How to Stay Healthy at Work I
Part 1: Damage Control
Let us assume the worst case scenario.
- You work 100 hours per week at Frito-Lay
- Part of your job is to test the new products
- Your boss likes to take the team out for beer and wings
- You come home exhausted with an urge to watch TV
There’s hope! We’ve seen 400lb truck drivers get healthy in the most damaging work environments:
There are many ways to stay healthy at work despite the worst case scenario. We’re going to divide this topic up into 3 parts: Damage Control, Tactical Efforts, and Long-Term Strategy.
Before you start: Stop stressing out that you’re unhealthy or overweight. Being stressed on top of eating poorly only makes you less well. Relax. You have plenty of time to get healthy and it will happen.
Here’s what to do in these derailing situations.
Situation 1: You’re stuck on a plane with unhealthy food
Damage control: Work out your brain
Working your brain burns more calories than your brain at rest. Stanford Professor Robert Sapolsky has reported that an intense game of chess can burn loads of calories.
- Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
- Conduct a Google search on your smart phone for problems to solve
- Read the toughest article in the Financial Times
Situation 2: You’ve just eaten a business lunch which could very well land on thisiswhyyourefat.com.
Damage control: Take in as much oxygen as you can, then go and get some enzymes
Dr Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute advises that oxygen is highly effective at digesting food and metabolizing fats.
- Go outside and suck in air like you’ll never breathe again
- 30 minutes after the meal, get 2 pints of water and park it on your desk
- Water has a very high oxygen content and it helps to flush out toxins immediately
- Water also helps support your liver which processes the fats and toxins
- Do a workout that night – no time? Get 8 full hours of sleep – it’ll help to clean up the damage you’ve done.
Also, eating something with lots of enzymes – that is, any raw vegetable or fruit – helps to digest the indigestible food which you’ve just ingested. Otherwise, food can quickly turn into fat if left undigested.
Situation 3: You’ve had a rough day. You come home and have zero desire to make something healthy. All you want to do is eat a bag of nachos.
Damage control: Consume 1 cup of leafy greens
- Open your fridge (1 second)
- Take out a bunch of leafy greens (romaine, kale, parsley) and some fruit (2 seconds)
- Throw them in your blender with water (60 seconds)
- Throw your blender in the dishwasher (30 seconds)
In under 2 minutes, you’ve gone a tremendous way towards killing cravings for those nachos.
Even if you end up eating the nachos, you’ll eat less since you’ve already had something to eat. What’ll likely happen is that the greens will eliminate cravings and get you eating something healthier (find out how greens kill cravings here).
Situation 4: You have no time to work out
Damage control: You only need 3 minutes to see results
A recent study conducted at McMaster University found that short spurts of cardio training, performed at maximal capacity, is as effective as long-duration endurance training.
Professor Martin Gibala, Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, had participants exercise for 30 seconds of maximal pedaling on a stationary bike followed by four minutes of recovery, and repeated 4-6 times. This added up to a total of 3 minutes of exercise at maximum effort, and the improvements to cardiovascular health were on par with those who had done moderate cardio training for about an hour, three times per week.
Situation 5: You’ve had a destructive day, but it’s now 11pm and gyms are closed.
Damage control: Take a 5 minute hot & cold shower
Minute 1 to 3: Stand in hot water
Minute 4 to 5: Turn the faucet to cold (as cold as you can take it)
Tempering your body in cold water is shown to be effective at reactivating capillaries (which have atrophied by age 30 with a poor diet), and therefore expediting the delivery of nutrients within your body, expelling toxins, and killing free radicals.
Situation 6: You’re about to fall asleep, and you feel guilty that you’ve had an unhealthy day.
Damage control: Tell someone that you love them
A healthy social life has a tremendous impact on well-being and it’s as important as eating well and exercising.
Remember the Rosetta Effect in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers: people live longer, healthier lives when they have a strong and caring community around them.
Send a text to a loved one – you’ll likely get one back.