By Clay Chandler

Clay is an author, editor and fellow at Hult International Business School where he follows technology, economics and global business. He is a former Asia editor at McKinsey & Company, and has held senior editorial roles at Fortune, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Follow him on Twitter @claychandler

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Staying fit can be challenging for people just starting their careers. Here’s how to keep your work from ruining your workouts.

For the world’s big corporate employers, encouraging workers to take better care of their bodies ought to be a no-brainer. Study after study demonstrates that helping employees to eat right, sleep properly, and exercise regularly can boost morale and productivity while reducing absenteeism and health insurance costs. A corporate culture that promotes physical wellbeing can also be a big draw in recruiting talent.

But when it comes to fitness, especially for junior staff, more firms talk the talk than walk the walk.

These days, most Fortune 500 companies offer “wellness programs,” and a variety of on-site fitness facilities for employees. Some are truly spectacular.

– Google operates four complimentary fitness centers 24/7 at its headquarters complex in Mountain View, California, with free weights, elliptical machines, recumbent bikes, and treadmills. There’s also a lap pool, climbing wall, and even a beach volleyball court. Employees also get subsidized memberships to outside gyms.

– The SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, boasts a 58,000-square-foot fitness center with a full weight room, Nautilus equipment, cardio and aerobics rooms, racquetball courts and a swimming pool. It also offers outdoor soccer, softball, and Frisbee fields, tennis courts, jogging and biking trails, and a putting green.

– Verizon Wireless offers 28 on-site health and wellness centers at its various offices around the U.S., with gyms featuring cardio and strength training equipment, spinning studios and group exercise classes including aerobics, Pilates and kickboxing. They also offer one-on-one personal training and nutrition counseling from on-staff fitness coaches.

Lavish gyms are a standard feature in the headquarters of most big Wall Street investment banks. Goldman Sachs has a 54,000-square-foot fitness exchange at the base of its new headquarters tower in lower Manhattan.

But fancy facilities mean little if they’re not supported by a work culture that encourages regular exercise and healthy lifestyles—not just for senior executives, but also junior staff.

Alas, in many industries—most notably finance, law, consulting and tech—the reality is that junior employees are expected to work hours so punishing that establishing a regular fitness routine is impossible.

Analysts and associates at many Wall Street banks gripe they have nowhere near enough to time to work out at in-house facilities, let alone make it to an outside gym. At America’s top-tier banks, law firms, consultancies and tech companies, it’s common for junior staff to log 90-100 hours at work each week, and the jobs often come with relentless travel requirements.

Some leading Wall Street firms reexamined their work environment for interns and junior bankers in 2013 after the death of an intern at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, who collapsed after working round the clock. An inquest later determined the intern died from an epileptic seizure that may have been triggered by fatigue.

In 2014, Bank of America Merrill Lynch circulated a memo decreeing that analysts and associates should spend four weekend days away from the office each month. Other banks announced similar policies. Some, including J.P. Morgan, sought to lighten workloads by hiring additional junior staff.

But it’s not clear such changes have made it much easier for young workers to find time to work out (or, for that matter, do much of anything else). At many banks, new mandatory time-off policies are riddled with exclusions. Citigroup, for example, doesn’t require junior bankers to come into the office on Saturdays, but still expects them to check their emails.

It’s all very well for employers to tell young staff not to work so hard. But junior staffers know that, at the end of the day, if the work doesn’t get done, their bosses won’t be happy and their careers won’t advance.

While many companies endorse the idea of employee wellness in principal, in practice fitness is often a luxury reserved for senior executives who can control their own schedules and command the resources to enlist the help of professional trainers and nutritionists.

The consolation is that, at many firms, things get slightly better for young workers who survive the bootcamp phase. Those who can survive the first six or seven years it takes to make vice president or junior partner, can look forward to a little more flexibility on the job. Starting times are less strict.

The paradox, though, is that after so many years of neglecting exercise and proper diet, many of those who survive the initial gauntlet find it almost impossible to break unhealthy lifestyle habits they’ve developed even after they’ve won the freedom to do so.

Everyone’s work situation is different so there’s no right answer. But for what it’s worth, here are 10 basic survival tips:

  • Don’t be a perfectionist. Do what you can. Any exercise is better than none. Even small changes in diet—cutting soda, taking a bag of vegetables or nuts to the office to minimize the temptation to reach for junk food—can have a big impact over time. If you have the supreme will to transform everything at once, go for it. If not, the main thing is to keep at it. Fix one thing at a time and keep improving.
  • Be efficient. If you work in a high-pressure job where you’re always on the clock, the key is to focus on the stuff that will yield maximum health benefits for minimal time away from your desk. In practice, that means paying extra attention to your diet. Just by making smarter choices about what you eat and drink, you can score big health gains without investing a lot of additional time.
  • Make your minimum. No matter how insanely busy your job, you should be able to figure out how to carve out three or four hours a week for exercise. You don’t have to spend hours a day in the gym. If you go at it hard, 45 minutes of intense lifting per workout should be enough. Three workouts per week should be your absolute minimum. Four is better, but try not to settle for less than three.
  • Streamline your workout. Figure out how to minimize the time required for getting in and out of the gym. Join a gym close to the office—no more than 10 minutes walking distance—even if it costs more. Figure out how to whittle the time you need to change and shower to less than 15 minutes total. Cut your hair so you don’t have to waste time with a blow-dryer.
  • Forget team work, what about team workout? Engage your manager or colleagues to aim for a group exercise activity that people can train for- like a charity run or corporate challenges (big banks like JP Morgan or Standard Chartered have gotten into this game by sponsoring running races in major cities around the world) which not only give you a legitimate reason to work out, but do it with work colleagues. Kill two birds with one stone- team work while working out.
  • Be thoughtful about designing your routine. An intense weightlifting session will give you a much bigger payoff than running, spinning classes, yoga, or Pilates. (Zumba dancing? Don’t get us started….) Focus on free weights. If you’ve only got an hour, don’t waste it on treadmills and fancy fitness machines unless it’s for a brief warm-up.
  • If you’re traveling or don’t have access to freeweights, try high intensity interval training. Bodyweight exercises like burpees, squats, lunges, and planks can keep you in the game. (See Hit the Road Jacked” in this issue.)
  • Let your muscles rest. Figure out how to rotate through one major muscle group each workout. Give that muscle group at least 48 hours before you stress it again. Sleep, whenever you can, as much as you can. So maybe you can’t get the “straight eight” hours in your first years on the job. But don’t kid yourself: hardly anyone can function productively with less than six hours of sleep per day over an extended period of time.
  • You booze, you lose. A couple of glasses of wine at night is fine (which a lot of studies say is even good for you); red is better than white. But stay away from beer, whisky, and hard liquor.
  • Get off your duff. Sitting at a desk all day is a killer. Find ways to increase your mobility while on the job. If you can switch to a standing desk, do it. Set your watch or Fitbit to remind you to get up and move every 30 minutes. Stand up and pace when you’re on the phone. Walk to work. Skip the elevator and take the stairs.