It’s the first “stormy” week here in Alameda, CA, where the Renoir Staffing corporate office is located, and already the desire to overload on piping hot, cheesy soups and curling up on the couch has kicked in.  Problem is, I already spend 40 hours a week curled up in an office chair in front of the computer (snacking on pita chips), making the prospect of making it through the winter healthy grim. So I thought this week I would share the exercise and nutritious food tips that I will be using this season to avoid the holiday weight gain because chances are you, the reader, spend the bulk of your work week sitting at a desk as well.

(The usual disclaimer: Remember to consult your physician before making any changes to your current food and exercise practices)

Tip #1: Healthy Snacks

This is a hard one for many people because the snack food in this country tends to be loaded with calories and fats. But that is changing and you can find healthier packaged foods now, especially at natural food stores. However, keep in mind that fruits and veggies are always your friend. Stock up your office with fruit, nuts, and yogurt. They’re just as quick to snack on as potato chips, and way better for you! Also, if you don’t mind cooking, an excellent way to make sure that you have the healthy food you need for the work week is preparing it on the weekend. I’ll be making good-for-me breakfast burritos and putting them in the office freezer for each morning.

Tip #2: Exercise

It might not be the best season to go for a walk or a run, but there are plenty of ways to keep your body strong, even when sitting at your desk! More and more people are using stability balls, and with good reason. Not only are they comfortable but using them as directed is great strength-training for your mid-section.  Chances are you also have the space to do a series of lunges, squats, maybe even push-ups. And get your co-workers involved! The support coming from a group can be highly motivating to everyone, as well as beneficial to the spirit of team-work. Start off the morning, or the afternoon after lunch, with a group exercise session. It doesn’t have to be long and it will certainly energize you to work!

Tip #3: Sleep

That’s right! If we get the sleep we need at night, we not only feel more energized the next day, we burn more calories! 7-8 hours is the average amount we need to allow our bodies to properly rest so we can function efficiently during the day. Remind yourself that sleeping is important until you’ve made it a priority to get the amount you need every night!

Tip #4: Motivate Yourself

Falling off the health wagon is, unfortunately, pretty easy to do. Keep yourself on track by reminding yourself why you want to get through the winter healthy, write the reasons down even. Do you want to join the company softball team come Spring? Want to wear a fun outfit for the holiday parties this year? Whenever you see yourself abandoning your commitment, remind yourself why you made it in the first place. It’s amazing how some internal coaching will get you going again!

Bonus: My Tip? Water at your desk.

I keep a tumbler full of water at my desk at all times. If I find myself reaching for those pita chips a little too often, I recognize I’m not eating out of hunger and grab the tumbler instead. It satisfies the motion of eating that I am obviously craving and that is usually good enough to stop the unnecessary snacking.

Here’s to a healthy winter!

Jessie Williams, Marketing Coordinator

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