ThinkstockPhotos-186289621Monday: Take the stairs

Climbing the stairs gives your body an aerobic workout by increasing muscle activity, breathing, and heart rate. This can help you lose weight while improving heart health, increasing healthy HDL cholesterol levels, and increasing energy. You can’t get that by riding the elevator!

To find out how many calories you could burn by taking the stairs for a day, put your age, sex, height and weight, along with the number of minutes you spend on the stairs into the calorie burn calculator and let it crunch the numbers!

Tuesday: Balance your meals

Whether you pack a meal for work or go out to eat with your coworkers, choosing a balanced meal doesn’t have to be complicated, just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Half your plate should be fruits and veggies. Aim for a variety of colors and textures for more nutritive bang for your buck!
  • A quarter of your plate should be whole grains. Whole grains like brown rice, barley, oats, and quinoa are high in healthy fiber and won’t make your blood sugar spike like white breads and pastas do.
  • A quarter of your plate should be healthy proteins. Fish, chicken, beans, and nuts are excellent sources of protein. Steer clear of processed meats like bacon and hot dogs, which are associated with increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Drink lots of water. Replacing juice and soda with water will save you money and cut down on your risk for diabetes and obesity. Plus, staying well-hydrated throughout the day might make you less hungry for unhealthy snacks!

Check out Harvard’s healthy eating website for more great ideas

Wednesday: Safety first!

Improve health and safety at your workplace by following these simple tips:

  • If you see something, do something. A puddle on the floor or a precariously-placed piece of equipment is easy to avoid if you spot it, but if you or someone else doesn’t notice it next time, it could cause an injury. Take the extra minute to fix potential hazards before someone gets hurt.
  • Lift safely. When lifting heavy objects, remember to wear nonskid shoes, move slowly, and bend your legs while keeping your back straight.
  • Educate yourself and others. Do you know what your workplace’s escape routes, meeting spots, and emergency procedures are? How about the location of fire extinguishers? Find out and spread the word now. That way, if there’s an emergency in the future you’ll be prepared.

You can find educational video clips on aspects of workplace safety ranging from carbon monoxide detection to tornado preparedness at OSHA’s website

Thursday: Take a time-out

Studies show that seven out of ten adults in the U.S. experience stress and anxiety daily. Don’t let stress get the better of you! Follow these simple tips to incorporate relaxation into your workday.

  • Get outside. A quick walk outdoors can help you relax, brighten your mood, and be more focused and productive when you return to work. If you can’t get outside, gaze out a window for a screen-free break.
  • Try aromatherapy. Treat yourself to a nice smelling lotion or essential oil. If you’re feeling stressed out, you can dab some on, close your eyes and take a whiff for a relaxing mini-vacation.

Friday: Plan a party!

Get a group of coworkers together and plan a monthly healthy potluck or a lunch hour walking group. Share stories from your day, relax, and most importantly laugh. You’re all in this together!

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