7 Ways to Incorporate Healthier Habits into Your Day

Seven hours. That’s almost 30% of your twenty-four-hour day. It’s about 50% of the time you spend awake. It’s also the time you spend sitting in a desk at school! Even more time is spent sitting at your desk at home and doing homework (at least in my case). Add that up over a week, a month, and a year… and you realize just how much you end up sitting in your life.

Sorry to be dramatic and throw a bunch of math at you (since you probably already get enough of that at school or work), but it was necessary to show you how much you sit in your life.

I’m here to help you change that (bum bum bum).

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Sitting is nice, but too much of it is boring… and not good for you! You need to get your blood flowing by standing up, walking around, and stretching.

Here are seven tips that will help you become healthier at work or at school. Use them to sit less and become healthier and happier! Print out this graphic and use it as a reminder / checklist.

Peanut Butter and Ellie Workplace Hacks.png

1. Take Stretch Breaks

If you’re going to incorporate just one of these tips into your routine, choose this one. It is SO important to stretch, as stretching gets your blood moving and wakes you up. According to chiropractic doctor Simon Floreani, “When muscles stay still the blood pools in the muscles, which makes you feel tired and sluggish.” So that’s why it’s hard to get up after sitting for a while, even if I’ve just been watching Netflix a.k.a. the least strenuous activity ever!

Some stretching is better than no stretching. Even if you have a super busy day, make sure to get in some stretch time, whether it’s by doing tree pose while waiting in line for your lunch, doing walking lunges in the hallway while on a trip to the bathroom, or even by crossing your legs and doing “seated pigeon” while sitting at your desk.

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Stretching during beach yoga I did a few summers ago. This stretch feels wonderful.

I often try to incorporate unnoticeable stretches during class so I can get rid of all my excess energy (probably from all the earthy, energy-rich foods I eat!).

My favorite “incognito” stretches: 

  • Seated pigeon– cross your right ankle over and on top of your left knee. Hold it for a minute or so, then switch sides.
  • Spinal twists– sit in your chair and twist to the right, then to the left.
  • Leg lifts– sit in the edge of your chair, engage your abs by tucking in your ribcage, and lift your straight legs up from the floor to chair level and back down again. This exercise is better for the back of the classroom or the office, as it is more noticeable than the others.
  • “Goddess” squat– bring your legs to opposite sides of your chair and squat just above your chair.
  • Chair pose (how fitting)- Place your feet together and hover just above your chair in a chair squat position. It should still look like you’re sitting in your chair- but you’re actually not! Hold this for as long as you can.

2. Get Your Sweat On

Even if you don’t have much time in your day to work out, at least take a walk or a ten minute stretch break (since you now know how good stretching is for you). Work out before or right after school or work. The longer you wait to work out, the harder it will be (motivation-wise).

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Getting my “sweat on” during tennis with my BFF Emily

3. Involve Your Peers

  • Get your friends and seat partners to do incognito stretches with you! If nothing else, it will give you something to talk and (maybe) laugh about.
  • Get your peers to eat healthy snacks. You can do this by bringing healthy snacks into them if you have the time and feel like being extra nice.
  • Group fitness, through clubs and classes, is great because it allows you to get your sweat or stretch on and socialize at the same time!
    • For school: Start or join the workout clubs at your school. We have a workout room that you can go to after school, as well as a yoga club, so you can sweat with other gym or yoga junkies. On this same note, don’t slack off in gym class if you have it just because you’re afraid to get sweaty. Gym is a prime way to get your sweat on with classmates!
    • For work: See if your work offers fitness classes to employees. For example, I know a hospital in my town offers yoga classes to its employees during lunch.

4. Stay Hydrated

HAVE A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. The previous sentence was in caps because it’s just so important. Having a water bottle helps you make sure that you’re drinking enough water. The goal should be for you to go through at least two water bottles full of water in a school or work day. I go through about four (two during lunch alone). I keep a water bottle in my backpack.

5. Take A Walk

Take a walk whenever you have the chance. Throw in some stretching as you walk for good measure.

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Walking around in Hong Kong during my trip to Asia last holiday break. Notice the reusable water bottle in my backpack!

6. Keep Healthy Snacks Handy

You feel better when you eat better, so stock up on healthy snacks and keep them in your backpack, locker, or desk.

My favorite healthy snacks are…

On a similar note, fuel up with a nutritious breakfast such as a green smoothie, protein-packed oatmeal, or a sweet (but healthy-ish) baked good. Good, healthy food will keep you full and ready to focus on work.

7. Take the Stairs

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…but maybe not these stairs at Angkor Wat in Cambodia if you don’t want to since they’re a little really steep.

Also ride your bike and walk instead of driving (I wish I did this more).

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There you have it! Seven simple ways you can incorporate healthier habits into your day. Thank you so much to nuts.com for the colorful graphic! Check out their website for healthy snacks and more tips on how to stay healthy at work and at school.

Have a healthy day!
xx Ellie

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14 thoughts on “7 Ways to Incorporate Healthier Habits into Your Day

  1. demeter | beaming baker says:

    Ellie, I love this post! I completely agree with you that it’s hard to stay healthy when most of our days require us to be sitting. Sometimes I just feel like I’m getting too sedentary. That’s why Erik and I walk EVERYWHERE. No car, not even a bike (which would fun to have though, I think). Love your tips in taking the stairs, getting active and, most of all, eating amazing healthy treats like your award-winning banana bombs! 🙂 If I could have some banana bombs and some beach yoga, I’d be set. Great post, El. Big hugs! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Thanks so much Demeter!
      You don’t have A CAR OR A BIKE!? What!? That’s crazy, but crazy good! You should get a bike because biking is fun. Then you can walk or bike (if you’re feeling tired of walking).
      Thanks again! Banana bomb eating + beach yoga = my perfect day! Plus warm weather, sunshine, and a good book of course 🙂
      xx Ellie
      P.S.- Happy Birthday to Erik! Your cupcakes for his birthday look marvelous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • demeter | beaming baker says:

        Yup. No car or bike. Haha. We moved cross-country a little while back and kinda went super minimalist… Lol. The only place in our home that has a ton of stuff is the kitchen (obviously. haha).

        I totally agree on the bike though! When I was going to UCSB, I had a bike and it was wonderful. There’s just something about riding on a bike that makes you happy, you know? 🙂
        YAAAS to everything you listed! The perfect day, indeed. 🙂
        Erik: Thank you so much! 🙂

        Ellie, let’s do the virtual cookie party! Whaddya say?
        xoxo demeter

        Liked by 1 person

      • peanutbutterandellie says:

        Wow that’s cool (and gutsy!). And the kitchen HAS to have lots of utensils in it for all the baked goods you make! Are a lot of things close-by (walking distance) where you live in Maine? I had no idea you went to UCSB- you really did move cross-country!!
        I’ll send you an email- that’d be so fun! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • demeter | beaming baker says:

        *blushing* Thanks Ellie! To be truthful, we’re both kinda nomads… Haha. Still looking for Home, ya know? 🙂 Things are about 15 mins away or so… nothing a little walking won’t solve. Yeah, I actually went to Mount Holyoke first (transferred after 2 years). How do you like where you live?
        Btw, it’s so good getting to know you. 🙂
        Woot woot! Can’t wait to get started! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

      • peanutbutterandellie says:

        That’s nice that things are close so you can still walk! I love where I live (except for in the winter- I’m not a huge fan of snow haha). I live in a nice little family-friendly community. 🙂
        I love getting to know you too, and I’m pumped that we’re now Facebook friends! xx

        Like

    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Ooh I’ve never had nuts.com’s bagel chips but they sound really good! I always picked them out of Chex-Mix bag first along with those curly bread stick thingys. I haven’t had Chex-Mix in years and now I want some!
      Thanks girlie! xx

      Like

  2. Natalie says:

    I love these tips because they aren’t just the basic, sleep, destress, eat fruits and vegetables, etc. Yes stretching! It’s so underrated but it feels so good. Such a great refresher even if you don’t feel motivated to do a whole workout. And I totally agree, if i don’t workout early the motivation just plummets with time. Incognito stretches hehe, I’m totally going to try that next time i’m in a public place! Why didn’t I think of that while I was in class. And I really love that you threw the math in there too because it sounds so much more impactful when you add it up. We do sit a lot, I’m still guilty of it. And over a lifetime…it’s huge. This is a great post, and I love seeing a few of your travel pics too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. superfitbabe says:

    Did you know that a lot of business institutions are incorporating standing desks?? Isn’t that awesome?! Sitting all day is so horrible for you–it can actually lead to health risks that parallel the same as smoking! D: I love all of these tips too! It’s so important to lead a healthier lifestyle and make everything easy and manageable for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    • peanutbutterandellie says:

      Thanks so much, Cassie! Actually my dad made a standing desk for his office! I think standing desks are great.
      Isn’t it crazy how bad sitting is for us, but it’s a social norm to do it anyway?
      I wish we had a back row of standing desks at all schools- I’d try and get my school to do it, but at this point (second semester senior in high school) it’s a bit too late. 😦 I’m excited for university though because it means less sitting!!
      Did/ do you have standing desks at your school/ work?

      Liked by 1 person

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