Provided by: Laurel Dierking, M.Ed., NFPT, 200YT
Our bodies were built for movement. Sitting for hours on end not only slows our body’s natural internal process (digestion, metabolism, circulation, brain functioning, elimination, etc.), but it also goes against our primal and innate design. In order to keep your mind functioning optimally, adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise are absolutely essential. Although working 8 to 5 can be a limiting factor in attaining these vital necessitates, there are healthy habits that can be incorporated into our work environments to aid in providing the body what it so desperately needs.
Taking your thirty minute or more lunch break is one healthy habit that has proven to be beneficial. Sitting through lunch is a common routine for many individuals working in a stressful, desk-job environment. Whether it is because you are hidden behind piles of paperwork, or you want to get off work early, working through your lunch can cause long-term metabolic changes in your body which will influence your heart health, weight-maintenance, and overall stress levels. Often-times the excuse may be, “I don’t feel hungry’, but if we are more absorbed in what is going on externally rather than internally, our body’s communication of hunger will easily go unnoticed. Try taking 5 to 10 minutes of your lunch break by getting up and going for a brisk walk and then take the remaining time to eat a healthy meal. Doing so will not only keep your body’s metabolism from slowing, but it will also provide valuable nutrients to your hungry body. Not only that, but the brisk walk will pump oxygen to your brain and also allow yourself a mental break from your work which will more than likely increase your productivity later. This little break has been empirically proven to boost memory, increase productivity, and most importantly improve your mood.