Ah, sweet summertime! The days are longer, the pools are opened and the food trucks are back out lining the streets. Summer brings us everything we love; from ice cream to beach vacations, grilling and eating outside. However, there is no other time of the year that highlights our unhealthy habits like summertime. The heat dehydrates us quickly, bathing suits can expose our lack of attention to our dieting and the beautiful weather brings extra exercise in swimming, running, walking, etc., that can show how out-of-shape we’ve gotten this winter.
If you’re spending most of your time at work and feeling a little sluggish this summer, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for some easy habits you can break to improve your health this summer, check out these three common office habits and learn how to ditch ‘em.
Eating Out Every Day
That Chipotle around the corner is tempting, I know. For most working Americans, it seems easiest to skip the sack lunch and spend a few bucks on lunch every day. However, eating out for lunch every day isn’t only hard on the wallet, it’s also bad for our health. Eating out generally allows us to choose unhealthier, less balanced options than we could pack for ourselves, not to mention much larger portions. Kick the bad habit and improve your diet by starting a routine to pack your lunch before you’re leaving for work. Meal preparation (aka Meal prepping) is a new trend rising in popularity, and for good reason. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry- click here to learn the basics of meal prepping! Essentially, you can cook your lunches for the entire week in just an hour or two on Sunday night, and you won’t have to work about making lunches for the rest of the week. This gives you the opportunity to cook your favorite healthy, well-balanced meals at a much lower cost. With the internet at your fingertips, there are endless “meal prep recipes” to explore, so spend some time browsing to find the perfect recipes to prep for your workweek!
Sitting All Day
Sitting still for too long isn’t only boring, it’s also bad for both your physical and mental health. Break the habit this summer and get moving! Research shows us that even just walking around the office for a few minutes each hour increases both your productivity and mood significantly. There’s a negative correlation between hours you’re sitting and productivity, so make sure to get a quick walk in to keep your brain fresh. Being stuck sitting at your desk all day not only makes you less productive, but will tire you out much quicker than if you get up and walk around every once in a while. Get up and take a walk around outside for a few minutes; it’s beautiful outside, your legs need the exercise and your brain needs the break.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Recent studies show that up to 75% of American’s are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. Even if you don’t feel dehydrated, if you aren’t drinking around ten cups of water a day, you most likely fall into that category. Dehydration can negatively impact your health and is especially concerning during the summer months full of heat, sweat, and alcohol, which are all catalysts of dehydration. Luckily, this bad habit can be kicked easily; bring a water bottle to work and make a constant effort to be drinking water all day! Drinking water is the easiest way to boost your mood and improve your work performance, especially in the summer when you may be dripping sweat to and from work. Many studies have shown that even the slightest dehydration (when you barely even feel thirsty) can cause your mood to worsen, attention span to drop and fatigue to set in, so a small change in habit to drink more water can go a long way. Stay hydrated by drinking enough water during the workday to watch it do wonders for your health!
Bonus: Keep the Earth Healthy, too!
If the Earth is healthier, we’re going to be healthier, too. Unfortunately, summer is a time in the year that we abuse our earth the most without even realizing we’re doing it.
If you’re making an effort to drink more water during the workday (which you should!), make sure your habit doesn’t include drinking out of a different bottled water or Styrofoam cup every day. Instead, invest in a fun reusable bottle you can bring to work and refill to significantly decrease your carbon footprint at work!
If you’re trying to kick an unhealthy habit, there’s no better time than summer. The days are longer, the fruits and vegetables are fresh, swimsuit season is motivating us, and the weather is just begging you to spend time outside rather than on the couch. Since you spend most of your days at work, it only makes sense to focus on your unhealthy habits at work first. Kicking these three bad habits first are the first steps to a healthier, happier summer!