Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Take Back Your Lunch Break

Check out the September edition of the StayFitAnywhere newsletter. This month's edition includes lots of great fitness tips for staying in shape, even during the busy work week!

In the nutrition section, I highlight the importance of taking your lunch break, and eating well throughout the day:

Take Back Your Lunch Break

If you work in downtown Vancouver, the lunch scene is pretty grim. Even if you don't personally follow this norm, you have seen it: Professional X gets up, leaves desk at 12pm, takes elevator, then escalator down to an underground food court, purchases Chinese, Greek, Indian, or a sub, maybe sushi, heads back to desk. Food is consumed in ten minutes or less before the next meeting. A couple of hours later, another trip to the underground food court might yield a latte and a piece of banana bread to help keep the brain ticking until dinner time.

Maybe this isn't you - maybe you jog the seawall at lunch, pack a lunch and sit somewhere away from a computer, near a window or (gasp!) outside for your break? If not, what's stopping you? It shouldn't be your employer - in fact, poor diet (ahem, food court!), lack of exercise and rising stress levels have lead to increases in long-term sickness, absences and lack of productivity. Noting this, the Province of Nova Scotia has launched a 'Take Back Your Lunch Break' campaign to encourage healthier habits among workers!

So set an example for your co-workers, friends and children. Take a break, step outside, and choose foods that will give you energy all day, rather than caffeine, refined carbs and sugar that leave you reaching for more when you start to nod off around 3 o'clock. Make enough at dinner time that you can pack leftovers for lunch. Or put together a homemade sandwich using 100% whole grain breads purchased at a local bakery, smoked salmon or grilled chicken and lots of vegetables for added crunch. Pack yourself some snacks too - be realistic about what you need to get through your day so that you don't wind up at the vending machine. Go for plain yogurt, whole fruits, hummus and veggies, whatever you prefer. And remember, eating lunch underground, or by the light of a laptop is not what mother nature intended! Take Back Your Lunch Break!

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