GiS Podcast Episode 4 – Desk Jockey Nutrition

This week, I continue with with the second part of the Desk Jockey health and fitness series with Desk Jockey Nutrition. Below, I list 3 tips to clean up your eating habits at the office.

You can listen here or subscribe to the local podcast feed or through iTunes. I would also appreciate it if you would leave a review on iTunes if you enjoy what you hear.

 

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Tip 1 – Force your hand

Photo courtesy of Cayusa on Flickr

I’m not going to try to stop you from snacking at the office, in fact I believe small healthy snacks are important to a healthy diet, that is of course, assuming you didn’t just scarf down a few thousand calories at the meat and three down the road.   The problem with office snacking is that it is sooo easy to over-snack.  You may even go for a healthy snack, like a jar of almonds, thinking you are doing good. But when you are at the office, it is too easy to focus on other things and forget about your left hand going back and forth between a pile of food and your mouth.

So, try limiting what you eat by forcing a little bit of portion control (I think that’s a prince song … no wait, that is about totally different):

  • Instead of taking an entire box of granola bars to work with you, bring only one in at a time and leave the box in your car.
  • Buy the 100 calorie snack size popcorn bags instead of the full size
  • When you buy almonds or pretzels or chips, also buy a package of ziplock bags. Portion out the snack into these bags as soon as you open them. You can measure them out into exact serving sizes or just estimate.

This way, you will never lose track of how much you are eating because you get busy doing other things. You are taking away the bottomless pit of snack food.  Sure, you might have more snacks available, but you will have to stop what you are doing to get them, which gives you time to make a conscious decision about how much you eat.

Tip 2 – Bring your lunch from home or make a mini-kitchen at work

Photo courtesy of leff on Flickr

I don’t think I have to tell you how bad going out to eat is for you. Most places give you gigantic portions and load the dishes with way too much salt, fat, and EVIL! So, get rid the need to go out for lunch by bringing your lunch with you. Bring a simple, healthy sandwich or a fresh salad — whatever you like that would remove the desire to go out to eat.

It is that desire to go out to eat is the hardest thing to fight off – Why stay in and eat your bland bowl of soup when you can sample the international cuisine at the nearest food court?

So if you have a problem with food boredom, you can go one step further when brining your lunch to work, by bringing in enough food to make a mini-kitchen at your office. Bring in some some fresh deli meat and cheese, bread, peanut butter, jelly, fresh salad mix, or whatever you prefer.

Give yourself enough variety at the office that you are not tempted to go out.

Even bring your office mates in on this and start a “sandwich bar” where everyone pitches in on the food. The more people that contribute, the more variety you will have. Plus, you’ll have less people asking you to go out to lunch every day.

Like I mentioned in Episode 2, bringing your lunch also allows you to claim your normal lunch hour to do healthy activities.  Eat while you work and then go for a long walk during the time you would have spent driving somewhere or waiting in line at the cafeteria.

Tip 3 – Leave you dollar bills at home

Photo courtesy of EricGjerde on Flickr

If your break room vending machines are anything like mine, there is not a single healthy snack to choose from.  No – Honeybuns are not healthy – you know that – but they sure look tasty when you’re bleary eyed from 6 hours of hacking away at code. I would love to say I have all will power in the world, but some work tasks can break me down to believe that a plastic wrapper full of sugar and fat is just what I need to make it through the rest of the afternoon.

To fight this – I leave all change and small bills at my house or in my car. If I am at a low enough point that I am willing to dive into vending machine snacks, there is a good chance that I’m not up for the trek around the office to try to break a twenty – I’ll settle for my pre-portioned baggie of pretzels.

You might have notices that all three tips followed the same primary principle:

Deliberately put obstacles between yourself and over-sized, unhealthy food and remove obstacles to properly portioned, healthy food.

It’s that simple. Office nutrition isn’t rocket science, even if that is what you do at the office

While I don’t talk about finances much, I can’t sign off without mentioning the monetary benefits to these tips as well. The buckets of money that normally went to my dining budget drastically shrunk. I also realized that I could pay for my gym membership just buy saving all of the dollars I spent on sodas and chips during the day at work – that attacked my weight problem from two fronts from one simple, budget-neutral change. That make dollars and sense! (You see what I did there?)

GiS Podcast Episode 3 – The World of Warcraft Workout Plan

This week, I cover one of my favorite topics: World of Warcraft. Oh how I love me some WoW! I could play World of Warcraft for hours. But what doesn’t love me playing WoW for hours on end – is my cholesterol. Talk about a cataclysm. It is incredible how much idle time this game has. There are so many minutes in the game in which I’m sitting and waiting for a Zeppelin, flying from the top of the continent to the bottom, or waiting for the stupid mage to drink some water. While this idle time is mostly unavoidable, that time doesn’t have to go to waste…

Use that previously wasted time level up your fitness!

I took note of some of the most common periods of unaviodable inactivity in the game and I created the World of Warcraft Workout Plan to fill up the in-game down-time with real-life up-time.

 

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WoW Workout Plan Exercise 1: The Zeppelin Burn

Did you know that most of the Zeppelins, Boats, and Blimps you use to travel between continents are on a 4 minute cycle? They take a minute to get from one place to another, and they stay at each place for a minute. This means that you can spend anywhere from 1 minute if your lucky, up to 5 minutes waiting and traveling. Well guess what: Time is money, friend.

Use this time to do a quick bodyweight circuit and give aimed at giving you +5 to strength.

*Since you need to be at the keyboard to get on the boat when it arrives, this circuit only has exercises that keep you near the computer.

This circuit works you legs, arms, abs, and chest.  Doing this a couple of times a night and will definitely get your muscles burning.

WoW Workout Plan Exercise 2: Epic Flight

The flight paths in WoW take up a lot of time – mostly with you just sitting and staring at a gryphon’s butt.  The average travel time in World of Warcraft is 2 minutes 24 seconds.  Chain a few flights together, you could be flying for 10 or more minutes.  Don’t waste that time slouched in front of the screen…

Use it to DPS your body fat % with a high intensity cardio circuit.

*Since you don’t have to be right at the computer for this, step away from the computer, give yourself plenty of room to move, and get ready to work up a sweat.

  • 30 seconds of walking in place
  • 30 seconds of running in place.
  • 1 minute of jumping jacks (do power jacks if you want to step it up a notch)
  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 split jumps
  • 30 seconds of  light jump rope (no rope needed, just go through the motions)
  • 30 seconds of rest

This curcuit takes anywhere from 3 and a half to 4 minutes, but repeat the circuit as many times as you can while your character is flying. Every round should burn up to 50 calories, so if you fly four times during a night of play, and complete at least one circuit every flight – you have just burned 200+ calories! That’s definitely enough to work off that handful of funyons you downed while taking out the Lich King.

WoW Workout Plan Quick Hits

Photo courtesy of brianjmatis on Flickr

  • Scanning the auction house? Activate Aspect of the Cheetah and go do some sprints up and down your street.
  • Waiting for a mob to re-spawn? Send your muscles a lesser healing wave by doing some light yoga stretches.
  • Waiting for a ready check? Cast Tranquility on yourself by closing your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

I’ll discuss more ways you can turn you love for WoW into a way to get fit in future episodes. But don’t let that stop you from getting creative, and coming up with a workout plan of your own. There is so much more idle time in the game that are perfect to get in some much needed physical activity. You can mix and match what you do and when you do it.

Just be aware of the time you spend in-game doing nothing — and try to change that.

You will be amazed how many calories you can burn or how many pushups you can do without giving up any play time at all.

I’d like to hear your results of following this plan. I’d also like to know what other ways you stay fit while playing WoW. Post a comment here or hit me up on twitter, @geekintoshape.

Have fun, be geeky, and get fit!