An Eye on Fitness

Part One: Keeping in game shape can help you ride through the turbulence will-s-0209

Many are dealing with elevated stress levels because of the volatility in the economy. Some of us are out of work or have been forced to take on increased workloads because of cutbacks. Good fitness habits combat the negative effects of stress and improve self confidence for both job seekers and employees.

Keeping fit does wonders at the office

Numerous studies have concluded that companies lose billions of dollars in revenues each year because employees lack energy and stamina which results in diminished production. Companies with wellness programs have found that fit and healthier employees are inclined to work harder and are less-likely to miss work due to illness.

Former NFL Coach, Herm Edwards, was highly lauded by many because of his efforts to promote fitness and wellness in his organization. He would structure fitness clauses in the contracts of his coaching staff under the belief that his players would work harder for coaches who maintained a healthy appearance. He would also open the facility for team staff members and their families to promote a health and wellness for the organization.

Misconceptions

It is cost prohibitive to assist our employees with their efforts to get into shape.

While constructing a gymnasium in the office may be cost prohibitive for most companies, there are a number of things employers can do to help the cause, such as, providing stipends to employees who join a gym or register for a recreational program. It would also be a good idea to provide good, healthy snacks in the break room vending machines.

It takes too much time and effort to keep in shape.

It actually takes just as much effort and time to be unfit as it does to keep fit. A smart diet, combined with just three hours of a regimented workout plan, which includes strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercises each week, is enough to improve anyone’s level of fitness exponentially.

I’ve tried to get in shape in the past, and it just didn’t work for me.

First of all, be realistic and don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Aim first to improve your overall health. If you didn’t look the part of an Olympic athlete when you were in your teens and twenties, you’re not going to look like one while you’re in your thirties or forties. Temporary diets and occasional walks in the park won’t cut it. You have to equip yourself with a lifestyle change.

Take the initiative to be more fitness conscious each day at home or work by doing little things, such as taking the stairs, parking farther away from the front door, and even taking a short, brisk walk after lunch each day. It would also make sense to replace those cookies and candy bars in your desk with fresh fruit (Sorry, but I’m not giving up the Mexican cookies that Danny Z. occasionally brings to the office).

Remember, it’s never too late to get started. Have a healthy and productive day!

Wil Smith is a Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. Wil has collected over 20 years of expertise in the areas of Corporate Training & Development, Recruitment and Operational Management; with the majority of that time working with a Fortune 500 Corporation. He has also worked in the Sports/ News industry as a Reporter and Broadcaster.

1 Response to “An Eye on Fitness”


  1. 1 Carmita Magee May 22, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Nice article and according to most studies on corporate wellness programs, Wil is right on track. Most companies don’t fund wellness programms, because their or few ‘short-term’ results. However, those that have invested time and money to assist their employees get on the ‘health’ track have generally realized long term results particularly in the area of thei medical insurance ‘experience’ which then positively affects the premiums.

    There are alternatimes to motivate and assist employees which are not costly. Here are a few activities which some companies have utilized:

    15-30 minute Yoga stretching programs before work or at lunch break

    Invite a nutritionist or/and fitness trainer to do a short presentation (30 minute) and employees can bag lunch and enjoy!

    Have a chair massage therapist in once a week for short shoulder massages for employees that wish to participate.

    Have a practitioner teach a short class on meditation (relaxation) techniques.

    Have a fitness trainer teach stretches and shoulder/back relaxation at a lunch sessiion.

    Many qualified people will do freebees, whether it be a short motivational ‘lunch’ talk, exercise demonstration, stress management techniques, etc. to build their business.

    I agree with Wil, an investment in the employees is an investment in improved quality, performance and customer relations.


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