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You’d like to mingle more with your co-workers, but every opportunity seems centered around eating and drinking. Don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to integrate your healthy lifestyle with your on-the-job social life, enabling you to boost your social capital while staying true to your health goals.

Studies show that healthy habits are strongly influenced by the people we spend time with, for better or for worse. Don’t let your co-workers’ negative health habits bring you down. Instead, be a positive role model for an active, healthy lifestyle and help build a corporate culture of health from the ground up.

Go For a Walk

  • Invite a co-worker to join you for a quick walk instead of a coffee or smoke break. You’ll have a chance to catch up on work or personal matters, and return to your work stations reenergized and focusing on the tasks at hand. Even a 15-minute walk can do wonders for your mood and creativity.
  • If you have a standing 1:1 meeting, suggest making it a walking meeting and reap the benefits of physical activity while getting the job done.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible and others will likely follow your example.
  • Take it one step further and organize a workplace walking group. Meet before or after work, during breaks or at lunch time for fun, fitness, and camaraderie.
  • Bring your lunches to a nearby park or other outdoor area. After eating, enjoy a walk together.
  • Visit a local bookstore, art gallery, or museum during your lunch break.

Team Training

  • Join a company-sponsored or community sports league and have fun playing basketball, softball, hockey or soccer with your work team.
  • Find a local fitness event, such as a 5K walk/run, walk-a-thon, or sprint triathlon and invite your colleagues to train together for the upcoming event.
  • If your workplace has an onsite gym or fitness classes, or if a nearby gym offers a corporate discount, participate.  It’s a great way to meet like-minded co-workers.
  • Help organize and promote an internal fitness event: Climb stairs to benefit a charity or create a pedometer step challenge.
  • Bicycle or walk to work. Find other employees who get to work on foot or on wheels and commute in together, if possible.
  • Take 2-minute stretch breaks throughout the day together.

Just For Fun

  • Organize a potluck, but bring a healthy dish to share and pay attention to your portion sizes.
  • Play Frisbee® or freeze tag on your lunch break.
  • Organize a weekend company day hike or volunteer to help organize active games at the employee picnic.
  • Volunteer as a work team to plant trees, clean up a park or walk dogs at the animal shelter.
  • If unwinding at a pub after work is part of your workplace culture, join in once in a while. Practice moderation, and if you don’t want to drink, order a sparkling water or orange juice.
  • Invite co-workers to your home for a barbeque and a backyard Badminton tournament.
  • Start an employee bowling league.
  • Invite a co-worker to join you for an after-work run, bicycle ride, or game of racquetball.

Social Success

Developing good relationships with the people you work with is important, not just for your career, but for your health. Don’t let your commitment to good health stop you from getting to know your co-workers. Take the initiative to be active at work and encourage others to join in. When you inspire your co-workers to make physical activity a priority, you create even more of the social support you need to keep yourself moving.

Original Article: https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/3223/20-active-ways-to-be-social-at-work/

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Fitness buffs start year with boot camp at Lakeland YMCAIt can be difficult fitting exercise into the daily grind. People come up with so many excuses to keep them from a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Becoming one of the “fitness faithful” may seem out of reach, but guess what? It’s actually a lot easier than you think! Exercise has to become part of your daily and weekly habits and once it is, it’ll become second nature and just another part of your routine. Here are 4 easy ways to make exercising into a sustainable habit, instead of feeling like an occasional chore.

1. Have a Partner

You know those days where you just don’t feel like getting up and stepping out of the house? It becomes more difficult when you have a friend waiting outside, ready to go! Having a workout buddy helps to create a fun atmosphere and gives you someone to share your workout journey with. There are even websites, like sparkpeople.com, where you can get a virtual workout buddy and log/track your progress.

2. Create a Routine

Consistency is the key to creating workout success. Pick at least three days a week at a specific time where you are dedicated to your exercise program. Make sure not to cancel those trips to the gym on a whim, unless it’s something very important. But this should be the exception rather than the rule. If you have to cancel, reschedule for the same day at a different hour or the next day. Planning your workouts into your calendar, just as you would a dinner date or business meeting, will help form and reinforce a habit, leading you to overall fitness success.

3. Make Yourself Accountable

There are many different ways to hold yourself accountable to your actions, so the idea is to find one that is realistic for you. As mentioned above, having a buddy to go with you provides motivation on those days you feel less than motivated and can help keep the energy high. Does money motivate you? There is a website, stick.com where you create a commitement contract to yourself towards achieving a certain goal. If you don’t meet the goal, it costs you money, which you can designate to go to a charity if you chose. Another way is to create a daily reminder. Most phones have free apps that ask you if you have fulfilled a certain activity for that day. Or you can be traditional and just use a calendar. Either way, when faced with a “yes” or “no” question, it’s harder to skip your workout.

4. Reward Yourself

Come up with small rewards for accomplishing your goals and you will be more likely to succeed. Everyone likes positive reinforcement and a reward system will give you something to look forward to for accomplishing your workout goals. Pick something you like and reward yourself with it for good behavior. Say you like going to the movies. After every two weeks, if you haven’t missed a day, take yourself out to see a movie. You will begin to associate hitting your goals with getting to see the next blockbuster, which will help with overall success.

Habits can seem very difficult to form and break, but if you chop them up into smaller activities, they become easier to achieve. Follow these tips and you will be able to form new, healthier habits that will lead you to a life of good health and fitness!

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

Further Reading

Lack of Workout Time? Fitness Dilemma Solved!

Preparing for a Lifestyle Change

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