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Want to stay fit at work? Jessica Culnane, a nutritionist at LUNA was in St. Louis last week to share some tips at the Yurbuds offices. (Yurbuds designs custom fit ear buds that stay put during physical activity.)
Most of us, who work in offices spend our day sitting, either in front of a computer or in meetings. This sedentary lifestyle, as we've learned in recent years, can make us more prone to obesity and other diseases. Culnane recommended Movement Snack Time. Take a minute or two every hour to get up and stretch. Try a Plié Squat (see below for instructions) or alternate knee raises. The most important thing, Culnane says, is to remember to do it every hour. The little break doesn't take longer than 10 minutes, and you’ll return to your work with more focus and energy.
Snacking is also an important part of maintaining energy and focus throughout the day. Culnane gave the following tips:
-Eat frequent, small, healthy meals: Many nutritionists and doctors have explained the importance of eating small meals throughout the day. It’s a good idea so long as those meals are healthy. This isn’t an excuse to run to the vending machine and grab another Snickers.
-Take a break: Don’t eat while you’re doing something else. Take 10 or 15 minutes for a break and enjoy your snack or lunch. It’ll help clear your mind and you’ll return to work more focused.
-Drink: But not soda (and certainly not booze!). Instead, head for the water cooler and get a glass of water. Sometimes thirst manifests itself as hunger.
-Don't Sweat the Occasional Treat: If someone brings donuts to the staff meeting, or you’re celebrating a birthday with a red velvet cake, don’t agonize over how much you “shouldn’t” eat this. (Then berate yourself for being weak and indulging in the tempting goodies.) Treats won’t damage you health if you have them in moderation.
LUNA wasn’t just at the Yubuds offices to share health tips though. They were also dropping off a free vending machine that would be stocked with LUNA nutrition bars for the next six months. Yurbuds won the “Feed your Strength… at Work!” contest, that LUNA hosted last spring on Facebook.
Marketing coordinator Jessica Hannon entered the contest to talk about how her Yurbuds colleagues inspired her to stay fit. (The company was actually founded by athletes who wanted better headphone options when they were working out.) Many in the office are ironman competitors, and Hannon took a photo of her and her colleagues running over their lunch break (in matching shirts, no less).
Hannon’s workplace won, as did 4moms, a company in Pittsburgh. Now both places get the free vending machine and five workplace wellness webinars. Plus, on the day the vending machine arrived, LUNA bought everyone at Yurbuds lunch from Green Bean a café in the Central West End that serves eco-healthy wraps and salads.
Movement snack images are courtesy of LUNA, which is part of CLIF Bar & Company.
Text and Photos by Rosalind Early