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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 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 2 Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power 3 12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power 4 13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride 5 8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

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                                  Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                  Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                  Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                                  Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                                  If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                                  When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                                  In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                                  1. Salmon

                                  Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                                  It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                                  Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                                  Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                                  Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                                  Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                                  2. Blueberries

                                  Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                                  Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                                  Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                                  Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                                  Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                                  3. Turmeric

                                  Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                                  Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                                  Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                                  Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                                  Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                                  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                                  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                                  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                                  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                                  4. Coffee

                                  Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                                  Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                                  Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                                  Coffee can also:

                                  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                                  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                                  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                                  • Improve your memory.
                                  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                                  5. Broccoli

                                  What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                                  Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                                  Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                                  Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                                  Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                                  6. Bone broth

                                  Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                                  Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                                  Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                                  Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                                  Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                                  With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                                  Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                                  7. Walnuts

                                  Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                                  Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                                  Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                                  Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                                  8. Eggs

                                  For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                                  Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                                  Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                                  9. Dark chocolate

                                  You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                                  Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                                  Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                                  Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                                  Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                                  Conclusion

                                  Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                                  In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                                  If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                                  More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

                                  [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                                  [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                                  [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                                  [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                                  [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                                  [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                                  [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                                  [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                                  [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                                  [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                                  [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                                  [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                                  [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                                  [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                                  [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                                  [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                                  [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                                  [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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