WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 09, 2015
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Top 10 Ways to Get Healthy Now

We all want to wake up in the morning with tons of energy, ready for the office and whatever the busy day brings. But many of us wake up even more exhausted than we were when we went to bed in the first place, and we struggle to catch up all day long. Relying on too many cups of coffee and vending machine food to get through the work day. But you can have enough energy to be productive at work and to enjoy every other aspect of your full, busy life. Here are the top 10 ways to get healthy now, from food choices to getting enough sleep to making time for friends. It turns out that everything from friendship to travel can be good for your health, and that is ultimately good for you and your career.

See Also: 6 Work-Related Stressors That Can Affect Your Health

1. Find Exercise You Love and Stick to It

exercise and love
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Working out can be like dating. You shop around, trying to find what’s right for you, and eventually you discover it and never want to let it go. While this will mean sweating through some uncomfortable cardio sessions to learn that you hate running or realizing that yoga makes you bored and ready to go to bed, you will be glad you tried different workouts when you find one that you truly love. Your bones, healthy blood pressure and muscles will thank you once you get into a regular exercise routine.

2. Learn to Handle Stress

handle stress
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Stress is a part of modern life and the modern working world. It’s unrealistic to expect to live a calm, stress-free life. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through chaotic times. Learn to take a series of yoga-inspired deep breaths when a work crisis rears its head, and get yourself to a yoga class if that method has proven to calm you down in the past. Or maybe your happy place is watching your favorite sitcom or comedy. Or having coffee with your funniest friend. Whatever your method, pick one and make sure you know how to de-stress when necessary. If you don’t learn to deal with stress, you could pack on the pounds, get sick and/or have trouble sleeping.

3. Fall in Love with Kale

love kale drink
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Or lettuce. Or spinach. Or any green vegetable, really. Greens have everything from vitamin C to calcium and will keep your skin looking amazing and your health at its optimal level. Kale makes an easy weeknight dinner side when sauteed with some spices and garlic, or enjoy it raw in a big lunchtime salad at work. Just make sure to massage it with dressing to soften the leaves, so they’re edible.

4. Catch Up On Sleep

cara delevingne for john hardy sleep in bed

Getting enough sleep is most likely the best thing you can do for your health. When you think about it, without proper sleep, your entire day/schedule will be completely thrown off. When you’re exhausted, it’s difficult to focus, which will make it hard to make smart decisions about food choices and will make it even harder to focus at work. So get enough sleep, and if you have a few bad nights, then take some afternoon naps on the weekend to make sure you catch up.

5. Allow for Splurges

willifood apple chips burger love
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Man (or woman) can’t live on kale and chicken alone. If you don’t let yourself enjoy food every once in a while, you will just get frustrated and depressed with your uber-healthy diet. Pick the one food you truly love, whether it’s french fries or chocolate brownies, and enjoy once a week. If you want to keep your junk food eating for the weekend, go ahead -- a lot of people do this and it’s a smart strategy. But, on the other hand, if you splurge on a Wednesday evening, you won’t find it so hard to get through the remainder of the week because you will have enjoyed yourself. See what works for you.

6. Make Time for Friends

Friends uplift the soul
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You enjoy your weekly dinner dates with that old college friend and from time to time like going out for a girls’ night out. Well, it turns out that having friends is actually good for your health. Having a network of friends means you will have a long life and be less likely to suffer from depresison. According to a study conducted in Australia, your chance of dying decreases by 22 percent if you are elderly and have many friends. And other experts say friendship can be good for your brain and even keep your weight down. Sounds like a pretty good idea to see your girlfriends this weekend.

7. Make Sure You Love Your Job

Gwen Stefani Hollaback Girl
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You may think that your career and your health have nothing to do with each other but, in fact, they’re completely connected. You can face a number of health concerns if you’re unhappy at the office. This means anything from getting colds all the time to coming down with a serious illness -- not to mention making it impossible for you to get enough sleep at night. If you hate going into the office every day, it will only start to affect every other area of your life, from your sleep patterns to your relationships. It will make your entire life less enjoyable. So if you don’t love what you do, then it’s time to make a change.

8. Don't Let Work Be Your Everything

the secret life of walter mitty work is everything
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We all want to love our jobs, and hopefully we’ve found our dream careers. But that doesn’t mean staying late every single night at the office or spending the weekends chained to our computers and Blackberrys. Enjoy your job but don’t forget to enjoy the rest of your life, too, or you will never be as healthy as you can be.

9. Travel

travel it's better in the bahamas
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Travel is good for your health: it means you will experience less stress at work. So get away, even if it’s just for the weekend, and feel the difference in your overall well-being and stress levels. According to experts, residents of the United States didn’t use half a billion of their paid vacation days in 2013. Don’t follow that statistic and make sure you take some time off from the office. But not every trip can leave you feeling less stressed than when you left: it’s only if you organize and schedule the vacation properly that you will reap the health benefits.

10. Laugh

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You know how when you’re in a bad mood, all you have to do is smile, and that simple act instantly transforms how you feel? Laughter is similar, and as a bonus, it can be good for your overall health. Laughter can do everything from make sure you get sick less often, make sure your body is less affected by the stress-related hormones and even keep your blood pressure at a low level. Sounds like a pretty good reason to watch some re-runs of Friends tonight and laugh your head off.

See Also: Why Good Health is So Important at Work

Follow these top 10 tips to get healthy now and you will experience optimal levels of health and happiness at work and at home. Learn to find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Try kale for dinner tonight. Smile more and don’t live chained to your desk. These tips are all easy to follow and to incorporate into your life today.

Do use any of these tips to help keep you healthy and productive at work?

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