Want to be a better employee? Get fit

We all want to be healthy. But often, for one reason or another, we don’t make healthy choices.

Whether it’s because is we’re too busy or unwilling to change, we all have the choice to be the best versions of ourselves, but instead we often settle for the tired, unmotivated and unhappy one.

Making health-conscious choices is not an easy task. It takes dedication and discipline to choose carrots over potato chips. Likewise, it takes more effort to run three miles instead of calling it good after a five-minute walk. In spite of the challenges healthy living presents, I can promise that you will feel better, be happier and be a better employee and human being for doing so.

A healthy employee is happy, confident, motivated, alert and ultimately less expensive to insure – good news for employers.

Rather than setting unrealistic goals such as trying to run 100 miles in the next 30 days, focus on several small items you can do every day.

Here is a list of several things you can do today to improve your health.

• Buy a water bottle for your desk. The body needs a lot of water to perform at its pinnacle. Drink water as often as you can while you’re sitting at your desk.

• Take the stairs whenever possible. Avoid elevators at all costs. Remember, it’s several little things that will lead to improved overall health.

• Commute if possible by riding a bicycle or walking. If you are fortunate enough to have easy access to the bike trail, use it.

• Eat fruits and vegetables for a snack. They have virtually no calories and will fill you with nutrition.

• If you must drink soda, choose diet instead of regular. Most, if not all, diet sodas have zero calories. And if you decrease your overall intake, you will notice that even the diet option will start to taste sweet.

• Eat what you want, but choose the low-calorie option. Low-fat mayo is still mayo. It’s not great for you, but it’s better than the regular stuff.

• Purchase an electronic body monitor. FitBit and Nike Fuel are both great devices. These pedometer-like devices attach to your wrist or waistband and monitor your activity levels throughout the day. You can set activity goals, track your progress and get super-analytical about your fitness milestones.

• Track your workouts with a smartphone application. These apps work with electronic body monitoring devices, or they can be used on their own to track how far, hard and long you work out. Again, data is motivation.

• Bring your lunch to work. This prevents you from needing to eat out multiple times a week and gives you the power to choose the healthy option before your stomach starts to rumble.

• Stretch and perform body-weight exercises daily. Stretching will keep you limber, while body-weight training tones your muscles. The best part is you don’t need to buy weights.

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