4 ways to be healthy at work


Complete these quick activities while you're on the clock to live a longer, fuller life.

A 40-minute jog before the job sounds plausible, but it's not always practical. To get your daily dose of physical and mental health, try these easy exercises-while working.

Plug into technology

Keep brain cells active by staying up-to-date on the latest technology. You don't have to dive into the digital deep end. Start slowly by e-mailing clients reminders or updating your practice's Web site. Then move your way up to texting clients or Twittering-from the clinic's account-about the latest pet health and practice news. And don't forget about the endless online continuing education opportunities available to you that will keep your mind nimble and your skills marketable.

Pack a fiber-filled lunch

According to the American Heart Association, the average American eats 15 grams of fiber a day. Twenty-five grams is the recommended daily amount. So avoid the sugary snacks in the break room, and come prepared with oatmeal, nuts, and berries. Adding 10 grams of fiber each day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 17 percent, says Prevention writer Sandra Gordon in her article, "12 surprising signs you'll live to 100." That's because the dietary fiber helps reduce total and bad cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and increase weight loss.

Be social

Turn off the television during lunch and tune into your co-workers. Studies show that social interaction will help you live a healthier, longer life. In her article, Gordon points to a recent Swedish study that suggests that outgoing people are 50 percent less likely to develop dementia. If you want to take it up a notch, grab a co-worker for a brisk walk and talk over breaks. Gordon reports that scientists in California found that even 20 minutes a day of any activity that leaves you breathless can boost your health.

Stay positive

Optimistic women are 9 percent less likely to develop heart disease than pessimistic women, according to research reported in a recent issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. The study also found that plucky women are 14 percent less likely to die, from any cause, than their sour-faced counterparts. If that's not enough motivation to keep you smiling then check this out. Optimistic study participants were less likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depressive symptoms, smoke, be sedentary, or have a high body mass index compared to pessimistic participants. So the next time you're faced with a difficult client or situation, remember, deep breaths and Namasté.

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Aaron Smiley, DVM
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