by Jennifer Thurber, PE, Senior Mechanical Engineer
Well, it’s official – 6 more weeks of winter. Thanks, Phil. As the winter doldrums threaten to consume us in cloudy, salted fog, February brings us the reminder of heart health. Vitamin D deficiency adds to our already sleepy outlook; how to summon the energy to increase my energy?
I work in the Energy and Facilities Department, which you’d think would make facilitating energy easy, but it’s not. Couple a love of blankets, cocoa, and the internet, and you might say I’m a bit fluffier than I’d like to be. It’s not like I’m not working on it. I didn’t eat all of my free lunch at that meeting on Monday, I avoided that candy bar in the vending machine like a champ, and all those steps going to and from meetings must count for something…right?
What we need is to be more creative. We need to gamify this fitness thing. Trick ourselves into being more active and healthy at the office. What we need… is teambuilding.
Teambuilding can make a person fit in a surprising number of ways. Not only can you burn more calories, the relationships developed can last a lifetime. For example, when someone is getting water from the water cooler, offer to hold it for them at arms’ length while they use the bathroom or attend the weekly client review meeting. That person will thank you when they return to find most of their drink safe and sound in your trembling (but strengthening) arms.
Then there’s the 5k Valet (patent pending). When a coworker pulls into the hybrid charging station, graciously take their keys and park their car on the other side of town. The jog back will invigorate your mind and body, and odd coworker household emergencies offer additional opportunities for exercise. The next pipe burst/roof leak/Publisher’s Clearing House delivery is just more opportunity to log some miles on those trainers. No tip necessary.
Finally, don’t forget the weightiest of weights, emotional baggage. Having a tough day at work can really burn up calories, or at least make you darned tired. Share the load as you follow your coworkers around the office chattering nonstop about your troubles. You can even follow them to the next meeting/bathroom/home as they try to get away from you. Never mind that policeman following you in his/her cruiser. That’s just more exercise for you – and for them!
For more socially acceptable ways to maintain heart health, see below. Use the hashtag #FandoFitness to let us know of your results, and send us your own ideas for fitness in the office!
- Eat more good fats (avocados, almonds, salmon, etc.).
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (like brisk walking) five days a week.
- Get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night
- Stop smoking – or never start in the first place.
- Manage stress in a healthy way (yoga, deep breathing, regular physical activity, etc.)
About the Author:
Jen is a Senior Mechanical Engineer with the Energy and Facilities Practice Team. Serving both public and private clients, Jen provides a variety of mechanical consulting services throughout New England. A problem solver by nature, Jen provides customized solutions to suit the individual needs of a client. She particularly enjoys working on projects that directly benefit the local community.