Food glorious food

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Food is one of life’s pleasures. We all have our favourite dishes, which we can relate to a social event that we enjoyed. All celebrations seem to involve food, we give and share food as a symbol of our love for others.

Food                                                                                                                                                        1. any substance containing nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, that can be ingested by a living organism and metabolized into energy and body tissue adjective 2. nourishment in more or less solid form as opposed to liquid form: food and drink.

Food is seductive, it gives us pleasure and we are hardwired to go for it and eat all the food. When we go way back in history, food was scarce for our ancestors, when we found food we would eat more than we needed as we wouldn’t know when we would be eating next. Today, for most of us, food is in abundance, and throw in the extra bonus of it being scientifically designed to make us want more and more. Food is no longer only about function. We eat for fun.

I have a love/hate relationship with food, when my mental health is off I abuse it to make myself feel better, its my last remaining vice. My weight has fluctuated throughout my life, I had a period where I dieted hard and got awesome results, then exhaustion and injury lead to the inevitable bounce back. In the past year or so I have been working on portion control as well as concentrating on my hunger and fullness scales. I have been dropping weight in a slow and sustainable way, it’s not been easy getting out of the restrict/binge mindset, I’ve had to relearn how to feed myself without a food plan and to let go of my food control issues.

All of my clients constantly ask me about food, what they shouldn’t eat, what they should eat, how to eat. It can be really stressful for a lot of us, I know I went through a stage where I would have preferred to take 3 food pills a day rather than eating food.

Food should be enjoyed, in the right amounts yes, though still enjoyed. I like the 80/20 rule, have nutritious foods 80% of the time and save 20% for your sometimes foods. Nutritious foods being your whole, nourishing foods and sometimes foods being those that may give you more satisfaction than nourishment. (*Idea from Dr Libby)

Have a think into what foods you find seductive, what gives you pleasure? Is there a reason these foods evoke those feelings? Try and get into the psychology behind why you are eating. Is there a way you can make these foods less palatable so you consume less of them?

Food is not the enemy, we need food to thrive and live long, happy lives. I no longer believe dieting is the answer, I recommended looking at a way of eating that you can stick to for the rest of your life, if you can’t sustain what you are doing then that is a diet and you will more than likely rebound at some point.

“People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”

Food for thought (ha ha)

  • Eat slowly and without distraction
  • Look at why you are eating, are you trying to satisfy an emotion?
  • Try and stick to the 80/20 rule
  • Enjoy food
  • While improving your nutrition, aim to not have a diet mindset, think of making constant and sustainable improvements
  • Choose nourishing foods

I am not a qualified nutritionist/dietician, the above is my findings from my experiences, if you are looking to change your diet or need extra support please contact a registered nutritionist/dietician

Cutting down on refined sugar

I no longer believe that you need to cut out a food group completely, however the more I look into having optimal health for myself the more I realise that I need to reduce the amount of refined sugar I consume. A factor in this for me is that I can’t seem to stop when I start. I swear I move from one addiction to the next ha ha, always learning though.

Having optimal health I believe is about constantly evaluating our current habits, improving and tweaking as we go. It’s not about perfection, it’s about awareness. I’m not going to go into heaps of depth on sugar in this blog, this is a list of different techniques we can use to help us reduce refined sugars.

  • The 20 minute rule. You’ve got those sugar urges, how about setting a 20 minute timer, if you still want something after 20 minutes then go ahead. I think you will find after 20 minutes you no longer desire the chocolate or “insert favourite sweet food here”.
  • Substitution. Substitute products with high levels of refined sugar for those with more natural sugars. Exchange a chocolate bar for a protein ball or raw slice.
  • Portion control. This one is pretty simple, reduce the amount you are eating, its pretty difficult to moderate how much we eat when it comes to sweet foods, well for me anyway, ha ha so aim to portion and stick to that portion size.
  • Drink herbal tea. Have herbal tea post lunch or dinner to satisfy those sweet urges, I like peppermint or liquorice tea.
  • Am I hungry? Ask yourself why you want your chosen food, are you hungry or are you feeling sad, lonely, bored or just eating it because the rest of your office are? If you are not hungry then don’t eat it.
  • Office treats. Ask the person who organises office events to supply healthier options, most people want to reduce their processed food intakes, if enough of you make a request then the changes will be implemented. If you feel like you can’t say no, take a piece of cake, have a few forkfuls and then leave the rest.
  • Processed foods. Look at the labels and stick to the products with 10g or less sugar per 100g/ml.
  • Fruit. Swop biscuits for fresh fruit
  • Fizzy drinks. Avoid or completely cut down.
  • Quality not quantity. Instead of having these foods at home, go out and enjoy with your friends, go to your favourite cafe/ice cream shop/cake shop, sit down and enjoy what you have chosen. Its what we do all the time that has the biggest impact not occassionally, enjoy and try not to feel any guilt.

I will keep you up to date on how I go, again its not about perfection, but daily tweaks as I move towards my goal of optimal health. Ive done well so far today, its currently 1.22pm, every hour is another pat on the back as I move towards my goal. Remember to celebrate the wins team.

 

Is fruit bad for you?

How-to-store-fruit-to-keep-it-fresh-resizedIs fruit bad for you? I get asked this question a lot and its something I have changed my mind about as I have learnt more about nutrition. I am taking more of an interest in sugar recently as I am trying to rid myself of my sweet tooth, which Im finding difficult. Sugar is my go to comfort food.

A quick answer to the question is no, yes fruit does contain sugar but it has a different impact on our bodies to sucrose. Fruit, vegetables and honey contain fructose and glucose. Fructose and glucose are simple forms of sugar.

Sucrose, table sugar, is also a simple sugar, sucrose is broken down into 50% glucose and 50% fructose in the body. Both fructose and sucrose require very little digestion and are absorbed rapidly in the bloodstream.

With todays food choices we now get naturally occurring fructose as well as fructose from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose.

HFCS is a sweeter and cheaper version of sugar and is in most processed foods and sugar sweetened products. In the process of making HFCS the glucose and fructose, which are normally bound together, seperate, enabling the fructose to head straight to our liver once consumed, which increases fat production. Having a fatty liver may lead to excessive weight gain, blocked arteries, heart disease and diabetes. HFCS also contains other chemicals which may have an effect on our health.

Here are some of the different names for sugar shown on our food packaging, they sneak it in everywhere!

  • Agave nectar
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Carob syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Molasses
  • Palm sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum Syrup

The liver is only designed to use and store a certain amount of fructose (as glycogen), any excess is stored as fat. The problem with HFCS is that is doesn’t tell the body that you are full so you can easily eat in excess. I don’t know about you but when I start to eat sugary treats I cant seem to stop. One biscuit seems to lead to a whole pack.  It’s quite different with say apples, its unlikely you will eat more than one apple at a time.

Back to the big fruit question, while both cola and fruit contain fructose, the impact they have on the body differs greatly. Fruit contains nutrients and fibre which assist the fructose when digested and absorbed. Naturally occurring fructose does not stimulate a substantial insulin release. It has been shown that those of us who eat a diet containing lots of fruit and veggies stay leaner, get leaner and are healthier. The fructose absorbed from fruit is unlikely to have a negative affect on our health. Eating fruit and veggies also helps with fighting diseases.

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I believe that fruit isn’t the reason you are unable to lose those extra kg’s, it’s the fructose found in our sugary and processed foods. I don’t believe in complete restriction of these food items, think of them as sometimes foods rather than every day foods.

Aim for around 2 fruits per day and include a variety of types and colours to get different nutrients, aim to eat locally and seasonally. Fresh fruit is the better option over dried fruit, as it is a lot easier to over eat dried fruits as they do not contain fibre. Aim for actual fruits rather than relying solely on juices and smoothies.

I watched That Sugar Film the other day, an interesting look at how sugars affect our body, check it out, all based around the hidden sugars in our so-called healthy food.

Have a think of ways you can replace some of your sugary treats with fruits or reduce your sugar consumption. Maybe you could try giving up or reducing sugary drinks, removing sugar from your teas/coffees or by not buying those products in your weekly shop. Save your sometimes foods for when you go out for a nice dinner, or when you have an ice cream on a sunny day. After all everything in moderation, restriction is not the only approach and doesn’t work for a lot people.

Get in touch if you would like help improving your health and fitness.

 

  • I am not a qualified nutritionist/dietician, the above is my findings from my experiences, if you are looking to change your diet or need extra support please contact a registered nutritionist/dietician
  • Some information sourced from Precision Nutrition

 

2 weeks without devices, whaaaat?

Over the summer break I took a trip to Stewart Island for a tramping holiday and decided not to take my phone, crazy right? I was away for 2 weeks in total and ended up being in no hurry to reconnect once back in Auckland.

From this experience I learnt that I didn’t miss the constant notifications and interruptions of day-to-day life. It highlighted that I don’t need the never ending distraction that comes from social media, music, news, weather and all the other things that pop up on my device.

This experiment left me feeling calmer and meant that I had a proper break from work, which was great as I returned to work feeling refreshed and ready for 2018.

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How could you reduce your time spent on your various devices?

  • Have a cut off time for the day, you don’t need to be available 24/7 for work, I stick do not disturb on from 10pm – 5am.
  • Have a no device rule at least an hour before bed, I’m mostly succeeding with this one.
  • Turn off unnecessary notifications.
  • Limit social media use.
  • Don’t feel like you have to respond to everything immediately, people can wait.
  • Take a technology free day 1 x month, I’ve installed this for 2018.
  • No phones at meal times.
  • Call someone and have a conversation, so retro I know.

Reducing screen time is one way to reduce stress, another is by incorporating daily movement and by eating more nutritious foods.

I empower professional women and men within New Zealand to prioritise and improve their health.

Health is wealth

 

Reality Vs Marketing

Size plus woman sweating during weight training

The reality of us normal folk getting healthy can look quite different to the marketing around the fitness world. We are constantly shown photos of men and women with the “perfect body.” Yoga fanatics are shown with their slim bodies, balancing in crazy positions while being serene and fulfilled. Crossfitters are depicted with having big shoulders and a perfect 6 pack. Body builders are chiselled, tanned, well-groomed and wearing tiny undies. Is this really what fitness looks like for most of us?

How do you feel when you look at these pictures? Do they inspire you to get fit and healthy or do they intimidate you. I’ve been thinking about this recently when marketing my services, do people want to see the dream or the reality of them getting fit? Obviously different approaches work for different people, though I’m not sure these images encourage a sedentary person to get moving. Bodybuilding-a-Reality-Check

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Health and fitness looks different to everyone, the journey of a middle-aged office worker exercising for the first time looks completely different to the three times a week gym bunny, I think that its important to focus on you, you run your own race. It doesn’t matter if you finish the race last, the important take home is that you entered and finished the race, you did it.

Initially when I got into all of this, I went a wee bit nuts and it didn’t matter how much I weighed or how much muscle I gained, it was never enough, I was always comparing and pushing myself to fit into someone else’s depiction of health, scrolling through Instagram wondering why I didn’t have the “perfect body” and making comparisons. (I can be a bit nuts though ha ha)

Perfection doesn’t exist, the key factors to take into account when you start or continue on your journey.

  • Do you feel more positive?
  • Do you have more energy?
  • Does your skin look better?
  • Are you sleeping better?
  • Do you have improved stress levels?
  • Are you getting fitter?
  • Are you losing excess body fat?
  • Do you have less aches and pains?

Try not to compare yourself, do what you enjoy, be you, make a plan and try to stick with it 80% of the time. You can do it.

How do you get started?

You may have been thinking of how to get started with improving your health and fitness but haven’t been sure where to start. I know I originally spent a couple of years starting and then stopping various different fitness regimes. I was unsure of what to do in the gym and unsure of what I enjoyed doing.  This may resonate with you, you may be doing something that you are not really invested in and haven’t been getting the results you desire. Unfortunately, you don’t get results by just paying for a gym membership, it would be nice though right? Ha ha

360_women_exercise_0728Have a good think of how you want to feel? Is it energised, refreshed, happier, fitter, stronger or pain-free. Maybe you want better sleep, have a 5km run coming up or are looking to rehab an existing injury. You may want to lose weight, a lot of us do, and that’s a fine goal to have, though I do encourage my clients to focus on the whole package of being healthier and not solely on weight loss. It’s easy to get disheartened when the scales don’t go your way and health is so much more than that, in fact weight loss is a nice side effect from feeling all the above.

So you have a rough idea of what your goals are, now where and how to achieve them?

There is a plethora of options – barre, yoga, HIIT, run clubs, personal trainers, gyms, hula hoop classes, swim squads, you name it and I’m sure there is a club or venue for it. This is both great and intimidating.

A few tips on how to decide.

Is the gym/club/class easy travelling distance to work or home? Make it as simple as possible, you want to be able to glide this into your day without adding more to your plate.

What can you afford?

What times of day do you want to train? If you are not a morning person don’t suddenly feel like you need to become one, train when you want to train.

What type of place do you prefer? A sweaty boxing gym, boutique private studio, busy gym, outdoor boot camp or community hall.

Once you find your place, go and speak to the staff there, ask for a tour, a free trial, day or class. Ask about sign ups, membership inclusions and cost, don’t feel pressured to decide there and then, take your time. Get trials at different venues, it’s important to find the right fit. Are the staff polite and friendly? Is the venue clean and safe? Are the staff qualified, registered and experienced? Ask for a program and a run through of any equipment. A qualified personal trainer will prescribe a routine for your individual needs, do a thorough consultation and offer continued support throughout your week.

Size plus woman sweating during weight training

You may think to become fit and healthy you suddenly have to give up going out, drinking wine and eating chocolate. While you may have to tweak your habits, it’s about trying to add things into your routine. Crowd out those habits that are not so good for us with new habits that are. One habit at a time, this is about getting healthy and fit for life. This concept works well for the food choices you make, rather than focusing on what you have to give up focus on what you can add in. Crowd out the crappy food with vegetables, nuts, fruit and water. It’s important to be realistic, it may have taken you 10 years to gain the extra weight, changes are not going to happen overnight. Yes, there are ways to rush the process, however in my experience those who focus on the long-term game are the ones who get the best results.

Your journey to health will not be linear, life happens, if you veer off plan, bank it, then jump back on as soon as you can. Concentrate on you and your journey, you run your own race, show yourself self-compassion, you are worth it and you can do it.

If you require help getting started please contact me, Emma hello@emmagtotalhealth.co.nz 027 431 5920.

 

Why I gave up Instagram

I used to love Instagram, I like taking photos and enjoyed scrolling through the many different posts in my feed. A combination of fitness, theatre, music, celebrity and food related images constantly bombarding my brain. Lets face it, I also liked getting likes and comments on my feed. The images in my feed were contradictory with over the top sugary treats one minute and then someones hard abs the next. Seems like harmless fun right?

“The Royal Society for Public Health and the charity Young Health Movement conducted a survey in the first few months of 2017 of almost 1,500 young people (aged between 14 and 24) in Britain surrounding their social media usage.

They were asked to score how each social media site impacted a list of 14 health and wellbeing issues including anxiety, depression, loneliness, sleep, bullying and ‘FoMo’ (Fear of Missing Out).

1490975252276Based on the ratings, Instagram was listed as having the most negative effect. The photo-uploading platform was found to harm perceptions of body image, increase the fear of missing out and have a detrimental effect on sleep.”

This one article made me think about my Instagram and social media use. After some thought I realised that Instagram really wasn’t doing me any favours in terms of how I viewed my body and health, making me feel like I was never doing enough and that no matter how low my body fat got I still wasn’t quite there. I’m not saying there are not a heap of positive messages on Instagram as well, though I personally decided the negatives outweighed the positives, as well as it being a time vacuum and an easy distraction. Rethinking my social media use has also meant that I have reevaluated my phone usage and I try (though I am still addicted) to be more aware of this. Its fun to watch people wander around the city and cross crossings without looking away from their phone. Think of all those random interactions, eye contact and the odd smile from people you pass in the street that we are all now missing.

Heavy phone use affects posture, eyesight, brain function and sleep patterns. Social media, apps, notifications tend to deliver bursts of dopamine, which has a positive affect on our emotions, movement, and sensations of pleasure and pain. When we are rewarded via notifications and likes, our brain rewards us with little bursts of dopamine, so creating a compulsion loop that keeps us coming back for more. This is the same loop that’s responsible for addictive behaviours associated with nicotine or cocaine addiction. Crazy right?

As a small challenge this week, see how you go with limiting your social media use for the day and how that makes you feel. Let me know how you get on.

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The Pelvic Floor

What is the pelvic floor?

It is the base of a group of muscles referred to as the core.  The pelvic floor muscles run from the pubic bone to the tail bone. These muscles play an important role in bladder and bowel control, as well as sexual sensation and function in males.

1 in 3 women are affected by pelvic floor issues, even though it can be an embarrassing topic to bring up, please do speak up and discuss with your trainers. It’s important we prescribe the best exercises to help you. 60% of people with a bladder or bowel control issue do not seek help, I stress that you need to speak up as there are ways to significantly improve your issues. Why suffer in silence?

Core muscles are made up of four groups

-Pelvic floor – supports pelvic organs from underneath

-Multifidus (deep back) – helps take pressure of vertebrae so our weight can be distributed along spine

-Traverse abdominus/TA (deep abdominal) – stabilises trunk and pelvis, acts like a corset

-Diaphragm (below your lungs) – main muscle in respiration

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How can you tell if you have a pelvic floor problem?

Common signs include

Light bladder leakage

Needing to go to the toilet in a hurry and not always making it

Constantly needing the toilet

Difficulty emptying your bladder/bowel

A prolapse – bulging, pressure or discomfort in pelvic area

Pain in pelvic area

Painful sex

Who is at risk of pelvic floor problems?

Pregnant women

Women who have had a baby

Women going through menopause

Women who have had gynaecological surgery (hysterectomy)

Men who have had prostate cancer

Elite athletes – gymnasts and runners

You are more at risk if you have a history of back pain, have previously injured your pelvic region, have chronic coughing/sneezing issues, are overweight or have a BMI of over 25 and if you lift heavy loads frequently.

How do we engage our pelvic floor?

Just squeeze your pelvic region as hard as you can and pull a funny face right? Well no not at all it turns out.

It’s actually a subtle exercise. Squeeze your back passage about 30% and then pull through to your pelvic bone. Put your hands on your hips and make sure you don’t feel any other movement. It’s quite a small movement. For men imagine the feeling of walking into very cold water and trying to pull your balls up.

Go for 3 sets of 10 contractions daily, hold for 1-5 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds between reps. You can lay on your back with bent knees.

Core training will not help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

So you have pelvic floor issues but you want to get back in the gym, what exercises are safe?

As a rule avoid high intensity/impact exercises that place downward pressure on your pelvic floor. Also be aware of your pelvic floor, stop and change exercises if your pelvic floor feels like it’s dropping or pushing down.

Safe cardio exercises

Walking, swimming, seated cycling, cross trainer with low resistance, low impact group fitness classes and aqua jogging/aerobics.

Safe resistance exercises

Seated exercises or exercises where you lay down on a bench, seated swiss ball exercises,  shallow forward lunges, shallow and narrow squats, floor bridge, standing balance work and wall/bar push ups. Also watch how much weight you are lifting.

If you really want to do boot camps or group fitness classes, arrive a bit earlier and grab the trainer and discuss your exercise regressions. Honestly they don’t mind, try not to be influenced by what others are doing around you. Concentrate on what you can do with good form, you know your body best, stop if something doesn’t feel right, speak up and ask for regressions.

Your trainer should also consider reps, sets, weights, technique, position and monitor your fatigue levels. Your heavier compound exercises should be done at the beginning of your programme.

A good standing posture to maintain during exercise is to stand tall, shoulders relaxed, chest open, arms by the side, neutral spine and breathe into your abdomen.

Notes on Rectus Diastasis – separation of fascia (connective tissue, mostly collagen) connecting abdominal muscles, this occurs in pregnancy and in overweight men and women. Fascia can either be torn or stretched.

If you have rectus diastasis please please tell your trainer. Things to remember early post partum, if its severe you can wear an abdominal brace, focus activating deep core and pelvic floor muscles, avoid abdominal twisting and roll to the side to sit up.

If you notice no progress within 2 months then ask your trainer to refer you to a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

If your symptoms persist or worsen its a good idea to seek out a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

For more information  on pelvic floor on continence issues. Free help line – 0800 650 659   09 238 3172   info@continence.org.nz

Information obtained during pelvic floor workshop with Continence NZ in association with Exercise Ass of NZ and REPs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 Days of Movement Challenge

Today I completed my 100 Days of Movement Challenge, boom!

What is the 100 Days of Movement Challenge?

IMG_7372I committed to moving my body in some way every day for 100 days, this doesn’t mean I went crazy with exercise for all those days. I listened to my body and did the appropriate movement for that day.

Why did I start the 100 Days of Movement Challenge?

I started suffering with low moods and low energy levels around October last year, this evolved from being burnt out, from a combination of setting up my business, over exercising/dieting, getting sick as well as being injured. My light definitely started dimming, I decided to do the 100 Days of Movement Challenge to get myself out of my own head and to remember that movement doesn’t need to be about weight and body fat %. That movement/exercise is about getting outside, connecting with people, increasing energy levels, increasing mental alertness, reducing stress, improving fitness, improving strength, achieving goals and feeling even more awesome. Weight is actually just a nice side effect of all the above. I also wanted to find the joy in strength training again, which I lost around October time.

What type of activity did I do?

Activities included strength training, walking, boxing, cycling, yoga, doing my physio rehab exercises, Tabata* work outs, rolling, stretching and ball work.

How did I go with the 100 Days of Movement Challenge?

I really enjoyed this challenge, I think I had one day off during the 100 days where I was feeling really tired. Aside from that day I completed some form of movement every day.

What learnings did you take from the 100 Days of Movement Challenge?

That I love being active, fit and healthy. That movement makes me feel awesome and helps with my mood. That movement doesn’t always need to be about smashing yourself at the gym, it should be about loving yourself and looking after yourself. That I love being outside. and that I need to be kinder to myself. That I could probably do with exercising a bit less.

How am I feeling after the 100 Days of Movement Challenge?

I am feeling much better, my mood has stabilised, I’m eating better and looking after myself again. I’ve found my joy in strength training (boom) and Im in week 4 of my new program. Happy days! Im also planning my next fitness challenge while I wait for my surgery date to fix my hip.

*What is Tabata training?

Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo discovered the training style. They concluded that high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the *aerobic and *anaerobic systems. Tabata training lasts for 4 minutes and you can do with any exercise really.

  • Workout hard for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Complete 8 rounds

*Aerobic exercise is sometimes known as “cardio”, it requires the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles.

*Anaerobic is short-lasting, high-intensity activity, where your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available. It relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles.

Workplace Wellness

A lot of us spend a lot of time sat behind a desk in an office working long hours in stressful roles. Workplace wellness is incredibly important as we can spend the majority of our week at work. Our food and activity levels are often dictated by our working day, we often reach for that bottle of wine and packet of chips after a stressful or tiring day at work.

In the arts it’s no different, staff are often working long hours in insecure positions as contractors trying to put together a piece of work on a limited budget in a short time frame. Throw in unsociable working hours, lack of financial security, poor diet, lack of movement and possibly a lack of mental health care, then your wheels can come off pretty fast.

At Q Theatre the management team are very sensitive to the health connotations that working in the industry can cause, along with the tQ Wellness Projecteams input I recently design and implemented a Wellness Pilot Project for Q.

Purpose – To make Q a happier, healthier work place where our staff feel engaged, inspired and motivated in their work.

Bold Goal – Attract and retain happy, healthy, motivated and engaged staff who become our champions for Q.

Initially we sent out a survey to all our staff asking for feedback on whether they would be willing to participate in a wellness project, how they rated their own wellness,

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Candice’s food prep for BYO lunch week

what wellness meant to them and what they believed we did well at Q currently.

We ran a 6-week pilot scheme for the office team, which is wrapping up this week. Each week we focused on different areas of wellness where we could tweak our current behaviours and make improvements to our health. I didn’t want to focus solely on one area as not everyone wants to just start exercising or giving up smoking for example, I wanted it to be more of a tweak of habits so that everyone could join in. We looked at improving water consumption, eating more fruit, eating less sugar, being more mindful, bringing your own lunch to work for a week and then choosing yourWellness own focus area for a week as well.

The wellness project brought the team together and made us more aware of helping each other, reminding each other to take breaks and supporting each other in our changes. Also adding in some friendly competition to drink more water makes for some interesting banter.

I will be presenting the findings to Q in the next couple of weeks and looking at how successful the programme was and if there is a way Q could offer a wellness plan for its staff and hirers in the future.

I will present the findings in a future blog. If you have any questions or would like more details on what changes you could make for your team’s wellness then please get in touch.

This not only benefits the individual but the business as well, healthier employees are engaged, positive and on board to do their best. Workplace wellness has been shown to reduce employee turnover and saves money on less sick days being used. So its win win all round.

Thanks

Emma

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