Happy Labor Day!
In honor of Labor Day, let’s talk about work and labor! (Every labor day I’m reminded of my friend (when we were about 10) asking her Mom if “Labor Day” meant that a lot of women have babies. Ha! Going into labor on Labor Day? How unoriginal.) Kidding!
“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” (Source)
Way to go, workers! Thanks for contributing to our country.
I love my career, but no matter how you slice it, I’m a healthier person when I’m not sitting at a desk in an office everyday. I want to work from home. (No, this isn’t a “I can be lazier at home” thing…I don’t think that’s true at all. I think work-wise, it would take a lot more effort to NOT be at an office.) And this isn’t about my specific job…it’s about corporate jobs. Everyone’s job. How can we make it so that office environments are more synonymous with a healthy lifestyle?
Yes, there are millions of tips and tricks, and maybe it sounds like I’m just being lazy. I’m a big proponent of getting up and MOVING at work. But I’ve noticed a few things in my time back in the office:
-Sitting Syndrome: I’ve been seeing a chiropractor 2 times a week to adjust my hips, back, and neck. My shoulders hunch slightly forward because of “corporate stress”, so he says. I’ve always believed you cannot 100% counteract the effects of sitting and he confirmed this…so I’m doing what I can. I walk for 30 minutes to an hour over lunch. I do squats and lunges in the bathroom. I stand up randomly or when I’m on the phone. I walk to the “far-away” printer. I try to suggest “walking meetings”. All good little activities that I think everyone should work into the work day when you sit at a desk. But regardless, I’m still sitting for the majority of the day…it’s the nature of my job. And I can’t imagine my co-workers would love it if I busted out some burpees in my office hallway! (Although perhaps they would find it mildly entertaining.) Add in the train and driving, and my body simply hates me. Mr. Chiropractor says I have a lot of “positive muscle memory” from exercising, so I suppose that’s good. But not good enough.
WHY ARE OUR WORKPLACES DOING THIS TO US AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?!
-Nutrition: I simply don’t eat as well. No matter how great my intentions are when it comes to packing healthy lunches, the whole pre-planning thing doesn’t always happen. Or I end up eating my lunch for breakfast. And that’s okay…sometimes. I get that it’s not easy and I have to really focus on planning. But why the HUGE difference between home and work? I’ve noticed myself slowly packing on some pesky pounds ever since I moved back to cube-land. I think it’s more so that I just eat MORE and don’t pay as much attention. When I’m at home, I can wake up and ENJOY my stove-top cooked steel cut oats or an omelette. I slowly enjoy my cup of coffee. When I want a snack, I can get whatever I want and I’ll actually eat it in moderation, instead of having to settle for whatever I packed for the workday. I’m a big fan of the “eating every 2-3 hours” plan. Has anyone else noticed that there is totally a stigma attached with taking a 10 minute break in the middle of the day? I’d love to go somewhere other than my desk and enjoy my apple with peanut butter but a) we don’t have a common area to do this in my office and b) it just looks bad to be “not doing anything”.
-Finances: I spend more money. My train pass is $361 a month. (Do you know how many spinning classes I could take with that?!) I occasionally need a subway ticket. On long days, I buy another cup of coffee or a snack or dinner. It happens. And NYC is expensive!
-Quality of Workouts: My workouts are time-restricted and “muscle-restricted”. Time of day and length of workout are both affected. With my commute, I’m losing a lot of time and energy. I already go to bed around 9:30-10pm and get about 8 hours of sleep. So what should suffer, my workouts or my sleep? Is that a fair choice? (Maybe the commute is more to blame!?) Sometimes my hips and back hurt from sitting, even when I get up and stretch and walk around. Sitting tightens my IT band and hip flexors and in turn my running suffers. (Yoga does help!) And how do I ice my hamstring at work?
-Comfort: I’m just less comfortable. Less comfortable = less energetic. Work pants. Uncomfortable clothes. Sitting. Constant typing. Walking to the office when it’s HOT and in-turn feeling gross all day. Having my day revolve around trains and public transportation. Blah.
sounds like is a list of complaints, I know. And I’m sorry. I’m always the first person to tell someone “You CAN do this. You CAN make it work! It’s not easy, but you can find a way to fit fitness and health in every day!” I’m always reminding people that it’s NOT easy, but if you want to do something, you’ll do it. Maybe I should be reminding myself of this. Maybe I need to go back to the basics.
I’m seeing my desire to
be a full-time blogger to work from home as something simple and positive: I want to fully embody a healthy lifestyle. I want to motivate and inspire others to be healthy and happy. I want to write about it. I want to BE it…to LIVE it. I don’t want to work from home because it’s easier for my lifestyle…although obviously it is. I want to work from home because it’s better for you, in my opinion. It’s healthier to live the life you want to live. It’s healthier to not SIT all day. To do HIIT workouts in your living room over your lunch break and not use those precious few minutes rushing to the gym, changing, and showering, on top of the workout. To actually cook a filling, healthy lunch. To have dinner ready. To work outside and enjoy the sunshine.
All that being said, I will find each and every way to work with my career as it is now. To stay healthy and fit. To enjoy the sunshine.
And last but not least…Happy ProCompression Giveaway Day! The winner is…
Woo hoo Amy! You’re going to love them. Please email me at kararunsblog @ gmail . com with your address!
What are your favorite workday tips? How do you stay healthy at work? Do you sit all day? And again, I ask: WHY ARE OUR WORKPLACES DOING THIS TO US AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?!