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How To Maintain Your Health At Work

Joanna Clare

Healthy eating and exercise is everywhere. Whether you pick up a magazine, a book, scroll through the internet, look at a billboard or turn on the television, healthy eating is big business.

We are all aware that we should be eating a healthy diet and being more active but it's often not as easy as it sounds, especially when so much of our time is taken up by work.

An astonishing 62% of the UK population are considered overweight and even more alarming is the fact that we have the highest rates of obesity within Europe. Being overweight causes all kinds of problems~just some of these are heart disease,stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes (type 2) and sadly, according to research by the Cancer Research Uk, 6% of cancers are directly related to being overweight and being overweight is the biggest cause of a cancerous condition after smoking.

Two main factors that play a significant part are an inactive lifestyle and consuming convenience food so if these are targeted we should soon see and feel the benefits of weight loss, have more energy and in turn, have increased motivation. Of course, there are certain health conditions that will cause you to put on and retain weight or to feel fatigued so if you feel this may apply to you, please discuss this with your GP.

Motivation is key and I thoroughly recommend you find a quotation or mantra that you can either see or you say to yourself as soon as you wake up. This can be something as simple as ‘I can do this’ or ‘My life is improving each day’ or ‘I am healthy’. Remember, it is a scientific fact that the brain believes what we tell it which is why it is important to start your morning with this, which you can repeat during the day whenever you can.

Do not skip breakfast before work. Eggs, whole grain bread, porridge ( without sugar and a low fat milk) are ideal sources of a quick yet nutritious meal that will keep us feeling fuller for longer.

Again, at work, swap full fat milks for low fat or dairy free unsweetened versions, cut down or eliminate sugar in drinks and stay hydrated with water. Keep water on your desk and aim to drink at regular intervals. Often the brain mistakes feeling hungry for thirsty so maintaining adequate hydration is important to stop us snacking.

Instead of reaching for the biscuit tin during breaks, try a portion of mixed nuts, yogurt with berries or fruit. At lunch time, whether you have pre prepared your food at home, you enjoy the work canteen or pub lunch, try to prioritise proteins such as chicken,fish, eggs, chickpeas, lentils, cottage cheese or any of the plant alternatives (the list is endless) with as many vegetables as you can eat.

If you can walk to and from work but don't usually do so, try setting yourself the challenge of walking once or twice a week and if you can, go for a walk after your lunch break. Not only will you be exercising your body but you will be revitalising your mind as research shows that exercise has an unrivalled and  profoundly positive impact on your mental health.

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