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Originally published Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Your job: Take healthful habits to work

John Coumbe-Lilley, a rugby coach and chief operating officer of the Michigan Institute for Health Enhancement, says being on the job doesn't...

Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — John Coumbe-Lilley, a rugby coach and chief operating officer of the Michigan Institute for Health Enhancement, says being on the job doesn't mean you have to be sedentary, stressed and snacking from vending machines. Even work can be healthful, if employees put their minds — and bodies — to it.

Plan meals

Pick foods with less sodium. Prepare snacks ahead of time. Bring fruit cut into small bits.

And try grabbing a stick of gum — that'll keep your mouth busy and away from temptation.

Be on the go

Get up and walk around.

If you're standing, change positions regularly.

"I walk around our building at work three times a day," said Coumbe-Lilley.

"I get up from my seat every 20 minutes or so. I will talk to a colleague and get a glass of water."

Count to 10

If you have an unpleasant interaction with someone, take a minute to take a deep breath. Deep breathing provides good stress relief.

Eat for endurance

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Some foods help you stay awake and think clearly.

Fish has nutrients — such as protein — that'll help curb your appetite and give you more energy throughout the day. Drink water instead of coffee and juice. Sure, the caffeine in coffee and sugar in juice will give you a quick lift, but you'll likely crash later on, Coumbe-Lilley said.

Sin a little

Eat a treat at work.

"Be sinful. Give yourself permission to do this on Wednesday, hump day. And remember to enjoy it," Coumbe-Lilley said.

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