Small Choices Lead to Big Results
I moonlight as a Calgary Personal Trainer but I also work full time as a Cost Analyst for an Oil and Gas Company. Working at a desk job where I sit at a computer for 8-10 hours a day has really taught me the value of becoming and staying active. It has also taught me how to balance my schedule so that I can fit in the daily nutrition and exercise that I need to be healthy and fit so that I can be even better on the job.
On a recent business trip to Houston, I had a really eye opening experience. Business trips are a big challenge for me, because for up to a week at a time, I’m completely thrown out of my regular schedule, struggling to maintain workouts and nutrition while on the road. A business trip for me generally means flying very early or very late, very long hours worked in the office and on the computer, and dinners out with coworkers (which generally include drinks and large meals). By the end of the week, I’m really feeling the compounded negative effects – a lack of sleep, missed workouts, poor nutrition, and overall a very stressed and exhausted system. I know that a lot of you can relate to feeling this way, so what can we do to stay on track?
I made a point this last trip to bring my workout clothes with me and take advantage of the hotel’s fitness facility. I avoided caffeine as much as possible, while my coworkers downed endless cups of coffee, and instead stuck to green tea and made sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Our work hours were very long, and the job was high stress, but I tried to counteract this by taking small breaks throughout the day. I would make it a point to go for a short walk every few hours to stretch my legs and improve circulation. I even managed to sneak in a short 20 minute massage over lunch at the nearby mall (walking distance to the office) to ease my tight neck muscles from travelling and working on the computer.
In the evenings, I had to choose between joining my coworkers after work for dinner and drinks, or missing out on the social gatherings in order to get my workouts in and get to bed early. I compromised and tried to do both on alternating evenings. While out at dinner, I would treat myself to one drink but would be sure to drink lots of water throughout the rest of the evening. I’d stick to a healthy salad with a good source of protein (shrimp, chicken, fish), and tried not to indulge in desserts.
While I watched my coworkers over the week, I started to see a pattern that caused a realization in me. My coworkers were also working long hours, not getting enough sleep, drinking lots of coffee or energy drinks, were generally stressed out, not eating very well throughout the day, and then going out for large meals and drinks late in the evening. I realized that one of the most important things that we can do for our bodies is to make small, healthful choices throughout our day. Our schedules don’t always go as planned, and we may not always be able to stick to our healthy eating plans throughout the day, or something may come up and you may not be able to get that workout in as you had planned. The more often we can consciously make better choices, no matter how small they are, the closer we will be to our health and wellness goals.
Here are some healthy tips that you can begin to incorporate today:
It’s the consistency in these small choices that will pay off big time over the long run and you will be healthier, happier, more fit and less stressed as a result. Staying healthy is the result of just one little step at a time.
Contact info for Stephanie is coming soon