Maintaining a fit,healthy lifestyle under the burden of a busy working life

January is well and truly over and we all seem to be back in the office routine hitting a full on working day again.I hope you have been enjoying the Tuesday articles I have been putting together in 2017 and I have no doubt this piece will help you out if you find yourself in and around the office for a lot of the day.Lets face it work is a big part of our day and at times it can take over.Over the last few weeks I have been going into company’s and talking about the importance of looking after your health and fitness outside of a busy office and allowing time to focus on areas you need to work on.Its been really nice to see company’s bring in workplace health initiatives that is setting up employees to be a little more health and fitness aware.I am a big believer in these initiatives as they tend to bring in two important factors. They tend to encourage accountability and consistency of health/fitness in the workforce If you can get staff a little more aware of health and fitness topics then that can only mean a huge success from you being more aware of what you should be eating and how you can look after yourself day to day that little bit more.Overall it will lead into a healthier and happier workplace to be around.Time and time again I have seen work take over which can bring on stress,fatigue,burnout and so on.When this happens fitness and your overall health can take a back burner and we tend to focus on quick fixes like fast lunches, junk food and coffee to keep us going throughout the day.Overtime this will only catch up on us and  can lead to plenty of issues like weight gain or loss,poor posture/mobility,to completely falling off the fitness/health bandwagon.90% of the clients I work with today are coming from office based environments and they generally all have the same goal they want to work on and they pretty much show signs of similar strengths and weaknesses.

Here are my top 4 topics that people I work with coming from a busy working environment need to address and it has lead to plenty of benefits

Mobility

I talk about this a lot.In my opinion this is one of the factors that people need to address first when it comes to their fitness regime.A lot of the time we spend quite a lot of our day in the seated position.This can bring in many issues from poor posture,weak core,tight and inactive parts of our body which can then lead to poor movement,low back pain,injury or even burnout.Anybody that I train initially gets a mobility screen test done first and this is where I assess where the client needs work first. Majority of the time the same issues present themselves from tight upper back,rounded shoulders,tight hip flexors and hamstrings to inactive glutes. What I always recommend people do do is bring in mobility tools like resistance bands,foam rollers and even lacrosse balls so that you can incorporate exercises that will help you out here.Exercises like banded pull aparts,banded x-band walks to getting into positions like the couch and pigeon stretch daily can really keep you on top of these areas that need attention.I always say to anybody to make at least 15 mins each day to bring in basic body maintenance drills like this first to stay on top of things.I have included a video below and you see me use some of these tools and get into some of the movements mentioned.

Training structure 

I talked about this in last weeks article and you can find all that info HERE People who spend long hours in the office at times may not get the full time to get after their workouts planned.If you find yourself having no time what so ever well then at least you should make time for 15 minute daily body maintenance like the video above to keep on top of things.However if you do find yourself being able to get in 3 sessions per week then you really should be getting the most from those sessions and getting after the areas that need attention first. Don’t get me wrong doing some random exercise is great however if you have a certain goal then you need to bring in some proper structure that is set up for the goal.A good basic structure I would recommend is Warm up-Mobility-Strength-Conditioning/Extra work.I have covered all this layout in last weeks article above so go read that if you need more assistance here.

Nutrition

A topic that can create a lot of controversy.Let me first mention I am not a qualified nutritionist.However I have tried many different approaches and the best one that works for me is the 80/20 approach.I have seen it work best for a lot of my clients too.The biggest thing that I have noticed about the nutrition path is that what works best for me may not work best for you,him or her and everyone is individual. There are so many angles we can look down from paleo,vegan,weightwatchers,quick fixes,juicing and even detoxes.I have talked about the 80/20 approach here and you can go find all that info you need here Looking in I would say people need to allow more time to prepare their meals in advance if time is an issue on a day  to day basis.The most common factors I see people make mistakes on are not eating enough green leafy veg in their day,not having enough protein in their day,not drinking enough water and overall just not getting the basics right first.Once you get the basics right and start to bring in real food like fresh meat,fish,veg,some fruit,limited amount of starch and sugar then you can go key in your numbers like the amount of calories and macronutrients you need in order to get after your goal.All these calories and macro calculators can be found HERE in another previous article

Mental fitness/Mindset

I talk about this a lot as feel its very important and something we might not associate with fitness too often.First of all, you might be asking ‘why is this is in a fitness column?’.I would regard physical fitness as very important but how you train and look after your mind is just as, if not more, important.To me, fitness isn’t always about lifting weights, running or going under the bar to hit a heavy squat.Spending time on your mindset is something I would encourage everybody to incorporate into their fitness routine. You’ve got to slow down to speed up sometimes.As a personal trainer I have seen the huge benefit with some clients who are treating exercise as a path to help them with their own personal battles.A lot of the time work and life in general can catch up with us and take over.I have seen this lead to many issues from fatigue,stress,burnout and even mental health issues.I recommend for all my clients to find something that is going to help them slow down a little,unwind and overall this will really improve your mind,health and well-being. Anything and everything from Yoga,getting outdoors for hikes,meditating are all angles I have seen people do and has great benefit.Take up a new hobby, challenge or sport and get creative, switch off and start embrace your artistic side; draw, play music or even get creative in the kitchen with your cooking. A healthy mind helps a healthy body.Doing things that help the brain slow down, de-stress and unwind are vital and often sacrificed in favor of more fitness-focused activities.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a message from the links below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

 

 

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