It’s a safe guess to say that you spend almost the entirety of your workday sitting and working in front of a computer. Your job is likely stressful as well. The combination of being relatively stagnant and stressed out for 8 hours or more a day is not good for your health.
In fact, sitting for long periods of time without moving around is a lethal occupational hazard. The good news is that it does’t take a drastic level of change to improve your health and fitness.
If you’re an engineer then you’re likely focused on innovating and optimizing various systems to maximize their level of efficiency and performance.
Turning this concept inward, when you take on weight training, cardio and healthy nutrition in an effort to optimize your health and fitness, you begin to maximize your wellbeing, work productivity and life satisfaction.
Fitness training and nutrition optimizes the whole of you on so many levels that it’s a no-brainer: decreased stress, sickness and body fat; increased muscularity, stamina, focus, mental clarity, confidence, energy, wellbeing and productivity just to name a few.
It’s important to note that mental strength and physical strength are interconnected. Developing a stronger body will also help you further strengthen various functions of the mind, and vice versa. Mind and body are truly a holistic unit.
Take these simple steps to get into the best shape of your life:
1. START SIMPLE AND EASY
Make your goals S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If you don’t want to join the gym just yet, you can begin by performing exercises around your desk or going outside and taking a 30 minute walk or jog.
Beginning with and accomplishing smaller initial fitness goals will set you up to take on bigger fitness goals.
2. PREP AND PACK YOUR LUNCH
Start your day off with a healthy breakfast. The night before, go grocery shopping and prepare a nutritious meal or two for tomorrow’s workday. When you sit in front of a computer and do brain work most of the day, it’s very easy to munch on unhealthy snacks.
Pack in some health snacks and if you’re feeling hungry, eat one of your prepared meals. Drink more water as well. Many times when you start munching, it’s because of thirst, not hunger.
3. FOCUS ON YOUR POSTURE
Sitting most of the hours of the day causes a host of health issues. When you sit so much you can start to develop a hunch and other posture issues.
Workout the back and shoulder muscles to prevent hunching and to improve your posture. You can start with push ups, dips and pull ups and then progress to weight training. Also become aware of your posture and sit up straight. Don’t hunch.
4. UTILIZE THE STAIRS:
Escalate your level of physical activity by skipping the elevator. Take the stairs instead. Walk up and down the stairs as you enter and exit your office building. You can also do an intense cardio and leg workout in the stairwell.
5. RECRUIT AN OFFICE TRAINING PARTNER:
Recruit a friend at your office who wants to get fit and healthier as well. Join a nearby gym together. This will make getting fit a team effort. Going to the gym with your office friend will make working out a fun challenge and you can hold each other accountable at the office as well.
6. FIND A GYM NEAR YOUR OFFICE
If you work in a metropolitan area, then there should be multiple commercial gyms near your office. Sign up at one of them and get in a quick 60 minute workout after work before you head home.
Also, the gym isn’t your only choice. If you used to play football or basketball, get people together or find people around town who play regularly and join in with them. Or join a dance, yoga, martial arts or pilates class. The key is to get active and moving.
7. WORKOUT AT LUNCHTIME:
If you don’t want to workout after work, you can workout during your lunch hour. If you plan it right, you should have enough time to get in a solid 45 minute workout and it should be efficient too since the gym won’t be that busy at that time. Have one of your prepped meals at your desk after your lunchtime workout.
8. FOCUS ON RELAXATION
Stress wreaks havoc on your health. Become conscious of the stress and tension in your workday. Taking conscious steps toward relaxation will go a long way at improving your long term health.
Learn breathing exercises to quickly get you relaxed when you feel stressed out. Utilize the dual power of breathing exercises and working out.
9. SLEEP MORE AND GET AWAY
Get more sleep. Get consistent 8 hours of sleep. If you’ve been slaving away at work, take a vacation. Take some time off and travel somewhere fun and interesting.
10. GET EMPOWERED AND DON’T GIVE UP:
Pay more attention to the nutritional content of the foods you buy and eat. Also remember, you’re bound to slip up at times. That’s ok. If you skip a workout some days and eat bad other days, just get back on track and keep going.
No isolated bad eating or inactivity will derail your fitness progress. Let yourself have some slip ups and keep at it.