Staying in shape is hard to do. Add a 60-plus hour work week to the mix, and maintaining your waistline can become downright impossible.
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“Most people get caught up in their work and a lot of things get put aside,” says Eric Casaburi founder and CEO of RetroFitness, a New Jersey-based chain of health clubs. “It’s easier for people to brush aside health and fitness.”
Not living a healthy lifestyle now, which means exercising and eating right, can lead to lost productivity and higher health insurance costs in the future. Getting in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to bring dramatic lifestyle changes and require a large time commitment. Here are easy tips busy workers can follow to stay in shape.
Casaburi advises scheduling workout time just like you would a meeting—whether it’s at 5am or 10:00pm. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, put a treadmill in your office or in home, and walk while you read emails or talk on the phone. Scheduling it like any other work-related task will ensure you make the time to do it. “The biggest catalyst must be the ability to make change in our personal time calendar,” says Casaburi.
Take the Stairs
The gym isn’t the only place to get some exercise. Doing simple things like walking to the bus stop, opting for the stairs over the elevator, or parking far away from the office can help get you in shape.
“You don’t have to come to gym and bang out a bunch of weight on the bench press,” says Casaburi. “You can sit on a stability ball at your desk and after lunch go for a walk.” Don’t let the weather be an excuse: walk through the office or at a nearby mall. You can even bring some light weights or tubing to the office to fit in exercise when you downtime.
Eat in Moderation
Crash diets like eliminating all carbohydrates can bring fast results, but you can’t maintain those eating habits long term. A better option is to eat in moderation and make healthier choices. Make simple changes like swapping ice cream for frozen yogurt or sweet potatoes for French fries. You can do all the exercise in the world but if you have fast food three times a day, you won’t lose weight and you won’t feel that great either. “You can’t have one without the other,” says Casaburi of diet and exercise. “It’s critical what you eat.”
Stick With it
Embarking on a fitness and healthy eating plan is easy at the start, it’s the sticking with it that becomes challenging. Casaburi says that in order to be successful, you need to set realistic goals, and commit 100%. “I don’t think it’s great to start with baby steps. You have to have big goals,” says Casaburi. But that doesn’t mean hitting the gym every day. Create a workout plan that fits with your schedule, you will be more likely to stick with it, and the results will become addicting.