How often do you find yourself eating at your desk? Is dining al desko putting your health at risk?
According to the American Dietetic Association, 75% of office workers eat lunch at our desks at least two or three times a week. Trying to fit a bit more work in during the day may seem like a good idea, but at what price?
Staying tied to your desk robs your body of the opportunity to move, deprives your brain the opportunity to disengage and recharge and limits your exposure to the sun. Furthermore, the choices for one-handed dining tend to be less than healthy.
Even on the busiest of days, a ten to fifteen minute break for a brisk walk outside and a healthy lunch will be more productive than pounding down whatever can be found in the vending machine while returning e-mails. As the blood sugar drops and eye strain sets in, productivity goes out the window.
Here are some tips to stay productive and healthy:
Starting to fade? Don’t forget to eat and eat well. If you must dine al desko and can plan ahead, pack a healthy lunch rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Low fat yogurt is a great choice for a quick meal or even crackers and cheese.
Tackling a tough problem? Clear your mind by changing your environment. Get up, walk away and disengage from the problem. When you return, the new perspective may result in a solution.
Having a 3:00 pm energy slump? Choose a healthy snack to boost your brain power. Avoid the sugary snacks in the vending machine and choose a handful of nuts or some popcorn.
Eyes beginning to cross? Close your eyes and sit back in your chair. Take ten slow, deep breaths. Letting your eyes rest at least once per hour will help you focus.
Getting a headache? Grab some water! One of the biggest causes of headaches is dehydration. Drink water throughout the day and avoid the salty snacks.
Mood getting gloomy? Just walking outside for a few minutes of fresh air and sunlight will brighten your mood and reenergize your day.
If you find yourself dining al desko regularly, it may be time to access how well you are managing your stress and your time. Periodic time crunches happen, but are you trading your health for something valuable or are you stuck in a rut? You have the right to a break during the day, don’t short yourself.
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com