Be Strong. Be Fit.


How to Keep Fit While Pursuing Your Career Goals

September 28th, 2011 · 2 Comments ·




Mun’s Note:  This guest post is contributed by Zul

Some people keep themselves fit due to professional requirements. For athletes, military combat personnel, models, fitness trainers and dancers, keeping their fitness at maximum level is obligatory as a prerequisite to stimulate peak performances.

If this important requirement can’t be adhered to, Jilian Michaels will say goodbye to her multi-million The Biggest Loser ambassadorship and Usain Bolt can retire from the athletics arena.

But what about those who work as accountant, engineer, civil servant, lawyer and so on?

Indeed, these people are a busy lot, yet much of the daily work does not require physical prowess. Most of the time, these folks (myself included) spend time at the work station in the office working on paperwork, replying emails, handling customers’ complaints and checking out what the friends are up to on Facebook.

At the same time, we also have our future career to cultivate and climb the corporate ladder. One day, a junior accountant may need to lead a finance division, and with more responsibilities, health and fitness that go uncheck will invite disaster, and we would potentially jeopardize our own career.

Notwithstanding, some people from this sedentary work-style category have been quite successful in maintaining their fitness.

For example, in April 2011, Men’s Health (Malaysia), for the first time, featured a cover model who does not hail from the modelling industry. The guy works in the oil and gas based in the Middle East. With broad shoulders, solid chest and washboard abs, one can easily mistaken him for a full time fitness model.

What’s the secret to his amazing fitness condition? Well, we may not in a position (at least, not yet) to aim for the same level of health or fitness, but we can learn a thing or two how to keep our own fitness in check, while at the same time pursuing success in our own career field.



1. Take Breakfast
Chasing the 9 AM punch time can often lead us missing the breakfast time. We may conveniently think that skipping breakfast equals to less daily calorie consumption and consequently reduction of weight. The truth is, it adversely affects the body’s ability to burn fat and reduce our metabolism. Studies have shown that people who take breakfast are found more likely to maintain healthy weight.


2. Put the Right Stuff in Mouth
A sequel of the previous point. When we wake up, the body is starving for fuel to kick start the day. A good breakfast should consist of a decent mix of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and good fats that provide long satiation power (the fullness level before we go hungry again), e.g., oatmeal, fruits, milk, eggs, salads, cottage cheese and wholemeal bread. Also, keep a bottle of plain water next to your desk for frequent sipping throughout the day.

3. Pitch the Employer to Partner with Gyms/Fitness Centers
I know some big manufacturing factories provide fitness facilities or gymnasiums to their workers. Other companies don’t, but it won’t be too much to ask if they can consider partnering with the nearest gym. If they can’t cover all, at least they can ponder to work out a discount deal with the gym.

After all, it is for the benefit of the company itself. Just pitch to them that fitter workers produce more outstanding professional achievements.



4. Consider Packing Your Own Meals
I know. People who do this tend to be viewed as anti-social. It is a weird feeling when everyone is out for lunch and you are there alone staring at your meal. But packing our own meals gives us better power and control of what we consume. If lunch time is too valuable to be missed, consider packing snacks such as fruits, nuts and sandwiches for the coffee break. They are much better and more nutritious than the pretzels.


5. Bring Your Gym Ball, Use It As Chair
This may sound ridiculous but definitely brings more fun and more likely will make you a popular figure in the office. Sitting on a gym ball requires some delicate balancing that works out various lower-body muscles. Just don’t use it while you are presenting your multi-million partnership proposal to your superior, or when negotiating a bonus or career promotion.

About the author: Zul was once struggling with obesity, but managed to get back on track after much soul searching. He blogs at SKOR Career, a Malaysia-based career development and news blog.  Zul has also written another excellent guest post – 5 Dietary Changes that Helped Me Lose 12 Kilos in 6 Months



Category: Health

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2 responses so far ↓
  • Tom Parker // Oct 10, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Packing your own meals is so important. It’s very difficult to find quick, healthy meals and snacks in an office and the shops that surround it.

  • Jhon // Dec 10, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Great post. And indeed, packing your meals won’t make you the most popular guy or gal at the office, but it’s almost a MUST if you wanna keep a really healthy diet. Even more in my case, when I’m a vegan, in a society built around carnivores.

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