As fitness experts, there are plenty of opportunities to educate people on how to live their best life. Health and wellness doesn’t just include fitness, but your overall well being. Recently, we were able to lend some stress-management tips to Corp! Magazine. Read on.
It probably comes as no surprise that 83 percent of Americans find at least one aspect of their job to be extremely stressful. Not only is this crazy amount of stress no fun, but it can be costly to your health and overall happiness. Eight hours at a job can take a toll on a person, and only 36 percent of American workers said that their organizations provide resources for managing work-related stress. If you are one that is not privileged with the resources, here are seven ways to cope with workplace stress.
Shorten your to-do list
Basically, prioritize your priorities. Set, small realistic goals each day. What should go on your to-do list that will actually help you reach these goals? Create a balanced schedule by considering your deadlines and what can wait. It makes no sense to try and tackle 30 things before even allowing yourself a morning cup of coffee.
Get some perspective. Is this self-induced stress? Is it really the end of the world if your deadline is reached a day later? Don’t lose sleep over it, and don’t make your problems seem larger than they really are. Just stay in the moment and don’t worry about what the work day tomorrow will bring. There are some things that you simply can’t change or control, so communicate them with your team.
We all know that smiling and trying to win the unspoken friendliest co-worker on a daily basis is exhausting. Get rid of the distractions. Although the social aspect of the workplace is important for productivity and work culture, being busy may mean blocking out the distractors is necessary. Tackle what you need to. Others can read your stress, which in copious amounts can lead to unhealthy work relationships. And if you do have an issue with a co-worker, address it rather than letting it linger.
This practice seems ridiculous to some, but works on many. Take a deep breath. Take a few minutes to focus on your mind (guided meditations are all over the internet). This will help get rid of stress and help you focus.
Recognizing what causes your stress can actually help you to problem solve better. Where were you, what was said, and who was there? Finding patterns of what causes you stress and your reactions is a useful strategy to manage stress.
Ask for help
Sometimes, the stress can become too much to self-manage. Consult with other employees or an employer with an issue that needs to be solved. If you are given an unrealistic deadline, tell your adviser or ask another employee for help. Believe it or not, asking others for help makes them feel desired and reiterates their abilities in the workplace. Everyone is happy.
If you ignore all of your stressors, you could be leading down a long road of unhealthy coping. Your stress can be the main contribution to addictive habits and your overall unhappiness. If your stress gets to be too much, even with these tips, it is always a good idea to ask a professional for help.
Within the past 10 years, one word which has scored some buzz is “superfood.” You see it listed on menus, on packaging and in advertisements. So, what is it and what makes this food so “super?” These foods got their name from the high number of nutrients packed into a small serving. For people who struggle with reaching their daily nutrient needs, superfoods are helpful and versatile. The can be used as snacks, sides or complete meals.
Here are more tips and information about these awesome foods.
200 calories in a superfood are different than 200 calories elsewhere
Superfoods are proof that not all calories are created equal. For example, you could have 200 calories of peanut butter cups and 200 calories of avocado and have your body react very differently to each. The peanut butter cups are packed with sugar, which eventually turns to fat, and provide only short bursts of energy followed by a crash. The avocado, on the other hand, is filled with healthy fats. Diet trends of the ‘80s and ‘90s made “fat” a negative word. The fats in superfoods, however, are nutrients your body needs. The fats in an avocado are essential in the key nutrient absorption it needs to sustain health and to assist the body in reaching its maximum potential.
Eating more doesn’t always mean better
With all your daily food intake, you have to be aware of how much you put in your body per day. To maintain weight, your calorie intake must equal your calorie output. The amount of food you eat during the day – no matter how “super” it is – matters. Your aim is to replace less-healthy foods in your diet with superfoods in order to optimize your daily nutrition.
They are easy to incorporate throughout your day
There are a number of different superfoods out there from which you can choose. If you’re just barely reaching your nutrient needs and want that extra push, a perfect solution is raw almonds, blueberries, edamame, strawberries, or a banana for a snack. If you’re really struggling with getting daily levels, start small by adding a superfood to every meal. It can be as easy as switching to a whole-grain cereal with fruit on top or adding a superfood as a side dish to your lunches and dinners.
There are a TON
With superfoods, you’re not doomed to eat nuts and avocados for the rest of your life in the quest to be healthy. There are myriad options you can add into your diet. Not everyone likes the same kinds of food, so if you don’t like one superfood, just move to the next. The different kinds of superfoods also mean diversity in your meals. You don’t have to eat the same thing over and over. You can choose a different superfood every day and even mix up how you prepare each superfood to come up with recipes which will keep your palette diverse.
Luckily for those looking to venture into the superfood realm, the food’s high-profile status has made it more accessible. A simple internet search will bring up all the foods, recipes and uses you need to make your diet a little more super.
The positive part of summer ending is that you fall (pun not intended) back into a routine that is easy to predict and a little better to sustain. Whether you’re going back to school, you have kids going back to school or your schedule is lightening up from all the summer fun, the season change also comes with a schedule change.
As you get your work and life schedules set for the fall, now is the best time to get your workout schedule set. If you don’t plan it now, time is just going to go by and you’re going to put it off. Here are some of our tips on how to get back into the swing of things once the summer sun starts to fade.
Decide the time of day you enjoy working out
This can be a time that works best for your schedule or your personal preference. There is no bad time to work out – the only bad thing you can do is not make time to work out. When it comes to the time of day to work out, everyone has their own sweet spot. Some people like waking up early and getting their workout out of the way. Other people, however, shoot daggers out of their eyes at the mere mention of getting up earlier. Neither opinion is wrong and not everyone operates the same way. Try a few different workout times during the week and decide which one is the best for you.
Keep backup workout clothes with you
You know the feeling. You get to the gym and you’ve only brought one show. Or you’re halfway through changing and realize you have no shorts. Prepare for the worst by always having backup clothes. They could be in your car, office, purse or backpack – just have them! Maybe just one thing, though. Don’t have them hanging around for too long. Remember to swap out those clothes every once in a while to avoid mildew, mold and overall death-stank.
Find a buddy
For most people, work starts to pick up and get busier in the fall. Busier days means more energy spent and sometimes longer work days. All this combined makes it really easy for you to trick your mind into skipping your workout. Make it harder for your mind to trick you by finding a workout buddy. The best buddy is someone who enjoys the same activities as you and whose schedule matches yours. If you’re close with someone at work, they might be a good lunch-hour buddy. If you’re an early bird, find a fellow early bird. You may have to ask a few people, but the hunt will be worth it in the end.
Set a goal
Don’t view your workout as a chore or something you have to slog through. Set a reasonable goal you’d like to accomplish by winter. This could be coming to CKO three times a week instead of two or being able to add an extra 10-20 push-ups onto what you can currently do. Push yourself to make it happen, but don’t let it overwhelm you.
These tips will help motivate your, but the real motivation has to come from yourself. Realize that getting dressed and traveling to your workout is really half the battle. Once you do that, you’ll get into your workout, get in the zone and question why you were debating on skipping in the first place.
Reaching Your Maximum Potential
It’s bound to happen. One day you’ll begin your workout session and just not feel it. You’ll slug through it and finish feeling no more accomplished than when you started. Sure, there is no such thing as a bad workout, but that doesn’t help when you fall short of your own expectations.
A less-than-stellar workout happens to all of us, but there are measures you can take to ensure you have more of the energized kind which will leave you amped for the next one. Here are six lifestyle-based action steps to help you maximize your fitness potential.
- Hydrate to regulate.
This is a no-brainer. You literally need water to perform at life, so of course you need it to fuel you regardless if the effort is high intensity interval-based or steady state-based. In addition to, you know, keeping you alive, water is a lubricant for your muscles, joints and vital organs. It primes your body for physical exertion and helps regulate your body temperature when you are heating things up in a hardcore HIIT workout. Be smart, though. Make sure you are steadily consuming water throughout the day instead of chugging right before a workout.
- Fuel your mind and body.
We’re talking food here. The right kind of food can set you up for a spectacular workout. The wrong kind will leave you feeling bloated or sluggish. Stay away from added sugars and salts; avoid heavy meals right before a workout. Like chugging water, scarfing food won’t mix well with physical activity. This is where natural snacks come in handy. Fruits, vegetables and nuts will provide you with an energy boost from quality nutrients, like fiber and protein. When it comes to meals, think of your food as something which will help fuel and repair the body. Focus on whole grains, lean meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, and protein-filled foods like legumes, nuts, leafy greens, seeds, and tofu.
- Wear gear that moves with you.
Choose clothes which will work with you, not against you. Think about the kind of activity you are doing and research the best options for that workout. Your clothes and shoes should allow you to move freely, provide stability where you need it, wick moisture, and not ride up. The right clothing will keep you in beast mode when you need it most.
- Envision goals for mental prep.
If you’re not in the mood for your workout, it’s probably going to suck. Do whatever you can to convince yourself it’s going to be awesome and moves you a degree closer to your fitness goal(s). Find a motivational quote or mantra and set it on mental repeat. Envision what you will look and feel like with your fitness goals achieved. Find that perfect pump-up jam and blast it to get you in the zone. Whatever you need to do to get you into beast mode, do it.
- Determine the best time to work out.
Some people perform their best in the morning hours, while others get top results in the evening. The very best time to work out is that time which is right for you. Sample various times and pick the one where you feel strongest and most energized. We have a winner!
- Be kind to yourself.
You’re not going to kill it every time. Each workout is a step toward a better you, so bear in mind your humanness. Do your best and enjoy the experience. Fitness is a journey where a hard-and-fast destination is always just out of reach.
Combine all these tips to maximize your fitness potential and get your best workout ever. Some – like modifying your diet – will take various levels of effort to sustain, but once you start incorporating these tips, they will become ingrained into your routine, and you won’t even have to think twice about them. In fact, they will shape you (both mentally and physically!) for years and years to come.