Drop the Doughnut and Nobody Gets Hurt

Originally published on January 17, 2018 by The Montrose Daily Press 

It’s the New Year and a new you is emerging. Or maybe it was until last week when “Sherry” brought doughnuts, you were hungry and tired, you gave in and before you knew it you were standing there with a half devoured bear claw in your hand and nothing to show for it. Or maybe it’s only me that happens to?

Our physical health is the foundation of everything we do. We spend a great deal of our time working and it is important we implement healthy habits for ourselves while at work. Even a few subtle changes can lead to increased productivity, mental clarity, and fewer sick days in the workplace.

Here are four healthy workplace habits you can start today:

1. If you have a desk job, make getting up every 60 minutes a priority. There are studies claiming “sitting is the new smoking” and studies also show prolonged sitting can lead to diabetes. If you aren’t interested in the effects of either, try setting a timer on your watch, phone or computer as a reminder to get up and walk around the office every hour. This will aid in physical health and also provide a mental reset; keeping you alert and more engaged in your work.

2. Water is life. We’ve heard the benefits over and over and over again. So why do we not drink more water? Start by buying a water bottle you will not mind toting around everywhere you go. Experts recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces. In other words if you weigh 180 pounds, a good goal is 90 ounces of water a day. A really good pairing? Getting up every hour from your desk and filling your water bottle, which should be empty because you’ve been drinking it. And if it is still full, channel your inner college kid and chug a few gulps before heading off to the water cooler.

3. Food prep. Ever heard the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen?” Body composition is 80-90 percent a result of what we put in our mouths. The workplace is a breeding ground for terrible eating choices. You will never escape baked goods, potlucks and the temptation of joining coworkers at Crash Burger twice a week. Instead, set yourself up for success beforehand. The best way? Food prep: Buying all your (healthy) breakfast, lunch and snack choices over the weekend, preparing them, and bringing them to work every day. You won’t be hungry when you see the doughnuts, which will not kill the temptation, but it will make it much easier to say no. Also, when your coworkers are razzing you about Crash Burger, you will have the intrinsic guilt of having already spent the money on your healthy lunch waiting in the fridge.

4. Give it up for 30 days. Whatever it is. You know your vice. Soda, smoking, staying up late watching YouTube. Make a chart at your desk or workstation. Include 30 boxes and check one off every day you’re able to maintain “YouTube sobriety.” The added motivation of not ruining your “streak” paired with the health benefits of giving up your habit will be evident almost immediately.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” –John C. Maxwell

These small daily changes are not difficult. They do take the discipline of making several good decisions over and over again.

Finally, think of your health as an investment. Diseases like cancer, diabetes and even high blood pressure can be financially destructive. Not only will you experience the medical expenses, but there is also the possibility of lost wages. Think of every walk you take, every bottle of water you drink and every healthy meal choice as a deposit in the “lifesaving” account against disease and financial hardship. Having our health is something we so often take advantage of until we no longer have it. Start today.

Chelsea Rosty is the executive director of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce and director of Business Innovation, City of Montrose. Reach her at chelsea@montrosechamber.com.