase of your heart rate or engage a few extra muscles. Could you swap your office chair for a large exercise ball for the majority of your day? The stability and core muscles required to do this would burn off lunchtime calories in no time. Another popular change is using ankle and wrist weights to your walks in and around work. This again increases your heart rate and metabolism to a healthy level and believe it or not, you may even start to make excuses to walk around and use them.

Water in Work
This is an easy one, once you have purchased a 1 litre BPA free water bottle then keep this on your desk. Aim to drink around 2 litres per day in work, and try and get into the habit that every time you look at your bottle if its empty fill it up and if it’s full, drink some. This way water can be a key part of your day. Oh, by the way, drinking water not only hydrates you but maintains the balance of body fluids, improves skin, energises you, helps control your calories and contributes towards good digestion in turn supporting gut health.

Stop the Salt
Salt, or its chemical component sodium, I should say, is a main contributor to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure and stress at work is too much of a common theme in our modern world of work. In addition to this, too much sodium disrupts the balance of fluid in the body – this higher volume of fluids results in the heart working harder to pump the blood and flush the body, increasing your blood pressure. Processed foods are the number one contributor to a high salt diet – extraordinary and unnecessary volumes of salt are used in processed foods, so eating a lot of processed food can quickly increase your salt intake to an unhealthy number. Stay away from the microwave meals at lunch time and try to cook your own meals either during your lunch break or the night before, as there is no way you can match the amount of salt in processed food in your own cooking.

Melons in the Morning
The trusted watermelon can help lower blood pressure. An organic compound called citrullines is found here and once ingested this leads to the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide encourages your body to widen blood vessels, which lowers resistance in your veins. The wider opening will allow blood to flow smoothly and easily, lowering pressure. This is very important for office jobs that don’t offer much time to move around. Eat your melons whilst walking to work, or walking around your office for a break.

Cardamom Tea for Two
Cardamom tea combined with ginger and cinnamon, both warming spices that improve your circulation, can make a lovely tea to help your heart get healthy. Black tea also improves blood pressure in some instances most likely due to a concentration of flavonoid, and don’t forget that this (along with the melons) will also contribute towards your daily water intake.

Coffee Lovers
Caffeine drinks that boost your caffeine intake can result in an increase in blood pressure, and if this caffeine is not used up by the body during office hours this can be detrimental to your health. If you suffer with high blood pressure usually and have a sedentary working role then high caffeine intake can have an even greater negative effect on your wellbeing, specifically your blood pressure, than someone with a regular pressure. A well timed coffee can be beneficial, for example an hour before exercise to help give your workout the boost you need, but regular intake and little excuse will be no good. Green tea has been found in some studies to reduce blood pressure, put a box of green tea on your desk and drink up, as again this contributes to your water intake as well as all the additional benefits.