Daily workouts on your home fitness equipment are a great way to establish your fitness and move you toward your goals, but changing your habits during the rest of your day can really push you to the next level. Here are a few workday strategies to help you toward weight loss and better fitness.
6:00 am: Hit the ground running with an interval session on your treadmill, elliptical or recumbent bike. Whether you're training for a marathon or losing weight, you're more likely to reach your goals by getting your workout in before the day starts. People who exercise regularly in the morning are more likely to stick to their workout plan and to stick with the exercise habit for the long run. Plus, interval workouts are great for boosting your metabolism and providing fat burning effects for hours.
7:30 am: Grab breakfast on your way out the door and round out your usual bagel with a side of eggs. Boiled eggs are a great grab-and-go item to top your breakfast off with a boost of muscle-building, satiating protein. Whether it's the choline or the protein, research shows there's something special about eggs in supporting weight loss.
9:00 am: Take a stand while you return calls and email. Standing burns 50 percent more calories than sitting and breaks up the metabolic slump that we fall into when we sit at our desk for hours at a time. Try to add standing breaks to your workday whenever you spend time on the phone.
11:00 am: Treat your revved up metabolism to an early lunch. Grabbing lunch earlier will keep you off of the candy dish and away from the break room doughnuts. Packing a lunch at home will help you save money and calories. Try a simple sandwich on whole grain bread with a glass of milk and fruit for dessert.
11:30 am: Use the time you saved eating in during lunch to treat yourself to a midday walk outside. While you're walking, pop in a piece of gum. Research shows that chewing gum can increase feelings of fullness, making you less likely to snack after your meal. When you get back to your desk put a healthy snack, such as veggies and hummus or fruit and yogurt, in plain view. Having healthy foods where you can see them will make you more likely to indulge in those rather than other office temptations.
2:00 pm: Enjoy your healthy snack. Need ideas for packable snacks? Check out this link. While you're at it, take a big swig from your water bottle or the nearest drinking fountain. Dehydration is likely to lead to a mid-afternoon energy slump, as well as perceived hunger.
3:00 pm: Have a walking tea break. For a late afternoon pick-me-up, stroll around the building to get a great energy boost or try one of the "activity snacks" given here [http://www.themoderationnation.com/workout-tips/activity-snacks/]. You can also drink a cup of green tea for its metabolism-boosting benefits, and to give you the lift you'll need to stay motivated through the end of your work day.
5:00 pm: Time to head home. Skip the happy hour or drive-thru dinner by calling a friend or significant other and ask them to meet up for a walk or game of Frisbee in a park or the back yard.
Weigh in: What are your tricks for supporting your healthy lifestyle throughout your workday?