Fit for business
Pretty much everyone appreciates the value of regular physical activity for health, but for some people the challenge is finding the time to “fit it in”. I noticed that many individuals in the corporate environment have enjoyed previously active lives and have often excelled in sport. However, as their career has progressed, they can find themselves with less and less time for exercise. Some retain exercise in their lives, but can still find they have extended periods of relative inactivity as a result of work pressures. For others, being sedentary has become their norm. In order to get fit, we have to get some useful info about what does it mean to exercise.
“Exercise” is a word that covers a wide range of activities, all of all which fall into one or more of three board categories:
1. Cardiovascular exercise
Cardiovascular exercise includes forms of activity that can be prolonged and provide a good workout for the heart and circulatory system. Examples include walking, running, cycling, swimming and rowing.
These forms of exercise are generally good for improving fitness, stamina and endurance. We are often encouraged to take cardiovascular exercise to help us control our weight. Actually, the evidence does not particularly support this. (Dr. John Briffa – UK)
2. Resistance exercise
This form of exercise involves moving parts of the body against resistance provided by our own body weight (such as press up) or a piece of equipment (such as an elastic exercise band, dumb-bell or weight training machine).
This type of exercise is particularly good for improving strength, tone, definition and sometimes the size of our muscles. Resistance exercise generally improves body composition and aesthetics, but it is also vital for maintaining functionality as we age, thereby reducing the risk of frailty and injury.
3. High-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE)
This form of activity involves brief periods of intense exercise (e.g. sprinting, ‘spinnning’, rowing) interspersed with periods of rest. In recent years, some focus has been placed on HIIE as a way of improving fitness and other aspects of health in a more time-efficient way than, say, cardiovascular exercise.
This type of exercise has value for people who are already fit and are looking to ‘step things up a bit’.
If you regularly engage in cycling, swimming, jogging, running or aerobic-type classes in a gym, then you will almost certainly be getting more than a useful ‘dose’ of aerobic exercise on a weekly basis. However, for those of us for whom these pursuits are unrealistic or just do not appeal, the risk is we can retreat into a life of inactivity that can jeopardize our health, wellbeing and quality of life.
TIPS for the first baby steps into getting fit
Just like the ‘diet industry’ the health and fitness arena are prone to fads and fashions. We are often bombarded with news of the latest craze be it aerobics, spinning, ‘body pump’, ‘boxercise’ or zumba. With all this ‘noise’, walking can easily get forgotten or be labelled in our minds as something that somehow doesn’t count as exercise. IT DOES!
Finding the time for it…:
If you are still stuck on the idea that walking or some other physical activity is too time-consuming , here are few ideas that might help:
- Even if you work for a solid ten hours in a day (8 am till 6 pm without a break) and sleep for eight, there are still six hours left over. Could a bit of that time be given over to activity or exercise?
- Keep in your mind that activity is natural to the body and something that helps optimize your helth, performance and sustainability (it’s not ‘unproductive time’ as some people would say)
- Do you ever find you can lose half an hour or more engaged in often fruitless pastimes such as reading on-line newspapers, watching rubbish TV, or spending time on Facebook? That time can be spent on walking before or after work, lunchtime, or maybe between meetings.
- If you walk outside, you may get other benefits from being in sunlight
- You can make and take calls when you walk, so work does not need to stop dead while you’re moving. Getting out of the office and a change of environment may help revitalize and stimulate your thinking.
- Walking is a perfect opportunity to listen to some music or even learn something (if you like online learning, listening to audio books or learn a new language)
I hope that reading my email motivated you today a bit to take a little walk and enjoy the warm weather.
In June, we will meet up to work on our resilience in the workplace. If you are missing our sessions and find interesting the topic, you can purchase your tickets here:
RESILIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE- bounce back from adversities