Happy Wednesday! It’s a little bit crazy how fast this week is flying by. I think having so much on my plate over the past few days has kept my mind preoccupied and made time fly by– a much needed change from the long days I’ve been working through over the past few weeks.
To bring you all up to speed on what’s been going on with my life (if you haven’t been around here lately), both of my grandparents are very sick, so majority of my weekends and days for the past two weeks have been really focused on family and road trips to visit them. As emotionally draining as it’s been, I’m thankful to have gotten extra time to spend with these amazing people and appreciate all of the continued thoughts and prayers people have been sending my way.
On a more positive note, running has been going FABULOUSLY lately, which I couldn’t be more stoked about. I’m so thankful to have such an awesome coach to guide me through this recovery process and help me get up to speed (pun intended) with my training without overdoing it, which I so often do. In fact, I just signed up for my first race of the season– the Snoqualmie Valley 10K– with Bart in a just a few short weeks and can’t wait to get back to racing and attack my first trail run. Woohoo! For those of you around the area who may be interested in throwing a 10K on the calendar this June, click here to register. You can get an additional 10% discount if you enter the promo code: BLONDEFITFOODIE.
Now onto our topic for the day– maintaining your fitness level while working your 9 to 5 desk job. During my internship last summer at my company, one of my mentors warned me that sitting at a desk all day would start to do crazy things to the body over time. She said although the changes weren’t immediate, she noticed how she slowly started to get a lot more pain in her back and joints from sitting all day at work, plus sitting in the car on her long commute home. As a runner herself, she applauded my dedication to my runs each morning and told me to never lose sight of how important this exercise time is for your overall well-being, no matter how crazy work may be.
As I start to approach my 1-year work-a-versary, I’ve taken a little time to reflect on how much I’ve grown in my career and what lessons I’ve learned that would be helpful for someone just starting out in the business world. While I have loads of advice on career-related things, I wanted to focus on tips and tricks I’ve learned to incorporate into my daily routine in order continue feeling good and healthy for all of you blog readers. While you may not be able to make all of these changes at the same time, this is definitely a list to get you thinking about what little tweaks you can make in your own routine to stay feeling good after long days at work!
1. Drink more water
As a college athlete, I never really had to think about staying hydrated in college. I brought my giant, reusable Gatorade water bottle with me everywhere and continually sipped off of it throughout the day without having to think twice. Plus, I drank more than my fair share of water before and after tough workouts to re-hydrate. Once I entered the working world though, I found coffee became my go-to beverage. Early mornings made me super sleepy, so I pounded back coffee all morning until noon and then would get too busy with work-related tasks to remember to drink water. Now, I make sure to keep my huge water tumbler with me everywhere I go and sip on it even alongside my coffee in the mornings. My goal is always to work through at least 2 refills of my huge 24 oz. Starbucks tumbler each day before I go home (and yes–that means sometimes I chug water the last 20 minutes of my day when I forget 🙂 ). So far, this change has helped prevent headaches in the afternoon and has helped me feel much less sluggish by 5PM. Total win!
2. Take Breaks
I am definitely someone who falls victim to getting sucked into a task and not leaving my desk until it’s finished. In my first few months at work, I was shocked how fast time would fly when I’d be extremely focused on finishing a project, but I always found myself completely exhausted afterwards. Now, I focus on getting up at least once per hour–whether that be taking a trip to the kitchen to refill my water bottle or just walking around my floor for a few minutes– and I’ve noticed it works wonders! I’m able to get my mind flowing a little more and have actually found I’ve generated really good ideas while getting up, moving around, and de-connecting from technology for a few minutes. My favorite breaks are at lunch, where I make sure to get outside and take about a 15-minute walk around my campus. A little fresh air does the body good!
3. Get an Adjustable Desk (if you can)
I’m lucky enough to work at a company that lets you order an adjustable standing desk if you request it. I got my desk about 3 weeks ago and can already tell a HUGE difference in how I feel overall. Being able to stand during the day rather than slouch over my computer at my desk has helped prevent lower-back pain (which was starting to become a normal thing) and has really helped as I focus on strengthening my hips and core for running. My Physical Therapist instructed me to try switching from sitting to standing every hour to avoid becoming fatigued from standing too long and I’ve noticed it totally works! If you have the option to get this, I recommend doing it as soon as possible!
4. Bring healthy snacks and eat nutrition-filled meals (most of the time…)
I’ve learned that corporate America isn’t much different from high school or college life– people enjoy food, people work for food, so people will bring good food to spread the love. My office is notorious for bring donuts every Friday, cakes on birthdays, and all sorts of other treats from time to time. While I’m not telling you to skip this all the time ( I mean donuts are a great way to kick off a Friday and I’m never one to skip a free cookie every now and then), it’s good to focus on eating healthier snacks instead sometimes. I make sure to bring yummy and healthy options like an apple with peanut butter, a greek yogurt, or KIND bars with me every day to curb my 3PM hunger strike and focus on eating nutritious lunches and breakfasts most days of the week. I typically eat out for lunch once a week just to spice things up a bit and this seems to be working great for me! It’s all about moderation people! 🙂
5. Prioritize your Workouts
Now I’m not saying to skip meetings or leave work early to get over to your favorite spin class everyday– that’s obviously not a good idea if you’re looking to keep your job! But it’s definitely important to try to fit realistic workouts into your schedule regularly and try to hold yourself accountable for them. Some people block out their lunch hour and hit the gym for a quick run on the treadmill. Some get up early and go on runs before work (me!). And some people sign up for an after-work yoga session to stretch out and relax. Whatever is your jam, do your best to stick to it–even if it’s just one or two times a week! You’ll feel loads better and it’s always nice to have a little time for yourself.
So far, these 5 little tricks have made a huge difference in how I feel everyday. My goal for you is to try out one of these little changes this week and see if it helps you feel better too!
Have a fabulous day!