The start of the new year often brings promises of a new, more active lifestyle with it. However, it is often difficult for professionals and decision-makers to fit exercise into their busy lifestyles. Based on his personal experiences, Naava’s CRO Aslak de Silva put together a list of 15 tips on how to combine exercise and wellbeing with busy working life.
Achieve big things with small changes. Choosing the stairs instead of the elevator activates the body and gives you a refreshing rush. This simple choice has a noticeable impact in the long run.
This tip is self-evident for many. I ride my bike to work as often as I can, sometimes I even run. I also walk or ride a bike from the train to the office. If you are taking the bus or other mode of public transport, consider hopping off a couple stops early so you can fit in a short extra walk, or why not even a jog, before or after work.
Internal 1-1 meetings can be done walking, if the weather permits. A walk outdoors refreshes the mind and you get some functional exercise throughout the day. In my best weeks, I have walked up to 20 hours during meetings. Even just an hour’s walk each day will help you get through tougher workouts in the long run.
When you feel like you need more fuel for the brain in a meeting, try doing 50 push-ups. The same can work as a “punishment”, if you are late from a meeting, for instance. Sometimes push-ups can be switched to squats.
Spread the wellbeing by working out with your colleagues and having small, friendly competitions during the work day. You can try planking, handstand or pull-up contests, for instance. Not only does it get everyone energized, it also works well for team building.
It is always a good idea to spend some time in the nature during the recreation days you do with your team. Depending on the time of the year, you can come up with different activities outside in the nature to get re-energized. Hiking or beach volley are good examples of sports everyone can get into.
While traveling for work, remember to take care of your body to stay sharp. Hotels usually offer possibilities to use their gym or swimming pool for working out. Another way to get your workout done is to lace up your jogging shoes and go out - while you work up a sweat you can also explore the city you are visiting.
What’s nicer than going for a walk when the sun is shining? Again, by multitasking you can go for a stroll while you work. When working remotely, you can take your work calls outside on a forest track or at a nearby park. Fresh air and some movement guarantees better motivation and energy levels when you return to your desk.
I am always interested in learning about new solutions and innovations - that is why I aim to minimize the meeting requests I decline, even if I know they won’t lead to any deals. Some meetings do not bring added value from the point of view of know-how, and that is why I have decided to form a new practice for meetings. By exercising together, I can fit in a workout and won’t waste any time even if the meeting itself doesn’t bring added value to the table.
This one is all about multitasking work and working out. Bicycling, running, working out at the gym, tennis and golf - these are all sport activities I’ve done together with clients. During these meeting you can form a bond you might not have otherwise.
This tip is a continuation of the original idea of exercising during working hours but doing something sensible at the same time. Sometimes it’s hard to find time during the workday to schedule a meeting, that’s why you have to think outside the box. I once got one of the best ideas while walking a client's dog together, as it was difficult to find a suitable time to meet otherwise.
While commuting there is a lot of time to kill. One suggestion is to grab the bar on the subway and start doing pull-ups.
Similarly to doing push-ups during meetings, they can also be done while speaking at an event - to give both yourself and your audience an extra kick of energy. The element of surprise catches the audience’s attention, and you can challenge them to join you. The adrenaline will make everybody concentrate better.
Competitions can also be organized to people outside your own company. Inviting clients to a track and field competition or a water aerobics class is a great way to network and get to know your clients.
Some of the most effective workouts are done in groups. While you’re at it, you can also network, internally or externally, thus increasing the benefits of training.
I have put together a couple of local groups with dozens of corporate decision-makers sharing the same mindset of working out and talking business. The groups usually meet up regularly to train once a month or irregularly according to the needs of the group and people can always suggest new ways of training. For example, we have ran up the massive stairs of a local hill at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.
Check out the case study of our transformed office and showroom space, which is now a model example of an activity-based office which supports the health and wellbeing of both its employees and visitors.
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