Maintaining Work-life Balance The Right Way
“When I started my career decades ago, going to work involved some physical activity. Now, millennial working professionals are spoilt with the likes of Uber and high data connectivity – such that work is done at the click of a button”
I’m fairly certain that all seasoned working professionals will agree with this thought of mine. I still remember my early days in the industry where we used to walk so much to get work done. What was popularly called the pre-computer and email days, a lot of time was spent walking up to people’s desks and getting work done directly. This form of exercise was more than sufficient to keep one fit and healthy.
But once the entire work spectrum began to change in the 90s with improved mobility options and electronic communication; the laziness factor slowly began to creep in. I was quick to identify this and began to take on physical activities like carpentry, travelling to keep active and develop a hobby outside of work. I soon realized that this was not enough and my lifestyle was getting increasingly sedentary. Here is when I discovered morning workouts in my mid-30s only thanks to my peer support. My morning routine included brisk walking, jogging and other forms of group exercises that helped me see through long work hours.
By working in different organizations and cities over the last few decades, I have found that my colleagues and I are at our best when we are physically active. Personally, I feel a lot more agile during the day when I have done my morning work-out. Even if I skip for three or four days, I see myself losing energy and end up feeling sluggish the entire day.
Whilst ensuring that I continue to stay fit, below are some of the fitness mantras I tend to stand by
- Keep it simple and light.
- Be consistent (a break of more than three or four days makes it more difficult to get back to routine)
- Listen to my body and I don’t push myself if I am not comfortable
- Do the work out with or without group support
- Keep track of what I do and that motivates me to be at it
The primary objective for me is to feel good and not set/break records among peers/groups.
Engaging employees to run as well
After a while, when I started working with large groups and found many of the junior members of my time beginning to fall under the same rut of being inactive and lazy; I wondered about trying to build a certain activity and make it an employee engagement exercise. So we decided to take up running. A bunch of us try to meet in the morning and go running together. This helps to break out of the “Boss-Junior” working dynamic and is a good way to break the ice within the team as well. Running together has really helped us develop a great work ethic and now, all of us enjoy doing it so much we run marathons together!
For the past six years, the company I work with has been supporting the Coimbatore Marathon. This marathon, in fact, is in support of cancer awareness. We try to put together interesting
activities to boost our participation in the marathon. On a yearly basis over 1500 employees run together in support of this marathon. The best part about running this marathon is interacting with so many other colleagues and running enthusiasts across the city.
So in addition to participating with my “official” family, personally, for me – my wife is from Coimbatore, and we ensure that we participate as a family in this cause!
In conclusion, it’s quite easy especially in this day and age to get comfortable in a sloth lifestyle. However, the sooner you identify this and move out of this space, it will not only boost your self-esteem but also keep you active and happy throughout the entire workday. I strongly think organizations should take on the responsibility of their employee’s health and ensure initiatives are set in place to achieve this.
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