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For people with limited mobility and those who have difficulty with staircases, accessing rooms on different levels of a building can be a real challenge. The good news is that platform lifts provide a safe solution mobility issues. A platform lift is designed to provide an easy floor to floor access when stairs aren’t a viable option.

When you think about buying a platform lift, some of the major factors you should consider are the convenience and safety of the user. Some manufacturers offer a variety of designs that integrate specific features based on the needs of the user. To help you decide on the platform lift to buy, here are some points to keep in mind.

Space and the loading capacity

An important item to consider is the loading capacity of the device. Check to make sure that a wheelchair can fit inside the lift. Platform lifts vary according to type and model and it is crucial that you pick the model that will meet your wheelchair requirements.

Lifting height

When buying a platform lift, also consider the lifting height of the building. This is something that can be derived by measuring the floor to ceiling height in the building. This information is especially critical for indoor wheelchair lift installation. On the other hand, if you’re doing an outdoor installation, measure either the floor height or the vertical height of the stairs. This is the lifting height. Be very accurate with your calculations and measurements, otherwise, it could result in the failure or malfunction of the platform lift.

Drive system

There are different drive systems used in platform lifts. These include the screw drive, guided chain and hydraulic. Discuss the drive system with your platform lift manufacturer.  Different drives will affect the space requirements, the ride, as well as the longevity of the components. For example, choosing a hydraulic drive system would mean that you need to allocate extra space for the fluid tank.

Design of the platform lift

When choosing the design of the platform, there are two significant factors to consider – the access to enter the platform and the wheelchair structure. Check if the size of the platform can accommodate the size and structure of the wheelchair. In addition, try to allow for enough space for easy wheelchair maneuverability inside the lift during the lowering and lifting process.

Auto doors

Auto doors are also something to consider based on the individuals who will be pushing and pulling the door. There are different types of automatic door closers. To ensure you select the one that meets your requirements, take the time to discuss the differences with your lift provider.

Safety features

There are platform lift models that integrate several features making the ride safe and convenient for users. Most platform lifts are designed to make sure that users are protected from injuries. Some of these safety features include a manual lowering valve, over-speed governor, non-skid platform with side safety flaps, sensor system on the platforms, remote control, safety doors with interlock, emergency stop button and more. To ensure the safety of lift users, be sure to discuss the safety features needed with your platform lift with the lift provider.

Budget

After deciding on the type of lift to buy, select one that fits in your budget. There are a lot of reliable dealers that offer good quality devices. Their platform lift models also incorporate the safety features you need.  Shop around, you may even come across a gently used one that will fit your needs and your budget.

With the help of these tips, choosing a platform lift should be easy. And if you are in need of a reliable dealer that can provide quality platform lift and other forklift products, please consider Reno Forklift Services.

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Love to knit or do you prefer whitewater rafting?

Maybe you love to sell your jewelry on Etsy or you give scrapbooks to your family as gifts each Christmas.

Whatever it is that you – and your co-workers – love to do on your time off, one of the most surprising ways to learn more about your co-workers is to discover their hobbies.

For example, maybe you’ll find out that the soft spoken receptionist for the sales department loves to scream out rock and roll songs at the neighborhood karaoke bar. Or you’ll learn that your “tough as nails” supervisor has won the Annual Chili Cook-off for the past three years running.

When you take the time to share your hobby with others you deepen their understanding of what you enjoy which can increase their appreciation for who you are as a team member.

Why it’s important to choose a hobby

While some hobbies are more expensive than others (e.g. collecting antique cars), all of them offer many benefits with little to no drawbacks.

Can relieve stress

Hobbies allow us to disengage from our everyday work and other obligations, relieving stress and helping to rejuvenate our minds and our bodies.

Challenge your brain

While some hobbies require more thought than others (e.g. playing chess) when you ask your brain to do something different, such as learning a new hobby, it stimulates your mind and forces it to form new thought patterns.

Allow you to leave a legacy

A homemade quilt, passed down through the family, a story about your childhood, a scrapbook filled with your dreams, travels, family photos and stories…all of these are wonderful ways to leave a legacy for the generations that follow you.

And they’re all a type of hobby that is easily learned and can also be passed down from generation to generation.

Make a little extra cash if you want

Whether your goal is to make your hobby pay for itself, or you’d like to earn some extra income doing what you love, hobbies can be an enjoyable way to make money.

If you have a hobby that you love to do, use this month – National Hobby Month – as a good excuse to share that information with your co-workers.

You may find out that one or more of them have similar interests outside of work, or each of you may be entirely different. It doesn’t really matter what kinds of hobbies you enjoy, the most important thing is taking the time to learn more about each other and find ways to forge connections that help you function together as a well oiled machine.

 

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National regifting day is celebrated each year on the Thursday before Christmas. The date was chosen, because that’s when many companies hold their Christmas parties.

Interestingly, what was once thought of as “tacky” has now become popularized by such shows as the Seinfeld episode, The Label Maker.

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As you prepare to observe National Gratitude Month, you realize that good workers are sometimes hard to find. You want your workers to know that you appreciate what they do for your business day in and day out. You also want to inspire all your workers to invest in your company, so they will work harder. Another goal you have is to achieve and maintain high morale in your workplace. Do not worry about how much it will cost you. You do not need a large budget to show appreciation. You can be frugal and still make what you do meaningful for your employees. In the end, whatever you spend will be worth it to you.

Give Time Off

lady leaning on office door

Grant off days to employees for their personal errands

One easy way to show appreciation is by giving paid time off. You may not be able to give employees a whole day off with pay, but that would let your workers know you are thankful for what they do. An alternative is to allow them to leave one or two hours early, or come in one or two hours late. If your company operates during regular business hours, your employees may have personal business they need to tend to. This will make it easier for them. Your employees will in turn, appreciate your thoughtfulness in giving them this gift.

Let Them Recognize Each Other

Many times, the workers themselves know who is putting in the extra effort that makes your business successful. Not many business owners are on the floor, but your employees are. Set up a weekly or monthly recognition program where workers nominate each other as outstanding employees. You could have a drawing for the prize where you pay for the winner’s lunch or even assign them a parking spot.

Listen to Them

When you own the business, your focus is often “the bottom line.” Sometimes, you are so focused on doing business, you may not be seeing different ways to do it. Your employees have ideas because they are doing the work. Give them the opportunity to share their ideas. Then, act upon them when able. You can create a forum where employees give input into upcoming decisions you are considering. Another way to get ideas is to have a suggestion box. With this option, you need to make sure you read the suggestions and act on them. You need to let them know you have read them and considered them.

Make Them Family

Get to know your employees by name and learn something about them. Workers will be more committed to a job if they feel like they are a part of something bigger. Compared to them feeling as if they’re just another employee. You could also host a “chat and chew” lunch where fellowship is the focus rather than business. Of course, you pay for the meal. Another idea is to plan an event for everyone and include their families. You can also allow them to flex their hours if they ask to attend a function at their child’s school or their spouse’s job. Knowing that you value their family time will only build their commitment to you.

Give Little Gifts

wrapped gift boxes

Small gifts are an amazing token of appreciation

Sometimes smaller means more. Rather than doing this for one month, stretch your recognition of National Gratitude Month throughout the year. Set up a week every quarter as Gratitude Week or a day each week, like Thankful Tuesday. Give small, useful gifts or sweet treats they can enjoy as they go about the workday. You could set up a free coffee and tea bar. Another idea in this category is to give a variety of small denomination gift cards. $5 off is still $5 you have saved them.

These 5 suggestions for observing National Gratitude Month are ideas that are easy to put into place. As you carry out your plans, you will see the benefits. If you follow through, you will see a rise in morale and quality work. You need to invest your time and some of your money to make this happen. Remember, your employees make your business what it is. The leadership starts with you. When workers are invested in their place of employment, they will be happier and work harder. Everyone wants to know someone sees the good things they are doing and appreciates their effort.

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Curling up with a good book after work is a great way to relax and escape the stresses of the day. To celebrate National Book Month, you can explore all the benefits found between the pages at home. These same benefits can also boost professional skills and relationships in the office. Implementing a reading program and encouraging people to read may take time and effort. As a business team leader, encouraging the group to read more can have surprising effects. Reading can benefit the entire department or company.

What Does Reading Do For You?

man reading a book during lunch

Reading can be a great way to relax

Although reading non-fiction books can help you learn about specific topics, reading any book provides benefits in general. Even the latest fiction beach read can give you a boost. Encourage your team to read if you want them to improve in the following areas:

  • Improved intelligence and knowledge base
  • Larger vocabulary and understanding
  • Automatic development of writing skills
  • Expands the ability to analyze complex situations
  • Eases interpersonal relationships
  • Reduces stress

3 Tips to Encourage Solitary Reading

Reading by yourself is more for entertainment, though some prefer informational texts. The best way to encourage employees to pick up a book is to leave the subject matter and title to them. Don’t make it sound like homework or something they must do, or risk their job.

–Make free books available throughout the building. The more visible they are, the more likely people will be to pick one up and read. Every break room should have a mini library where people can take and give back. It makes it easy to stock, as well as keeps the selection fresh from library sales and thrift shops.

–Inform people of the benefits and set a good example. Post small posters near the bookshelves that list how reading can help them. Pick up a book yourself and read it on break and discuss it with others.

–Make books and bookstore gift cards a coveted prize for productivity goals met, or for special situations, holiday gifts, and fun giveaways.

How to Make Reading a Team-Building Exercise

Any time you can get your team to do something together, work-related or not, the strength of the whole becomes stronger than its parts. Book groups are a natural choice for encouraging your team to improve reading and social skills.

Provide the same book to the entire team, but make reading it voluntary. No one wants to be forced to do at-home work for their job. Schedule a regular book group meeting in the break room or even at a local bar or café. Make it fun. You could even hold it at your house if you are comfortable with that. As employees improve their knowledge and vocabulary from the book, they will improve their communication skills. It can also boost respect for fellow team members.

Employees work harder when they are enjoying the project or receiving rewards. For example, your business team got a client’s order out three days ahead of time. Reward them all with a gift card to a bookstore.

pile of books

Make sure any work space has an abundance of great books

Turn reading into a game at work as well and give prizes for it. If you are all reading the same book, create daily quizzes or reading progress charts. This can foster a bit of friendly competition. Post a quiz question about the book on the wall and ask people to email the answer. Whoever gets the most right by the end of the week gets an extra-long lunch or a special prize.

There are many ways to encourage reading in the workplace. Books and magazines offer so many benefits for cognition. Other benefits include vocabulary and writing skills. These skills are much needed in any workplace, so it makes sense to push your team to read.

National Book Month is the perfect time to start making changes which will positively impact the success of your team. It does not matter what industry you work in or what niche you fill. Reading entertaining books will boost productivity, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and reduce stress. These benefits help everyone, and they are all found within the pages of a book.

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Many people believe that learning stops once a person graduates from high school or college. Every October, people are encouraged to celebrate adult learners during National Learning & Development Month (NLD Month.) If you’re an employer, this information should hold special significance with you.

According to Forbes, employee dissatisfaction due to a lack of training and development is a key reason why good employees quit. If you suspect that some of your employees have left for the same reason, take heart. Here are ways to foster a learning culture at your workplace.

Some Background Information

great ideas for National Learning & Development Month

Skill development keeps great ideas flowing

According to the eLearning Industry website, adult learners have specific traits that make them different from child learners. On the whole, adult learners want to learn something practical. In the workplace, this means they need to learn something that impacts their daily work or help them advance. Employees should learn what the benefit will be from what they are learning.  For example, a videographer who’s asked to learn Adobe After Effects, should be taught about the special effects they can create with that program.

It’s also important to remember that adults wrestle with a lot of responsibilities. When creating a training and development program for the workplace, employers make the lessons flexible and relevant. This might include integrating social media learning or instructional games. The best instructional designers also allow adult learners to learn from their mistakes.

Finally, whatever instruction adults are given, it should be in small chunks. This method of training works with the brain’s learning capacity instead of against. Pushing too much new information all at once causes cognitive overload.

Problems with Career Development Programs

If career training and development is such a critical factor in keeping employees, why don’t more employers do it? A lack of time is a primary reason why more time isn’t devoted to helping employees reach their potentials. Yet, as the Forbes article points out, it is human nature to make time for a person’s most important activities.

Sometimes obstacles like corporate bureaucracy can get in the way. Aside from companies not wanting to spend the money for training, many programs are too hard to implement. These training systems sound nice in theory, but leave something lacking in practice. Often, they’re difficult for already overworked managers to put in place. Again, one of the ways around this issue is to keep the adult learner in mind. Even the most gifted learners do better if the information is presented in smaller chunks that are easy to absorb.

Why Companies Should Develop Career Training

Companies that embrace employee training also create a work place that promotes constant learning. This approach to the work environment actually encourages closer employee relationships. As employees become better trained, they can pass their knowledge on to other employees.

These companies also end up with employees who know what to do when the pressure is on. Many jobs by nature are high stress. Employees who are properly trained and who regularly get to use their new skills are in a position of readiness when things turn difficult.

Final Thoughts and Takeaways

a reading list for National Learning & Development Month

Reading good books keeps you sharp

For managers trying to promote a better workplace, National Learning & Development Month offers a good “excuse.” Most people think of formal classroom training when they think of job training. But, as the NLD Month website points out, learning can be watching TED Talks or hosting business related book clubs. It can also be playing structural video games or attending online classes. Fortunately, today’s technology has made training adults easier than ever.

Adult learners count as the most eager learners around. They learn because they want to grow. They’re self-directed, though appreciate guidance and support. Once trained, they have more job satisfaction and are more likely to contribute to a culture of growth. To sum it up, adult learning is both personally and professionally rewarding for all involved.

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Poor lighting in an office can demotivate employees and lead to health issues. But poor lighting in warehouses has even greater and far reaching implications. Proper lighting improves safety for workers and protects the health of your business. It is imperative to follow warehouse lighting standards to protect your employees and your warehouse.

Why does good lighting improve safety in your warehouse?

Reduces Heavy Equipment Accidents

OSHA warehouse lighting requirements

Good lighting reduces the risk of damaging goods

Warehouses deal with a lot of heavy equipment that you need to handle with care. One wrong move and a single accident can cause serious damage to the warehouse and cost the business a lot of money. Proper lighting is necessary in preventing these accidents.

Reduces Work Errors

Proper lighting creates an environment where workers make less mistakes. Employees need to see in corridors and shadowy corners. Sometimes they need to read small labels or maneuver around very cramped places. Having enough light will reduce the chance of making mistakes.

Reduces Losses and Damages to Property

Your products are essential to your business, and they need to be protected at all costs. Businesses can’t afford to lose or have damaged goods due to low visibility. With adequate lighting, the employees are likely to see all of the product labeling. Damage is then less likely to occur.

Cools Down the Warehouse

Not all lighting fixtures are appropriate for your warehouse. Other than light, the fixtures also contribute to the temperature of the room. Poor bulbs can cause temperatures to fluctuate. This can affect the employees’ mood and concentration. And can increase the likelihood of making mistakes that jeopardize their safety.

Reduces Dangers Caused by Poor Stacking of Products

On average, two workers die in warehouse accidents every month in North America. Stacked products can topple, fall and injure workers around the warehouse. Inadequate lighting makes it hard to see these stacked products.

Reduces Chances of Forklifts Striking People

Forklift drivers are always in a hurry due to the overwhelming time pressure. They want to load or unload fast, and they often exceed the set speed limits. In a busy warehouse that is not lit to standard, this can lead to disaster. The drivers have a greater chance of running over workers and visitors walking on foot.

Protects Workers Health

warehouse lighting standards

Forklift accidents are reduced in a well lit warehouse

Poor lighting affects workers’ eyesight. Although the damage may not be permanent, workers may find it hard to focus in the short term. Inadequate lighting can cause headaches and poor posture among workers.

How much can I spend in warehouse lighting?

One of the biggest mistakes made is throwing caution to the wind. Proper lighting is important, and you may need to invest enough resources to achieve it. Spending as little as possible to cut on costs can be costly in the long run. You can lose more through accidents and lack of efficiency. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on warehouse lighting fixtures. They could save you a lot of trouble and losses in the end.

How do I light the warehouse?

How you light the warehouse will depend on many factors. For example, the size of the structure will determine the number of lighting fixtures you use. The closer your storage is to the roof, the more lighting you will need. The lighting should also fit your aisle layout. Follow a design guide for warehouse lighting to achieve the recommended levels of illumination.

It can be difficult to know the number of lighting fixtures you need to install. It will depend on the light required and the total square area of the warehouse. This decision is too important to rely on guess work. Any mistakes can mean the difference between life and death. A warehouse lighting calculator will cut guess work and improve accuracy.

Industry Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets the smallest illumination intensities needed. Warehouses should not go beyond 5-foot candles. This is according to the OSHA warehouse lighting requirements

Proper lighting improves safety. The quality of lighting you install will impact employees’ safety and productivity. It will also affect product loss and damage. To improve efficiency and reduce losses, your business needs to invest in proper lighting. The cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You stand to lose more if you don’t invest enough.

Are you operating a warehouse in Reno, Nevada? Are you in search of forklift and warehouse safety experts you can rely on? We provide various equipment. Including forklifts, conveyor systems, work benches, scales, pallet racks, and compactors. We offer installation, repair, training, and consulting services to our customers. For these and much more, please feel free to contact us .

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Why is July anti-boredom month? It’s a natural time of year for the doldrums. The holidays are far away and there are no urgent rush seasons going on. Summer days drag by, as workers leave for or return from vacation time. For an office job, it’s the worst season, because it is bright and sunny, a perfect day for recreation, and you’re wasting it in an office cubicle. In addition, the kids are out of school, which makes parents feel like they’re missing out on spending time with their kids.

The Benefits Of Fighting Boredom

boredom | Reno Forklift Services

Strive to keep employees happy

Companies should care about employee apathy because the quality of work sometimes suffers. More mistakes happen that need to be corrected and more productivity gets lost due to lagging performance. Surprisingly enough, investing in just a little frivolous diversion can help your workers buckle down to work later.

Some studies have also shown that a brief period of mental stimulation helps clear the cobwebs and improve attention and cognitive performance. At the very least, some diversionary tactics help break the stress and routine of the long summer days and weeks.

Creative Ideas to Fight Boredom

Team building exercises are often just manager-speak for “we need to get you out of your cubicle and moving around.” You can justify many fun activities as team building and cajole everyone into participating. But here are a few off-hand ideas to stimulate your employees during the dull summer months:

* Organize a company sports team.

This can be as silly or as serious as you want. An official sports team for your department gives you a great reason to hand out matching T-shirts, rally everybody together, and get them cheering for each other. Simple low-impact sports like volleyball, softball, or bowling are ideal here.

* Have a company contest.

This can be something silly like organizing a scavenger hunt, or a contest tied to work productivity. Here’s the catch: instead of some practical company gift, have the prize be something a little “out there”.  Maybe two tickets to a local rock concert or a case of gourmet coffee. Pick something that will get your employees talking. The important thing is that everybody has fun doing this.

* Have an Employee Appreciation Day.

Maybe take one day to have a break from the usual work schedule and organize an event. It doesn’t take much; a pizza and movie party is just right. A company picnic is even better if you have a local park available. Some larger companies go all out and host a carnival, with small party kiosks rented from a local vendor. This can be a big event you can build up to in advance, giving everybody something to look forward to.

* Give Your Employees Random Surprise Perks or Gifts.

What would your employees think if they encountered an ice cream vendor cart in the lobby for one week? Or came in Thursday morning to find a gift card for the local mall on their desks? Or you suddenly announced, “Bring your pet to work day”? Or you just hired a clown to wander through the office handing out balloon animals for one day? Make your office an interesting place to work.

* Sponsor board or table games.

team building | Reno Forklift Services

Organize fun office games

You can stock the company break room with board and card games. Perhaps even one day of the week, give everyone an extra half hour devoted to games. It’s important that they’re playing physical entertainment together rather than just zoning out playing on their phones. Similar to the sports team idea, you can even organize a competitive company team revolving around their favorite game.

A Little Goes A Long Way

You’d be surprised what an impact any of these methods have. By at least encouraging a little fun on the company clock, you’ll not only fight burnout, but boost employee morale by showing them that at least the boss has some heart. By showing you have a human side and a soul, your employees are more likely to put up with the drudgery of the day-to-day job; you’re telling them that you know the work is tiresome and thanking them for doing a good job.

There are many more ideas out there. Just try to avoid being predictable with your measures; nothing says “boring” like handing out pens and paper-clip wells with the company logo. Come up with perks and activities that are imaginative enough, and your employees will be talking about anti-boredom month until the holiday season!

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28 06 2017

7 Tips for New Forklift Operators

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When driving a forklift for the first time, the task may seem a little daunting. You’ll want to make sure you correctly follow all rules to ensure a safe work environment for yourself and those around you. Check out the list below for 7 tips to consider when operating a forklift. While they may come across as basic, they’ll serve as a great starting point for new forklift operators.

  1. Be preparedMove to Trash

    driving a forklift for the first time | Reno Forklift Services

    Be attentive at all times

    It may seem silly, but putting yourself in the right mind set makes all the difference. Make sure you are awake and alert. It is never safe to operate machinery while drowsy. Quickly check yourself over to ensure you’re wearing proper clothing for the job. The operator’s handbook states that operators are to wear the following appropriate safety equipment: hard hat, safety shoes, and a hi-visibility jacket. Clothing should be reasonably fitted to avoid getting caught in the machinery. Long hair should be tied back. Operators should also make sure their hands are clean of grease so their grip is strong and doesn’t slip.

  2. Examine equipment and surrounding area before use

    It’s important to check your equipment before use. Forklift safety rules state that you should check the breaks, warning devices, steering, mast, and tires for faults. If problems are detected, immediately notify management. Make sure the forklift control levers are within reach upon sitting. Plan a visual journey before you start to move. Have a clear vision of where you will be moving within the designated roadways, and be aware of signs that dictate load height restrictions.

  3. Operate at a safe speed and avoid hazards

    The Logistics & Materials Handling Blog states that you should never drive over the designated speed limit. Always proceed around corners and turns slowly to avoid tipping. If you need to change your direction or path, do so slowly and gradually. It is always best to steer clear of bumps and uneven ground. Avoid slippery areas as well. Keep a safe distance from loose objects on the ground and other trucks or machines. Use the horn when approaching a corner or doorway to signal caution to those around you.

  4. Have clear visibility

    If visibility is poor, do not attempt to continue driving. Call for assistance and have a lookout guide you. You may choose to drive in reverse, but remember to never drive in reverse up a ramp. Check that you can see your loading area clearly to ensure proper positioning. Again, if you are unable to see properly, have someone assist you with placing the load.

  5. Make sure all loads are safe and secure

    Examine loads carefully before driving for stability and damage. It’s important that loads be stacked and positioned across both forks correctly. Use ropes or binding materials if needed. Know the carrying capacity of your fork before loading, as an overload can cause tipping. Check for overhead obstructions before lifting, and remember to never lift a load that is unsafe or unstable.

  6. Keep clear of the Mast

    Under no circumstances should anyone be permitted to stand or walk under the load. If a load falls, it can cause severe injury or death. Make sure to keep all hands and feet clear of the cross members of the mast. If you lower the mast while your hands are on it, this too can lead to serious injury.

  7. Refill and return

    forklift safety rules | Reno Forklift Services

    Always ask for help when you cant see

    Yale’s article on safe handling states that you should only re-fuel at specially designated locations. Make sure the machine is turned completely off before fueling. No open flames or sparks are permitted for IC engines. Fueling should also take place in a well ventilated area. After a shift, be sure to park in an authorized area. Lower the forks completely and apply the parking break. Always remember to never leave machinery running while unattended.

With these tips in mind, new forklift operators can rest assured that they’ll be on their way to safe and easy operation in no time. Remember that machinery may only be operated by those trained properly and licensed. Always refer back to the manual if you have any questions about how to operate a forklift’s controls or feel free to contact us.

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June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month, which means it’s a perfect time to make improvements to your diet.

During this month, you’ll have an easy time finding fresh, delicious produce in supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and maybe even your own backyard garden. And while you probably already know that eating more fruits and veggies will make you healthier, that’s not the only benefit you’ll notice. Eating a healthy diet will also make you more productive and give you more energy to excel at work, play with your kids, and connect with your loved ones. These tips will help you clean up your diet and become more productive along the way.

Swap refined carbs for fresh, whole foods.

National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month | Reno Forklift

Opt for healthier whole foods

Processed carbs, such as white bread, soda, and candy, might give you a quick burst of energy right after you eat them. However, the energy boost soon fades away, leaving you feeling groggy and irritable. Why? Your body processes the simple sugars in these foods quickly, which causes your blood sugar to rise and then drop sharply again.

To avoid this happening to you, cut sugary foods out of your diet wherever you can. Replace them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These natural foods aren’t just more filling than highly processed foods – they’ll keep your brain going for longer, too. Here are some examples of simple swaps you can make:

  • Make your lunchtime sandwich on whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat pita instead of white bread.
  • Trade your afternoon candy for a carton of fresh, ripe blueberries.
  • Instead of soda, drink filtered water or seltzer infused with strawberries.
  • Cook brown rice for dinner instead of white rice.
  • Swap your morning glass of orange juice for a more filling piece of fresh fruit.

Eat breakfast.

There’s a reason breakfast is referred to as the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast kick-starts your brain, while an unhealthy one can leave you feeling foggy at ten in the morning. According to the University of Illinois, an ideal breakfast should include carbs, fat, and protein. The carbs give you energy and help you focus, while the fat and protein help you stay satisfied until lunchtime. If you need ideas, give these breakfasts a try:

  • Make an omelet with your favorite vegetables, like spinach and mushrooms, and a little cheese. Have a piece of whole-wheat toast on the side.
  • In a hurry? Make a quick piece of peanut butter toast. Eat it with a banana or some berries.
  • Cook up a bowl of satisfying oatmeal. Top it with honey, sliced almonds, and cut-up fruit.

Plan ahead.

Don’t wait until you get hungry to decide what to eat. According to the Harvard Business Review, people make better food choices when they’re not ravenous. Spend a couple of minutes every morning thinking about what you’ll have for lunch, dinner, and snacks. A little planning can save you a lot of time, brainpower, and calories in the long run.

Use a smaller plate.

Have you ever felt sluggish and slow after eating too much? Everyone overindulges sometimes, but if you do it regularly, you won’t be at your most productive. Instead of putting less food on a large plate, which can make you feel subconsciously deprived, try this simple trick: just put your food on a small plate instead. You’ll still feel satisfied, and you won’t get a case of afternoon brain fog from eating too much. MIT also recommends sticking to light, healthy foods, such as fruits, veggies, and lean protein, instead of heavy fried foods.

Don’t let yourself get too hungry.

National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month | Reno Forklift Services

Never let yourself get too hungry

In terms of brainpower and productivity, eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. When you under-eat, your brain doesn’t get the glucose it needs, which can make you feel light-headed, anxious, and irritable. Maintain your energy and focus by eating small, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Instead of eating a heavy pasta dish at lunch, go for a salad or a light sandwich with veggies on it. Skip the fries.
  • Keep a healthy, nonperishable snack, such as a bag of almonds, in your car. That way, if your stomach starts growling when you’re stuck in traffic, you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-through.
  • Bring carrot sticks and hummus to work for when the afternoon munchies hit.

June is the perfect time to clean up your diet by incorporating plenty of fresh, in-season produce. These easy tips will help you make the most of National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month!

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