In the days of many meetings, followed by many emails and nearly not enough time to get the projects done – or is that just me? – it is challenging to find time for the activities that make us healthy and happy. And help us maintain sanity!
But don’t we owe it to ourselves? The wise Emma Menchefski said to me just this week: we only get one body in this lifetime, we better treat it right.
So, how do we do that?
Step one. It’s time to identify: What makes us happy? What makes us healthy?
At a recent vision board session (don’t laugh), I was pleased to hear that every one of us wanted to eat better and get their bodies moving more in the year ahead. Pleased because it’s easier as a team; we can shift our last-minute take out runs to veggie-infused recipe sharing if we all want the same thing. We can encourage each other to work out together and laugh about how hard that workout knocked us over, and whine about how sore our muscles are if we do it together.
Let’s identify our goals, communicate them to our support network, and work like hell to achieve them.
Step two: Make time for the happiness and health we all deserve. Let’s carve it into our schedules, perhaps a little bit at a time. Start with committing to healthy lunches for a few weeks, and then add in trying a new class with a friend (or co-worker!). Speaking as someone who has multiple gym memberships all over Halifax, there is something for everybody.
If you don’t think you have enough time for this, take a look at your phone’s Screen Time app, and be amazed. I bet we can all find a bit more time when we set our phones down more often. Don’t even get me started about the fantastic options on Netflix, Amazon or Crave that can also easily rob our healthy time.
Step three: Stick with it.
It needs to become part of daily life. Habits take a full two months to form! Yes, it’s a pain in the butt to plan, pack the gym clothes, make a healthy lunch, shuffle schedules, etc. but it will become routine, it will become the new norm, and then it will become addictive. I promise.
Last week, our Chamber team, led by our fantastic MSVU co-op student, Jacob Sheffar, launched a new initiative #ChamberFitFriday. The idea came from some of the amazing gym facilities around the city that we felt warranted more exposure. Plus – we were curious about the new, or newly renovated, workout options out there. Jacob quickly set up some sweat sessions with resounding support from the team as we dug out our sneakers and hair ties and went to work.
One Chamber group went to Blended Athletics and another to Orange Theory Fitness. Since I have participated in Blended Athletics before, I opted to try Orange Theory. I can honestly report that I had no idea what to expect when we arrived. The facility was fresh, new and clean and the OTF team were friendly and welcoming to us newbies. It took 15 minutes for us to get set up and ready to go – and go we did! Between rowers, treadmills, and weights this workout offers a high-intensity workout of both cardio and weights (score!). The unique offering, we discovered was the ability to watch your heart rate and focus on staying in the “orange” zone to keep your heart rate at the 85% rate. There’s a lot of science behind this workout, but within minutes we were all tracking our own heartrates easily and striving to keep the intensity up. I love that the workouts are different every day and that throughout the hour we were moving and changing constantly alleviating any fear of boredom setting in. The music, the specific instruction given by Elaine, and the team atmosphere were all a win for me.
There was sweat. There were groans. And a certain level of discomfort in pushing our bodies beyond the norm. But you know what else? When we all successfully completed our workouts, there were high-fives, excitement and a collective satisfaction when we all returned to the office that afternoon.
But one sweat session is not enough, now is it? That would be too easy…
Follow us on our #ChamberFitFriday journey and we hope we can inspire you to build on your own health and happiness. I look forward to hearing about yours!