28 Sept 2012

How to Exercise for a Better Work Performance

Hi folks,

With exercise busting stress, improving concentration levels, & improving sleep patterns etc, working-out to complement your career really is a no-brainer! Lots of people don't feel they have the time but just the work-related benefits from 30min of exercise several times a week can hugely out-weigh the time invested. Many people do exercise before or after work which is fantastic but it can be confusing & without dedicated professional guidance then they may actually be doing themselves harm & negatively affecting their jobs. (I treat many massage clients with such muscular-skeletal problems every week!)

Here's the solution: Get a professional trainer to physically analyse your job role (active or desk-based). By looking at your movement patterns they can break these down into specific exercises that work the associated muscles through their full range of movement whilst also addressing any muscle imbalances. This innovative method is invaluable because:

1) It improves your work efficiency
2) It improves your work endurance
3) It hugely decreases your chance of becoming injured / absence
4) It educates you so that you're more body-aware
5) It raises your focus & concentration levels
6) It helps you sleep better
7) It makes you feel good!

Yep you guessed it, we specialise at this here at Occupational Fitness. Whether on a one-to-one basis or an on-site group workout, we have the expertise to maximise your work performance. Take a look at our Workforce Workouts for more info.



13 Sept 2012

Do National **** Days really work?

Hi Folks,

You may have seen the national ‘Stop Smoking campaigns’ advertised recently on TV or the ‘National Health Day’ proposed in a national newspaper, but are these National ‘prompts’ actually effective?

In my experience, these events are poorly advertised & that no-one really knows they exist until it’s mentioned at the end of that morning’s news or some-one mentions it on passing in the office. By then it too late as we’re already chomping on a bacon butty or lit up our 3rd fag of the day so it becomes a bit of a mockery.

As a personal trainer I can say that we are significantly more likely to succeed in reaching a goal if we:

A)    Have a time frame (strict designated start date & review dates)
B)    That goal is specific (“I want to eat more veg” instead of “I want to eat more healthy)
C)    You can measure it (track your progress using portions, inches, kg, frequency etc)
D)    It’s realistic (your not being overly adventurous)
E)     Address our state of mind (do we actually want to do it or are we being told we have to!)

Points A & E are where National campaigns are really helpful, they have a start date set in stone & they get lots of people addressing a common goal together which alone gives the majority of us a boost in will power.

Next time you run a workplace health kick, advertise it well in advance & use the 5 points above. I practically guarantee it will make your goal easier to achieve & therefore lead to better results for individuals, you & ultimately your company!

If you need any help putting a workplace health incentive together then please contact me.



6 Sept 2012

How much Good Fat do you have?

Hi folks,

You may not know but fat has many roles (no pun intended), it is a store of excess energy, it is a form of protection from impact, it generates heat etc... .  Although too much body fat makes us more prone to serious health problems, there is a type of fat that is actually good for us - Brown adipose fat!

Our bodies had most brown fat when we were babies & children, it helped us survive if left in the cold by burning calories to generate substantial amounts of heat. Unfortunately the amount of brown fat we have decreases as we reach adulthood, but scientists are studying how we can stimulate the few reserves that we have left for our advantage. Brown fat is found to generate most heat when we exercise, eat & are exposed to cold temperatures, so could we use this information to fight obesity?

If we do find novel ways to make our brown fat more active then this may burn more calories from white fat but we would be constantly hot & switching on the air-con. We may find 'agents' that trigger our brown fat but they have concerns of toxicity which is obviously not good. It is known that certain foods initiate heat production within brown fat so one safe area of research is to learn more about which foods these are and their further effects on the body. Could the recent nutrition labels on food packaging be joined by a heat generating index or 'thermal rating'?

As with last weeks blog on wheat prices, this type of information could be very useful in workplace health / 'Canteens of the Futuuuuure'!