Back to the office after working from home? Make your office—whether you work from home or commute to work—more athlete-friendly.
Start an office pool for who can do the most miles in a month, or find coworkers who are up for friendly runs at lunch, or who are willing to sign up for a Turkey Trot you can all do together.
This could mean:
- A workout bag with spare running gear and shoes that lives at the office for days that end up hectic and the only workout option is to do a quick 15 minutes during lunch or right after work around the office park. At the bare minimum, keep shoes that are easy to walk in at your desk, so you can slip out for a quick 10 minute walk during the day.
- A kettlebell that you use for squats a few times a day
- A lift to turn your regular desk into a standing desk (we like this variable option so you can sit part time, stand part time.)
- A treadmill for under the desk, or a more inexpensive/small-scale stepper
- Some visual representation of your athletic goal, whether it’s a full-on vision board or just a printout of your registration for that big race
Lay Off the Coffee
Herbal tea and water are your friends during long days at the office. Tea drinkers, I love keeping an electric kettle on the desk so you can make yourself a tea without having to go in the break room and try to use your willpower to avoid another coffee or that cookie. And water drinkers, I love a giant Nalgene bottle that you slowly drink throughout the day, so you know how much you’re drinking! (This doesn’t mean you should avoid leaving your desk throughout the day, we’re just making the healthy choices easier.)
Set a Timer for Stretch Breaks
Set a timer to remind you every hour to get up and move, even for 30 seconds. A single sun salutation can go a long way. In your office or cubicle (or restroom if you feel awkward), stand up, roll your shoulders back and down, make sure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet, then lift your arms up and overhead, stretching for the ceiling. Swan dive them down, push hips back and come into a forward fold. From there, feel free to step back into a plank and lower down, then press up into a gentle cobra, or if you’re not dressed for planks, just slowly come back up and repeat a couple more times. Add in some side lunges to get those hips a bit more open!
Have a Walking Lunch
You don’t have to do your workout at lunch to have an active lunch break. Consider spending part of your lunch break out in nature on a walk, and even try to eat outside if possible.
We’ve talked about it before, but spending some time Sunday meal-prepping for the week ahead can be the simplest, more time and money-saving way to ensure that you’re eating healthy. Instant Pot some chicken breasts, buy veggies pre-chopped, make a quick salad dressing or buy a few options that sound tasty (and preferably have all ingredients that you can pronounce), cook up some rice, and you have a week of satisfying salad bowls ready in minutes.
Get Other Staff On Board
In addition to some friendly office competition, consider talking to your coworkers about things like asking for walking meetings, setting up a gym space in the office, adding healthier options to the cafeteria, allowing some work-from-home, et cetera. The more people in an office who are campaigning for healthier lifestyles, the better your chances of having the boss get on board.
Stick to Your Guns
If you felt like working from home helped build up that work/life balance and your lack of commute finally gave you time and space to do your training or finally have that optimized morning routine, protect that. Talk to your boss about working remote part time, or even just let him know about your athletic goals and try to work out a schedule that helps with them. Maybe you come into work late one day in order to do your hard workout in the morning, then skip a proper lunch break, or stay a bit later instead. But don’t give up those healthy habits without a fight!
If the above solution is a non-started, it might be time to more broadly think about your work and life. We know not everyone can do this, obviously, but are there things you can change more globally? Could you look for a job with a shorter commute, or consider moving closer to work to cut that commute down? What are the alternative choices you have? Remember, this isn’t just about you hitting your race goals, this is about you living a healthy, active, adventurous, fulfilled life!