Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Energy for life

At work a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend an 'energy for life' workshop, which talked about some of the things you can do to have a bit more energy at work - very useful for me given my normal working hours regularly exceeding 70 hours a week.

A cynical view of what the trainer said was "Eat better, exercise more, go to bed earlier", but I think that vastly over-simplifies what, for me, was a great session.

A couple of things which I found really useful:

What gives you energy? At this point we weren't talking about food, but more about what are the things which happen at work which make you more excited or energetic. We started off by remembering something in the last week or two which really got us buzzing. For me, it was making a plan to help us target a new market. The trainer then asked a very simple question - why don't you do more of that? I'd got so caught up in thinking about what I need to do to make other people happy that I'd never stopped to ask myself about what are the things in my day that make me happy, and how can I do more of them. Promise to myself - make sure I carve out a few hours each week to set a big plan in motion.

How do you feel when you eat? Very interesting question. Some people said "guilty", others said "calm". For me, the answer was "relieved" because I'm typically ravenous whenever I eat. Again, something I'd never thought of before. Promise to myself - try to have a little bit of fruit throughout the day, so that I'm less ravenous when I sit down to lunch and will hopefully make more sensible choices.

Why don't you exercise more? Again, lots of interestng answers, but mostly "I don't have the time to exercise". That was my answer too... Most of us were thinking that it's hard to carve out the 75-90 minutes we need to go to the gym or to go for a run, and that was our rationale for not doing more. That was when the trainer asked her follow-up question "Do you have 15 minutes a day to be able to do some exercise?". It's hard to say you can't find 15 minutes. She showed us a routine you can do with one of those exercise bands which you can do in 15 minutes in your office which works most of the major muscle groups. Okay, so it didn't feel like you were going to get a cover-page body by doing these things, but it's got to be better than doing nothing! We also discussed the things I was talking about in my last post on Combining exercise with daily activities, like walking to work (even just a bit of it) or using the stairs. Promise to myself - always use the stairs in the office. Unless rushing to get to a meeting, always get off the tube one stop early (morning and night).

She also covered nutrition - more on that in my next post.


Megan Hall said...

These are very good questions, things we should make ourselves think about all the time. Sounds like a great seminar!