Research finds exercise improves work performance; athletic club trend combines the two for maximum results.
Plus: trainer tips for freeing yourself from the office chair.
When deciding which gym to join, look for one particular new amenity and you may wind up strengthening your mind—and your paycheck—along with your physique. Recent studies show exercising can boost work performance by improving brain function, upping productivity and reducing stress. At health clubs like the Bay Club Silicon Valley and Pacific Sports Resort’s Courtside Club, onsite fully-equipped workspace suites make it easy to fit in a workout between conference calls—or a conference call between workouts, as the case may be.
The aptly named CONNECT facilities by Bay Club operator of private luxury athletic clubs and sports resorts in California, feature high-tech, private workspace suites with high-speed Internet, touchdown meeting rooms and boardrooms, social networking lounges for private events and mixers, community quiet work rooms with a tablet bar, en-suite beverage and snack hospitality bars, and state-of-the-art presentation and video-conferencing tools, along with administrative support.
The benefits of workday exercise extend beyond the individual: If you’re the boss, they’re multiplied by your workforce. “Absenteeism is reduced, morale is increased, and long term health care costs are substantially impacted,” says Jim Colvin, M.P.H., fitness and health educator and trainer at Bay Club Silicon Valley. For managers and employees alike, here are Colvin’s tips for merging physical activity with your 9-5 routine:
Take meetings at the gym. A new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that participants showed significantly increased signs of focus and ability to retain and use new information immediately after a 20-minute yoga session. If you’re in a position to schedule off-sites, consider a health club venue: “The key is to build in a break to do a team workout with one of the classes being offered. The rejuvenation you will find between body and brain will result in a more stimulating discussion when the team returns to business,” says Colvin.
Walk and talk. “Walking for 15 minutes will burn approximately 100 calories each time,” says Colvin. Need one-on-one time with a coworker? “Instead of going for coffee, circle your floor or the block while you chat and reap the benefits of the endorphin release in the brain.”
Reschedule your workout. Typically work out at the end of the day? It’s a great stress reliever. But for a mental energy boost during the work day, consider hitting the gym on your way to the office or on your lunch break. Or, take 10-minute breaks throughout the day to climb a few flights in the stairwell or bang out a set of pushups behind your desk.
Create a “mobile” office. “A variety of companies have incorporated walking treadmill stations in the office, and studies have shown that the additional steps taken resulted in reduced waist-to-hip ratios,” says Colvin. If you’re lucky enough to work from home, you can create your own treadmill desk by stacking several foam insulation boards (cut to the right size) on the handlebars as a platform for your laptop; set the treadmill between .7 and 1 mile per hour and you’ll be able to type comfortably while you walk. Or, for those who normally retreat to the local library as a workspace, consider setting up shop at a work-friendly gym instead.
About The BAY Club
Founded in 1977, the Bay Club is the owner and operator of 11 private health, fitness, athletic, sports, and lifestyle resorts on the West Coast. Featuring six regional campuses, the Bay Club provides club members with the finest quality programming catered to the entire family including traditional fitness elements and convenient solutions to daily work, family and life demands. For 35 years, the Bay Club has maintained the highest standards of professional service, earning a reputation as one of the leading private club companies in the United States. The company employs approximately 2,000 people and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information on the Bay Club, its clubs or services, visit: www.explorebayclub.com.