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Level 7

Wellness Works (09/21/17): When We Embrace Balance, We All Work Better

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Welcome to Wellness Works!

First, a question: Do you mentally race through the every day, frantically clicking, tapping and swiping your way through a never-ending flow of information, requests and “need-it-yesterday” deadlines? At the same time, do you feel Super-Glued to your desk chair, barely moving a muscle from morning until night? (Sorry, those tiny mousing muscles don’t count!)

If this sounds familiar, join the club. As a fitness and nutrition expert running my own business, I know first-hand that working for yourself translates as doing whatever it takes to get the job done. But the truth is, we all benefit – in so many ways! – from regularly slowing down our mind and speeding up our body. And let’s face it: Resiting that giant chocolate chip cookie every afternoon helps, too.

I’ve created Wellness Works to help you achieve a healthful balance between your mind, your body and your fuel. Each week, I’ll offer up tips and strategies for mental, physical and nutritional alignment. The way I see it, when those three systems are ready and raring to go, you’ll run your business better than ever.

Your mind

One of my favorite ways to take a mental time-out is with Headspace, an app offering short guided meditations on everything from productivity, focus and stress to self-esteem, motivation and relationships. Access some content for free or sign up for a paid subscription for both series and individual meditations.

Balance booster: If, like me, you love putting a checkmark next to completed items on your to-do list, you might groove on Headspace’s tracking tool. It keeps tabs on how many days in a row you meditate and which may help you keep up with your commitment!

Your body

Folks, you need to stand up and stretch every hour. Set a timer, have Siri remind you, download an app – do whatever it takes to get yourself out of your chair every 60 minutes, no matter what!

Now that you’re up, let’s move this way:

  • Stand up and sit down in your chair ten times in a row. Keep your movements controlled and smooth, and engage (tighten) your core so you don’t simply collapse into the chair.
  • After the last rep, stay standing and do ten jumping jacks. Modify the exercise as needed by stepping side to side.
  • Remain standing with feet hip-distance apart. Lift your heels up and down for ten reps to help with blood flow and ankle mobility, using your chair for balance if needed.
  • Finally, give your hard working hands and fingers some love. With arms stretched out in front of your chest, open and close your hands ten times. Spread your fingers wide when you open your hands.

Note: I recommend repeating these simple moves fives times every hour, on the hour.

Balance booster: Try to squeeze in a midday or late-afternoon walk around your neighborhood. Ah, fresh air!

By doing these simple activities, you’ll clear your mind, shift your eyes from a screen, take some much needed deep breaths, and stretch and strengthen your muscles. Congratulations!

Your fuel

Those of us who sit at a desk all day know we’re not exactly burning tons of calories as we type. When we reach for snacks, we should think about fueling our body (and brain!) with nutrient-dense foods. Next time you’re feeling snacky, drink 8 ounces of water. This helps you figure out if you’re dehydrated, truly hungry or, perhaps, just a little bored. Give yourself 15-30 minutes to digest the H2O before you decide to eat.

If you’re still hungry, reach for package-free foods. Here are some yummy suggestions:

  1. Fresh or frozen berries and a handful of raw nuts provide a sweet, low-sugar treat that’s packed with antioxidants
  2. Homemade guacamole is a protein-rich dip for fresh veggies like cucumbers, peppers and radishes
  3. Hard boiled eggs contain vitamins A, D, E and K. The yolk fuels the brain and eyes and is a great source of healthy fat.

 

Balance booster: Make this crunchy, satisfying cucumber salad. Remove the skin of one whole cucumber (the tough outer skin can disrupt your digestion). Slice and cut the cucumber into quarters, then toss with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

Before you go

QB Community members, I am so excited to share my love and passion for all things wellness! If you have questions about your mind, your body and your fuel, please ask in the comments below. I’ll do my best to answer all your burning questions in an upcoming Wellness Works post.

5 Comments
Level 6

OK, yes and yes to the first two questions. It's possible my rear is indeed super-glued to my chair.... I even have an exercise bike in the same room - oy vey! So, I am grateful for this reminder. I have been doing quite well on the meditation front - in addition to Headspace, I use Insight Timer. There's a wonderful 10 minute "morning meditation with music" that I love and have been doing every day. It gives me a bit more joy to kick the day off with. And the FUEL, I love this, @AudreyPratt! Guac is one of my favorite foods.... pairing it with veggies is a great trick. Thanks for these awesome tips!

Level 7

Good for you for focusing on your meditation @LeslieBarber! We definitely don't take care of our minds nearly enough. Diet is always a tricky one but it's even more important than exercise. It's my pleasure to share my tips and tricks that I've spent years of trial and error fine tuning. :smileyhappy:  

Level 5

Audrey, thank you for sharing these great tips. I need constant reminders to GET UP and move my body, and this post will really help!

Not only is this GREAT advice for me as someone who works from home, but it will help my kids when they're studying. Thanks so much, @AudreyPratt!

Level 7

@WillowOlder and @ShanaNiederman I am so happy this post resonates with y'all! I hope you will share your progress and where you find these practices most help your overall health and productivity during your work day. :smileyhappy:

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