I started my job a little over a month ago and figured that my good eating habits and exercise regimen would be fine for helping me stay at my pre-job weight despite not getting to move around much at the office. I am currently working in the corporate offices of an outerwear company, where my main responsibility is to take care of the front desk. This involves sitting at the front desk, hours on end. Although I love working there I am happy that this is a job with an expiration date (I am set to leave right before the start of my dietetic internship in mid-August).
Even though I get to move on from sitting all day, many people don't and find themselves sitting for 40+ hours a week for decades. It's impossible for such a lifestyle to not take a toll on a persons health and waistline. So whether your someone working a desk job longterm or for a short while like me, you need to make a few modifications to counteract being sedentary. In the past five weeks I've put on 5 pounds and have no intention of gaining another five. Clearly, my pre-job routine needs to get tweaked and that is exactly what I plan on doing without going on a fad diet or setting unrealistic goals. I'm going to be kind to my body and let it shed the excess without bullying it into doing it but by taking care of it.
The first order of business is to recognize that continuing on the same path will result in more weight gain. Then it's important to take steps towards change. Since the only thing that has changed is that I have been moving less, my focus will be on moving more.
- Make over my workouts so that there is more emphasis on strength training. By building lean muscle my body will be able to burn more calories since more calories are needed to build and maintain muscle than fat.
- Walk more during my commute. Instead of taking the bus to the subway I will leave my house 20 min early and walk. This will have me walking 40 minutes every day if I do this on my way to and from work.
- Take lunch outside. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've yet to leave the office during lunch (and I work across the street from Bryant Park in NYC!!!). This will be a great way to enjoy the fresh air, stretch out on the grass, and take a nice stroll.
If you work a job that involves lots of sitting, I'd love to hear your approach to maintaining a healthy weight. Please share!