Having a [sometimes demanding] career and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be tricky.  Trust me, I’ve been navigating the path for just about four months now.

Let me back up for a minute.  I’ve actually had an 8-5ish job for 10 years now…that’s nothing new.  However, the part that’s new to me is having a job where I have to commute to an office that’s also home to more than one other coworker.  In a foodie city (Chicago donuts are no joke) at that!  I haven’t done that in years.

So imagine my surprise when a few unhealthy habits turned into feeling sluggish and a bit more puffy than preferred.  I quickly realized that in order to make this new (can I still call it that?!) routine work, I needed to go back to the basics.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not complicated.  It’s actually very simple.  The hard part is sticking to it and making it a way of life.  At the end of the day, it’s all about balance and figuring out what works for you.

Bringing your lunch to work

African Peanut Stew + black bean brownies at work!

With that, here are the 9 common sense tips for how to stay healthy with an 8-5 that resonate with me a lot.  These are all things I’m starting to do on a more regular basis to feel healthy and energized (most of the time).

  1. Get your butt out of bed in the morning and exercise.  There’s no way to get around this one.  I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t leave your workout to the evening.  Find what works for you and get it out of the way in the AM.  This post includes some helpful tips!
  2. Strive to get steps whenever possible.  Personally, I walk to the train in the morning.  When possible, I walk home in the evening.  I walk as much as possible while at work (my #1 tip is to take the long route to the restroom).  Even if you drive to work, park far away, take the stairs, etc.  It’s not always easy to rack up lots of steps throughout the day, but with some intentional effort, you’ll be at 10,000 steps no time.
  3. If possible, stand and work.  Or at the very least, stand up every now and then and stretch.
  4. Bring your lunch whenever possible.  This one is a no brainer.  It’s good for your belly and good for your wallet.  Win, win!  Also, pack it the night before to avoid the morning madness.  This will also ensure you have zero excuses to eat out for lunch.
  5. Pack healthy snacks.  Grapes, apples, Larabars, popcorn, carrots, homemade goodies!  Having healthy snacks on hand and ready to munch on will keep your hand out of the candy jar.
  6. Drink a A LOT of water.  We have an awesome water fountain at work that dispenses both regular and sparkling water.  I love it so much!  H2o = hydration + steps (to the rest room).  WIN!
  7. Tell your coworkers about the healthy habits you’re trying to build.  Not everyone wants to hear about your healthy lifestyle…that’s fair.  Instead, win them over to the lite side (haha!) by bringing in healthy goodies.  For example, I baked black bean brownies the other day and brought some in for everyone to try.  They were a huge hit!
  8. When you do eat out for lunch, choose wisely.  Try to take a peak at the menu ahead of time and/or share a meal with a coworker.  Don’t feel like you have to ban the restaurant life in exchange for a healthy lifestyle!  Just go in a little more prepared and make good choices.
  9. Cut yourself some slack every now and then and enjoy the donut!

Your turn – what are your healthy living tips?  If you work an 8-5, what’s your #1 tip for staying healthy on a day-to-day basis?

By Parita

4 thoughts on “9 Common Sense Tips for How to Stay Healthy with an 8-5”
  1. Yes to a LOT of water and standing when possible! My team seems to have potlucks often, so I tend to schedule a gym session or a walk with someone from a different team during that time if I know I would be tempted to eat things I don’t really want or need. It is sort of anti-social, but by the time I get back, everyone is usually moaning about how they ate too much and don’t feel good- I always feel great!

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