Workplace Wellness Challenge: 5 ways to be well at work

August 31, 2015

Sometimes people get overwhelmed with how to begin a fitness program. I am here to remind you that while the BIG PICTURE is important, there are quite a few small changes that you can make in your work week that will lead to larger gains and greater overall changes in your bodies wellness. I challenge you and any of your friends to try the Workplace Wellness Challenge as outlined below. See how many weeks you can keep it up for, and report back to each other on the small changes you are noticing in your body. Each day of the week has it’s own focus. Have fun and good luck!

Mindfulness Mondays: Do you go to sleep dreading waking up Monday? Does the clock hit noon and do you already feel behind? Do you end your Monday in full stressed out mode and then sail through the week in this state of being? If this is the case, I encourage you to set a timer for 90 minutes, and when the timer goes off take 10 slow and steady breaths. While breathing bring your mind into the moment, NOT what you have to do in 10 minutes, not what you forgot to do over the weekend, but simply focus on an inhale and exhale breath. Counting your breaths often helps keeps the mind in the moment in the beginning. As well as adding breathing to your Monday, schedule 15 minutes to make a small list of items you need/want to accomplish that week, and then rank them in order of importance. List making is something that can allow the contents of your brain to release onto paper. You can then be systematic about what you want to do first. Things seem far less overwhelming and stressful once on paper, and THEN the mind and body has a bit more room for calm. A mindful approach to your week, results in decreased blood pressure, decreased stress, AND often decreased caloric intake, as many people cope with stress by eating.

Tabata Tuesday: Tabata is a short, yet intense and highly effective way of working out. You can utilize the format of 20 seconds of all out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 round with any type of exercises. What I would like to suggest here is that body weight exercises are used so that people don’t have to worry about equipment, or getting to a gym. You can try a tabata with the following exercises anytime, anyplace. These are just some suggestions on how to get your body moving. Picking 4-6 movements will have you doing about 16-24 minutes of sweating! AND…it has been proven to be VERY effective.

Push Ups, Squats, plank, wall sit, flutters on stomach, jumping jacks, fast jogging in place (check back soon for some update pictures detailing these exercises)

Walking Wednesday: It might sound simple, BUT the intent on your Wednesday is to walk a bit more. You can park further from the entrance to your office, talk a walk before, during or after work, OR you can even have a pedometer step challenge with a friend or two. It is suggested that a long-term goal of 10,000 steps per day brings people up to walking 5 miles! Read here for the benefits of increasing your steps per day. Need a pedometer? You can purchase one at amazon…here

Thirsty Thursday: With all this weekday movement you are going to work up a thirst. Your wellness focus for Thursdays is to DRINK MORE WATER. Did you know that you should be consuming at least half you body weight in fluid ounces per day? If you weight 200 pounds you should be consuming 100 ounces of water per day! I know that this is a challenge, so here are a few tips to accomplish this:

  • Drink 8oz as soon as you wake up in the morning
  • Set a timer every 60 min and drink 8oz when it goes off
  • Purchase a nice, fancy water bottle that makes you happy to drink water
  • Add slices of fruit or a handful of frozen berries to your water the night before to give it a bit more flavor
  • Remind yourself of the MANY benefits of being properly hydrated such as decrease aches and pains, better skin, more energy, less headaches, and better digestion to name a few

 

Fitness Friday:  This might be a bold new move…BUT if companies allow a casual Friday, why not allow people to come dressed in fitness clothes and host pre-work yoga, bootcamps, or walking groups, and do the same at lunch, or happy hour times? Be the change in your workplace and advocate for something like this. It might not happen every week, but perhaps it is something that can become implemented once per month? There are so many great fitness professionals out there who can be hired to do a sample hour of their fitness modality. From hip hop dancing, to Pilates, to Zumba, to group runs, yoga classes, to TEAM Fitness and meditation, there are MANY ways to appeal to many different bodies, levels of fitness and broad interests. The main objective is to motivate yourself and your coworkers to move in someway that brings them joy. As a leader of the wellness of your company you might even get some smiles out of it!

Are you interested in implementing some of the ideas you read about here? Portland TEAM Fitness founder, and certified Personal Trainer Alayne Rowan can help! Please contact her for a free worksite wellness consult at 503.890.0257 or alayne@portlandteamfitness.com