Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Staying Healthy: 7 Habits You Should Adopt to Embrace Health and Wellness

Staying Healthy: 7 Habits You Should Adopt to Embrace Health and Wellness

"When you've got your health, you've got everything," is a common saying to convey how vital health is to success. While it may be cliche', this phrase is one all of us should live by. It's hard to be effective if your physical and mental health is suffering. Ultimately, this means that you have to put these aspects of your life first.

However, that can be easier said than done. When your day is filled with managing colleagues, handling family chores, and going through your own to-do list, it can be hard to fit health and wellness tactics into your routine. Nevertheless, with a little planning and forethought, you can incorporate sound health practices into your work routine.

Here are some practical tips you can include in your workday to prioritize your health.

Inquire About a Health and Wellness Program at Your Company

Whether you are in the office or not, many companies have a health and wellness program. These programs can typically include weight loss education, therapy opportunities, fitness goal-setting, gym vouchers, nutrition education, and programs to promote healthy habits. If your company doesn't already have one, talk to HR about starting one. Various studies have shown that workplace wellness programs can reduce health risks for those who participate. You can also work with HR to start up smaller initiatives like virtual walking events, sharing healthy recipes, or creating fitness goals with colleagues.

Drink Water

This tip seems like such a simple thing to do during the day, but it's something that many people forget to do. Failing to drink water throughout the day can contribute to common health issues. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, decreased motivation, and even poor brain performance. Drinking water can ease digestion, improve kidney function, and even promote weight loss. Increasing your water intake during the day is an easy way to make yourself feel better and even improve your productivity. Therefore, be sure to grab a water bottle and keep it close to you throughout the day.

Consider Investing in a Standing Desk

Standing can improve your posture and help you get a jump on burning calories. Just standing for an hour can burn 88 calories. It can also reduce back pain and even improve your alertness, which can aid in your productivity. As with water, standing throughout the day has positive impacts on your body and your work motivation directly. Some standing desks even come with a treadmill that will allow you to walk as you work. The goal is to prevent yourself from being in a sitting position most of the day so you keep your muscles and joints limber.

Eat Breakfast

Many people skip breakfast—whether due to a lack of time or not understanding the benefits. However, it does meet its reputation for being the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast can get your metabolism going and help you better concentrate on the work you need to do. You likely want to eat things that can get your brain moving. This would include foods high in protein like eggs and Greek yogurt and foods that are high in antioxidants like green tea and oatmeal. Again, the right food can set up your day for success. If you feel you don't have time to worry about breakfast each morning, consider prepping meals during the weekend. This step will enable you to quickly pull out the meals you've created so you can start the day without worrying about cooking or searching for things to eat.

Go For a Walk

Again, there are a variety of risks associated with sitting all day. Failing to get up and active can lead to the onset of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This reason is why it is important to include some activity into your day. One easy way to do this is to go for a walk during the day. This step can include taking a walk around your neighborhood if you are working from home, taking a stroll through the parking lot on your lunch break if you are in the office, or going for a "virtual walk" in your living room with the help of a YouTube walk workout video. A great way to keep yourself motivated is to involve co-workers. See if your colleagues would like to walk with you, set team walk goals, and even consider putting together virtual walk events. The goal is to get yourself moving and active throughout the day.

Keep a Yoga Mat Nearby

You may feel like yoga isn't for you. Nevertheless, it can be an excellent way to add some stress management to your day. The National Institutes of Health released some findings regarding yoga and its benefits. Out of 17 studies, 12 revealed that yoga helps with stress management. Other studies showed that yoga positively impacts mental health, sleep patterns, back pain, and headaches.

Fortunately, getting involved with yoga doesn't have to be a complicated process. There are a variety of YouTube videos that can take you through yoga routines of various levels. Keeping a mat near your desk will remind you to take a break throughout the day to engage in this stress management practice.

Don't Forget Your Mental Health

As many of you know, jobs are among the most major stressors that many of us face. Whenever you try to meet someone else's expectations or deal with various personalities, feelings of anxiety and stress can become commonplace. Therefore, it is essential to have a plan for managing your mental health. This plan can include taking breaks throughout the day, planning to take time away from work, altering your workload, and even seeking a mental health professional's help to talk through any issues. It is important that you make your mental health just as important as your physical health. So, don't forget to check in with yourself to be sure you are taking care of this aspect of your life.

Your Health Should Be Your Number One Priority

Again, you cannot complete your tasks or meet goals if you are not feeling well. Therefore, your health should always be your top priority. Engaging in health and wellness habits doesn't have to be challenging. It can be as simple as drinking more water throughout the day, incorporating yoga into your daily routine, or taking advantage of the mental health services that your company offers. Always check in with yourself to make sure your health needs are being met because, ultimately, good health allows you to excel and be the best you possible.


5 Workplace Wellness Statistics Every Employer Should Know,

Standing Desks: How They Help You Beat Inactivity,

The Best Treadmill Desks That Let You Walk While You Work,

Yoga: What You Need to Know,