As life gets busier especially leading up to Christmas, our general health can take a downward slide. So, here's 10 simple healthy lifestyle options that can be incorporated into even the busiest work schedule and have you feeling good about yourself in no time...
- Eat a wholegrain cereal for breakfast
It will not take any longer than a piece of toast and you will be well on your way to meeting your daily requirement for fibre, not to mention helping to prevent heart disease, bowel cancer and a myriad of other illnesses.
- Replace one coffee with a juice
We know you feel you need all that caffeine but really you don't. Replacing just one coffee with a freshly squeezed juice will give you a vitamin boost and sustain higher energy levels in the long run.
- Get the flu shot
Around March, the year's flu shot becomes available. Often workplaces make them freely available to employees but even if you have to invest in one yourself - consider doing it. It's got something to do with a stitch in time, or an ounce of prevention or some similar cliché that has you taking 10 minutes out of your busy day to help prevent weeks of illness.
- Pay attention to posture
Slouched shoulders, rounded back, twisted neck can all cause significant strain and pain and have you feeling decrepit, tired and miserable. Watch how you sit, stand and lift. It takes no time at all and prevents a whole heap of misery.
- Ten minutes of sunshine
We need vitamin D for everything from healthy bones to a strong immune system. However more and more studies are revealing how many of us are vitamin D deficient, even here in sunny Australia. Spending much of the day indoors is particularly risky but you don't need much sun to boost your vitamin D levels. Just 10 minutes of bright sunshine on your face and hands will do the trick.
- Water, water
Two litres a day is the general recommendation. Get a big bottle and a glass and put it on your desk from the start of the day. You'll drink it if it's there and that will be another 'daily requirement' you can tick off your list with very little effort required.
- Don't email office colleagues
We're not recommending social isolation here – rather get up and talk to them face to face. Generally speaking it will be just as quick and it will also help you avoid that common but very unhealthy practice – prolonged sitting.
- Healthy snack food
Even though you might not be doing anything terribly physical in your everyday working environment, just using your brain can make you feel peckish from time to time. Keep a stash of healthy dried fruit and nuts at hand for just such emergencies. Good for your health, your waistline and your conscience (no sneaky chocolate bars at 3pm).
- Watch your eyes
Staring at a computer screen for hours at a time will not only cause eye strain but can also lead to headaches and a sore neck. Simply focusing on some distant object at regular intervals can help prevent this problem, - this and correcting your posture.
- Opportunistic squeezing
One for the women. A strong pelvic floor is like reinforcement at the bottom of your shopping bag – we're sure you'd rather not wee when you cough or have to race to the toilet as soon as you get the urge to go. Pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened just by regularly squeezing them as though you are trying to stop a wee – hold for a few seconds and release. Nobody can tell you're doing them and it's something that can be done while sitting in the bus or when you're stuck in traffic.