May 2, 2016

Work, Work, Work & Be Well

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How-to Give yourself a Recreation Work Break (& inspire your co-workers to take one too).

When you think of going to work what comes to mind? For many, it’s probably a long list of responsibilities including emails, meetings, projects, and following-up. But you don’t have to be all about work the entire time you’re at work. Research supports the idea that pulling yourself away from the job leads to a healthier state of well-being. So why not break up that list of responsibilities by strategically inserting some recreation?

Taking advantage of wellness opportunities can have a number of positive effects on your personal workday, as well as the culture of your work environment. In fact, studies show that a little bit of cardio activity can boost both productivity and creativity. At a place like MIT, creative potential goes a long way, so the idea that interrupting your workload with moderate aerobic exercise has a positive influence on mental processes is worth exploring. To reap the benefits, you don’t have to start alone. Here’s a few tips on how to inspire your co-workers to get moving with you:

  1. Establish interest

Do a little bit of hunting to find co-workers who might be interested in being a part of a wellness or workout group. You might want to create a Facebook group or a simple email list so that you can all communicate. It only takes a couple of people to get started and the support from one another will enhance the experience.  Chances are, if you think it’s a good idea to get moving during the day, you can find at least two people who feel the same way.

  1. Choose your activity

Find a form of recreation that you can all enjoy doing. Maybe it’s playing a sport like squash, basketball, or badminton; or maybe you all enjoy early morning swims. Whatever you have in common, commit to doing it together. It’s always easier to have a plan rather than just show up, so finding a class to all enroll in is a good option if you need more structure.

  1. Add it to your calendar

This idea is rather simple. If you add your workout to your daily calendar the same way you add meetings, you’ll be more likely to do it. All you have to figure out is a time that works for your group and then show up!

  1. Plan Ahead

To make sure that you follow through with your individual commitment, be sure to plan ahead. The best way to be prepared for your work-week-workouts is to get your things ready the night before. If you know you’ll be taking a yoga class on Monday, get a bag ready Sunday night with all your essential needs.

Ultimately, thinking of recreation as a priority rather than, well, not thinking about it at all, is the first step. If you can inspire a small group of people and spread some positive energy around, then eventually your workplace might just find time for recreation.

Don’t want to leave the office for recreation? No worries. Take a look at these options to participate in health, wellness, and recreation right where you are.