4 Tips For a Healthy Workplace Over The Holidays

The holidays are here and this evening I’ll be attending my first work holiday party, my first of four!

During the holidays we tend to eat more and exercise less. Sometimes that means the only consistent in our day is our workplace, so to help prevent our healthy, active habits from taking a holiday of there own, here are 4 tips to have you moving more and eating healthy while at your workplace.

Keep the Focus on Fun, Not Food!

Many of our workplace holiday festivities revolve around food. It’s time to change that! How about a workplace “sweating working” event at a group fitness class? Maybe a noon hour walk through the community to check out holiday lights? Or through the team cutting and decorating a holiday tree. Moving more and sitting (and eating less) is the key!

Sneak Activity In!

This is a great idea for the workplace all year long. Taking the stairs, parking far from the door, and standing while taking a call. There are many ways to sneak movement in during your work day. Bring a pair of sneakers and get a move on!

Don’t Take A Holiday From Healthy Eating

The are lots of tips and tricks to eat healthy during all the holiday parties this season brings. A few of my favourites include eating a healthy meal before you head out, bring a healthy snack you love to a pot luck, or find that one dessert you really want and enjoy it! Healthy eating is all about balance, not about depriving yourself. Eat more of the good stuff and leave the unhealthy stuff there.

Start A Team Challenge

Accountability partners are a great way to stick your goals and make healthy, active living fun while at work. Get a team together and try using an app or pedometer to give a step challenge a try. Track your daily steps and see who can walk the furthest each day, week, or over the month. How about challenging your work colleagues to a squat or push-up challenge? Perform 5 of an on the spot exercise you can do in work dress at the top of every hour, ding a bell and get moving! Instead of a workplace gift exchange hire a fitness professional to come into your office and lead a yoga or group fitness class.

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What do you do to stay healthy and active at work or over the holidays? Share it in the comments below!

Wednesday evening I have the joy of speaking to the partners and clients of Wise Goodies, a company building healthy workplaces one fresh snack pack at a time. I’ll be sharing these tips and inspiring healthy workplaces. Check them out and get up and move!

Guest Post: What’s It Like To Rock Tribe’s My First Race Program

Through the Tribe “My First Race” mentoring program I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and running with over a hundred new or returning runners. Folks who literally got off the couch to join our run, those returning after having a baby, and those looking to connect with family through fitness.

As we begin our third “My First Race” program I wanted to share a story of an amazing inspiration, Ljiljana Stanojevic, a fierce mother who not only met her goal of racing Spring Run-Off as part of our training program, but then went on, with the motivation of her daughter, to race a 15km road race and a half marathons during 2015. Ljiljana has a drive and energy that is truly contagious and you can’t help but be inspired when you sweat with this gal. Please enjoy the “My First Race” story of Ljiljana.

When I joined the ‘Learn to run’ program I couldn’t run. I thought it would be easy to start running, but all my attempts failed and I ended up with sore muscles and an injury. During a weekly yoga class held by Tribe Fitness at MEC Toronto, I heard about the ‘Learn to Run’ program with Canada Running Series and signed up without too much hope that I would ever be able to run, was I ever wrong.

IMG_2043My first day of training was interesting. I was nervous and I thought that all the other participants would run with ease while I fell behind. Thankfully, all of the Tribe mentors were there and were so encouraging, patient and supportive, explaining what to expect and the difficulties that everyone can face when beginning to run. We were all given a training schedule provided by Tribe. During this first session we ran for 1 minute, walked for 2 minutes, and repeated that for a specified amount of time. During the week we were told to run two times on our own as part of the program and once a week we would meet and run with Tribe. The running time would increase and the walking time would decrease every week.

A draw to this free program is that we were teamed up with experienced run mentors from Tribe. We would connect through email and in person at the weekly runs. My mentor, Jenna Pettinato, was amazing. She helped me by providing valuable advice and sharing her own experiences. She understood the difficulties that I had and followed up with my training through emails. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be running today.

IMG_2042What I loved most about the ‘learn to run’ program is that Tribe is like a family. They care and help each other and always welcome new members. I felt very comfortable during my training and later on during the runs with Tribe. Tribe’s founder Heather Gardner invited various representatives of sporting goods and supplies stores to come during the training sessions to talk to us about proper clothing, running shoes, nutrition etc. which was very helpful. We learned more than just running, we became part of a community.

The goal race was Spring Run-Off. Everyone knows it finished with a giant hill. During the Spring Run-Off killing that hill would have been impossible without the Tribe cheer squad standing at the bottom cheering everyone on. You get an energy boost when you see a bunch of people yelling words of encouragement, holding signs, dancing, and telling you that you can conquer the hill.

One thing I would tell a new runner would be, you can do it! It’s an amazing program. Your mentor and all the Tribe members will be there to help you all the way. You will not regret it. Trust me, you are going to kill that hill!

If you’d like more information or to sign up for this free training program, find all the details here.

5 Easy Ways to Find Time for Activity

BeActive

In an ideal world we’d each have a full hour for physical activity every day. But even if you don’t have plenty of time, short rounds of exercise can add up over the course of your day. So, whether you’re at home or at the office, make the most of your time with these five ways to sneak activity in to your busy schedule.

1. Divide it up. Finding an extra 60 minutes a day of activity might seem tough. Consider breaking your workout into two 30-minute, or three 20-minute segments at times that are convenient to you. Moving first thing in the morning before your shower, and then again at lunch, or finishing your day with a workout while making dinner will leave you with a raised heart rate and feeling of accomplishment.

2. Turn your Commute into a Workout. Try walking, running, or riding your bike to the office a few days a week. You’ll save money on gas, possibly save time from public transit or congested driving, and start your day with a clear head. Live too far for an active commute? Try getting off the bus or train a few stops earlier, or park your car farther away.

3. Take the Stairs. This is an easy option depending on your physical activity level and workplace attire. For added fun, consider counting the number of steps you can do in a minute, or for an extra glute workout, when you can do it safely, take two steps at once. For those working in high towers, why not take the elevator part way and walk the rest!

4. Talk and Walk. Need to take a few minutes to catch up with a colleague at the office? Why not do it with a walking meeting. Commit yourself to two or three 10 minute touch base conversations where you can brainstorm a project, follow-up and plan next steps, or bring your phone along and chat it up while on the move. A great way to get fresh air while getting down to business.

5. Take a Class. Consider gathering a few colleagues and hold each other accountable to a noon hour sweat session. If you don’t have enough time to take a full class, consider getting on a machine or using free weights for 30 minutes is a great way to break up the day and sneak in “Me time”. And as a bonus, depending on your intensity, you might even be able to return to work sweat-free.

How do you sneak in some extra physical activity during your day? Share it in the comments!