In the fast paced corporate world that many execs live in, the most valuable commodity they have is time. Busy schedules, intense projects, daily meetings and targets to achieve all apply pressure during the working day.
Many of our clients when they first come to meet us are unhealthy and stressed out due to the constant pressure of the working day. However, this can come at a price. It can be exhausting and this can have a detrimental effect on your long term health.
In this blog I’ll share 5 top health hacks for the successful executive.
1. Drink plenty of water
This is a no brainer but the majority of people I meet are dehydrated constantly which has a negative impact on physical and mental performance in the workplace. You wouldn’t expect your car to run efficiently without oil would you? The same applies to us and water.
Ensuring that you are well hydrated at work will also help weight loss. Studies have shown that a litre of water can boost metabolism by 24-30%. You can read more about the wonders of water in the blog Health and Self Care – The Process .
Top Tip: Always keep a large refillable bottle in the workplace and drink at a steady pace throughout the day. As many are out of the habit, using a timer on your phone is a good way to embed a more stable routine.
Another point to note is when you do start to rehydrate yourself properly expect to pee A LOT. This will settle down in around 3 to 5 days.
2. Plan your meals for the day
It can be tempting to snack throughout the day in a busy working environment. Try to avoid this by planning your meals ahead of time and resist the urge to grab convenience foods.
Much like a car your body needs fuel to run. You always have the choice to plan ahead and fill it with nutritious food (premium petrol) or go for the convenience of lower quality processed ‘junk’ food (supermarket petrol).
Concentrating on eating mainly nutrient rich whole foods gives your body what it needs to perform optimally in the workplace and beyond.
3. Move more during the work day
It’s a well known fact that the ever increasing amount of office based jobs out there are making people more sedentary.
Unfortunately, if you’re stuck at a desk all day you’re definitely not going to be as active as someone doing manual labour or a personal trainer 😉. That doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to maximise your movement.
Ask yourself some questions:
Could I walk or cycle to work instead of drive?
Could I leave early for work, missing the rush hour, park a mile away from your work and walk for 10-15 minutes?
Could I get off of the bus / train a stop early?
If the answer is ‘Yes’ to one or more above then why not give them a try?
For some of you in an office environment, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to move while you’re hard at work.
It’s no secret that sitting down all of the time is terrible for your posture and long term physical health. If you want to find out how bad read: The dangers of sitting: why sitting is the new smoking.
Although far from optimal, there are some things that you can do. Let’s start with the obvious… STAND UP! Now I’m not saying stand up for the full working day but how about if you’re making a phone call you just stand up and walk around your desk? It’s not running a 10K but some movement is better than none.
Or how about, instead of phoning or emailing a colleague across the office, walk over and engage with them in person?
Moving on to lunch. How do you usually spend your lunch break? Are you sitting at your desk or in the canteen chatting with your colleagues?
Why not take a walk? Why not take a work colleague with you and have your conversation while moving? This will boost your movement with zero loss in productivity.
Maybe there’s an exercise class you can take after work. Some organisations put on fitness classes to help their colleagues physical wellness. If you have the opportunity to attend a work organised class definitely take it.
Small changes to increase your movement on a daily basis all add up and should benefit your overall physical wellbeing.
Top Tip: If you’re a decision maker in your organisation you may be interested in investing in Uplift desks for your colleagues. These motorised desks can easily be raised and lowered, allowing you to alternate between working and sitting. They are fantastic and growning in popularity amongst employers.
4. Stretch regularly
We’ve all felt that stiff aching feeling when getting up after sitting for an extended period. Of course it’s only temporary. Or is it?
Over time being sedentary can result in loss of muscle and joint flexibility. To combat this it’s as simple introducing a few stretches. You might get some funny looks from your co-workers but before long they will be doing it too, I guarantee you.
Top Tip: I am demonstrating some dynamic stretches in the video below. You might want to incorporate in to your daily routine.
5. Work exercise in to your non-working hours
Points 1-4 will all help you but are no substitute for a thorough exercise programme involving, resistance training.
As we age our muscles gradually deteriorate over time. However, they don’t have to.
A well thought out and consistent resistance training programme really can turn back the hands of time. Just look at some of our success stories and see for yourself.
For those who are new to exercise there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of or intimidated about. You might not know where to start and that’s okay. That’s what personal trainers / fitness coaches are for.
I hope that you have found our ‘Top 5 Work Health Hacks’ useful. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help.
Until next time, “Strength for Life”.
Davie McConnachie, creator of DMC Fitness and Dynamic Mind Conditioning, is an expert health and wellness coach, multi-award winning motivational speaker, award-winning gym owner, writer and published poet.
Athletically, Davie has competed nationally in MMA, Boxing and Thai Boxing, and internationally in kettlebell sport. Davie enjoyed the London Marathon, several half marathons and is a regular mountain trekker.