Commit to a Better Work-Life Balance (in 30 Minutes)
After a 1950’s study revealed American children had fallen behind their European counterparts in fitness, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports was launched, but it wasn’t until 1983 Congress designated the entire month of May as National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. By that time, Americans in general were exercising less—and adults were working more. A trend that continues today.
Working professionals are no strangers to long hours, especially those of us in public relations, where maintaining a successful, well-rounded program often requires extra effort. Consider a West Coast firm representing organizations on both coasts and overseas. It’s not uncommon to come into the office early, stay late and work on the weekends if that’s what it takes to stay connected to clients. Here in Southern California, many of us also have long commutes that sneak hours from our day and layer on some unnecessary frustration, leaving us feeling exhausted—the number one excuse for not working out and tending to our own health and well-being.
Addressing this destructive trend, many businesses are investing in comprehensive corporate wellness programs like The Whole Purpose, which focuses on nutrition, fitness, physical wellbeing, team building and purposeful communication to improve employees’ physical and mental health. Recent survey results from the RAND Corporation revealed these types of rich, comprehensive programs prove to be the most successful in terms of employee participation but are typically offered by large, well-funded organizations. That doesn’t mean employees at smaller companies are destined for doom, however. According to the Department of Health, an adult only needs about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week—just 30 minutes five days a week.
30-minute gym blitz
Designed to cater to busy lifestyles, several new gym franchises center around a pre-set 30-minute workout. All you need to do is show up and do it. 9 Round, a 30-minute kickboxing themed gym, is a great example. Formatted into nine challenging workout stations, members can jump right into the workout, changing stations every three minutes. The exercises change daily, and trainers are available to push members through the workout. It’s great for those with little time to spare and people who like structure.
Instagram has increasingly become the go-to social media platform for personal trainers promoting services and trying to increase their following. Many upload free and effective video workouts that can be done in 30 minutes or less. All you need is a smart phone and an Instagram account to reap the benefits. Here are some popular and inspiring trainers to check out: @JeremyScottFitness, @bjaddour, @ebenezersamuel23, @charleeatkins and @alexia_clark.
Wellness programs in an app
For those who can’t afford a trainer or a gym membership, there are multiple mobile apps available that can help build workouts offering a healthy mix of bodyweight exercises, cardio, mobility moves and strength training. They can also act as your accountability partner, providing features for tracking your diet and reminding you when to workout. Check out these 14 workout apps recommended by USA Today, as well as the latest app from Chris Hemsworth called Centr. In addition to a variety of effective workouts, Centr includes healthy diet suggestions and information on mindful wellness including meditation and sleep visualization.
Get some fresh air or hit the stairs
Finally, if your office building has stairs, walk or run up and down a few flights several times a day, or head outdoors for a brisk half-hour walk. There’s always a way to sneak in 30 minutes….
In recognition of National Physical Fitness & Sports Month—and the fact that summer often provides the motivation some of us need to get out and get fit, there’s no better time to commit to a better work-life balance.