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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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                                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                  Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                  Video Summary

                                  Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                  There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                  This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                  Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                  In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                  One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                  There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                  By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                  When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                  Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                  In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                  What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                  What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                          5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                How to hold a plank position

                                                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                  • Prolapse
                                                  • After prolapse surgery
                                                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                  • Previous childbirth
                                                  • Overweight

                                                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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