My Top 3 Ways to Incorporate Health into my Workday
December 16, 2015
By Laurel Walzak
Everywhere I look, people are talking about the dangers of sitting. It is truly inspiring to see that individuals and companies alike are making changes to their workplaces, and realizing the many benefits of taking a break from sitting, incorporating the opportunity for movement and activity into the workplace and promoting healthier eating.
But not all of our time at the office is spent at our desks. How can we think differently about meetings, conference calls and lunch breaks? To me, there are so many opportunities to incorporate health and wellness into our daily lives and especially at work. These are my 3 favourite ways to redefine my time spent in the office to make it healthier and more active and without really thinking about it or taking away from my work-related focus.
Put Some Muscle into It
I am a big believer in strength training, and believe that every workout routine, to be as effective and efficient as possible, should include weights. Therefore, it should be no surprise to those who know me that a Weighted Hand Ball is never far from my reach. I like to keep a 4-pound exercise ball in my office so that it is always available when my hands are free. I sometimes do a few repetitions of bicep curls or overhead extensions, but most often, I simply toss the weighted ball from one hand to the other while I’m talking on the phone or a Skype call. The weight adds resistance to my actions, which has the added benefit of strengthening muscle and burning calories. The movement adds more oxygen to my brain, which has the benefit of greater mental agility.
Pedal While You Sit
Cycling has been a favourite sport of mine for many years. I love the low-impact, high-intensity workout of a spinning class, and I find the rhythmic motion of the spinning pedals to be therapeutic. This is why I was delighted when I first tried Desk Pedals, and learned that I could pedal even while sitting at my desk. Now I can’t work without them. The motion is so fluid and there is almost no sound, so I can keep my legs moving even when the work I’m focusing on requires me to be seated at my desk. These pedals are also great for the evening when I’m catching up on the day’s news, responding to emails or reading a book.
Surround Yourself with Healthy Food
I attended a conference recently where the breakfast table was piled high with donuts. It made me wonder why so often work functions feature unhealthy foods such as pastries and cookies. I firmly believe that if we want to try to avoid these foods, we can’t keep them around. The benefits of healthy eating are indisputable, so why not surround ourselves with healthy foods, such as veggies and fruit or healthy grains, when we want to be alert and productive at work? I make a habit of keeping healthy snacks in my desk, and a policy of ordering healthy food when catering a work event.
Once we start to be healthy in the workplace, we may never go back to a sedentary lifestyle again. How do you stay healthy in your office?
Laurel Walzak is the COO at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your work day.
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.