Breaking a non-Fitness Habit
After writing about creating a new fitness habit yesterday, I had my own little ah-ha moment today about a bad habit I had formed..
For lunch today, I went downstairs to the building cafe and got a pretty healthy sandwich and some steamed broccoli (instead of fries) and headed outside to eat. There are a few shaded tables outside our building in a little garden-like area. Good place to sit and eat in relative peace. (I even kept my phone in my pocket)
It was a nice day, only about 75 degrees . (That might seem warm for November, but for Houston that is bordering on cool.)
After eating, I realized I had about 30 minutes to spare before needing to get back to work. So I decided to take a little walk along The Woodlands Waterway, which is a few blocks from the office. Figured I could get in a quiet little stroll.
As I was walking, it occurred to me that, at least this time of year, I could probably do this most days.
Hmm…that could be a little fitness habit for me to start.
That was not the ah-ha moment though…
The ah-ha part was realizing that, in fact, I had walked at lunch everyday since I started this new contract.
Huh? How could that be?
Well since last week was my first week at a new location, with a new client, and new co-workers, I had actually gone out for lunch everyday (not something I normally do). Due to the location of the office, I had walked to get lunch every day since there are a bunch of restaurants and shops along and near The Waterway.
So, even before I wrote the post yesterday, or had read the post on Zen Habits, I had actually already started forming a new fitness habit.
Getting more regular exercise was one of the reasons I took the new gig with the shorter commute.
Check! This is a good start.
However, there was also a more dramatic ah-ha in all this.
In starting this new habit, accidental as it was, I had actually broken a really BAD non-fitness inducing habit that many office professionals (you know who you are) do on a regular basis:
Eating lunch at your desk!
That really is not a healthy habit for a bunch of reasons (which I hope I do not have to explain to anyone).
Today I realized that I had fallen prey to that bad habit over the last 2+ years while I was working at my last assignment. I ate lunch at my desk, on average, up to 4 days a week (unless I went out to lunch with someone).
Four days a week eating at my desk, while reading blogs, writing blogs, or reading email!
Bad Data Warrior!
Good way to become a Data Zombie.
Well that’s over! With my little awakening today, I plan to making it a habit to NOT eat at my desk and to get outside and walk 15-20 minutes at lunch at least 4 days a week. If the weather is too hot, or raining, I will check out the fitness center in our building (free to use!). Worse case, there is a treadmill.
So, what is your story?
Do you eat lunch at your desk trying to be more productive?
Stop that now (you are not being more productive, really).
Get up, get outside. Even if you don’t go for a walk, at least eat somewhere other than your desk. Get away from that computer. Talk to some real people – in person. Or talk to yourself.
See the world outside your cube. It’s pretty nice out here.
P.S. Side benefit of my walk today was that I found a hidden Zen Garden and Koi Pond along the way. No idea how long it had been there, but I know where to go now for even more peace along the already pretty peaceful waterway. Might be able to proactice a little Tai Chi or Chi Gung there while I am at it.
Keep up the good work. I have a fitness/mental health/creative habit I call my “art walks” where I just wander around with my iPhone (camera) in Houston’s Museum District for an hour or two. There are always cool things to capture on camera, and after it’s over I dump the best of the photos into a collage to serve as a record – it’s just one click on Picasa and voilá. Walks like that are always full of surprises, and good exercise too! One of my collages is posted at my blog link below.
I do eat at my desk (working) most days but counter/justify it by taking morning and afternoon walks.
Another article I read a few months back actually made a good case that no matter how hard you work out before or after work, it is the long periods of sitting that do the real damage and the only solution is to get up and move a little at least once an hour (like we are supposed to look away from the screen periodically too). The best solution is actually the stand-up work station.
Easier said than done. This real requires a culture change in the work place.