Back to work stress:
Committing to workOUT and workIN
Less daylight, a return to rush-hour traffic, increased workload, work-life balance challenges…no wonder heading back to work in September has us feeling stressed out! Close to 80% of workers in North America feel stress on the job, and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress.
Thanks to the release of endorphins, the natural opiates that make us feel good, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Some of us need to blow off some steam and would benefit from a high-energy workOUT, while others need to decompress and would be better with a workIN. Since the last thing we need is to become anxious about finding the time and energy to make it to the gym, here is a breakdown of the types of activities that will get us closer to bliss pronto!
Getting hot and sweaty: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) brings about an increased heart rate that releases endorphins, and in a short amount of time. In 30 minutes or less you can train your entire body and mind to become more resilient while improving your cardiorespiratory health. Just make sure you have time for a quick shower as you’ll likely need it.
Getting Zen and bendy: Mindful movement is the staple of any Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates program. Most begin with a focus on breath, ensuring it is complete and supporting of the activity ahead. The movements (or poses) strengthen your body’s natural relaxation response, provide a moving meditation, and help you find physical and mental balance. Challenge yourself to end your workout with energy you can take back with you to work or home.
Getting your colleagues to join in: Workplace wellness is commonplace in many organizations; ask your HR department or social committee if something is in place. You may even have access to a discounted membership at a gym nearby.
Working out with colleagues before work, at lunchtime or before you head home helps create accountability, which can dramatically increase the likelihood of you sticking to your workout schedule. As an added benefit, some casual team building through physical activity will impact your working relationships, support communication, and enhance your happiness at work.
Getting your trainer on board: Certified fitness professionals are committed to help you achieve all your health and fitness goals, not just weight loss. Sharing your challenges with stress will help your trainers ensure they provide a holistic program that includes sleep hygiene, optimal breathing techniques, and workouts that leave you with heightened energy as well as stress relief.
Nathalie Lacombe is the Vice President of canfitpro, the largest provider of education in the Canadian fitness industry. Nathalie also applies her uniquely vibrant presentation and teaching style to inspire and educate peers, clients, and participants. Her genuine joie de vivre is infectious to anyone who connects with her.