Tips to Staying Active at Work

In recent years, sitting at a desk during the work week has been blamed for a wide array of health problems ranging from obesity to general back pain and poor vision. The solution is to get employees up and moving throughout the day instead of spending 8 hours sitting at a stretch. Unfortunately, many employees find it hard to stay active at work while also getting their tasks completed. Here are a few hints and tips to get you started:

Take a Walk

If you have the option, it is always nice to ride or walk to work a couple times a week. It offers an energy boost first thing in the morning and gives you time to wind down on your way home. However, even if you can’t do this, using your lunch break to take a brisk walk is a good idea. Walking too or from local restaurants, or even down to the nearest park to eat your lunch outside can be enough to energize your body.

Coffee Breaks

The most important aspect of staying active at work is breaking up your day into manageable chunks. Getting up often to stretch for a minute, or just walking down the hall to get a cup of coffee will stretch your legs and get your blood flowing again.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Many employees don’t take advantage of active time at work because their feet are tired from high heels and other uncomfortable shoes. Make an effort to wear something comfortable and you will naturally feel more willing to take those extra steps or get up and move.

Stand During Meetings

Unless you absolutely must sit down, standing during meetings can serve two purposes: they help you stay active at work, and they encourage shorter meetings. This is most effective when everyone in the room is standing, but that doesn’t have to be a requirement. During your next meeting, when they ask for any new suggestions for around the office, propose “standing meetings.”

Learn Simple Exercises

You don’t have to be up and pacing around to continue staying active at work. There are tons of great chair-based exercises that you can do while you sit. It can be as simple as doing calf raises under your desk, doing chairlifts while you’re on the phone, or working your obliques and core while you wait on copies to be made. You can find full body workouts designed for office chairs or you can look up the trendy new “deskercise” suggestions floating around the web.

All of these tips offer quick and easy ways for staying active at work depending on the level of activity you want to achieve. Whether you want to turn your office chair into a full-on gym, or you simply need to do more stretching to relieve stress in your back, it’s as easy as getting comfortable and making time to move.

Stretching for Success

Yoga for health and wellness has swept across the nation, and for good reason. Yoga is one of the most comprehensive practices for stretching the body and building strength. It provides numerous benefits to people of all ages, and the effects of yoga can be felt long after the practice session is over. Here’s what you need to know:

Pain Relief

One area of yoga practice that has been widely studied is that of pain relief. Yoga for health and wellness has been shown to drastically improve pain symptoms over time. The practice of yoga involves gentle stretching and strength building which also takes pressure off of joints and other pain points.

Physiological Improvements

Aside from pain relief, yoga has also been shown to offer positive health impacts in other areas. For instance, research shows that yoga can reduce the severity of high blood pressure in some patients, and can also slow down the development of type 2 diabetes by minimizing risk factors.

Psychological Effects

Part of yoga is slowing down and learning to understand how the body moves and breathes. This increase in awareness of the body and breath has a certain positive effect on mental health. Yoga is often used to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, which are especially important for patients who are also suffering from chronic pain or other illnesses.

Weight Loss

Yoga is a unique form of exercise because it can be adjusted to any level necessary to get the patient moving. For those who have been living sedentary lives, slow yoga is an important first step in restoring range of motion and beginning weight loss. Over time, the difficulty of the poses can be increased, and movements can be sped up to increase difficulty and continue breaking through plateaus.

Sleepless Nights

All of the above benefits of restorative yoga for health and wellness can also be useful for patients who suffer from insomnia. By stretching the body and breathing deeply, your body will slowly relax. You can release tension in the head and neck, and draw your focus back onto yourself, away from the cycle of work and other things that could be keeping your mind busy.

These are just five of the most important benefits that yoga for health and wellness has to offer. What appears to be a simple system of stretches and poses is actually a whole body holistic approach to treating a wide range of symptoms and illnesses. To learn more, visit today and speak with one of our health and wellness experts.

Dealing with Muscle Cramps at Work

Muscle cramps can strike just about anywhere. Oftentimes, you will have an attack of muscle cramps at work that can really throw off your day. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to deal with muscle cramps while you’re working using some of the many benefits of massage.

What Causes Cramps?

Cramps can be caused by a variety of different processes in your body. Most often they are associated with dehydration, low sodium, and low carb intake. The result is that a single muscle group may suddenly and unexpectedly contract, causing you pain, and you will be unable to force it to relax.

How to Deal with Muscle Cramps

In the heat of the moment, drinking more water probably won’t help. However, if you notice that you are getting muscle cramps closer and closer together, it’s a sure sign that you need more water. You may also want to try drinking a sports drink like Gatorade that has a bit of sodium in it as well. That will kill two birds with one stone.

The one thing you shouldn’t do is continue flexing the muscle. The more times you try to force it to flex and relax, the more irritated the tissue will become and the tighter it will get. If you’ve ever had a cramp in your foot, you know this is true. Instead, the best thing to do is sit back, take a deep breath, and then gently massage the area with your hands. Using your thumbs to massage the cramped muscle in small circular motions will cause it to slowly release tension without making it worse.

Another common form of massage that may be easier is to use a foam roller. You can buy a half-size foam roller for use in the office that is perfect for rolling out major muscle groups in your legs and back. The roller works like a tenderizer, slowly applying pressure across the entire length of the muscle, causing it to flatten out and release tension. It only takes about 30 seconds of rolling to really ease the discomfort. As always, when you are done with your mini massage, you will still need to stay properly hydrated.

Cramps don’t have to be a major setback in your day. Performing a massage on your cramped muscle can help ease the pain and get you back to work in no time. This is just one of the many benefits of massage that anyone can appreciate.

To learn more about how you can better your employees well-being, we encourage you to review our lunch and learn workshops.

Benefits of a Workplace Lunch and Learn Program

Today’s job market is exceedingly competitive, and more employees are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. Most often, this means acquiring specialized skills and training whenever possible. However, the demands of today also make it difficult for full-time employees to seek additional training via traditional schools. That is why more and more companies are offering lunch and learn programs as a way to re-invest in their employees and offer additional skills to those who want to move up within the company. Here are a few of the benefits of the lunch and learn program:

Incentivized Learning

Unlike meetings that take up regular work time and cut into productivity, lunch and learn programs offer an open-ended opportunity for employees to mingle and learn together. Most employees get burnt out on training sessions that prohibit them from getting their regular work done. By providing free lunch and holding the training in a less formal, non-mandatory format, you are more likely to get the people who really want to learn into the room and keep their attention throughout the seminar.

Community Building

Another benefit of lunch and learn programs is that you can offer training on subjects that might not normally come up during the normal course of business. These cross-training opportunities allow individuals from different departments to share information about their jobs and work together to form a stronger sense of community and collaboration. Again, the informal nature of lunch and learn programs go a long way towards encouraging open communication.

Ongoing Training Opportunities

Many companies only conduct training when absolutely necessary, leaving their employees in the dark for much of the year. By implementing a monthly lunch and learn program, it is possible to cover a diverse range of topics year-round and ensure that all employees have an opportunity to participate. Many companies take suggestions for workplace lunch and learn topics that employees really want covered so that they can show they are listening to the people on the ground and giving them real solutions. This creates a much greater sense of goodwill than dry training sessions handed down from management without any explanations.

Workplace lunch and learn programs are quickly becoming the best way to keep your workforce educated and engaged. By providing lunch once a month and inviting employees to join in on an open-ended discussion, you will be amazed at how much participation increases and how easy it is to build stronger teams in no time. You can cover a huge range of workplace lunch and learn topics in less than 45 minutes a session if you focus on what your employees really want to learn about most.

How to Achieve Healthy Aging

It’s never too late to start improving your physical, mental, or social well-being. Healthy aging is all about improving yourself at your current stage of life. It’s often easy to get bogged down by thinking about the negative aspects of aging, but what if we changed that thinking and celebrated aging by encouraging each other to try something new, follow our passions, and truly focus on our health and what makes us happiest?

No longer does aging have to be about retirement, slowing down, or a decreased quality of life. Instead, aging is a mindset. They are called the golden years for a reason, and by developing healthy habits they just may be the best years of your life! Here are some tips for healthy aging.

Be Active

Staying active as you age is crucial to your health and well-being. While you may not be able to play intense sports or run a marathon, physical activity is important!

Eat Healthy Foods

As we age, our metabolism slows down, so we need fewer calories, but it’s important to pay attention to what we’re putting in our bodies. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, and paying attention to portion sizes are key.

Stay Social

It’s important to stay social with family and friends! A sedentary lifestyle can lead to health issues, isolation, depression, and boredom. Get social by volunteering, joining a gym, finding a club to join, taking up a new creative hobby, inviting friends and family over, anything that can get you to talk to someone daily.