Let’s firstly define the meaning of “fitness” as having a healthy functioning body and mind. “You are what you eat” is a commonly used term nowadays, and has possibly lost some of its impact? However, no truer words could be spoken, when referring to “fitness” of body and mind. Nutrition has “everything” to do with fitness. It is the “fuel” to produce physical and mental energy, and is therefore closely linked to productivity. The fitter the person, the more productive and energetic they will be… physically, mentally and emotionally.
The “workplace” in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world, demands from the individual, a constant flow of “energy”, day-in day-out. Think of an athlete, who trains daily to enhance his or her physical (and mental) performance. Part and parcel of this “training” is correct fuelling (i.e. eating fresh, natural, health-giving foods), and of course recovery (i.e. rest and sleep). “You” are no different! Just as an athlete realises the importance of these aspects, in order to reach his or her full potential, so too must the individual at work take these into “serious” consideration!
Being healthy and fit at work is all about reducing “unnecessary” stress, learning to respond positively to stress, and equipping the body to handle everyday stress. Just as energy can be physical, mental and emotional, so too can stress relate to any one of these 3 facets. Stress is simply a draining of one or more of these energy systems.
Tips to boost energy and reduce stress at work…
Begin each day with a high-energy nutritious breakfast – choose oats, nuts and fruit, an omelette, or eggs on wholegrain toast.
Snack on fresh fruit mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
Drink plenty of water to stay fully hydrated throughout the day.
Avoid “dietary stressors” such as caffeine, alcohol and high-sugar refined foods, especially during the week!
Choose a protein-based lunch such as fish and a variety of vegetables, or salad.
Whether you are an employer or an employee, my advice would be the same… eat well, be positive, and get enough sleep!
Your “fitness” is vital, and it could just be the making of you, and your team.
Lucy-Ann Prideaux is a registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with an MSc degree in Human Nutrition and Metabolism. As a past competitive triathlete, and with a first class BSc degree in Sport and Exercise Science, Lucy-Ann is also an experienced authority on sports nutrition at elite and recreational level, as well as on health and fitness training. She runs "Simply Nutrition", a health, performance and nutrition consultancy. She has several e-books, products and on-line coaching & mentoring nutrition programs available from her website http://www.simply-nutrition.co.uk