‘I just don’t have the time!’ is something that we catch ourselves saying so often, especially when it comes to important things like looking after our health and wellbeing. However there are loads of small, simple changes we can make to our routine which will provide us with more energy, greater mental clarity and even free up some much needed spare time in the evenings.
Trial and error
I used to dread trying to force myself to get off the couch and go to the gym in the evening. I tried getting up before work, which certainly helped, but again was quite sporadic. Then I decided to start going for a lunchtime run instead, this developed into me jogging to the gym, training for 30 minutes and jogging back. This was 3 years ago, and I still train, on average 3-4 times per week at lunchtime.
This has become my new routine. To be honest, I wouldn’t know what to do with a 60 minute lunch break that didn’t involve some form of exercise; be it a walk, run or a gym session. I train with a work colleague or on my own, and this provides me with the majority of my physical exercise for the week, freeing up the evenings for myself.
You can start off small as well. This can simply be going for a 20-30 minute walk, or a run if you feel up for it. Or maybe a gym session or a gym class. Bring a friend or a co-worker along for company and extra motivation.
The most important thing with all forms of exercise is consistency, which means choosing whichever form of exercise you can maintain in the long term to ensure you continually progress.
It’s also fantastic to get out of the office and break up the day, I find that I am more energetic in the afternoons after exercise and I never suffer from the typical 3pm slump and subsequent trips to the vending machine.
Prep your lunches
Another very simple step towards better health, body composition, increased focus and mental wellbeing is bringing your own food to work. We constantly see people posting pictures of their ‘meal prep’ and assume that this must take an extraordinary amount of time and dedication. However the entire basis of batch cooking or preparing meals is to save time and ensure that you always have a healthy nutritious option available.
Batch cook a nutritious meal that you enjoy and that’s easy to make, divide into 4 or 5 small portions that you can bring to work in handy containers. This can be anything from soups and salads to curries.
Not only does this ensure that you can regulate your food intake as you are in charge of the portions and the ingredients, it should also save a lot of money rather than buying food daily.
The other part of this simple process of keeping enough food with you at work to avoid snacking is to bring in some healthy snacks and keep them near your work space to avoid over indulging in typical convenient snacks that are usually loaded with sugar.
Any nutritious snacks will be suitable for this, but some examples include bringing in fruit (fresh or dried), nuts, Greek yoghurt, granola (low sugar options), protein bars etc.
Just pick options that will keep you fuller for longer. High protein options will provide more satiety and usually help greatly with cravings. For the more adventurous, there are thousands of recipes online that provide sugar free or guilt free alternatives to your favourite snacks such as brownies, cupcakes, peanut butter cups and even healthy ‘snickers’ and jaffa cakes. These are also a great way to impress your co-workers and can help spread a healthy atmosphere in your workplace. Some of my favourite sites include thebigmansworld.com; snacknation.com/blog/healthy-office-snacks/ & delish.com/cooking/nutrition
Colin Rocket is an employee at KBC Bank Ireland and a qualified PT. KBC is the headliner sponsor of WellFest 2018, for more information and to book tickets, head to wellfest.ie.