¨Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.¨ – William Shakespeare
To extend our series on health and wellbeing, we are now diving into the physical fitness aspect of wellness. Staff Shop team members know that exercising and living an active lifestyle helps them in both their professional and personal lives.
Work can be stressful – even the most rewarding jobs. Add a pandemic to that, and you’ve got yourself a problem. An October 2021 study on workplace mental health, conducted by LifeWorks, found that 24% of respondents felt their mental health was negatively impacted by work.
While our past blogs on healthy eating, supplements and mental health therapies are useful in combating this, many healthcare professionals agree that physical fitness is a must to prevail. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America emphasizes that exercise not only helps your physical health, but your mental health as well. “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”
Staff Shop Super Workouts
While everyone has their method of choice, we’d like to share our favourite workout routines and fitness styles to inspire you to get moving!
Jennifer Ménard-Shand (Founder and CEO) picked crossfit as her favourite super workout. Crossfit is a high intensity workout that combines elements from several sports and exercise routines. The classes are short (45 minutes), but intense. “It reminds me of a jungle, where you can be like Tarzan or Jane.” said Jennifer.
Alexander MacLeod (Special Events Manager), enjoys a nice leisurely bike ride by himself in the morning. Alexander said, “…the time alone helps me process everything going on in my life and always impacts my life in a positive way afterwards. Others should definitely try it because being alone from time to time is healthy for your mental health and well being, and you can get some fresh air at the same time. It’s a win/win.”
Alison Hernández (Staff Shop COO) enjoys group hiking. “In the spring and fall, instead of meeting friends for a drink and a chat, I like to meet them for a hike! We get to talk, catch up, spend time together and also do something physical out in the fresh air. Instead of spending money to sit and eat unhealthy food/drinks, we SAVE money (many trails are free or very cheap) and do our bodies a favour by working up a sweat.” Sounds like a great way to be social, save money and stay active!
Both Jennifer and Alison enjoy hot yoga, but two different types. Jennifer enjoys infrared yoga done at Oxygen Yoga and Fitness. Infrared light has several health benefits and you feel like you’re doing yoga on a beach.
For Alison, she likes Baptiste Power Yoga, which is done in a very hot room (90-105 degrees). “It is unlike any other style of yoga I’ve tried, it is quite intense – not a relaxing or restorative yoga but very challenging and systematic. Because it is a consistent practice of the same poses, I can feel my body getting stronger every time, and am more in tune with my body’s condition and performance than I ever was before I found this magic.”
Jef Tolentino (Chief Administrator) and Laura De Lorenzi (Marketing Coordinator) both favour weight training as their fitness method of choice. For Jef, he does his workout in conjunction with some cardio. “I try my best to get in at least a 30-minute workout a week that raises my heart rate for the duration of the activity. It also has important benefits for our brain and joints.”
For Laura, she relies on a prescribed workout given to her by a friend who’s a personal trainer. “I love strength training workouts as they are both a mental and physical workout. With strength training you are always working to make improvements each day and each week, going up in weight and increasing the speed at which you can do the exercise. You constantly have to push and test yourself to new limits, which I find super empowering.”
David Van Dyk (Account Executive and Recruiter), enjoys running to stay active. “Prior to and during Covid, I was an avid runner. So that’s been my goal to maintain during the warmer months. Nothing helps that more than living by the beach. There is nothing like seeing the sun rise while you are out for a run along the world’s largest freshwater beach. Running on the sand was something that I only used to be able to do on vacation. Now it’s a way to start my day.”
Stay on Target
Many people start out the new year with good intentions when it comes to working out, but gradually slip back into old habits. For Alison Hernández, using a fitness app has really helped her stay accountable. She uses GymAce, and it guides her workouts in the gym. It’s like having a personal trainer in your back pocket. “You can set up workouts in advance to follow along – which is key in getting the most out of your gym time. It has little animations to show you the proper form when you are doing any weight-based exercise, and it lets you track how much weight you are lifting and how many reps you are doing, so that you can progressively load more each time you work out.”
Join Us or Hire Us
What is your fitness method of choice? What helps you combat stress and stay fit? Reach out to us and share your experiences!
As always, we invite you to join us or hire us. Contact Staff Shop today!
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun