New Year was meant to mean a brand new you. If it’s not quite working out that way, Grant Woodward has some expert advice that might just help.
Let’s face it. We may have started 2013 with the best of intentions to eat more healthily and get fitter, but a week in and we’re already finding it tough going.
Being back at work means being stuck back behind our desks, tucking into unhealthy grub and generally reverting to our slobby ways.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. According to Leeds fitness expert Mark Forder there are some simple ways to keep on the straight and narrow even when we’re at work.
“It’s amazing the difference that just a few subtle changes to our daily routines can make in terms of our overall health and fitness,” says Mark, who is manager of Pure Gym near the Corn Exchange in the city centre.
Here are his four top tips for keeping your New Year’s resolution going that little bit longer.
STAIRS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Mark says: “If you work in an office the chances are you spend most of your day sitting behind a desk. But that doesn’t mean you have to be chained to it – there are still plenty of things you can do to stay active and healthy.
“If you’ve got lifts at work then start taking the stairs instead – it’s a simple way of building a bit of fitness into your daily routine.
“And if you need to speak to someone in a different department or on another floor don’t send them an email, walk over to their desk.”
GET ON YOUR BIKE
Mark says: “With clients whose work is mainly office-based I always encourage them to either look at cycling to work or using the bus and then getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the way.
“It’s amazing how quickly you will see a difference in your general fitness if you can just make a few small changes to your daily routine.
“I also make sure I get up every and refill the water bottle I keep on my desk. It keeps me hydrated and ensures I’m not sitting down all day.”
HAVE A BALL
Mark says: “I don’t sit on a chair at work – I sit on a stability ball instead. It’s great for your posture because it means you’re not slouching the whole time, but it might be something that’s easier to do if you work from home.
“If your workplace won’t let you swap your chair for a ball, at least make sure your chair and desk are set up correctly. That’s going to help you improve your posture, core stability and balance.”
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FUEL
Mark says: “Try to get into the habit of taking your own food to work and restricting yourself to that. Take some fruit and nuts for snacking, rather than raiding the vending machines or munching on those leftover Christmas chocolates.
“A big reason why it’s important to eat healthy snacks at work is not only for the nutritional benefits, but also because it will help people who want to attend the gym after work.
“When you eat junk food it gives you a short-term energy boost but also initiates a “sugar crash” which ultimately leaves your sugar levels lower than before, making you feel lethargic and lacking in energy. As a result, you will be less inclined to go to the gym or do other exercise when you clock off.”