A while ago, while studying for my Wellcoaching certification, I ran across an article called The Making of a Corporate Athlete.
The basic premise was that sustained high achievement demands physical and emotional strength as well as a sharp intellect. To bring mind, body, and spirit to peak condition, executives need to learn what world-class athletes already know: recovering energy is as important as expending it.
Interestingly enough, the article applied the principles of High Intensity Interval Training that I use to physically train my clients to the executive work day.
It recommended that after periods of intense focus on a singular task, you take a short break, get up and walk around, hydrate, or eat something of nutritional value, fueling yourself for the next intentional focused task. The research showed that it is a simple and easy way to increase work efficiency and decrease stress levels!
I love simple!
Exercise is extremely beneficial to our productivity at work as it increases the blood and therefore oxygen flow to our brains, and releases those ‘feel good hormones,’ endorphins, keeping us in a good mood.
Here are some simple, practical ways that we can introduce more physical activity into our work life.
Choose one or two that you can incorporate seamlessly.
1. Use your legs!- walk or bike to work. Many of us actually live relatively close to our jobs. Sometimes the traffic is so bad, that it would actually be a quicker commute to use your own horse power, be it cycling or walking. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes. You can stash a spare pair at the office.
2. Stair climbing - take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stair climbing burns significantly more calories than jogging at a moderate pace for half of the time.
3. Replace your chair with a physioball - This is one of my favorite tips for my executive clients! Using a ball as your "chair" forces you to work the core, thereby improving balance, tone and burning calories!
4. Schedule a walk over lunch- Many of my most successful clients schedule a 10 minute brisk walk during a coffee or lunch break every day. (Sometimes two) Take it outside and get your 15 minutes of sun to build some Vitamin D reserves! Consider walking to the sandwich bar, but remember to pick something healthy, or if you bring lunch with you, walk to the local park and eat it there.
5. Start a lunch-time exercise group - try to get other co-workers involved, having a regular routine, and the support from your friends, will help you to stick with your exercise program. You'll be surprised how many "takers" you'll have in January! I have a few clients in town that work for a large corporation and they meet to "do stairs".
6. Personal delivery service - rather than sending an email, deliver messages, or discuss issues, in person with your co-workers. The additional exercise will really add up over the course of a week.
7. Make an exercise schedule - plan for your physical activity just as you would any other appointment during the day. Don’t allow interruptions to change your plans. If you exercise after work, plan ahead the night before by packing your gym clothes. If you wait until morning, you'll be REALLY lucky if you can find both socks and shoes, your favorite workout shorts AND your water bottle. It pays to be ready the night before. Do all you can to minimize excuses!
8. Join a Boot Camp Class (Or Lean Out Lakeland
if you live in Central Florida) where you will have a group of people expecting you, holding you accountable and providing you support and planned workouts and hopefully solid nutritional guidance.
What will YOU choose to seamlessly integrate more exercise into your work day and become a more productive and healthy Corporate Athlete?