Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fitness in the Work Place

I grew up doing every sport imaginable. You name it, I probably did it. When I got to high school it got worse because there were times when I was doubling up on sports along with going to school. Then college started and I was burnt out on fitness and the thought of setting foot in a gym to get my workouts seemed so foreign. So I took the proper measures and avoided the gym most of college. Then I got my first working girl job and became so focused on proving myself in the workplace, once again my fitness lacked big time. Sure there were short stints of working out, but they were short-lived and I returned to hitting the snooze button in exchange for an extra half hour of sleep before work. This continued until last year when I stepped on the scale and realized my weight was quickly creeping up and my stress levels at work were going through the roof. While I was still within a normal weight range, I was not satisfied that my clothes didn’t fit properly.

So I made the decision to do something about it and stop making excuses. It’s now been a year and I feel amazing. I can even slip into those skinny jeans from college that I am sad to admit I held on to that long. What worked for me may not work for you so I will spare you the details of my many hours at the gym and focus more on finding the balance between my overachieving working girl habits and fitness.

Looking back, I realized it was essentially a time management issue that was causing everything to seem unmanageable and daunting. Yes, there have been trade-offs but now I am more efficient at work and throughout my day. My body understands the importance of exercising and actual craves it.

I started with baby steps and found a hole here and there that worked for my schedule. Soon I was actually taking 30 minutes at lunch to go for a quick run rather than working through lunch. Now I am actually one that gets up prior to work to go to the gym just because I realize how much of a difference it really makes in my day. There are days that I take off from the gym, but I feel so lethargic at work and the day usually drags on.

The other aspect of my fitness was what I was consuming when I was at work. I am a stress eater so the less I worked out, the more stressed I was and as a result the more food I ate. I have read about logging your food and started doing this as well. My plan wasn’t to be obsessed with logging what I ate, but to become familiar with what I was eating. I was shocked to realize I was eating meals that a 200lb man should be consuming. As a result I started packing lunches and bringing snacks to keep me full throughout the day and avoiding the cookie shop down the street.

A year later with the fitness and nutrition goals being met, at work I feel more on top of my game and have that balance that I used to crave.

To further the discussion on how fitness really does lay a role at work, I was flipping through the November Women’s Health and came across this article and wanted to share it with you. The article gives some validity to what people have been saying for years, working out makes you better at work.

Professional Skill/Attitude Improvement Compared With A Day You Don't Exercise:

  • Motivation 32%
  • Time management 28%
  • Concentration 26%
  • Stress management 26%
  • Productivity 25%
  • Accuracy 15%

*Taken from Women’s Health Magazine

7 comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

Good for you!!! I realized that I had about 45 minutes after work before dinner where I did nothing except snack. I transformed it into my gym time. When I have a break I just don't sit in the break room, I'll go outside and walk for about 15 minutes. Good post!!

Melanie's Randomness

MonsteRawr said...

Congrats! I took up running about two months ago, and it's made all the difference in the world! If I don't get to run on a particular day I feel heavy and sloppy.

Also, if you're looking for a super easy, super useful way to record what you eat, try MyFitnessPal.com. I started with them a couple months ago, and it made all the difference in the world! Now, I eat more frequently, but I eat better foods.

Angeline said...

Great post! I am still struggling with this...I've gained 20 pounds since I got married 3 years ago (still a normal weight but a lot of clothes don't fit). I feel lost because I've never had regular exercise or an active lifestyle (my mom thinks sports are unladylike). I'm starting small with conscious eating, which has helped stop any further weight gain, and I try to walk everywhere I can (both my apartment and office are in downtown areas--although two different downtowns). My next step is getting on a regular exercise schedule...I have a few exercise DVDs to last me through the winter so I don't have to go outside. I'm also determined to try to become a runner...it's free, easy, and doesn't require much equipment.

Angeline said...

Oh, and I like using www.sparkpeople.com to track my nutrition and fitness (the once every other month I go to a free yoga class). There's a lot of great articles on there, too, and the points system gets you in the competitive spirit.

Amy said...

I never had a problem with my weight until after I graduated college and had a very sedentary job and started eating really unhealthy. Plus I was going to way too many happy hours. It all added up...I gained about 30 pounds. I have since lost it through a combination of things - making working out a priority, eating healthy, bringing lunches, and cutting WAY back on the booze. I used sparkpeople.com to get myself on track too. I've maintained my college weight now for about three years! I love going to the gym in the morning to get it out of the way.

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