6 Practical Ways to Improve Health while Working Long hours.

How to maintain health in few easy steps?

Too familiar with the terms burning the midnight oil, finishing up a deadline, working late hours, sleepless nights? If you can’t do without the mandatory cup of coffee to keep you up, find yourself stressed all the time, have throbbing headaches and body pain, find it difficult to sleep. You are in grave danger of a burnout, my friend.

It’s not uncommon to witness a work-life balance disarray with the advent of work from homes, thanks to the pandemic. Running between personal and professional life, with more responsibilities and zero help can take a toll on you.

Trying to maintain a balance between both is task enough, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of all this chaos is next to impossible. Resulting in increased cases of health related ailments.

So what can you do to improve your health without giving it much thought? Let’s discuss.

1. Exercise is not the Enemy.

Before you jump the gun, hear me out. Given the challenges, its hard to find time to sit for a moment, let alone exercise. Saying that, your health is something you cannot ignore either. A little work goes a long way.

Instead of fretting about starting a new workout routine. Do something which won’t feel like exercise. Start with meditation. Small jogs or runs. Yoga. Low intensity, high impact home workouts. Short walks with your partner, kids, pet or even alone.

All these exercises require minimal effort but provide you long term results. Meditation and Yoga are an easy way to start. These ancient practices are gaining new followers each day. Learning meditation can benefit both your mental and physical health.

Meditation is the practice of learning to control your breath while focusing your mind towards a single task. It requires you to synchronise your breathing which creates a sense of mindfulness and balance within you. Allowing your brain cells to activate while relaxing your body.

At the beginning of any exercise, you will find your mind wandering into different directions. Sometimes you won’t even last 5 minutes. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Keep practicing and you will reach there.

Take baby steps, in the beginning you are might feel breathless, tire easily, lack motivation but with time it is bound to improve.

Good news is these exercises demand only 30 minutes of your time. I am sure you can spare that much for your health.

2. Don’t give into Fad Diets, Give into Healthy Food habits.

Last year brought us a plethora of articles and videos, requiring us to follow certain diets or food habits to improve health and immunity. What these videos don’t tell you is how sticking to just one thing does not give enough nutritional benefits to sustain you in the long run. Also, nutrition does not come from only eating exotic fruits and vegetables.

Instead, follow what your parents or grandparents did, eat a good homecooked meal. Every culture has a traditonal way of cooking food which benefits your immune system as well as your gut. Follow that. Include local and seasonal foods in your diet. This will give you the nutrition and nourishment your body requires. Helping you gain health instead of weight.

Image of a Home Cooked Meal.

Remember : Loosing Weight does not Equal Gaining Strength & Health.

Weight loss can also be a sign of some underlying condition like stress or poor nutritional habits. If your diet does not accommodate certain vitamins and minerals, incorporate supplements like protein powders or vitamin capsules etc. This can also help maintain your bodily functions and increase strength.

Disclaimer : Do consult your doctor if you have prior health issues before subscribing to any supplements.

3. Learn to unplug and say NO.

Probably the hardest thing to do when you are working all the time is not knowing when to STOP.

To maintain a healthy and stress-free lifestyle, one needs to set limits. Limits to working, staying online and limits from devices.

Our brains can’t relax when we are constantly bombarded with information. Set a limit to your device usage, these days all platforms & devices come with a feature to set your daily consumption limit. Use it.

Apply the same to your work, don’t entertain work demands out of work hours. Unless it’s a matter of grave importance and needs immediate attention. Learn to say NO.

Politely decline any work requests and ask them to contact you during office hours. Tell them that is when you will be available. Unplug yourself from the daily chatter and give your brain time to unwind.

4. Hobbies are Good.

Life can get mundane when only work is involved. Since we are not at capacity to engage in fun activities and outings at office, it’s imperative to find an alternative.

Nurturing a hobby helps you get in touch with your creative side and also helps you relax. It can involve outdoor activities as well like cycling, trekking, swimming which immensely benefits your health. As long as you enjoy it, anything works.

Learn a new skill. Give yourself some ME time. Immerse in that experience. Choose something that will not stress you out. Learn to draw, paint, dance, cook, garden, the possibilities are endless and health benefits immense.

5. Stretch don’t Stress.

Long work hours involves a lot of sitting on uncomfortable chairs. This often leads to issues of the lower back, body aches, spinal cord injuries and much more.

Get into the habit of moving around a lot. Don’t sit for long hours, get up every 30minutes and stretch. Stretching helps relax tensed muscles in your body.

It improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of injuries.

There are yoga techniques which help loosen up muscles and maintain flow. It stretches each muscle in your body and improves posture.

Try the below techniques.

6. Sleep is important

People don’t understand the importance of a good nights sleep. A well rested body is an invitation to good health, improved brain function and an energetic body. Our body follows a circadian rhythm which regulates our sleep-wake cycles. This cycles enables us to follow a timeline depending on environmental factors. It tells our body to slow down during nights and the opposite during day when its bright outside.

A person sleeping.

Lack of sleep disrupts our circadian cycle and increases risk of many lifestyle diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease etc.

Sleep is the time your body heals and recovers from the day’s activities. It lowers your stress levels and calms your body. That’s why it is important to follow a sleep pattern.

Start by switching off all your devices an hour before bedtime. The blue light from your device obstructs sleep inducing hormones, telling your brain to stay awake even when you are tired.

Stress can inhibit sleep in many people. So try to relax your mind by breathing in and out for a minute or so. Trust me, this works like a charm.

An adult person should sleep around 7-8 hours ideally. But that varies from person to person. Some people can be very productive with just 6 hours of proper sleep. Understand your sleep cycle and follow your bodily needs.

Remember : Improved Sleep Equals Improved Health.

Found this article helpful? Let me know in the comments if you follow any of these habits.

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