10. Take a Breather
It's easy to take five minutes to relax. But we know, you never do it. Yet in only five minutes of breathing and calming down, you can achieve total relaxation and destress enough to be able to tackle the rest of the day with renewed energy. Here’s a list of relaxing breathing techniques that you can use in almost any office setting.
9. Eat Well
Vending machine junk food and the food cart down the street can lead to serious stomach issues, especially if you couple it with the stress you no doubt deal with on a daily basis. Use your lunch break to refuel your body with something healthy, and not comforting, and pair it with a five minute walk around your office (or better yet, the block). The best option is bringing your own lunch, where you can control what goes in it.
8. Eat Less
If you're overweight, go on a diet now. Finance usually equals stress, and stress plus being overweight often equals heart issues. There are plenty of diets out there, from the famous to the downright bizarre. More info on the most successful and well known diet plans out there can be found all over the Internet. (Even if you aren’t overweight, you should control your calorie intake and the types of food you are eating.)
Yoga might seem like a ‘light’ alternative to working out in the gym, but don’t be fooled. While yoga doesn’t ask you to lift weights or do repetitions, it often asks you to hold positions, and that can be just as hard if not harder. Try holding your arms extended for 20 minutes and you’ll understand why. Yoga is also good for clearing your mind, as you focus on your breating. Best of all: unless you hit a hot yoga class, you won’t sweat like crazy, so you can schedule a yoga class during lunch.
Running is great for your heart and great for losing weight. It is also extremely good for relaxing and freeing yourself from stress it releases natural endorphins. Best of all, with a pedometer or similar gadget, it’s easy to keep track of your activity level and quantify into calories.
Biking to work is fantastic, especially if you work in the City. It’s more fun than the Tube, and cheaper and faster than driving. And while biking might not be too pleasant on a rainy day in November, it is just as exhilarating, and will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.
4. Stop Smoking
Come on, who smokes anymore? With smoking bans going up almost everywhere, and packs costing their weight in gold, quit while you’re ahead. Give up on the nasty habit and not only will you live longer and lower your risk of heart attack and getting cancer, but you’ll look healthier. And did we mention you'll smell better?
3. Lift Weights
If you want to step it up, cardio isn’t enough. To burn calories and build muscle, you either need to take up weight lifting or swimming. While the latter is more pleasant, it also takes longer and we are working on a schedule here. Weight lifting is easily scalable and satisfying, and it gets your metabolism pumping so you burn more fat.
The world’s most popular game is a perfect way to socialize with the other people while working out. Not only is it a good work-out, but it brings out the competitive spirit in people (and we know you've got a little of that going on).
1. The Ironman Challenge
If these are all too pedestrian for you, then Ironman challenges are amongst the top achievements in the world of fitness, and chances are at least five guys on your trading floor have done one. This extended triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike leg and a 26.5 mile marathon run that pushes the contestants to the edge of their ability and beyond. After trader Guy Adami completed a New York Ironman Challenge earlier this year (and received a ton of publicity for it), the challenge has started to become a test of sorts throughout the fit financial sector workers on Wall Street. Can it become a challenge for the City as well? Time will tell.
As for us, we're going to start with our breathing exercises now, and consider biking to work...tomorrow.