Excuses are like jobs, everyone has one or they really want a good one. However, excuses are not in my book, The 4x4 Diet. It's time to drop the excuses and find the results. I have some go-to moves that you can do at your desk and in your car and are subtle enough to spare you strange looks from your coworkers, yet effective enough to make a real dent in your sedentary time. Happy deskercising to all you aspiring desk jockeys out there!
Smokers take smoke breaks and, so why can't health aficionados we also take wellness breaks throughout the day, to help take care of our bodies? Remember, small moves in the right direction add up, and taking some time for yourself and it will pay off in the long run. With just a little bit of planning you can really create a healthy atmosphere that just might inspire your co-workers or at least reveal your true friends.
Take the stairs
This may sound like old hat advice but every step matters. The more you move the better you feel. The better you feel the more you move, which is a great cycle to be a part of. Just be wary the opposite is true too, as it can really set you back. Get up off that elevator and use your body like it’s meant to be used.
Pack Your Lunch
All those things you would tell your kids to do so that they avoid the massively unhealthy school lunches just may be the same thing you need to do to stay healthy. Not only will you be able to control exactly what you pack so that you fuel your body with healthy food but you can use the extra time to get a tiny workout in! Not every workout needs to be an hour or the best, most intense session ever. Even getting a walk in will help your body digest your lunch and even help you avoid that 2:00 need for a nap.
Do a Tabata
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to pack in some serious moves in a short time period. My book is full of tabatas, which are a great form of HIIT and help increase your creativity, inspiring some great ideas throughout the day. Even better? A tabata is just four minutes total. Try one instead of having coffee, I guarantee it will wake you up.
Get as many steps as you can. This purely means that you will refuse to remain sedentary. Try to avoid having the best chair in the office because you don't plan to be in it too frequently. Take some of these examples to heart and others try to mix in weekly.
- Take an opportunity to drop in on a colleague instead of an email;
- Be generous to your fellow drivers and park far away. They will appreciate the open and close parking and you get closer to your 10,000 daily steps;
- If you’re on a call try taking it on the go. Not all are possible this way but let’s be honest. You’re a rock star and already know your business well enough to do this away from your desk (sometimes).
Use a Stand Up Desk
If you have the luxury of being given a standing desk, just make sure to maintain good posture while using it. Cocking your hip to one side all the time will create some soreness. Plus, it’s a bonus ab workout holding yourself properly all day.
Desk Butt Squeezes
No one will notice that you’re creating a nice strong backside while going over the TPS reports. Try squeezing for one minute then resting for one minute. Repeat as many times as possible (then start again the next hour to beat your time).
Waiting to get your exercise done at just the right moment is silly in my book. I never have the time to do this. If I have a late client, I do lunges and push ups until they get there. If my coffee is brewing I run in place (to my husband’s amusement). You don’t have to go to extremes but these little gems can turn your daily commute to and from work into small workout sessions.
Car Butt Squeezes
Yup, these perfect little flexes aren’t just for your seat at work. Try holding tight for one mile then resting for one mile. The regular traffic jams will really make those squeezes last.
The same thing as butt squeezes but holding your abs instead. This is a recommendation to all my clients because most people don’t exactly know how to hold their core correctly. Practice tightening from beneath your belly button and holding the position during your drive and you’ll be come a pro one mile at a time.
Dehydration is something that sneaks up on everyone. Once you’re thirsty, you’re way too late. Start your day off the healthiest by making sure you get your water in. If you drink coffee, you’ll need even more water. Staying hydrated will make your workouts easier I promise. I’ve cured quite a few dizzy clients by getting them to up their intake.
Working out does not need to be complicated. With just a few of these great recommendations you can really change your life for the better. Take pride in the fact that you want to make this 1 life a strong, healthy long one. Peer pressure is a two-way street too. Enlist help at work to get these done. You just may become the inspiration for someone (even yourself) to turn some bad habits around.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.