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Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Incorporate Fitness Into Your Company Culture

Ask The Entrepreneurs: 15 Ways to Incorporate Fitness Into Your Company Culture


    Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

    Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

    What is one cool way you’re motivating employees to get fit and stay healthy?

    1. Work In Weekly Activities

      Every two Fridays, our whole team goes on a health and fitness activity, which have included everything from a kung fu class to attending a Mets game. We delegate responsibility for organizing them on a rotating basis. It’s definitely become an awesome cornerstone of our team culture.
      Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

      2. Tell Stories of Healthy Living

        Stories are one of the most powerful tools in marketing and sales. Whenever possible, I try to weave personal running stories into our marketing material to both attract our ideal customers — other health-conscious businesses — and motivate our employees.
        Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

         

        3. No Junk Food!

          We encourage a vegan, low-sugar lifestyle by ensuring that these are the only foods we keep stocked in our kitchen. Junk food is kept to an absolute minimum, and we don’t allow any soda in the office. We’ve realized that employees then get used to this healthier lifestyle and start to make better choices at home and on the road.
          Warren Jolly, Affiliate Marketing

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          4. Communal Food and Corporate Gym Memberships

            Encouraging employees to chip in for communal food allows a health-conscious person take the lead and purchase fun and healthy snacks (like fruit, popsicles and nuts) to keep the team satisfied and energized throughout the day. Providing a corporate membership with a local gym also motivates employees to join for a discounted rate and work out together around office hours.
            Erika London, iAdventure.com

            5. Inspired by Infomercials

              We keep our work TV on a fit lifestyle channel. Our employees constantly get healthful recipe ideas, beauty tips, and work out routines. Just the other day, I saw two employees following a short workout routine and talking about going to the gym after work. We keep trashy shows off of our TV and keep the “living well” shows on. The employees are inspired by the people on TV to stay fit.
              Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

              6. Put on Fitness Competitions

                We run a monthly fitness competition that assigns points to various activities, with prizes awarded to various categories! Easy way to keep everyone involved and add some competition.
                Jesse Pujji, Ampush|social

                 

                7. Try Tough Mudder!

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                  Each year, I do two or three Tough Mudder races — 10-mile runs with military-style obstacles along the way. The events are great opportunities to bond with employees over physically challenging activities. Tough Mudder takes about 2-3 months to prepare for, so training before or after work is a good time to bond and get fit together.
                  Justin Beck, PerBlue

                   

                  8. Sweaty Team Building

                    Every other Thursday, the whole team works out together. Each workout, a different person decides what we’re doing and leads us. The workouts are fun, build camaraderie, and spark conversations about what else people are doing and using to pursue wellness.
                    Kevon Saber, Stealth

                     

                    9. Walking Meetings

                      We’re stocking healthier snacks in the office and have started walking meetings. Both are small, but effective, ways to make health a priority at work.
                      Brent Beshore, AdVentures

                       

                      10. Offer Incentives

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                        We’ve tried to offer incentives to team members to quit smoking, like days off and gift cards. It works with some, and it just shows that we care about them now and in the future.
                        Jordan Guernsey, Molding Box

                         

                        11. Lead by Example

                          I set the tone. I use my lunch hour to exercise daily, which leads to others joining in, and as more go, more end up coming. Likewise, we keep healthy food in the office, which prompts others to follow suit. Setting an example can be a very powerful, non-intrusive approach.
                          – Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com

                           

                          12. A 5K Every Month

                            Every month, we try to signup for some type of race for a good cause. While the race itself is always a blast, we find a lot of value in the weeks in between with team trainings and runs after work. A team that trains together, sticks together.
                            Logan Lenz, Endagon

                             

                            13. Teams That Think on Their Feet

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                              We provide height adjustable desks so each person can choose whether to sit or stand while working. This not only keeps them healthy, but increases productivity. We’ve been thrilled with the result! Check out Ergo Depot or Workrite — I highly recommend it!
                              Robert Sofia, Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC

                               

                              14. Manage Well, Reduce Stress

                                One of my goals is to delegate early and to pace people well so that they’re not stressed or having to lose sleep to make deadlines. An overall sense of peace and calm created by clear, proactive management has enormous positive health benefits.
                                Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                                 

                                15. Provide the Time

                                  I have an open workflow, which allows my employees to work out in the morning prior to work. The best motivation is to give your employees the time to work out.
                                  John Hall, Digital Talent Agents

                                  (Featured photo credit: Open Briefcase with Running Shoes via Shutterstock)

                                  More by this author

                                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                                  1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days 4 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself 5 How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

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                                  Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                                  The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                                  The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                                  It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                                  If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                                  One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                                  Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                                  In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                                  Why you can’t sleep through the night

                                  The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                                  Stress

                                  If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                                  Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                                  We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                                  While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                                  Eating close to bedtime

                                  Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                                  Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                                  Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                                  Medical conditions

                                  In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                                  The vicious sleep cycle

                                  The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                                  Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                                  You get a bad night’s sleep
                                  –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                                  –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                                  –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                                    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                                    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                                    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                                    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                                    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                                    Here are a few suggestions:

                                    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                                    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                                    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                                    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                                    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                                    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                                    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                                    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                                    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                                    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                                    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                                    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                                    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                                    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                                    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                                    Sleep better form now on

                                    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                                    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                                    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                                    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                                    Reference

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