Making the Work Week Healthy

It is a truth, universally-acknowledged, that women have a tendency to take care of others before they see to their own well-being: It seems that children, spouses and the demands of homes are always jostling for their time, leaving very little time for the women.

It is especially challenging for the legions of women who work outside of the home. They have to deal with the additional stresses and pressures of the workplace. As a result, many career women find themselves leading relatively unhealthy lifestyles. They become too busy, tired or stressed to make time for exercise and healthy eating. As a result, the work week can become the enemy in relation to their health and nutrition.

There are a number of ways for women to take back control of the work week, however. While the following tips are not all-encompassing, they offer practical advice that women can use to make healthy changes that will positively impact their working lives.

Tips for a Healthy Work Week

• Take a Packed Lunch from Home:

It is definitely much healthier and less expensive to take a packed lunch to work instead of purchasing lunch from cafeterias, vending machines or fast food restaurants. Women can control the ingredients that go into their lunches, eliminating or reducing sugars, sodium and fats to insure optimum nutrition.

The availability of insulated lunch bags and boxes make it is easy to keep lunch fresh, especially if lunch is a salad of some sort. They also make it possible to include items such as low-fat yogurts, milk and cottage cheese.

Some women might feel pressed for time in the mornings and think that it would just be one other chore to do before leaving for work. They should note that lunches can easily be made the evening before and placed in the refrigerator. Sandwiches and salads keep nicely overnight. Even leftovers can be placed in small containers and saved for lunch the next day.

Women who travel and have to dine out might be interested to know that the Subway restaurant chain has received the highest commendation for healthy food options. A national newspaper reports that Subway has earned the American Heart Association’s “Heart Check” seal of approval. Nearly one half of the foods sold by Subway restaurants fall into the healthy category. Those foods have limited levels of saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol.

• Plan Snacks

The urge to snack will arise at some point in the work day. Instead of heading for the vending machine and calorie-loaded snacks, women are better served by home-prepared snacks. A piece of fruit such as an apple, banana or an orange satisfies the craving for a snack. When eaten with a protein source such as a dozen natural almonds, the snack provides a more satisfying sensation and stabilizes blood sugar.

A mini Babybel cheese is a wonderful snack that is not too high in fat or calories but provides a good protein source. A mixture of dry-roasted and unsalted, or lightly-salted peanuts and raisins makes an excellent snack that can be carried as individual servings in a woman’s purse, or kept in a container in the office for handy snacking.

As an added bonus, a serving of raisins meets the requirement for one of the daily servings of fruit. Snacks such as those are easy and convenient to eat, portable and always at hand. If cravings call for chocolate, dark chocolate is a much better nutritional option.

• Exercise During the Lunch Break

Female employees who do not have access to company gyms or fitness centers can still get fit or maintain their fitness during the work week. Performing office exercises or walking are excellent forms ofexercise and can be undertaken during the lunch break. Just 15 minutes walking on a daily basis will provide health benefits and aid weight loss. Thirty minutes would be even better.

• Use the Stairs

Using the stairs instead of the escalator, and parking further away from the building are other opportunities to fit exercise into the work day. Walking up stairs is a great activity for toning the lower body.

• Use Diet Aids as Appropriate

Sometimes, even with the best effort and intentions it can be difficult to shift excess weight. For those who need help with maintaining their weight or with losing weight, a variety of diet aids may be purchased at  They include diet pills and detox supplements.


Women have made phenomenal gains in the workplace. Those gains should not be – and do not have to be– at the expense of their health. By adopting one or more of the options outlined above, women willfind the work week much kinder to their health – and possibly to their purses.