Give Me a Break
How to get healthy on your lunch break
If you sit at a desk every day for work, chances are you are not as healthy as you could be. As a matter of fact a whopping 65% of American office workers either eat in front of their computers or skip lunch all together. Believe it or not, you can actually be more productive by taking a lunch break. Read on for various ways to make your lunch break healthier.
Step Away from the Desk
When it’s time for lunch, put down the pencil, get up from your chair, and slowly step away from the computer screen. Then take a deep breath and try not to think about what you need to do after lunch. Don’t work and don’t talk about work during your lunch break. A rested and refreshed mind will work more efficiently.
Brown Bag It
Bring your lunch; that way you know what you’re eating and you won’t waste time in traffic and standing in line to order. Eating nutritious food is a great way to re-energize body and mind. Foods including fish and leafy greens provide omega-3 fatty acids to improve brain function. Dark leafy greens (think kale and spinach) have brain-friendly antioxidants. Make your lunch healthy enough so you don’t feel sluggish when you get back to your desk.
Take time to chew your food and enjoy it. Eat lunch outside when weather permits so you can get some much-needed fresh air and remind yourself there’s a great big world out there. If you are pressed for time during the week, prep your lunches over the weekend. Another idea is to make enough dinner the night before and bring the leftovers as your lunch for the next day. Enjoy your lunch break. Doing so will help you work better throughout the afternoon.
During lunch breaks take time to get to know your coworkers better by having lunch with them. This is a positive stress reliever and their emotional support can help improve your wellbeing. It’s important to keep your body and mind healthy, and it’s also important to have good working relationships with your co-workers because it can lessen tension and increase your efficiency and productivity.
Make a Run for it
Or at least go outside and walk. Get some fresh air even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes. This helps relieve tension and stress. Also looking at a distance can soothe your eyes from the strain of too much computer exposure. Try a brisk walk, go up and down the stairs, or anything else you enjoy and can perform safely at work. When you exercise you release endorphins, plus exposure to sunlight can boost serotonin so you’re getting a double dose of happy.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. Being hydrated helps your brain work better and can keep you feeling fuller so you don’t dive into the dozen doughnuts someone from HR brought in. If you notice some of these side effects of dehydration, grab a bottle of water ASAP:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry mouth
Pull out a book of crossword puzzles, word finds, Sudoku or any other brain games you enjoy. These types of exercises can help stimulate brain cells and improve your cognitive function.
Some days you may need to work through your lunch break or go to a restaurant or drive-thru. However, these tips give you different ways to spend your lunch, and we challenge you to find your own healthy lunchtime diversions.