(WellnessNova.com) - A luxurious six-figure salary and a busy, stressful life are two sides of the same coin. Research shows that wealth comes at the price of health — they discovered industrialized countries have growing instances of chronic diseases over the last two decades. They found that the more industrialized and wealthy a nation gets, the more prevalent heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other scary conditions become.
Fortunately there are easy, little things you can do that greatly lower your stress, keep your nutrient levels up, protect your heart, and keep you fit. Here 11 are easy ways to keep yourself healthy at work:
1. Open Your Window Blinds or Curtains
Getting sunlight at your desk can mean the difference between burning fat and being relaxed or gaining weight and being anxious. Your skin makes vitamin D when happily showered by the sun. Researchers found that low vitamin D levels make you depressed, more anxious, and more prone to panic attacks. Given the high-stress of a six-figure job, panic attacks are fatal since you must make cool-headed decisions that significantly affect your company.
Seeing sunlight also lowers your stress because the brightness of the light in your eyes causes a chemical reaction that boosts your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the stress-fighting hormone that calms you down. In fact, chronic stress has been shown to lower serotonin levels and lead to depression.
That’s not all – researchers found that sunlight also makes your skin produce more nitric oxide (NO). This molecule lowers your blood pressure, which protects your heart from disease. Researchers found the role sunlight plays in preventing cardiovascular disease is very significant – they discovered cardiovascular disease is higher during winter and in countries far away from the equator, when and where there’s less sunlight.
Dermatologists found that getting moderate sun exposure helps prevents obesity and type 2 diabetes. They found that the nitric oxide produced by the skin helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers insulin resistance. This means getting enough sun helps prevent blood sugar spikes. They discovered that nitric oxide plays a role in your sugar and fat metabolism too, which means not getting enough sunlight lowers your metabolism because you’re making less nitric oxide.
Remember to wear natural sunscreen (NOT cancer-causing artificial sunscreen). Increasing your sun exposure is dangerous if you don’t protect your skin from UV rays, which can lead to skin cancer and premature wrinkles. Apply carrot seed oil to your exposed areas every two to three hours to safely enjoy the sun’s stress-lowering and metabolism-boosting benefits.
2. Walnut Oatmeal Cookies for Breakfast
Have sugarless or stevia-flavored walnut oatmeal cookies for breakfast. Oatmeal’s fiber lowers your cholesterol levels, protecting your heart during your stress-filled day. Its complex carbohydrates give you long-lasting energy, and MIT found that they also lower your stress by promoting serotonin production.
Walnuts are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which doctors say counter damage caused by stress. Researchers found that eating omega-3 fatty acids lowers anxiety by 20 percent.
Why cookies instead of a breakfast bowl? They’re travel-ready – you can stuff them in your mouth as you run out the door or while driving. If you hate oatmeal, the cookie form makes it tastier and more tolerable. Harvard scientists found the brain automatically registers round-shaped food as tasting sweeter – without adding sugar, oatmeal cookies inherently taste better than a bowl of oatmeal.
3. Microgreen Sandwiches for Lunch
Fork-and-knife meals are a no-no when you’re always eating brunch on the run. Get your daily salad into your ham-and-egg roll by topping them with popcorn shoots. Researchers found that microgreens, like two-week old spinach leaves, have up to 40 times the nutrients of mature vegetables. Buying sandwiches with sprout toppings may be as nutritious as buying a whole salad.
4. Snack on Yogurt
Stressful workdays can wreak havoc on your digestive system, which can lead to indigestion and bad bacterial and fungal overgrowth. Yogurt contains probiotics, which promote good bacteria in your gut and keep harmful candida and bad bacteria at bay. It helps protect your intestines from the effects of stress and helps soothe and cure upset stomachs during or after a stressful business luncheon.
UCLA researchers also found that eating yogurt reduces activity in regions of your brain responsible for stress.
Eating yogurt is a bonus if you’re a woman. The American Heart Association found that females who eat yogurt five times or more a week enjoy 20 percent more protection from developing high blood pressure. Why? Researchers believe yogurt has natural molecules that lower blood pressure.
Since yogurt is rich in calcium and clean protein, it’s also good for your bones and muscles!
5. Everything Mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation has proven to lower stress, blood pressure, and risks for many chronic diseases, including cancer. It’s also proven to enlarge areas in your brain responsible for memory, cognition, and emotional processing – in other words it makes you smarter. It also protects your brain from psychological and neurological diseases like PTSD and dementia.
Mindfulness meditation also improves your productivity. Researchers found that employees who incorporated mindfulness meditation into their daily work were less absent, had better ideas, and fostered better relationships with clients and co-workers.
How do you do it? You probably don’t have time to do a formal mindfulness meditation session involving sitting or laying down and observing your thoughts and breaths for an hour. But, you can do mindfulness multitasking and reap all these health benefits:
While driving: You can do a little mindfulness meditation while waiting on a red light. Instead of impatiently staring at the stoplight thinking of your busy schedule, shut the radio off and concentrate on your breaths.
When eating: When eating brunch or snacks at work, pause and examine the texture of the food and concentrate on each flavor. This also prevents you from overeating and helps you lose weight since you’re eating slower, which gives your brain the 20 minutes it needs to realize you’re full.
While doing chores: When doing mundane chores or tasks, like folding clothes, don’t let your mind wander to stressful thoughts. Instead, concentrate on what you’re doing — feel the clothes under your hands, and appreciate the graceful and caring movements of your hands. Immersing yourself in the “now” calms you and brings you subtly into alternate states of consciousness before you realize it, and you’ll be receiving mindfulness meditation’s health benefits.
Changing your mind’s focus is easy and protects you from diseases while improving your work performance too!
6. Tone Your Abs While Driving to Work
While driving to work you can tighten your abs! Straighten your shoulders, but keep them down and back. After exhaling, clench your Kegel muscles (think of when you hold your urine in) and suck your gut in with your abs as far as you can. Hold for a few seconds and repeat with each breath. To maximize your abs-toning you can push your hips forward at the same time.
This mini car workout won’t replace sit-ups, but if you do it frequently your abs will be stronger and a bit more toned.
7. Shorten Your Workout With HIIT
If your busy schedule leaves you with less than an hour a week to work out, high intensity interval training (HIIT) can get you your recommended 2.5 hours of moderate exercise in less time. Here, you do a 60-second burst of intense activity, like rapidly pounding the treadmill or furiously lifting weights, then take a 10 to 30-second break. Why? Experts found this technique burns more fat quickly than traditional workouts. They found it’s just as healthy for your muscles and heart as a regular workout.
When you’re on break or after work, hit the treadmill on a high setting, running as fast as you can for 10 minutes straight. Drop the setting and your pace to a jog for half a minute, then ramp it up again for another 10 straight minutes. Repeat a third time if you can take it! This workout should be equivalent to an hour or more of jogging.
If it starts feeling overwhelming, researchers found you can boost your endurance by listening to music you like. Participants who listened to empowering music became more energized and better tolerated the rigorous bursts of exercise.
8. Take 30-Second Breaks to Do Workouts at Your Desk
You’ve probably heard scientists discovered that sitting for hours raises your risk for cancer by over 60 percent and lowers your metabolism. Sadly, exercising doesn’t undo the negative effects of sitting for prolonged periods. You can lessen them by intermittently getting up and doing mini exercises right at your desk.
Desk push-ups. Stand up, place your palms firmly on your desk, then slide your feet back to a 45-degree angle. Push yourself up and down with your palms a few times. They’re not as effective as full push-ups but they still build your shoulder, chest, and arm muscles.
Overhead Book Triceps Extension. You can do this easy exercise while sitting right in your chair. Grab the nearest heaviest book or object with both hands, then bring it over and behind your head. Now, lift it above your head and bring it back behind your head. Repeat this a couple of times. This is a great idle exercise that tones your triceps. Like fiddling with your fingers, you can train yourself to automatically start doing this when you get stuck during work and need to stop and think through something.
Office Ballerina. Stand up, get behind your chair and rest your hands on it for support. Tiptoe as high as you can and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat this a couple of times. This simple exercise strengthens your calf muscles.
Leg Raises. While sitting, simply raise and straighten your leg out at a 90-degree angle and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat with both legs a dozen or so times. Believe it or not, this simple act tones your abs! You can also do this idly when you need a minute to figure something out.
Taking these mini exercise breaks also increases your productivity. Hult International Business School found that taking a short break after every hour of sitting at your desk boosts your productivity significantly. Also, Cornell University found that these mini breaks, which include standing up to get coffee or check in with a co-worker, make you burn 20 percent more calories and exercise all of your muscle groups by the end of the workday.
When you feel the urge to take a break – take one! You’ll rejuvenate your mind and you’ll work more efficiently afterward. If you do these mini exercises and take mini breaks, you’ll be toning most of your muscles and burn more calories while working.
9. Multitask Your 8 Daily Glasses of Water
Your doctor told you to drink eight glasses of water everyday. It’s easy to meet your quota if you always have a bottle of water with you, but never fill it with just water. Maximize your eight glasses’ efficiency by adding a few drops or teaspoons of natural elixirs:
Add a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your glass of water. It cleanses your gut, preventing bacterial and fungal overgrowth caused by stress. It can also keep your voice beautiful and strong for presentations and meetings by breaking up mucus and killing sore throat-causing microbes. ACV regulates your blood sugar, preventing type 2 diabetes and food cravings. It’s also packed with electrolytes and amino acids, replenishing your blood and boosting your energy.
Add a teaspoon of oil of oregano to your glass of water. Like ACV, oil of oregano heals your digestive system, preventing indigestion and promoting a good balance of gut bacteria. It also replenishes your body with magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, electrolytes, and other essential nutrients. It also has more anti-aging antioxidants than blueberries! It also soothes any swelling and soreness after a workout, and increases your metabolism – healing your muscles and helping you lose weight.
Other powerful additives:
- Chamomile: Boosts immunity, lowers stress and inflammation.
- Cocoa: Prevents chronic diseases, burns fat, lowers stress and inflammation.
- Coconut oil: Prevents candida overgrowth.
- Cayenne pepper: Protects your heart, gives you an energy boost.
Simply adding a teaspoon or two of these miracle elixirs to your eight glasses of water immensely boosts their health benefits. They’ll turn your ordinary glasses of water into fountains of youth, detox drinks, energy shots, immunity boosters, and pain relievers.
10. Use Red Water Bottles and Decorate Your Desk With Red
You can help undo the metabolism-lowering effects of sitting by keeping red objects at your desk. Why? Scientists found that seeing the color red boosts your metabolism. If your eyes wander to red-colored pencils, holders, and folders while you’re working, you’ll burn more carbs and fat!
Use a transparent, red-colored water bottle so you’ll get a metabolism boost whenever you take a sip when you’re on the go. Plus, when light soaks your water bottle the water soaks in the color, which doubles the metabolism-boosting effects when you take a drink. Do these, and you’ll speed up your metabolism no matter where you are.
Don’t eat with anything red around you (including your water bottle). Seeing red also increases your appetite. Avoid the color red while having lunch to prevent overeating.
11. A Glass of Wine After Work
When your busy schedule absolutely won’t give you any time to workout for the day, you can drink a glass of red wine instead. Scientists found that drinking one glass of red wine has the same effects on your body as two hours of moderate exercise. Relax with a glass of red wine after work and it will strengthen your heart and muscles just like a workout at your gym. Studies also show one glass of red wine protects you from cancer and reverses aging.
Obviously red wine can’t replace hitting the gym, but scientists believe it comes close. They’re even touting it as a replacement exercise therapy for disabled patients who can’t move. Enjoy a glass after work and make your muscles happy – you’ll live longer too!
Not a fan of alcohol? Drink a glass of grape juice instead – it has the same miraculous benefits.
Now, let’s go through your typical routine incorporating these easy, healthy additions:
- At breakfast – Have a delicious walnut oatmeal cookie to protect you from stress and heart disease.
- While driving to work – Tone your abs with breathing exercises. Do mindfulness breathing while at red lights to boost your productivity and protect you from diseases.
- When you arrive at your office – Open the blinds so you get more sun. This lowers your stress and boosts your metabolism. Remember to wear natural sunscreen.
- Go red – Replace your water bottle and desk objects with red-colored ones. This boosts your metabolism. But, go red-free when you’re having lunch or a snack to avoid overeating.
- While at your desk – Do mini desk exercises after every hour of sitting. Do your work with mindfulness. These boost your productivity and keep your muscles toned. You’ll also burn more fat.
- At lunch – Choose a sandwich with sprouts or shoots. This turns your sandwich into a full salad. Remember to eat with mindfulness to avoid overeating.
- Drink your eight glasses of water with healthy elixir additives – Add a few teaspoons or drops of miracle elixirs to each of your eight glasses of water to turn them into energy drinks, detox drinks, and more.
- Snack on yogurt – If you need to snack, go for yogurt. This lowers your blood pressure, cleanses your gut, and keeps your bones and muscles healthy.
- Head to the gym – Before heading home, stop by the gym and do HIIT for half an hour. This is equivalent to about 45 percent of your weekly exercise requirement.
- While doing chores at home – Be mindful when doing chores. This turns your chores into therapeutic activities that lower your stress and protect you from diseases.
- At dinner – Have a glass of red wine. It will keep you young and keeps your heart and muscles as healthy as exercising.
You can boost your health and fight the negative effects of a stressful, high-income lifestyle by doing these 11 simple things. They’re so easy you can do them passively, but so powerful you’ll be adding decades to your life. Start incorporating them into your life today!