At Spectrum, as a company focused on health and science, we need to practice what we preach. But we’re busy – busy with families, clients, social engagements, the list goes on and on. Many of us manage to work exercise into our schedules, but it may not be as often as we like or we need a new challenge. According to the CDC, two out of three Americans (60 percent) are not active at recommended levels. Why? Because for many of us, it’s not a priority and we lack motivation, don’t enjoy it or don’t see results. So I ask: what can we do to motivate ourselves and each other to reach the recommended level of weekly physical activity?
About six months ago, working at a firm focused on health, I felt like a hypocrite because I was exercising maybe two times a week. So I changed my routine, and now that I work out in the mornings, I’m more energized and feel better throughout the day. And it’s not just me – regular exercise is one of the best things we can do for our health with benefits ranging from weight control to reducing risk of cancer to improving activities we do every day. According to WebMD, a study of long-term exercisers found that they were, “not as concerned with powerful pecs and awesome abs as they were with feeling good and being healthy.” Study participants ranked fitness, feelings of well-being, pep and energy, and enjoyment of the exercise as the top motivators. Yes – I agree! This is why I love to exercise (and I had absolutely nothing to do with that study.)
And we can’t forget nutrition. Eating healthy is an integral part of maximizing physical activity. The Mayo Clinic provides 5 great tips to keep in mind: healthy breakfast, size matters, snack well, eat after you exercise and drink up (water that is). Using the CDC fruits and vegetables calculator and other similar tools, you can customize a meal plan that is healthy and works for you.
So, with all this said, what are we doing here at Spectrum to motivate ourselves and each other? For starters, we’ve begun a Spectrum running club and we’re hosting a yoga class right here in the office. Also, several Spectrumites walk or ride bicycles to work and others are training to run a half marathon.