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Business Strategy How Leading a Healthy Lifestyle Makes You More Effective at Work

What on Earth does eating spinach have to do with being an effective and productive member of a team? Everything!

Our lifestyle choices have a huge impact on our mood, energy levels and even our memory. Have you ever noticed that when you eat a bacon cheeseburger with a side of poutine and a cola, for the rest of the day you feel exhausted, heavy and distracted? How about when you eat a meal with greens, protein and healthy carbs? I bet you feel light on your feet, energized and ready to tackle whatever may come your way!

Same goes for physical activity. I am not saying go out and run a marathon every weekend! We don’t all have to be extreme athletes. Physical activity stimulates your mind and body. Physical activity also helps your body turn food into fuel to help burn the excess nutrition off and to energize you.

Again I don’t think you need to eat like a rabbit and be an Olympic athlete – that lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But here are some helpful and simple tips to help you get through your days on the job feeling positive, motivated and productive;

  1. Drink water with lemon in the morning. It helps to jump start your system and give you a good start to the day. Sugary donuts and coffee actually do the opposite once the sugar and caffeine rush wear off.
  2. Eat breakfast! There is a reason this has been named the most important meal of the day! This should also be your biggest meal to help you jump start your metabolism and help you feel more satisfied and energized throughout the day. Even if you miss your 9am coffee.
  3. Drink your coffee at 9 or 10 am instead of first thing. Hydrate with lots of water in the morning to help your body re hydrate after 8 hours of rest. Caffeine actually has a better effect when you’re hydrated and a bit more awake. It will also help your body not rely on it to get out of bed.
  4. Get 8 hours of rest every night. Your body needs time to recover after a stressful day on the job. Make this a priority or your body and mind will suffer, and you will be the grumpy head at the office who everyone dreads!
  5. Try to step away from your desk and take a walk around the building or the block. Bonus! Take a walk to the water cooler and fill up on water to stay hydrated, and keep your body moving throughout the day! I always try to find a reason to walk down and back up the stairs a couple times a day or quickly eat lunch and go walk around the block. Not only is it great to keep your body moving, but it will also keep your mind refreshed and ready to take on the next task!
  6. Utilize your core while you are sitting at your desk. Try to remind yourself not to slouch so much. Engage those core muscles and sit up straight, maybe even lift your knees to touch your desk. Simple and discreet things will help your body out so much.
  7. When you have your morning cup of coffee trade your sugar for locally sourced honey. Not only is your body unable to efficiently digest white sugar, locally sourced honey has natural anti- bodies to help your body stay healthy and not take on every bug that travels through the office.
  8. Keep a bowl of fruit on your desk! This helps me stay away from the dreaded vending machine when I am feeling snacky. I also always keep a cucumber or carrots and hummus in the fridge to keep my hand out of the chip bag.
  9. Make extra dinner at home, and bring your leftovers to work for lunch the next day. I love leftovers… I know not everyone does though. This helps me stay away from getting takeout or hitting the local sandwich shop… which of course has to sell the best darn pie in the world.
  10. When you leave the office try to get in some physical activity. I know if I go home right after work I am staying there. So I bring a change of clothes with me every morning and hit the stables and go for a ride or bring my swim gear and hit the pool right after work. Even just going for a walk is a great way to de-stress and end your day in a happier mood and not hold on to the stress of work. Going home stressed out is never fun. Disconnect from the office and head home relaxed so you can enjoy your home and your family or friends and hit the job the next day feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another day.

These are small changes we can all start to include in our daily routine. For me getting a good night’s sleep and spending time outdoors are imperative to my happiness in the office and at home. I know that without those two things I am super grumpy and anxious. Know your body and listen to what it’s telling you, so you can give yourself what you need to be more productive, roll with the punches and be more effective on the job.

What are your secrets? I would love to know!