If you and your team work in a high-performance, fast-paced, and/or time-intensive industry, you can’t afford to compromise your health. While the demands of their roles may mean they have less time available after work to go to the gym or little free time during the workday to step away for a brisk walk, your team’s physical health (or lack thereof) greatly impacts their performance and your bottom line.
As Harvard Health points out, regular exercise boosts your immune system; healthier immune systems mean your team needs fewer sick days off from work. Furthermore, as Harvard Business Review notes, physical activity results in improved work performance, greater focus, and increased creativity.
So how can you help your team prioritize their fitness? Start by encouraging them to take the following steps.
1. Assessing Schedules
For professionals navigating demanding roles and high-stress environments, a typical workday can feel overwhelmingly packed with tasks. Initially, finding room for exercise might seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, it’s essential to encourage your teams to take a closer look at their schedules and pinpoint opportunities where they can incorporate physical activity, such as during their lunch break or in between meetings. When there are no openings on their calendars, they should consider options such as delegating or utilizing AI tools to free up time by automating tasks.
As your team examines their schedules, stress the importance of setting realistic fitness goals based on the time they can allocate. If they only have half an hour of available time during the workday, assure them it’s okay that that’s all the time they have to work with; half an hour of exercise per day is far more beneficial than no exercise at all. By emphasizing realistic goals in this way, you’ll prevent your team from becoming discouraged when they can’t meet loftier goals.
2. Creating Personalized Exercise Plans
Recognize that not all members of your team will have the same exercise preferences. Inspire your team to create individualized fitness plans tailored to their unique needs, objectives, and availability.
For those team members who have a limited amount of time and want to get the most benefits from it, HIIT workouts might be a good option. For those embarking on a fitness journey for the first time, less intensive workouts, such as yoga or desk exercises, may be more suitable.
Fortunately, advancements in modern technology have made it more convenient for individuals to incorporate a wide range of workouts in or around the workplace. Options such as under-desk treadmills, ellipticals, yoga mats, and standing desks require minimal space, enabling team members to enhance their fitness. Moreover, on remote workdays, team members can conveniently engage in workouts within the comfort of their homes whenever their schedules permit.
Whatever your team members’ personalized exercise plans are, encourage them to set achievable fitness goals that will encourage, rather than discourage, them.
3. Incorporating Exercise into the Workday
Irrespective of your team’s diverse goals, it’s essential you provide them with ways to integrate exercise into their workdays. Promote a culture of wellness within your company, encouraging team engagement in physical activities.
Consider conducting walking meetings for smaller, tech-free discussions. Ensure your team receives adequate breaks during the day to accommodate brief workouts. For team-building and bonding experiences, opt for physical activities as an alternative to the usual happy hour.
Alongside these initiatives, equip your team members with the tools they need for success, such as Arootah’s Habit Coach app, so they can easily incorporate healthy habits into their existing routines.
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4. Overcoming Common Challenges
Before presenting a wellness plan to your team, it’s crucial to anticipate and address potential challenges they might raise. Be prepared to offer solutions when met with skepticism or resistance, whether from coworkers or superiors.
If time constraints are a concern, have strategies in place for how you can free up time for team members to prioritize their well-being. If you think someone will claim that a wellness initiative will just add more to team members’ plates, have the data to back up how the initiative will help them manage stress.
5. Monitoring Progress and Adaptation
Once your team is fully committed to the wellness program, it’s essential to maintain momentum by empowering them to monitor their progress, celebrate their achievements, and turn any setbacks into valuable learning experiences.
Encourage your team to adjust their fitness goals not only based on their own experiences but in alignment with the company’s workflow. For instance, if certain periods of the year result in an increase in work demands, help your team adapt their fitness objectives to ensure they seamlessly integrate wellness into their routines.
The Bottom Line
Exercise is incredibly important to team members’ mental and physical health, and to their job performance. While you can’t influence how your team members spend their time outside of the office, you can promote a culture of well-being in your workplace, encouraging them to integrate fitness into their busy workdays — and to experience the benefits that follow.
If you want to prioritize your health and well-being for long-term success in your career, and you want to help your team do the same, book a discovery call to learn more about Arootah’s Corporate Wellness programs.