What is the best way YOU should exercise?
As am employer offering corporate perks, best practice would be that any fitness offerings are varied, ensuring all employees feel there is something they can align themselves.
Many businesses tackle this two-fold; 1) by offering a corporate gym membership scheme and 2) supporting this with in-office Yoga, Pilates, Boot-camp, or a running club. Very rarely will a company offer the full array of fitness offerings, for a number of reasons.
Other low-cost employer-led fitness solutions include the installation of gamification tools such as Stepjockey, or distribution of fitness tracker for the team.
FTSE100 employers through to boutique Hedge Funds often have bespoke gyms and studios built specifically for their employees. Fantastic!
That is enough about the platforms. What about you considering what the best method of exercise may be for yourself, to ensure optimal health and fitness. The chances are that each and every person sitting around the desk will reach their optimal fitness levels through different means and interests.
Do you feel old, tired, and broken? If so then maybe you need to reconsider your activity levels and favoured activities. Often we see that people chose the most convenient methods to get fit. I am sure we all know someone at work who has taken up running just to lose weight. To make a change, we must first recognise the need. Deciding to get running is great, but something else may be greater!
There is an expression ‘get fit to run, not, run to get fit’. Please take this with a pinch of salt (Himalayan sea salt by Jamie Oliver of course!) Running will do wonders for the vast majority of us, true. But it could leave you achy, tired and de-motivated. Guess what? There is a solution; try something else!
I believe Rocky Balboa once said (and let’s excuse his grammar!), “it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Why did I just quote Rocky, well many reasons, 1) I am a lifelong fitness fanatic, so by default I love Rocky films. 2) It is an excellent quote, in fact, I suggest playing the clip or sticking it on a playlist for working out. 3) I take it to mean this; keep trying your hardest, but keep moving forwards and finally 4). Many of the CEO’s and high-flying individuals I have trained in the course of my career love the Rocky films too.
If you are not moving forwards and seeing progress with your training, then pick yourself up and try something else. In fact, we often experience our greatest fitness improvements at the beginning of our new endeavors, so if you try Zumba for two months, quit and swap it for the local Kettlebell class, then so be it! I am sure after another two months you will be fitter, more coordinated and stronger than before you started Zumba. Mix it up, or not, it’s up to you, just keep moving forwards. The other great benefit of new experiences if of course is meeting new people, new friends.
Some guidelines that may help you in exercise selection:
I’ve slightly gone off piste (by the way, Cross-country Skiing is one of the most brutal and efficient exercise pursuits) with this blog.
Hold one one second, regarding Cross-country skiing, here is a picture of my new toy @concept 2. It’s a Ski Erg, a fantastic low impact piece of kit that allows you to get an amazing cardio workout while giving the feet a bit of a breather. I love it.
Employers, please take note. Please try and promote a balanced fitness offering. In-office Yoga is great, but it’s not to everyone’s taste.
Employees take note. If you are the Rugby playing weightlifter then perhaps a weekly in-office Yoga session will allow you to play on as a weekend Rugby player till later on in life!
Variety is the spice of life after all. Keep plugging away, mix it up, enjoy it. It goes without saying, but a corporation will benefit greatly from having a happy, healthy, motivated workforce. When considering what wellness options will be met with most enthusiasm, it is imperative to find out each employees’ goals and needs. Address these targets and reap the rewards.
Next time I will be tackling nutrition during the summer. Watch this space!