Is it just me or is there something ironic about celebrating “Healthy Weight Week” (January 19-25, 2014) at the same time we celebrate National Popcorn, Cheese Lovers, Blonde Brownie, Pie and Peanut Butter Days? To be fair it is also the week we celebrate Granola Bars and “Rid the World of Fad Diets” Days. Our society often views “healthy weight” as synonymous with skinny, almost anorexic. How should we define healthy weight? The CDC recommends either calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) or simply measuring your waist. By their standards a BMI of 30 or more is obese, and a waistline of 35” (for women) and 40” (for men), is a warning sign that you are at risk for obesity-related diseases.
Healthcare professionals are not immune to being overweight just by virtue of their knowledge and training. A 2012 University of Maryland study found that 55% of surveyed female nurses had job induced obesity. We can’t expect to advise patients on weight-related conditions, such as diabetes and osteoarthritis, if we ourselves are overweight. So here are 6 tips on how to incorporate exercise and better food habits into your healthcare work environment:
- Safety In Numbers: Get colleagues to join you in exercising. It’s not only more fun but harder to quit when you have an invested support system.
- Time Is of the Essence: Don’t have an hour to exercise? Break your workouts into manageable scheduled increments throughout the day.
- Variety is the Spice of Life: Vary your exercise routine to stay interested and work different parts of the body.
- An Apple a Day… : Fiber and vitamin rich, low glycemic and calorie dense, apples are a portable, healthy substitute for those work lounge snacks.
- Water, Water Everywhere…: Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps you eat less, and 17 oz. or more speeds up that metabolism.
- BYOF: Prepared meals from home are cost effective and generally healthier. Use organic fruits, leafy greens, whole grains and lean proteins.
If these tips don’t work…your problem may be stress and it may be time for a change in your workplace. Centra can help…call us at 800 535 0076!