a healthy lifestyle can be difficult to achieve in and of itself, so
there’s no question that staying healthy is even more tough when you’re
working a full-time job. For those of us that are fortunate* enough to
be working a 9-5 (*insert descriptor you feel is most appropriate); it
can be hard making it to the gym post rush-hour traffic on your way
home; or trying to cook a healthy dinner after a long sluggish day.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
we reverse engineer our current methods of postponing “the healthy
stuff” until after work; and instead incorporate it in our actual
workday – staying healthy might be a bit more attaintable than you
think. A few small habits go a long way, and can lead up to not just
“getting fit”, but creating a healthy lifestyle that keeps you balanced.
1. Pack your lunch
Rule number 1 for all of my fellow corporettes: Pack. Your. Lunch.
You’ve heard it before and I’ll gladly say it again: the easiest way
to stay healthy while working full-time, is to bring your own,
nutritious lunch. Let’s walk through some of the pro’s and con’s of
bringing your lunch to work:
- Pack the healthy food you want, according to your preferences
- Eat a properly portioned and healthy meal
- Save money… a LOT of money.
In other words: win-win-win.
- You don’t get to go out for lunch with that one co-worker you don’t like that much anyway.
(Sounds more like a pro, if you ask me.)
What people often struggle with the most, however, is actually
finding the time to pack their lunch. After a long day at work, no,
you’re not going to want to come home and scrummage through your
tupperware to pack a lunch for the next day. So don’t. Leave the heavy
lifting (aka lunch-packing) for a time you’re full of energy: Sunday’s.
How to: Allocate a couple of hours on a Sunday
(and/or Wednesday) to get a few lunches packed up and ready for your
work week. Or, as I like to call it: get down and dirty with your
Not only does this get you to eat healthy for the week – but you
actually save a significant amount of time, instead of trying to do all
of this night after night during the work week.
2. Bring your water bottle with you, EVERYWHERE
We should all be consuming a minimum of 8 cups of fluids a day.
Now since I’m sure we’ve all got a bit of “overachiever-fever” in us,
why not down a few more cups? It’s important for us to stay hydrated
even while we’re sitting at our desks all day.
How to: Watch out cellphone, we’ve got a new important thang we’re
taking everywhere with us: our water bottles. Everywhere we go, our
water bottle comes too. This includes meetings, coffee breaks, subway
commutes – literally everywhere. You’ll gradually get into the habit of
sipping throughout the day and refilling, and you’ll begin to notice
yourself drinking more and more water overtime. Want to keep it
interesting? Set yourself up for a challenge. Tell yourself you’re going
to consume X bottles of water before 5pm, and track it. This’ll keep
you motivated and encouraged, but most importantly, hydrated.
3. Fit your workout in
Calling all commuters! This one’s for you. Fitting a workout into
your day can be tough, especially when you’ve got a 45+ minute commute
each day to the office. But for those of you that don’t have a long
commute, you might still struggle with finding the perfect combination
of timing x high energy to get a workout in. Commuter or not, we’ve got
How to: Find the best time that works for you to fit
in a gym session, and stick to it. I’m highlighting some of the best
ways below to sneak a workout in to your oh-so-busy day:
(1) First thing in the morning. We’re talking
pre-breakfast, pre-work, and pre-anything! Hit the gym first thing in
the morning and get it out of the way. Now if you’re already struggling
to wake up in the morning’s, this one’s going to take some practice. If
you’ve got a long commute -this one’s likely not for you (Refer to #2 or
(2) During lunch. If you’re lucky enough to have a
gym right near your office, take a lunch break and go get your sweat on.
It’s an easy way to make sure you get to the gym given that it allows
you to get out of the office for a bit too. Too much work and can’t
leave the office? We’ve got a few other options that’ll work for you.
(3) Immediately after work. No, this doesn’t mean go
home, eat dinner, relax, and then if you feel like going you go. We’re
talking straight from the office to the gym. Have your bag packed (along
with some additional snacks) and bring it with you. Make this part of
your routine. For those of you that commute by driving and often get
stuck in rush-hour traffic – this is a perfect way to get your workout
in while avoiding the rush. Join a gym right near your office and go
straight after your workday. Once you’re done your workout, you’ve beat
the rush hour traffic, and you’ll get home with no time wasted and a
(4) Sweat at home. Now for this one: proceed with
caution. There are several great workout guides nowadays that show you
how to get a good workout in right from the comfort of your own home.
Working out at home of course provides you with more flexibility when it
comes to timing. The only issue with this though, is that sometimes
home can be a little too comfortable, which puts you back in
the place you started. It’s easy to skip a workout here and there when
there’s not an actual outside-of-the-home-routine associated with it. I
would suggest getting a good rhythm and routine on your workouts before
you opt-in to “at-home” workouts only.
4. Put yourself first
By now, you’ve got your lunches packed, your water-bottle filled, and
your gym bag all set for tomorrow’s sweaty workout. But there’s just
one more thing you need to help maintain that healthy lifestyle while
working full-time, and that’s mindset.
Your mental health is important. Throughout your workday, it’s
important for you to pay attention to how and what you’re feeling, and put yourself first.
Remember that work is work, and your health always trumps any major
deadline or big deliverable you’ve got going on. If you push yourself
past your limits, you will burnout as a result. Stress,
fatigue, and anxiety are all signs that you might just need a break.
Observe yourself, be aware, and listen to your body, because nothing is
as important as your well-being.
Just remember: caring for your mind is just as important as caring for your body – one can’t be healthy without the other.