The corporate world is rapidly waking up to the benefits of a healthy (both physically and mentally) work environment. Having staff that are ‘living well’ daily means staff that are energised, engaged and resilient. This results in not only a productive workplace, but also a better culture and greater staff retention. Wellness programs have often been thought of as an ‘extra’ service to keep staff happy, not a strategic imperative. But evidence tells a different story – fact is (and it’s been proven in study after study), healthy employees cost you less and make you more.
But what is “wellness” and why is it important?
- Wellness is about “ONE BODY. ONE LIFE” – We often fall into the trap of spending all our time and money chasing material rewards. In fact many of us are more likely to spend money on our cars, pets or investments than we are on our own health. Remember you only get one chance at this life, isn’t it time to prioritise your number one asset?
- Wellness is about having a PURPOSE – If you intrinsically struggle to motivate yourself to be fit, lean and strong, then find your WHY – a PURPOSE for living well. It’s your responsibility as a parent, friend, co-worker, son, daughter, and employee to look after yourself – in order to live longer and BETTER, to leave a legacy and to GIVE to those you love.
- Wellness is about HOW OFTEN YOU MOVE – Life is movement so get out there and incorporate more movement into you daily lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be resistance training, running long distances or mean going to the gym. Try adding small things like a daily walk to get coffee, taking the stairs, walking the dog, playing with the kids, playing sport, riding to work, going to the beach, hitting a daily target of 10,000 steps or just standing up off that chair.
- Wellness is about HOW YOU STAND – Learn to stand properly: Are you leaning on one leg more than the other or is your weight balanced? Is your core engaged or are you just letting your lower back arch? Are your glutes active when standing or is your pelvis tilting forward? Are your shoulders in a relaxed position – back and down sitting in their sockets? What’s your neck doing, is it protruding forward or balanced above your body?
- Wellness is about HOW YOU SIT – Learn to sit properly: Are your hips at the back of the seat? Are your feet flat ont he floor? Are you sitting on your sitz bones? Is your spinal position correct? Are your shoulders relaxed? Is your neck in a neutral position?
- Wellness is about MOBILITY – Staying flexible is a great way to stay injury proof. Work on keeping especially your ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders all mobile and limber to stay pain and injury free.
- Wellness is about HOW YOU START THE DAY – Your morning ritual is the most important time of the day. It sets the tone, provides structure, creates discipline and promotes creativity.
- Wellness is about STRENGTH – Muscle may well be the secret fountain of youth. You must maintain lean body mass for longevity and this means train with resistance (either bodyweight – relative – or external loads – absolute strength).
- Wellness is about FITNESS – Keep your heart and lungs strong and efficient by maintaining your cardiovascular fitness. Find activities or sports that you love or try some interval training for fast fat burning.
- Wellness is about BODY COMPOSITION – Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and it’s relationship to chronic illness is no secret. Maintain a lean physique through clean eating, resistance and conditioning training.
- Wellness is about TIME MANAGEMENT – Use your time productively. We all have 24 hours in a day, so learn to be more productive and respectful of it. There is no bigger regret in life than wasted time. You cannot buy more, make more, or get it back. Once it’s passed, it’s gone forever.
- Wellness is about THE AIR YOU BREATHE – Proper breathing has a profound effect on your health, learn to inhale through the belly (instead of just a small proportion of your lungs) and completely exhale to detox and rejuvinate your body from the inside out.
- Wellness is about HYDRATION – Water makes up around 70% of your bodyweight and even slight dehydration can cause havoc with multiple physiological processes. Hydration increases your metabolism and regulates appetite, increases energy levels and reduces joint and back pain, flushes out waste and bacteria and decrease risk of colon, bladder and breast cancers.
- Wellness is about SLEEP – Sleep plays a vital role in recovery and regeneration. Be sure to get a minimum of 7 hours of solid sleep each night. Sleep in a dark room and be consistent with your sleep hours. If your struggle to fall asleep, avoid caffeine after midday, incorporate a winding down routine and supplement with magnesium, fish oil and zinc.
- Wellness is about ROUTINE – We are all creatures of habit. Establishing healthy routines and consistency is the secret to success in all aspects of life.
- Wellness is about REAL FOOD – Your diet should be make up of fresh, organic (if possible) produce with no ingredients (remember bags not barcodes). Food sources that were hunted, fished, gathered or plucked.
- Wellness is about GUT HEALTH – our gut is a second brain and the centre of our wellness universe. Look after your guts by avoiding too much allergen, toxin and chemical consumption. Repair your gut through quality probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods.
- Wellness is about BIOINDIVIDUALITY – We are all unique. Don’t follow fads or cookie cutter diets. Experiment with foods and exercise and see what works best for you. Move and fuel your body using things that you enjoy 0 the secret to adherence.
- Wellness is about CONTROLLING YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Wellness is about surrounding yourself with an environment conducive to health. The right home environment (spouse and family); the right work environment (desk set up, friends and facilities); the right social environment (temptations, peer pressure); and the right sleep environment (dark, hygenic and quiet).
- Wellness is about YOU – Only you can make the decision to change your health. So take action before it’s too late.
If you are interested in having me come and speak in your workplace, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Now go get WELL…”