By Shannon May
It’s 9am on a Monday morning and you wearily pull yourself out of your extra comfy bed. It’s the first day of your internship and you decide that you’re going to start the day off right with something extremely tasty. You slowly walk into the kitchen, rummage through the pantry, and lock eyes with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch sitting innocently behind a big box of Fiber One Cereal. Without thinking, you empty a generous portion of the cereal into a ceramic bowl and anxiously dig in. 260 calories and 20g of sugar later, you realize you accidently ate double the portion size recommended on the side of the box. On top of that, you’re running ten minutes late to your internship and the stress is quickly building.
So what’s the secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during intern life?
Find out how with my top 5 tips on how to be a healthy intern:
1. Stuff your Car and Purse with Healthy Snacks
The snooze button: every intern’s worst nightmare. Yes friends, some mornings we accidently press the snooze button one too many times and have to suffer breakfast-wise because of it. To make sure we still get the proper nutrition during these extremely hectic mornings, make a trip to the grocery store and purchase a variety of healthy “on the go” items. Though I’m not promoting driving and eating breakfast at the same time, small containers of Chobani Greek Yogurt, bananas, and whole wheat bagels are the perfect foods to nibble on in the car. On the other hand if you do have 5-10 minutes to spare in the morning, whip up a bowl of hearty oatmeal with Craisins, a dash of cinnamon, and a scoop of fat-free peanut butter. Oatmeal is inexpensive, healthy, and guaranteed to keep you satisfied until lunch time.
When the 3 o’clock munchies attack, munch on an apple, raw almonds, or a small bag of low sodium pretzels that you can store conveniently in your purse. Protein bars such as CLIFBARs are also great snacking alternatives.
2. Don’t Eat the Doughnuts
It is pretty much guaranteed that the company you’re interning for will have a bountiful supply of tempting sugar coated doughnuts in the break room. If a co-worker offers you one, you can avoid the sticky situation by saying, “Oh no thank you, I’m not really hungry. Thank you for offering though.” If they keep pressuring you, try mentioning that you had a very large breakfast that morning and are waiting until lunchtime rolls around. Whatever you do though, don’t make them feel bad for eating the doughnut. If you want a tasty doughnut, then go for it! Just limit yourself to one a week. Life’s too short to fret over one fresh and delicious rainbow sprinkled doughnut.
3. Bring a Aluminum Water Bottle
One of the most important healthy rules at a professional office is to avoid the vending machine at all costs. Diet Pepsi may sound extremely refreshing now, but in the long run, no real health benefits are associated with it. You can stay hydrated and save the environment at the same time by purchasing an inexpensive aluminum water bottle. Instead of the plastic bottles that tumble out of a vending machine, an aluminum bottle is sustainable product that can be used over and over again. Overall, water is extremely healthy, good for your skin, and helps combat heat exhaustion during the hot summer months.
4. Offer to Make Any Errands
As an intern, sometimes you’ll be asked to do many intern-like tasks such as delivering papers to various individuals in the office or getting coffee from the local Starbucks. Though the tasks may seem insignificant at first, after a few days, the calories burned from running these errands do add up! Always think positive and remember that these errands give you a chance to get out of the office and stretch your legs. More importantly, your boss will take notice and appreciate the extra effort which could potentially help you land a full-time position with the company after college.
5. Go Home and Strap on Your Running Shoes
After a long day at your internship, usually the last thing you want to do is go to the gym or run around your neighborhood. To avoid this after work slump, strap on your running shoes as soon as you get home. Putting on your sneaks will help put you in a fit and healthy mindset so that you won’t plop into bed for a late afternoon nap instead. When you get home from your internship, give yourself about an hour to unwind and eat a quick pre-run snack. One of my favorite ways to fuel before a run is a whole wheat wrap with creamy peanut butter spread inside. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle during intern life?
Shannon May is a recent college graduate from the University of Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration/Marketing and is currently working full-time within the food industry. She is the blogger behind www.TropicalEats.com, a blog dedicated to healthy living and outdoor adventures. Follow Shannon on Twitter @ShannonMay_