A sedentary job or lifestyle can deter us from our health and wellness goals, or at least it can seem that way. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do, make your goals work for you. If your health goals do not cater to your lifestyle and personality, the chances of success are slim.
Many people take for granted how much control we actually have over what we choose to put into our bodies as fuel. It’s easy to use the excuse that something unhealthy may be a quick/easy choice instead of choosing to eat something more nutrient dense that takes just as much time to consume. Choosing to pack a cooler with options such as these can be your first step. Choose veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli) use extras for flavor/spice (peanut butter, hummus, guacamole).
Add fruits (apple, banana, berries, oranges, grapes) and protein sources (hard boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, string cheese, cottage cheese, chicken, tuna, nuts) There are many variations in eating these foods and ways to keep things exciting. Any/all of these things are readily accessible at just about any grocery and most convenient stores. Choose to grab a hardboiled egg at the gas station instead of that bag of chips. Choose to grab a couple of water bottles to keep you from stopping for a soda on the road. These small daily decisions make for large changes in the future.
Steer clear of the carbohydrate loaded fried foods from a fast food joint. Often times, you can be in and out of a grocery store in the same amount of time it would take you to wait at a drive thru. As a health coach, my go to meal while traveling is usually something along the lines of a chicken breast, steamed veggies, and maybe some fruit. Most grocery stores have precooked rotisserie chicken available for purchase, or buy a grilled chicken sandwich and remove the bun. You can find a bag of steamed veggies in the freezer isle, all you need is about 4 minutes and a microwave (if not, any sort of raw vegetable works), and any option of fruit for a sweet snack. This is an easy way to get a great meal with lots of protein, fiber, and a healthy source of carbs.
It is a common misconception that you need an hour to work out each day or it isn’t worth doing. Wrong. Taking a few minutes every hour or even taking 20 minutes sometime during your day can counteract the effects of sitting all day. Stretching is one of the easiest ways to increase blood flow and reduce some of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Each time you pull over for any reason, park furthest away. Get out of your vehicle, touch your toes, walk around your vehicle once or twice, and stretch your hands above your head. Thirty-two times around a truck equates to one mile! Further suggestions include: Keep a resistance band in your vehicle for stretching and resistance workouts, and small hand weights can be useful if you have 5 free minutes, Utilize the internet for any workout inspiration. You can find workout videos of every type for whatever length of time you desire
All of these aspects require minimal space and effort. If we take a few minutes every day to do them, our lifestyle reaps the benefits!