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Grow Your Business Your Team

‘Small Changes’ in Exercise, Eating Keep Workers Healthy

The majority of American adults are unmotivated to exercise, say researchers, whose findings — published just days before New Year’s — don’t bode well for people making resolutions to live healthier in 2011.

Fifty-four percent of Americans report lack of motivation as their primary reason for not exercising, reveals the study about health concerns and fitness technologies from the Consumer Electronics Association.

“We’re incredibly good at making excuses and rationalizing those excuses: I’m too busy with work, I have a big meeting to prepare for, I have a work party (or) I have to watch the latest episode of the ‘Housewives.’ The excuses are endless,” said Adam Gilbert, who wasn’t involved with the study but is the founder of a fitness technology called MyBodyTutor.com, an online personal-training service.

“If you focus on making small changes that you can actually stick to, it’s much easier to build momentum rather than trying to overhaul your entire diet and exercise routine at once,” Gilbert told BusinessNewsDaily.

Gilbert offers these simple tips to help any employee stay fit and eat properly throughout the day, every day in 2011.

Exercising before work: Go for a 20-minute walk or try the 20-20-20 workout, which is 20 jumping jacks, 20 push-ups and 20 crunches. Repeat that four times in 15 minutes. “You’ll have gotten a nice little workout in. … Something is always better than nothing.”

Exercising during work: Walk up and down your building’s stairs. If you have a shared printer, print one page at a time and walk to and from your desk to retrieve your documents. “Exercising at work is a little more challenging but it’s doable.”

Exercising after work: “(This) is harder because we’re usually mentally drained from the day. The key is to go straight from work. And if you absolutely must go home first, have your workout clothes already out and don’t sit down or turn on the TV.”

Eating before work: “While preparing breakfast before work might be a pain, it’s absolutely worth it. A solid breakfast of eggs and oatmeal – which doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to prepare – is a fantastic way to start the day.”

Eating lunch at work: Stick with sandwiches filled with lean protein such as turkey, chicken or tuna. “It’s much better to eat a turkey sandwich and feel satisfied than to eat a salad, only to raid the vending machine later on.”

Snacking during work: “(This) is challenging because some offices have kitchens that are stocked with snacks while others have co-workers who always bring in snacks. Ask yourself, ‘Am I hungry or am I eating to change the way I feel?’ Most of the time, we’re just eating because we’re bored or anxious or stressed. That’s another reason why breakfast is so important. If we let ourselves get very hungry, it becomes much harder to make good choices.”

Eating after work: “Have a game plan. Think about what you’ll have for dinner before you ask yourself, ‘Hmm, what am I in the mood for?’ When I’m tired and hungry, I crave unhealthy food, but if I have something already prepared or I know what I’m going to eat, it takes that question out of the game.”

Hydrating: “Many times when we feel hungry, water will do. Try to sip water throughout the day. If work functions come up, stick with light beers and avoid the sugary mixed drinks. I try not to have more than two drinks.”

Finding a support system: “Letting people know that you’re taking your health and fitness seriously always helps so this way Connie won’t bring in those cookies every day. However, our friends aren’t going to be objective nor are they going to tell us what we really need to hear.”

“The reason why America is so overweight isn’t because there’s a lack of knowledge out there,” Gilbert said. “It’s because there’s a lack of consistent action.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer Brian Anthony Hernandez at Bhernandez@TechMediaNetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @BAHjournalist) and become his friend on Facebook (BAH Journalist) to stay updated on news about small businesses, technology, social media, consumer trends and workplace behavior.