Life at DHG Blog

Energy for Life – Maximizing What is Most Important

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Energy for Life enables us to look at our lives through a more meaningful, long-term lens. It’s not just about changing food and nutrition habits or focusing solely on exercise, it’s really about looking at yourself more holistically in terms of maximizing what is most important. John Locke, DHG Senior Manager and Business Performance Coach, joins us to share his tips for reengaging with Energy for Life during our busier times of the year, and Summer Brooks, DHG Senior Associate and fitness instructor in Greenville, SC, shares her picks for top fitness apps to utilize during busy season and beyond.

In the midst of busy season, we often let health and wellness fall by the wayside. What are some easy ways for us to incorporate movement into our day-to-day?

The obvious opportunities involve intentional, planned movement throughout the day. During busy season, when you’re focused on projects and tasks that can last long periods of time, set a reminder for yourself on your phone or within Outlook to get up and move every hour – walk a few loops around your office, walk up and down the stairs, take 15 minutes to go grab a coffee. Or, take a tip from business innovator and author Nilofer Merchant, try having “walking meetings.” Whatever it takes to get up and move. Some of us have standing desks – don’t forget to use them! You burn 1 extra calorie a minute standing vs. sitting and it creates more energy around the work you’re doing.

Energy for Life encompasses so much more than just movement. What are some other ways we can engage with Energy for Life during busy season and beyond?

Reconnect with what’s most important: One of the biggest battles during busier times at work is when we lose focus on what’s important. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we’re not going to be able to be our best self for the people who are most important to us. Take a few minutes throughout the day to reconnect with what is really important to you. Send a quick text to tell a loved one how much you appreciate them. Also, remember to be fully present when you are with them.

Fueling your body: Shifting gears to nutrition. Think small meals throughout the day with a well-designed nutritional plate – a 2-2-1 meal consisting of 2 fruits/vegetables, 2 grains and 1 protein with snacking in between. Have good quality snacks at your desk, so you don’t have those big peaks and valleys as your glucose levels dive and your energy dips. Also, keep a mindful eye on hydration. For me, I have a full water bottle next to me, when it drops below half, I use that as an excuse to get up to get more water.

Recharging for the next day: We often operate under the false assumption that we can get by on 4-5 hours of sleep. Research indicates that those getting 7- 8+ hours of sleep will be more alert and can bring more energy to all four dimensions of their lives. It is essential to strive for both adequate quantity and high quality sleep. In fact, Arianna Huffington, author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman, sites sleep as an essential ingredient for success.

Summer Brooks, DHG Senior Associate and fitness instructor in Greenville, SC, shares her picks for top fitness apps.

Why do you think fitness apps are so beneficial?

People use fitness apps for different reasons. They could be unfamiliar with exercises or not know what to do in a gym or at home. Or, for me, I find it hard to make it to classes outside of my own, and I really enjoy the convenience of fitness apps. At the end of the day, you have to find something you will stick with, something that challenges you and something that you enjoy. If it’s boring or if you feel like you’re over your head, you won’t stick with it. Also, keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for you. Finally, I highly recommend at least one personal training session to review the exercises you will be doing or the equipment you will be using to ensure you have the proper mechanics. Injury prevention is key to reaching your fitness goals!

Favorite apps I use:

Johnson & Johnson 7-minute workout: A free app of bodyweight HIIT workouts with varying levels of intensity that can be done anywhere.

Seconds: An interval/tabata/circuit app that lets you program your own workouts. The free version comes with common templates, but you can create your own templates by purchasing the pro version for $4.99.

Alo Moves & Yoga Glo: Learn from the best yoga teachers from around the world and select varying levels of intensity, types of yoga (even meditation), body parts and more for $20/month.

Instagram: A lot of fitness pros post and/or video their workouts for free on Instagram. I use @primal.swoledier for kettlebell circuits (and plug them into the Seconds app for future use) and @cfgymnastics for bodyweight/gymnastics-based workouts. I have not done this yet, but I’ve seen lots of yogis that I follow post-full-length yoga classes on their IGTV channels, too!

Apps I haven’t used but recommend:

Aaptiv & Jefit: Perfect for the novice gym goer trying to make sense of all of the equipment, or someone who enjoys variety in their workout, this app lets you choose a workout, trainer, duration, music and more for $100/year for Aaptiv and $7/month for Jefit.

Fitbod: Similar to Aaptiv & Jefit, but Fitbod programs entire workout plans for you based on your fitness goals instead of letting you select them for $60/year or $10/month.

YouTube: I have not followed along with a workout from YouTube yet, but I know tons of people who do! Some notable full-length yoga instructors are @yogawithadriene and @yogabycandace. Occasionally @alomoves will post a full-length video too!