Hummus with Baby Carrots or Homemade Kale Chips will stop you from reaching for potato chips. Photo courtesy Nancy Cordaro, Coneflower Ranch,

Hummus with Baby Carrots or Homemade Kale Chips will stop you from reaching for potato chips. Photo by Nancy Cordaro, Coneflower Ranch,

Working in an office and being tied to a desk is often used as an excuse for unhealthy habits to flourish. It can be hard to be disciplined about staying fit when you spend long hours at the office, but employing a few simple strategies can make all the difference.

Fitness at the Office
To fit in fitness at the office, you can take the steps instead of the elevator, walk a lap around the office or use a sit-stand desk (very popular). You can also avoid neck and back problems if you choose the right desk chair.

And then there’s food, probably the toughest challenge. When we’re busy, it’s too easy to reach for the candy, chips and soda. Not to mention well-meaning co-workers offering sweets and other temptations.

Pass on the Breakroom Snacks
Whether it’s from the vending machine, homemade by a coworker or delivered by a vendor, the breakroom snacks you think of as “little” can add up to a lot of calories – and excess weight. Even if you just eat an extra 100 calories per day, in just over a month that can add up to an extra pound. Over a year you’ll notice a 10-pound weight gain and a bigger size pants.

Instead, stock your desk with healthy snacks. Think fruit bowls rather than candy bowls and almonds over apple pie. Team up with coworkers with similar healthy goals so that you have support to avoid temptation.

If you need to, avoid tempting areas of the office. Go around the coworker’s desk with your favorite chocolate candy. Take a walk with coworkers instead of having a party over pizza and cookies in the break room.

Here are some healthy lunch and snack ideas:

Delicious Smoothies

Healthy Snacks

Easy 5 Minute Soup

Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is one health goal that is simple to accomplish in an office setting. Medical experts suggest you drink at least 70 ounces of water per day. While that may sound difficult, it can be easily achieved.

Start by selecting a water bottle. Getting a large container that holds at least 24 ounces, makes drinking more water seem less daunting. All you have to do is drink 3 bottles full per day and you are done. Make it a goal to have one finished by lunch time and the next by the time you leave work. You can drink your last with dinner.

If you start to feel hungry between meals or low on energy, try drinking 8 ounces of water instead of reaching a snack or soda. If you still feel the need to graze after rehydrating, choose a piece of fruit which contains a large percentage of water.

It doesn’t take major life changes to make a positive difference in your health. And better yet, all of this can be accomplished while at the office. Instead of using your work as an excuse to be unhealthy, take advantage of the opportunities afforded by your work environment to become a healthier, happier you.