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Fitness Product Hacks for Busy Workaholics

Fitness Product Hacks for Busy Workaholics
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Hey, I know you! You’re a workaholic like me. You work 24/7; you show up to work early, you leave late, and when you’re not in the office, you’re still responding to emails, researching ideas, and planning for the weeks ahead. It’s hard for go-getters like us to turn it all off and shift our focus to things that don’t make any money – like the gym.

What I’ve found works best for me is to compact my exercise routines so that I don’t have to carve out too much time in my day to go to the gym. At work, we have a few different fitness products available. We all jump on the equipment every couple of hours to work different muscle groups, get a little pick-me-up, and get back to brainstorming.

There are at least 10 different ways to use each of the fitness items in our office, and there are even some great ways to work multiple muscle groups at a time for maximum exertion and time efficiency. Take a look…

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These Are the Only 5 Things You Need to Cram a Great Workout Session into Your Hectic Work Schedule

    We bolted gymnastics rings into our ceiling.

    They’re out of the way and adjustable for height, and they can hold up to a thousand pounds. You can use gymnastics rings at work, in your garage, or even in your backyard on a tree! But, as I mentioned earlier, we sought out equipment that can maximize muscle group usage and take up the least amount of space. Gymnastic rings are inherently unstable, so they force you to stabilize your body more than any other machine does. So, although you have to hang on for dear life with your hands, you’re definitely going to feel the workout in your arms, back, chest, and core the entire time you’re swinging. From pull-ups to push-ups, from deadlifts to the dreaded iron cross, you can do it all on a set of gymnastic rings.

    We have a treadmill in our back office

    With this machine in our office, I avoid waking up another hour earlier to take a run and a much-needed shower before work. I hop on our machine at work before heading out, so I avoid driving across town to my gym after work and fighting for a machine, and I avoid missing out on the limited time at home that I have in the evenings. There are a hundred different models out there, but what I like about our machine at the office is that it comes equipped with tons of built-in workout programs plus Google Mapping to mimic my normal fair-weather route outside. I can work from the machine via my laptop placed on the built-in workstation.

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    An Indo board lives on our lobby rug

    You can work your entire body with the Indo Board. It can be used for balancing fun and tricks, or you can use it to produce blood, sweat, and tears. It’s totally up to you. It’s essentially a balance board that was created to perfect the user’s surfing game, but if you utilize it for push-ups or combine it with the gymnastic rings, your entire body will be screaming after a few minutes.

    The foam roller keeps you going

    Have you ever been so sore the day (or two) after an intense workout that you think “man, this isn’t worth it”? You don’t have to hurt like that! After your cool-down, and a nice long stretch, take to the foam roller. By working your tired muscles with the foam roller, you’re pushing around all the lactic acid that’s built up in your muscles from your workout. You’ll be surprised at how not-sore you are the day after doing 50 lunges and squats.

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      Use something (anything) to keep track of what you’re doing

      Tracking your progress is the only way you’re going to see if your efforts are making any difference. Keep a journal, jot down some notes on your calendar, or use an app to do it all for you. Programs like iFit have a virtual coach, track your heart rate, count the steps you take throughout the day, and pair up to different machines, including most NordicTrack treadmills, bikes, and elliptical machines for individualized workouts and tracking.

      You can keep any of these products in your home if you’re not able to have them in the office. Just remember that you don’t have to go to the gym for two hours at a time, lifting 80% of your max with 3 minute breaks in between. (Who has time for that anyway?) You can utilize your body weight and exude high energy for minutes at a time throughout the day to keep your body active and in shape. If you really want a bigger focus on your health, you can find the time and the means to make the necessary changes. You’re a beast at work – you can do this too.

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      Featured photo credit: Kevin Jones via shutterstock.com

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      Kevin Jones

      Content Strategist

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      Published on July 27, 2021

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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      During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

      But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

      Put the Pro in Professional

      After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

      1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

      The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

      Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

      2. Dress the Part

      While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

      Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

      For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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      Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

      3. Stage Your Workspace

      Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

      Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

      4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

      Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

      Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

      Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

      Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

      5. Arrive on Time

      In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

      Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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      6. Turn on Your Video

      Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

      If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

      Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

      7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

      Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

      Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

      Attend to the Pesky Details

      8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

      With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

      Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

      9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

      Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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      Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

      10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

      As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

      Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

      Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

      Talking Has a Time and a Place

      11. Chat Appropriately

      Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

      At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

      12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

      The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

      Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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      13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

      In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

      Manage Yourself

      14. Minimize Distractions

      While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

      Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

      15. Save Snacking for Later

      Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

      However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

      Final Thoughts

      Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

      Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

      Reference

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