Health in the workplace

On a weekly basis over the next weeks and months I'll share with you health promoting habits I engage in at the office. You might not believe it, but I, as personal trainer and health nut, too, spend lots of time on my laptop. Meaning I, too, not only spend many hours tight to a computer but also encounter many typical office constraints limiting my healthy choices. 

In the videos I'll share with you which tips or cues work for me in order to establish a healthy habit (and drop an unhealthy one). More, I will also show you how I overcome office barriers as well as etiquette rules so I can stay true to my desire to make healthy choices.

These videos are not about working out at the office; we should all know that a real training session can't be supplemented with a few in-office exercises. We should also know that a yoga session in the evening or a run on 2 evenings per week cannot make up for the many hours we spend sitting! The purpose of the videos lies in 1) breaking up our imbalanced, non-varied behavior, especially our posture 2) reducing and preventing tensions, muscle tightness and congestions in the legs and 3) introducing or triggering a behavior change at our work place setting in order to support our health.

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The ultimate goal: such stretching, relaxing and strengthening exercises should become part of our work day; engaging in them should be normal, be expected and be observed everywhere.

Managers, leaders & supervisors - listen up: Be a role model; encourage your employees to engage in small, active breaks. Show them that you, too, engage in health-supporting habits at your office. In other words, "be the change you want to see in others". Our health influences every aspect of our life......

Introduction

From my office to yours....in this series of videos I share with you how I, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, develop(ed) healthy habits to become part of my workplace setting. I offer you tips on how you, too, can incorporate small changes leading to positive health outcomes. Every week I'll provide you with a new video on a new topic. I hope I will empower you to try a few of them yourself.......make health your ultimate goal or in the words of M. Ghandi: "Your health is your real wealth".

Intro:

Week 1

This week is all about SITTING, or better yet, the cue that works for me to reduce the time I spend sitting. Curious? Then click on the video.

 

 

 

Week 2

The topic of this week: our wrists. I'll share with you a few exercises I do right at my desk. I find this extremely helpful on days I'm like you tied to my computer. If your wrists, fingers or shoulders fell tense, take a few minutes and follow along. You'll be amazed by the relaxing side-effects. Enjoy!

 

 

Week 3

The topic of this week: legs & glutes. I'll show you 6 different exercises that help me strengthen my legs and glutes while at work; 3 are even done right at my desk while sitting. Do you wanna feel the muscles of your legs? Then take a few minutes and follow these exercises. Enjoy!

 

 

Week 4

This week is all about candy from the vending machine. I'll compare 4 chocolate bars for their nutrition fact labels and nutrient content and highlight which factors we should be concerned about. Of course, I'll add my personal opinion to these snacks. Snacks reviewed are: Balisto, Mars, Kinder Bueno and Bounty. I hope to raise your awareness and increase your knowledge, and hope that you too will start making use of this info.

 

Week 5

This week is all about using the staircase as outlet, particularly in stressful situations, moments we encounter emotional run-ins or times when we need to be creative. By stepping away from our desk/office, thus by not responding right away emotionally or not using food to deal with emotions, we open ourselves up to the possibility of dealing with the problem from a more balanced state of mind. So, we go to the staircase, engage in a quick leg and butt workout and come back relaxed, more joyful, creative and productive. Don't believe me? Then try for yourself. It's a win-win.

Week 6

This week is all about  snack alternatives to snacks from the vending machine. If you always crave something sweet from the vending machine, this video introduces you to alternatives which you can bring to the office to support your sweet tooth. Best part, I'm showing you sweets that are still considered "candy bars" but they are healthier, better and often less expensive options to the ones you'd find in your office's vending machine. All 4 snacks are options if you are lactose intolerance.

The 2. video  this week is all about  analyzing your snack habits or the cues & triggers influencing your snacking. If you are unsatisfied with your snacking, if your snack habits keep you from reaching your health goals or if you suffer from binge eating attacks, this video along with the 3 page document (taken from the Cooper Institute, www.cooperinstitute.org; part of their "Today I Will" campaign) might offer you first insights to your personal snack habits. This week is about creating awareness and increasing your understanding of personal factors influencing your snack choices and habits. Document: Self-analysis of different snack times

 

 Week 7:

This week is all about  a strong core! If you think you need to lie on the floor to train your abs, I have news for you. You can get a strong core while seated in your chair. So, if you are in the office, have a couple of minutes and truly want to do something for your midsection (and perhaps prevent low-back pain), then follow the video. I'll show you 5 exercises to strengthen your abs which you can engage in from the comfort of your chair. The best part, anyone can engage in these exercises. You'll see three levels of progression, from beginner to advanced.........Have fun and enjoy the feeling of a strong core.

Week 8:

This week is all about  prevention of neck and shoulder tightness, meaning we focus on strengthening and stretching that area. Why? Many of us sit hunched over our keyboard with round shoulders for hours at a time. Many walk with their shoulders rounded forward (due to a lack of strength and muscle development in their rear delts and upper back). So, if you, too, experience tightness in your shoulder girdle area, this video is for you. I'll show you 10 different exercises with you can follow along; meaning you can do them with me while watching the video. Awesome, or? So, what are you waiting for? ........Have fun and enjoy the feeling of a strong posture. 

The 2. topic this week is a follow up to the video in week 6: analyzing your snacking habits. You'll hear a few tips you can try to "trick" your mind, and identify if you snack out of habit or if you really crave the snack. You'll hear options you can engage in to get a better understanding of your habits, and how you potentially can break them. If you are interested in understanding why you do what you do, please read "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. It's an excellent read!  http://charlesduhigg.com/the-power-of-habit/

 

 

Week 9:

This week is about knowing your preferences and making a choice- your choice. Define the choice that allows you to reach YOUR goal. It's about changing your mindset; forget about the concept of not being allowed to eat or do something. Forget about just thinking about the pleasure of this moment...........find power and motivation within yourself. By believing in a higher preference for an alternative choice - a choice that allows you to reach your health/fitness goals - you'll be more likely to achieve your goal.

 

Week 10:

This week I'll share with you 5 exercises targeted at your chest and arms. If you don't like your "bat wings" or want to prevent them, then this video is perfect. But,  don't just watch the video - do these exercises with me. This way you'll have your workout completed in no time.
The 5 exercises are: "pulling" grip/ high bicep curls/ overhead tricep extensions/ push-up against the wall & power push ups/ dips

Stay safe! Listen to your body and progress at your own pace....and before you'll know it you'll be asking for new challenges.

 

And, if you are curious why I think you should train your arm or why especially women should train their upper body and arms, then watch the short second movie.

 

 

 

Week 11:

This week I'll share with you 2 videos, both focus on our back muscles, then who doesn't want a strong, sexy, healthy well-trained back? If you belong to the 34% (+) of people suffering from back pain, you might find your cure within these videos. The first video includes 2 stretching and 1 strengthening exercise done at your desk, in the second video we move to the staircase for 2 stretching and 4 strengthening exercises. You want to do something for your back? You want to overcome or prevent back pain? You want to disengage from your unhealthy posture while sitting at your desk. Then take a break  and follow along with me. 

As always, stay safe - especially if you've suffered from herniated discs! Listen to your body and progress at your own pace....and make In Office exercises part of your daily life. 

 

 

 

 

Week 12:

This week I'll share with you something on Neuroplasticity training. You want to age gracefully? You want to influence HOW you age? Then this fun workout is perfect for you. By combining brain games (and here you can really be creative) with appropriate movements you can truly take charge of the way your brain changes and develops. Check out www.findlawrence.com for more info (I read an article by Lawrence Biscontini- hence, this video) or find the Blog Article published by the New York Times in 2009 titled "What Sort of Exercise can make you smarter?.

 

 

Week 13:

This week we'll address our balance which we know gets worse as we age. So, prevention is the key. To increase your balance and core strength, engage in these exercises regularly; you might be surprised just how your body responds. If you have a park near your office, use your lunch hour to engage an these outdoor. You'll not only reduce your stress level and chance of afternoon slump but also increase your focus, vitamin D levels and happiness......Turn it into a friendly challenge with your family, friends or co-workers, so they too benefit from these exercises. Balance affects our life,  fitness level, well-being and how we age. 

 

 

Week 14:

Stress is good in moderation; we actually need stress. What we don't need is chronic stress. And, as most of use experience this unhealthy type - the chronic type - nearly daily, we'll talk this week about stress. Once you have watched the video, you'll know how you can deal with stress and which alternative options you could engage in. Best of all, the video doesn't only focus on breathing exercises but also includes back stretches and even hamstring stretches (don't forget, if you sit A LOT, your hamstrings are always contracted; means, we should stretch them frequently so they don't get too tight!). So, what are you waiting for? 

 

 

Week 15:

As we know, old habits are hard to break and new habits seem just as difficult to establish. Well, with the help of BJ Fogg's behavior model we gain a greater understanding of the factors that influence our behavior, or more precisely the factors that must be present in order for us to act out a certain (non-habitual) behavior. Watch for yourself. More though, think about which of these factors might be lacking or which factor you could improve on to support your desired behavior change. It's all about awareness, become aware of your own behavior and your motivation, and learn how YOU can establish cues or rituals that support YOU in developing the habits or behavior YOU want to develop. 
For more on the BJ Fogg Behavior Model, please go to: http://behaviormodel.org/

 

 

Week 16:

In this video we'll engage in 4 different exercises that really work your core, and stretch and strengthen your back as well as your glutes. Additionally, you'll get a deep stretch in your hamstrings. So, if you spend a lot of time in a seated position, these 4 exercises are perfect for you.....and believe me, if you engage in these exercises you'll be amazed just how strong your abs get.
As always, listen to YOUR body. Base the depth of your stretches on your flexibility; don't overdo it.....

 

 

Week 17:

Do you experience dry eyes? Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Do you develop headaches from starring at the computer for too long? If so, then this video is for you! Join me for a couple of massages that will make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. But don't just do them once, engage in them multiple times a day. And until you have developed the habit, set an alarm reminding you to take regular breaks. Your vision should be worth it! 

 

 

Week 18:

Do you experience headache? Does your neck hurt towards the end of the day? Do you feel tense or stiff in your shoulders and neck? Then this video is perfect for you. I share with you a few simple stretches for your neck, which are PERFECT for when you feel tension or pain, and need to regain some flexibility in your neck muscles. Follow along with me. If you close your eyes while doing them, you'll also experience stress relief. ENJOY!

 

 

Week 19:

As promised, this week is a follow up to last week's neck muscle stretching video. If you regularly experience headaches or neck stiffness, then follow along with the exercises in this video to strengthen your neck muscle. This way you can actively do something against the discomfort and pain you fell, which might also affect other aspects of your life. Prevention is better than treatment, right? 

Plus, it's a perfect time to rest your eyes by taking your eyes off the computer screen for a few minutes.

 

Week 20:

If you were a stock or real estate, what would your value be worth in 20, 30, 50 years? This video is about YOU, and what you prioritize. Truly successful people do NOT betray their health! It's as much about living in the moment as being aware and conscientious of the future. It's about investing, investing in the one thing you really control and have power over: YOU. How valuable is YOUR asset? What do you do each day to increase  (or decrease) your value? What kind of employee are you? Do you work over-time, give in to temptation to trade fitness or sleep for late-night dinners or parties, or are you so exhausted (mentally?) from work at the end of the day that you can't ruff yourself up to exercise or go for a walk? How do you think these decisions will add up? What do you value? What kind of life do you want to live in your 50's or 70's? What small change can you make in your life today so you give yourself a chance to live a long, healthy, and active life?

 

 

Week 21:

In this video I share with you one tool you can use to successfully stay on task. A tool that will influence your choices, support you in adhering to your desired behavior, and empower you in achieving a successful outcome.
This tool is very versatile and can be used for anything, from eating breakfast, to consuming a low-sodium diet, to exercising 3 days per week. You can use/download this Adherence document to help you get started. 

 

Week 22:

Does hunger or feeling low on energy keep you from working out? Do you miss your workouts due to these reasons even though you planned on working out? In this video I share with you some tips for perfect prae- and post workout snacks which you could consume 1-2 hours before you planned workout. Best of all, no refrigerator needed; you just need to always have an emergency "food stash" at your desk. Give this a try. You'll feel satisfied and energized. 

Week 23:

This week is all about healthy, balanced snacking while on the road. It doesn't matter if you travel by car, bike or train. It's not necessary that you forgot your healthy habits just because you are on the road. Unavailability (of balanced choices) is not on option; much rather an excuse. So is stopping at the fast food joint or gas station to satisfied hungry and cravings. This doesn't need to happen. If you plan and prepare, you can continue to fill great, continue to have a steady level of energy, and remain on your road of living a balanced, healthy life. In this video I give you a variety of snack options; options you whole family will like.

Week 24-27:

This MONTH I have something different for you, for the month of August I decided to give a 31-day Challenge. Yes, you read correctly, each day in August I will challenge you! Why? Well, I believe you can engage in any health supportive behavior for at least one day, or? So, why not try something new each day? Why not break up your routine? And besides your health and a better sense of well-being you have the chance to win something rally really cool. If you live in the Vienna area, you could win 2 training session s (a 60 minutes) with me. How awesome is this?! I know. BUT, in order to enter the drawing you have to complete a prae- and post Challenge questionnaire. It only takes  a couple of minutes though......just a few check marks. Details to the challenge are here

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