Tips To Stay Healthy At Your Desk – Finish It Friday

Many people work at a desk around the world with little time for a break.  With the busy life you need to know how to stay healthy at your desk.  Here are some tips to stay healthy at your desk.

Tip 1: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Drinking Water

Many of us go about their day plugging away at their work.  So focused that they forget to do anything else, or put it off.  This includes drinking water.  If you want to stay healthy at your desk you need to remember to drink enough water.  It will help keep your attention focused, prevent headaches, and keep your body working like it should.

Tip 2: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Standing Up

Sitting for long periods of time is bad for your body.  Your body is made to move, it doesn’t process the foods you eat or perform properly if it just sits there.  To Stay healthy at your desk you need to stand up and move.  I get up every hour for at least five minutes.  It doesn’t have to be something fancy.  You can walk in place at your desk, walk to the bathroom, walk to the floor below (or above) and use their bathroom, or anything else that you can use as an excuse to get moving.

Tip 3: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Stretching Your Fingers

It has long been known that typing all day causes strain on your fingers and wrists.  Make sure that you take a pause every now and then to stay healthy at your desk.  Raise your hand, stretch your fingers in and out, roll your wrists, give your fingers and wrists a break in general.  It might also be a good idea to through in some extra activity to stay healthy at your desk.  Stretch your neck muscles, stretch your arms, extend your legs back and forth.  All of these activities will help to stretch out your body and keep the blood flowing.

Tip 4: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Considering an Alternate Chair

There are a wide number of companies that sell alternative chairs to use at your desk.  These help you improve your posture and feel better after a long day at work.  You can even use a balance ball.  Sometimes though, your balance ball just doesn’t fit in your cubicle.  This company provides several different office chair alternatives to stay healthy at your desk!

Tip 5: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Going Phoneless

Now this tip to stay healthy at your desk might not work for everyone but its worth a try.  If you can speak to a co-worker face to face, forget the phone or email.  Get up and walk to them.  It’s a great excuse to get up and move but it also gets you out of the staring at information slump.  It gives social interaction which all of us need.

Tip 6: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Limiting Your Coffee

I used to think that coffee sucked.  That was before I tried adding a hint of cream and mixing coffee types.  Now I am a firm believer in coffee and drink a mug of it every day I work eight or more hours.  However, I probably shouldn’t.  Coffee, especially coffee with sugar and creamer, don’t help you stay healthy at your desk.  The caffeine messes with your body and adds calories to your day.  Limit your coffee (and other caffeine sources) to one a day.  This will better help you stay healthy at your desk.

Tip 7: Stay Healthy At Your Desk By Taking A Lunch Break

Most of us want to get our work done so we tend to eat our lunch at our desk.  I can be guilty of this too, especially since 3 out of the 4 sites that I work don’t allow me to leave the site during lunch.  Taking a true lunch break where you leave your desk can boost your concentration and give you the time away from work to boost your mood.  To stay healthy at your desk try to take a lunch break away from your desk.  Find a bench outside, go for a walk, move your chair across the room and eat there.  To stay healthy at your desk, you need to leave your desk for lunch.

 

Fitbit’s Fitforgood Challenge

Ten days ago I received an email in my inbox about Fitbit’s fitforgood.  I hadn’t heard anywhere about this activity but upon going to the Fitbit website I found that it was actually a fun way to be motivated and help a good cause.  And before I continue, yes, fitforgood is all one word and all under case.  At least, most of the time.  The Fitbit website alternates.

The fitforgood Challenge

fitforlife example

Imagine all the people using their Fitbits every day like the woman in this picture.  That is tens of billions of steps per week.  What if you could put those steps to a good use.  This is where fitfor good comes in.

Fitbit set aside one million dollars to go to charity but their method for deciding what charity the money goes to is a little different.  They want users to determine by how many steps they take.  From the 9th of November until the 20th Fitbit users have the option to choose a charity to donate their steps to.  The charity with the most steps wins the largest piece of the donation money.

The fitforgood Charities

Here are the three charities that are participating in the event:

American Heart Association

An organization dedicated to building a world without the worry of heart diseases or strokes.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

An organization that focuses on providing research and resources to fighting the disease known as multiple sclerosis.

American Diabetes Association

An organization that focuses on aiding those who have disabilities and improving their lives.

The fitforgood Charity Prizes

The fitforgood prizes are determined in a standard contest method.  The 1 million dollars will be split between the three charities with the winner getting the most money and the charity with the least steps, getting the least amount.

First Prize $500,000

Second Prize $350,000

Third Prize $150,000

My fitforgood Choice and Status

I am supporting the American Heart Association.  My family has a history of heart-related problems, including my birth mother passing away due to a heart related problem.  Additionally, the AHA has provided some of my first aid/CPR training in the past.  It’s an agency that I have some experience with.

As of my last sync I contributed 93,296 steps.  Fitbit informs me that that is the equivelant to walking around the Coney Island Boardwalk 18 times.

With about a day and a half left in the competition I am happy to say that the American Heart Association is winning with 8.625 billion steps.  This is about 41% of the current 21.133 billion steps that have been taken already in the competition.  The other two charities are neck and neck with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society taking a 1% lead over ther American Diabetes Association.

Weekly Check-In 11/16/2016

Hello!  This last week was full of some ups and some downs.  I drove down to Portland on one day for a job interview which meant that my steps were low.  Being in a car for 6-7 hours does that to you.  Then another day my mom was in town and my steps were kinda low that day too.  Despite the rainy weather I feel overall pretty good about my week though.

Chart

I tried to integrate bridging and some other exercises more into my day to help account for the reduced steps.  Doing the bridges felt pretty good.

Goals For This Week

I want to go out on a walk every day of this week, no matter how short.  In addition, my goal is that over the weekend I would like to go on at least one bike ride.  Depending on the weather that might turn into a longer walk.

Squat Breaks – Finishing It Friday

Sitting at your desk all day is bad for your health but more importantly it is uncomfortable and will leave butt prints in your chair.  To prevent this from happening take a break at least once every hour.  I personally aim for at least five minutes doing something for every hour I am at the desk.

Squats are known to be a great workout but they put a lot of stress on you and can look a bit out of place when your head keeps popping up over your cubicle.  Plus squats are an active exercise that prevent you from multitasking.  Instead of doing active squats take your breaks “sitting” in the squat position.  These are squat breaks.  Other cultures around the world have used squat breaks for ages to help relax.  Take a look at these guys taking squat breaks:

Squat Breaks

You may find squat breaks difficult at first but the more you do them the better you get at them.  We as Americans aren’t used to holding positions like this so our bodies need to learn.

How To Take Squat Breaks

Simply stand up from your desk, move your chair, and lower yourself down into a squatting position.  When you are lowering yourself down and when you are in the squatting position itself you should make every effort to keep your feet flat on the ground.  When you raise your feet up it throws the position out of wack.

Squat breaks won’t feel like a break at first.  Despite the fact you aren’t raising and lowering your body in an active squat you are still stretching out your body and holding a position you aren’t accustom to.  This will give you a workout.  Do it more to get used to it.  If you can lower your desk you can even work in the squat breaks position.

5 Worst Foods For You

Ever pick up that pack of Oreos and think that it was one of the worst foods for you?  Well take a look at this list worst food for you.  Maybe one of your favorite treats can be found on this list.

Worst Foods For You #1: Doughnuts

Doughnuts are the food of television cops but they are one of the worst foods for you.  Not only because of all the fat, calories, and carbs that they have but also because of the fact they mess with your body.  When you eat doughnuts it makes it harder for you to digest all of the foods you eat around the same time you have the doughnut.

Worst Foods For You #2: Chips, Especially Potato Chips

Once again this is another one of the worst foods for you that isn’t just on here because of the bad ingredients and oily nature.  Chips are hard to put down.  Once you start eating chips you want to eat more and more.

Worst Foods For You #3: Vitamin Water

The traditional vitamin water is tricky because it uses the word vitamin in the name.  This alone makes you think its healthy.  In fact, you are drinking 125 calories (per serving) of sugar water.  One bottle alone is 2.5 servings.  There is VitaminWater10 which only has 25 calories in the whole bottle.

Worst Foods For You #4: Processed Meat

Next time you see those wieners hanging out in the grocery store its probably time to move out of the way and move on.  Processed meats, like hot dogs, have all of the bad things like fats, sodium, and cholesterol, not to mention of the toppings that you heap onto them.

Worst Foods For You #5: Soda

Soda is fattening.  That is all there is to it.  One of my friends at work stopped drink the liter of two of soda he had every day and has already started to notice physical changes in his body due to weight loss.  Soda is full of loads of sugar.  Depending on the brand it has around 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Scheduling Update & Motivational Wednesday

Hello!  Sorry for the lack of article yesterday.  For those that don’t know this month is National Novel Writing Month.  I am participating this year, as I have the past three years, and my goal is to write 50,000 words in the span of the month of November.  This can be extremely difficult and often takes much of my free time.  Until the end of the month Tuesday posts will be put on hold but Thursday’s informational content will continue to come through!

I’ll leave you with a quote for Motivational Wednesday.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
~Jim Rohn

Weekly Check-In Monday 11/9/2015

Over the last week I didn’t meet 10,000 steps three days but I met my goal of not having any days less than 6,000 steps.  Because last week I didn’t have the Fitbit for most of the first two days I don’t have exact step counts in my Fitbit app (how I normally compile these posts).  I know thought that Monday I was over 10,000 steps and believe I was into the 14,000 or 15,000 range.  Instead of Including a typed out step count this week I decided to try something new and include a screenshot of my step chart on Fitbit.

Weekly Step Chart 11-9

I am frustrated that I didn’t make 10,000 yesterday and I am quite confused how I didn’t.  I don’t think the Fitbit Charge HR accurately tracks steps taken while doing chores.  I spent several hours moving things around the new place, carrying stuff, and shopping.  All I ended up with was slightly over 3,000 steps.  Typically in an hour though I should be able to get around at least 6,000 steps.  The math doesn’t really add up.  What matters though is that I knew I got a workout yesterday by moving heavy boxes.

My Weight

You may notice that I didn’t include a weight in this weeks weekly check-in.  This is because I found that not having to think about weighing myself during the week actually made me happier.  I am going to continue to try this until December.  Instead of using weight as the main thing to track my fitness I am going to use steps and activities performed during the week.

This Weeks Goal

Last week I liked having the goal of having at least 6,000 steps per day.  This week I want to up that to 6,500.  If I can continue to make the number of steps go up every week I should continue to improve my fitness and activity levels.

Sit-Ups – Finish It Friday

I won’t lie about sit-ups, I hate them.  Almost as much as running.  They are a necessary part of testing for law enforcement agencies around the country though so I have to do them.

Despite being among my least favorite exercises, sit-ups are great for working out your abs.  The more you do the better you will get at them.  Unfortunately, people with larger middle sections it can be difficult to perform sit-ups without having someone to hold your feet.  It isn’t impossible though.  I have found a variety of solutions, mainly placing my feet under something such as a desk, a set of shelves, or my bed.  When doing this you need to make sure that the object you are using to hold your body down won’t lift off the ground when you do a sit-up.

There are a variety of different theories behind how many sit-ups you should do at a time.  When I had a trainer we did repetitions of 15 mixed with another two ab working exercises.  This is great because it allows you to keep your abs working instead of burning yourself out all at once.  The other major theory is to do as many as you can, take a break, then do as many as you can.  The problem with this is that when you are taking a break nothing is getting worked out.

If you want to increase the power of your exercise take a kettlebell and hold it in your hands on your upper chest while you workout.  Don’t let the kettlebell move.

How To Perform Sit-Ups

To perform a sit-up start by laying with your back on the floor.  If you need to have something hold your feet get them so that your knees are at an angle but your feet are flat.  You want your feet to move as little as possible.  With your arms out to your sides and your shoulders straight, place your fingertips behind your ears.  During a sit-up your fingertips should not leave your ears.

Lift your upper body up so that your shoulders are off the ground.  The longer that you work at doing sit-ups the further off the ground you can go.  Eventually you will be able to touch your elbows to your knees.  My goal is to be able to touch my elbows to my knees around 38 times in a minute.  The more I perform sit-ups the easier it is to do them.

Here is a video how to perform a proper Army sit-up.  The difference with this video is that the Army has you put your hands interlocked behind your head.

Tips To Keep At It

If you ever feel that you are slipping in your goals or in your progress to get them you will probably find yourself wondering what you can do to get back on the horse.  That is if you even notice it.  Sometimes I find myself slipping but only realize it after it has significantly started.  Here are some of the ways that I have used to stay on track or to keep at it.

Reminding Yourself of Why You Want It

We all want our goals for a different reason.  I have multiple reasons to fuel my progress.  Despite the fuel sometimes you take it for granted and let it slip to the back of your mind.  Because of this it is important that you regularly examine your goals and the reasons for them.  One way to do this is to have a Word document with all of your goals and the reasons for them written out.  Once a month you go through and edit them.  Save both copies of your document and look at how they differ.

Put Your Goals In Your Face

A lot of people have success in putting their goals in their face.  This is something I have been considering trying.  One way to do it is to get a poster board and write on it all of your goals.  Place it somewhere you see every morning.  If I do this I am thinking I will put one copy in my bathroom and one on my fridge.  This is so that I see the goals every morning then again when I go to get food.

Write A Blog

Part of the reason I started this blog was to help push myself to stay on track.  Every week I sit down to write articles that are a mix of help and of my personal experience.  I also write a weekly update.  This helps me to keep accountable for my goals. I also hope that it helps you.

Don’t Be Afraid To Change It

As you continue on your path to your goals you might find out that what you are doing may work but there is a better way to do it.  For example, with my blog I am trying new things and experimenting.  Change happens and as long as you work with it you can make it work for you.  Sometimes though you need to be the driving force behind that change.

Walk It Out

No, not work it out, walk it out.  Go outside and start walking.  It doesn’t matter where you go just keep walking.  As you walk you will find out that you have very few things to think about than what you are doing and because you are exercising your mind will eventually lead you to your goals.  I do this often.  I go out on walks after work or in the evening.