makeover week

Your Cube Is Your Castle: Make Over Your Workplace

March 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm , by

cubeYou make over your wardrobe. You make over your workout. So why not make over your workplace? After all, if you’re like me, you probably spend a good part of your waking hours chained to a desk. Try these easy steps to make your 9-to-5 a little happier and healthier.

1.  Upgrade your paper cup for a BPA-free water bottle. They’re eco-friendly, chic and, of course, help you stay hydrated during the day. (If you feel draggy and tired, that can be a sign of dehydration. Water can perk you up!)

2.  Get thee some hand sanitizer! (And Clorox wipes): Flu season may be ending, but germs are still lurking. One of the worst offenders? Your desk. Office desks harbor almost 400 times more bacteria than a public toilet, according to Arizona researchers. While toilets are typically cleaned regularly, we wipe down our desks less often. Eating at your desk doesn’t help much either. Keep alcohol wipes handy for cleaning your mouse, keyboard and phone.

3.  Add a little green. Keeping a plant in your cube can brighten your mood more than having a window office, say researchers at Texas State University. They keep your air cleaner, too. Houseplants may help lower indoor ozone levels (laser printers can emit the stuff) up to 33 percent faster than if you didn’t go green, according to a study from Pennsylvania State University. The likely explanation: Plants break down toxins and add surface area, both of which speed up the breakdown of ozone. Too much ozone can damage your heart and lungs, so try cheap, easy-to-grow houseplants such as snake plant, spider plant and golden pothos.

4.  Keep a pair of free weights handy and pump up your downtime, literally. A couple of reps can help clear your mind when you’re trying to tackle a problem or get over writer’s block. An added bonus: Resistance training blasts fat, boosts your metabolism and builds stronger bones. Try one of these exercises.

5.  Stock up on healthy snacks, like almonds or these 90 Calorie Fiber One bars. When the afternoon slump hits, step away from the vending machine and reach for some real fuel.

Photo courtesy of Chris Blakeley

Categories: Health | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

It’s Fresh New You Week!

March 8, 2010 at 9:06 am , by

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Our special April theme issue is all about the little (and big) changes you can make to look and feel your best. To celebrate, we’re declaring it “Fresh New You” week in the Ladies’ Lounge. All week long our editors will share their insider tips to make over everything from your closet to your volunteer work to your gym routine. Come back every day this week for more!

And if that wasn’t fun enough, we’re also giving away more than $10,000 worth of fabulous spa prizes to pamper 5 lucky readers. Enter now!