Do You Suffer from Gymtimidation?


You’ve signed up for a gym membership to take control of your fitness. Or maybe you’ve just moved into an apartment complex that has a fancy, on-site gym. This is fantastic! You deserve a pat on the back for taking the initiative to improve your health.

You may visit a couple of times before things “come up” that keep you from the gym. (You might even be a little scared of setting foot in the gym at all!) While life can interrupt our plans from time to time, too many missed visits could be the result of gym intimidation, or gymtimidation.

What Intimidates You at the Gym?

There are two very common things that keep people out of the gym: equipment and people. Recognizing what intimidates you empowers you to find gym success despite those concerns.

Navigating the Gym

Fitness equipment can be very confusing, especially if you’re new to the gym. Here are a few tips to help you find your way with the equipment.

  • Hire a personal trainer or take a gym-rat friend to show you the ropes. Some memberships include a free personal training session, which sets you up with a club trainer who knows that facility’s specific machinery. Ask to video the session so you can reference the video on future visits.
  • Stick to familiar apparatuses in the beginning. Hop on a treadmill or stationary bike. Watch how gym regulars use the other equipment to see how it works. (You can also take a photo of unused equipment and ask your friends about it.)
  • Hit the internet for videos on how to use the equipment available in your gym. Sweat has a wonderful reference for common gym pieces and how to use them. (They also break down what each machine does for your body and how to get the most out of your workout.)
  • Ask the staff about anything that’s unfamiliar. As employees of the health club, they can help you find answers.

Working Around the Fit Folks

Gyms are filled with buff and beautiful people, which can make anyone feel self-conscious. While there are a few people who just want to focus on sweating, many members are very nice and started out just like you. Regular attendance has helped them progress, just as it will for you.

If the environment feels unfriendly to you, there are many gym options available. VeryWell Fit details options for different kinds of gyms to help you find the right one for you. You may consider going during less-busy hours for more access to the equipment you want to use. Many health clubs offer a free visit or group class so you can see if it’s a good fit.

Remember that everyone starts their fitness journey somewhere. It’s better to start now and stick to it, noticing the small changes in your health and wellness over time. Soon you will work your way past that gymtimidation.

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome With Healthy Habits

The modern lifestyle involves a lot more screen time than previous generations. Work is more efficient with technology, but it also means we spend a large portion of our time staring at screens. Additionally, handheld devices like phones and tablets are vital tools for everyday activities. We use them for mobile games, watching videos, shopping and interacting on social media to help us unwind, relieve stress and accomplish more.

Normally, we blink about 15-20 times a minute but research shows that people blink less than half as often when they’re reading, watching, or playing on a screen. Less blinking and prolonged focusing on a flickering screen leads to dry, irritated eyes, blurry vision and headaches. The collective symptoms of digital eye strain are also called Computer Vision Syndrome.

Surviving a Screen-Centric Office

While you can’t eliminate screens completely from your job or everyday life, you can form new habits to reduce the impact of screen time.

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Make sure the lighting in the room you’re in is bright enough. Your device should not be brighter than the surroundings.
  • Leave your desk for at least one minute every hour. Being glued to the screen also means being glued to the desk. There’s a reason for the saying “sitting is the new smoking”– your cardiovascular health suffers from too much sitting. A brisk walk or short exercise break rescues your eyes from the screen and supports heart health.
  • Plan your day to break up the screen time with other tasks. Filing, checking the mail and pacing during conference calls will get your eyes off the screen. Consider your daily agenda in advance so you take these opportunities for physical activity between computer sessions.
  • Try over-the-counter lubricating eye drops when your eyes are feeling dry, irritated or uncomfortable.

Put it Down to Prevent Eye Strain

Some employers take advantage of our tech addiction and send non-urgent texts and emails after the workday has ended. While your job may require you to address urgent issues after hours, don’t get glued to your screen for work when it’s not pressing. Just because you are a text away doesn’t mean you’re on call 24/7. Discipline yourself to be part of the solution and hold off on sending non-urgent communication until office hours resume.

When it’s time to unwind, make sure you aren’t stuck in your phone or device. Time Magazine notes the importance of balancing screen-based and screen-free activities. Enjoy online interactions and mobile games in moderation. Make a point to connect without screens when you’re at home with your pets or family. Take the opportunity to go on a walk together and talk about the day.

What about blue light blocking glasses? Digital eye strain and brain stimulation from blue light are two different issues. Blue light blocking glasses won’t ease eye strain but a growing body of research supports the claim that blocking blue light before bed can help you sleep better. Studies suggest participants who wore blue-light-blocking glasses three hours before bedtime reported better sleep quality and mood than those who didn’t.

Turn off your screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime and allow yourself 30 minutes without a device when you awake each morning. You may just notice a difference in your physical and mental health.

While we cannot escape screens, becoming mindful of our eyes’ needs for rest and refocusing can reduce or eliminate symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.

Fitness Snacks: Exercise for the Busiest People


The average American works longer hours and faces longer commutes than a decade ago. The advent of cell phones and text messaging means that many of us can never really have guaranteed time away from work. Could a fitness snack break be a solution for busy employees?

Trying to accomplish the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity is a struggle for many. Finding 30 minutes to exercise each workday can seem impossible, much less securing an hour each day to achieve weight loss and shape transformation goals.

There’s Always Time for Snacking

That solid 30- to 60-minute block for a workout might be far-fetched for you. The solution is taking little fitness bites throughout the day. Think of them as fitness snacks.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are the James Brown of fitness– you hit it and quit it. Sets are 20 to 90 seconds each, but they engage multiple muscle groups and rely on your own bodyweight for resistance. This gives you more bang for your fitness buck and can be a lot more productive than 30 minutes on the treadmill.

We suggest taking five minutes at the end of each hour of your workday (except lunch) for a fitness snack. (If you have a wearable device that reminds you to get moving, that’s a great reminder to take your “snack.”)

Your Fitness Snack Buffet

Just like you choose healthy snacks at work, you can incorporate physical activity into your day. Try one exercise per hour over the course of your day. Increase the duration or reps as you get stronger. Rotate through the list for a full-body workout.

– Start with 10-second increments and work your way up to two minutes. Daily Burn demonstrates the dos and don’ts of planking. This is an easy exercise to do in a cubicle.



Tricep Dips – Start slowly and with few repetitions. Very Well Fit shows how do tricep dips. Make sure you have a stationary chair and you’ll have arms like Michelle Obama from this fitness snack in a few months.



Lunges – Do a few slowly while paying close attention to form before increasing your reps. Greatist has lunging basics and a few variations to keep it interesting. Lunges are like tricep dips for your lower body. Hold onto a chair for balance if needed.


Mountain Climbers – This is one the most physically aggressive exercises on our list, which means it burns a nice little bundle of calories and could make you break a sweat. The New York Times has a video to help you get started.


Dance Break – Pump up the jams and get your body moving. This is also a great stress-breaker. Freestyle to your favorite tune. Learn the moves to a fun music video from your youth. (We dare you to try out some New Edition choreography.) One song should do the trick for each fitness snack.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Before starting your snack, prime your body for each bite. Stand up, roll your shoulders and bend your knees a few times. After you finish each round, stretch your hands above your head and take deep breaths until your breathing is normal. Gently stretch the area you just worked. Grab some water to stay hydrated.

As in all things fitness, listen to your body. Speak with your doctor if there may be concerns about taking on an exercise program. If it hurts more than a challenging stretch, stop.


Now get to snacking!

Give Yourself a Little Love: American Heart Month


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. With one in four Americans dying from heart disease each year, we can all benefit from improving our heart health. February is American Heart Month, an opportunity to boost heart disease awareness and take action to support our own heart health.


Five Valentines for Your Heart


Walking for heart health

  1. A nice, romantic stroll for one. Walking is a very accessible way to start improving cardiovascular health. American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Put on some tennis shoes and take it to the streets or a local mall. (You don’t have to go it alone. Take your dog, a best friend, your partner or your family.)


  1. The apple of your eye. The apple-a-day advice isn’t just a fun saying. Apples Apples are heart healthy
    are rich in fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. Medical News Today references a study that followed the effects of apples on stroke risk. Apples are also great for lowering cholesterol. Adding an apple a day to your life is a pretty easy habit to adopt.


  1. Savor your steak. Many Americans love red meat. It’s nutrient-dense and quite tasty when smartly prepared. However, limiting your red meat intake could reduce your heart disease risk. High saturated fat content in steak can contribute to heart disease. If you love steak and cheeseburgers, enjoy them sparingly. Consider cutting back to one delicious red meat dish per week.


  1. Take yourself to bed. Sleep deprivation is cruel to your health. Without regular,
    restful sleep, your body can’t complete many necessary functions for overall health and wellness. The body is built of cooperative systems, and those other malfunctions will eventually impact your heart health. Remove distractions from your bedroom and stick to a sleep schedule. If you may have sleep apnea, start seeking a diagnosis now to save years of distress on your heart.


  1. Make self-love a priority. Know your numbers for cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Aim for total cholesterol of less than 200, with triglycerides less than 150. Fasting blood sugar should be less than 100. The blood pressure goal is 120/80 or lower. Pay attention to possible symptoms that something is amiss. Get regular check-ups. De-stress and unplug. There’s also no harm in building yourself up with pep talks when you’re faced with health and life challenges.


Make your heart health a priority this month by giving yourself these little valentines. Turn these tips into habits and your heart will be grateful for years to come.

Beat the Slump with Orchard Snack Box

Orchard Snack Box and fruit baskets


Office worker in afternoon slump
Beat the afternoon slump with a healthy snack.

Drop by any office a couple hours after lunch and you’re bound to spot at least one person on the verge of becoming an office zombie. Slowed movement, sleepy eyes and the suppressed yawns are dead giveaways. Don’t worry– it’s just the mid-afternoon slump.


The mid-afternoon slump is a common phenomenon in workplaces. Human brains are biologically programmed for a break, and this slump is the body’s cue to catch some shut-eye.

There are several simple options for the worker hitting the slump:

Take a nap. Every office doesn’t offer napping pods or an environment where napping is a workable solution. If the slump isn’t addressed in other ways, they may just doze off at their desks or make errors until the slump has passed.

Grab a cup of coffee. Coffee is an easy pick-me-up for some folks, but it can interfere with one’s ability to fall asleep at night. It’s smarter to have coffee before noon and not risk interference with the sleep schedule.

Eat something. Healthy snacking raises the blood sugar, giving staff a much-needed boost to get through the slump. Improve productivity with a nutritious, exciting refreshment to finish the day strong.

Healthy Snacking Options Made Easy


At Orchard At The Office, we strive to help you conquer the mid-afternoon crash. Since 2010, we’ve provided fresh fruit for companies of all sizes across Texas, expanding our fruit delivery service across the contiguous 48 states. The burst of energy from a fresh piece of fruit can help people productively push through to quitting time.

Of course, there are times when you hanker for something else. Maybe you want something crunchy, nutty, savory or chewy. That’s where the new Orchard Snack Box comes into play. Our variety of nutritious, pre-packaged snacks gives staff grab-and-go options to beat the slump. Bars, nuts, jerky, fruit chews, fruit crisps, savory and crunchy treats by popular brands can provide the perfect pick-me-up.

Not only does the Orchard Snack Box help reverse the mid-afternoon slump and kick that zombie feeling, but it also saves time that your staff would spend trekking to the corner store. The snacks we offer provide healthy energy without the empty calories and sugar crash that cakes and cookies cause.

Sample contents of Orchard Snack Box
What’s inside an Orchard Snack Box?

Orchard Snack Box comes in four sizes: 60, 75, 150 and 300 pieces. Each delivery contains a different variety of snacks from our thoughtfully curated snack lineup, but you will always receive approximately 33% bars, 37% crispy, crunchy snacks, 8% jerky, 10% fruit, and 12% nuts.

There are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO options in every box. Boxes ship weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as a one-time purchase. The thoughtfully-curated mix of snacks changes every week to keep employees’ taste buds engaged. There are no contracts or long-term commitments required.

Fuel your staff with naturally sweet, low-glycemic nut bars, organic, non-GMO whole-grain goodies, or craveable, lean and clean protein sticks. From nutritious breakfast bars to spicy, savory protein-packed crisps, everyone will find a favorite. Become the office hero when you unbox the Orchard Snack Box. Let us help you prevent the office zombie workpacolypse.