Thursday, 12 October 2017 06:29

Be a wellness hero for those around you

Written by  Megan Burland, AHS
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Fall can be a really busy time, as we get back in the groove of things…

It’s time to get back into routine and refocus on the things that are important to us. It can be really hard to fit it all in.  I know for me, work gets very busy in the fall. The long hours, planning meetings and sitting can take a toll on me.
When we aren’t practicing self-care, we can see a negative effect on our productivity.
Over the years, I have relied on three simple things to ensure I stay well at work.
1. Workplace wellness initiatives- Organize a short lunchtime walk… promote walking meetings… insist on healthy food options for celebrations and meetings. In my office, my colleagues have started doing workout videos at lunch together. As the saying goes, “colleagues that sweat together, stay together”… Well, I’m not sure if that’s really a saying but I think it’s true.
Working out with a buddy can really help keep you on track with your fitness and wellness goals. It can also be a welcomed break in your day and give you energy to take back to your desk for the afternoon.
I just love the comradery and the laughter I can hear down the hallway at noon as they squat and lunge together. What kind of initiatives could you spearhead in your office? Dub yourself the ‘Wellness Hero’ and get to work.
2. Drink water- According to the Dieticians of Canada, the recommended water intake for adult men (19 years and over) is 3 L (12 cups) and for adult women, it is 2.2 L (9 cups) per day. I find it easiest to have a large water bottle on hand, mine fits 1 L. It makes it easy for me to gauge how close to my water goal I am. Physiologically, water helps keep our bowels regular, helps carry nutrients around the body, aids in digestion, helps us stay energized and much more! Anecdotally I have found that water brings wellness to my day in so many ways.  When I drink this much water, I find myself wandering to the bathroom much more often.  This builds a small walking break into my day, at least every hour. It also ensures I’m washing my hands regularly. It’s funny, but it’s true!
3. Sleep- Think about the last few nights… how much sleep have you gotten? With all the competing priorities in life, sometimes sleep falls by the wayside. We stay up late, trying to get ahead… finishing a load of laundry or packing lunches for the kids. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it seems the amount of sleep you might need as an adult may be debatable, although for most people it’s between 7-9 hours a night. With this recommendation in mind, consider how you usually feel when you wake up in the morning. Are you waking up naturally or dragging yourself out of bed after pressing the snooze button 5 times (I can be guilty of this…).
After reflecting on your sleep quality and how you feel, you may need to adjust that 7-9 hours to ensure you wake up in the morning ready to tackle the day!
It’s a great time of year to think about this, because October is “Canada’s Healthy Workplace” month! Think about what changes you are committed to making to make your workday as healthy and productive as possible.
Start small and be specific and purposeful. Enlist the help of your buddies at work and motivate each other.
Megan Burland is a health promotion facilitator with Alberta Health Services and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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