At Suunto headquarters in Finland we try to practice what we preach. Which is why we have an in-house personal trainer to motivate us all to stay fit and healthy.
Matias Anthoni, 26, roams the offices, dropping by rooms, calling on us to get up and to join him for short exercise breaks on the spot. Resistance is futile!
Matias sees stairs as an opportunity to stay active.
“My job is to maintain the health and wellbeing of everyone at Suunto,” the former footballer turned trail runner says. “Everyone who works for the company can use me free of charge. I offer group exercise classes, personal sessions, nutritional advice, and random exercise breaks. Everyone understands it’s a great opportunity.”
Matias has a Bachelor in Sports and Health Promotion, and believes there are many opportunities throughout the day for office workers to take care of their bodies and minds. Here are his tips:
1. Everything counts
Remember this phrase and make it your mantra. It cuts through all the excuses about not having time. Sometimes we get stuck in an “all or nothing” mindset; if we can’t, for example, go for an hour long run or a full gym workout, we don’t do anything at all, failing to see the possibilities that are often right in front of our faces, and don’t take much time. Matias says it’s about thinking laterally, and making everything count.
2. Three x three minutes
Take three, three-minute exercise breaks a day. Set a timer on your phone, and do it. Invite your colleagues to join you. To get you started, here’s a short video of Matias demonstrating a few simple movements – try them! “Getting the blood flowing is good for the brain,” Matias says.
3. Go out of your way
When you need to go to the bathroom or get water or coffee, rather than going to the closest option, get in some extra movement and take an extra flight of stairs to do what you need on a floor above or below. Go out of your way for the sake of a little extra movement. It all counts.
4. Have walking meetings
When you have a simple catch up meeting that doesn’t require technology, why not make it a walk and talk? Aside from the movement, people are generally less distracted and more engaged at a walking meeting. You’ll breathe better, and will feel more energized.
5. Use your lunch breaks wisely
Have a 25 or 30-minute workout before you have lunch and you’ll have more energy for the rest of your day. It could even be 15 minutes. Remember, everything counts. Do what you can, rather than getting stuck in what you can’t. “Studies show a small amount of exercise goes a long way,” Matias says.
6. Create team challenges
Try to create a culture where you encourage one another to stay active. Create a challenge to see which department or team can do the most pull-ups in a month, or can walk the most steps in a month.
7. Plan your day
When you plan your day in advance you will know when you have windows for exercise or movement breaks. Planning means you are more likely to take advantage of these. Lock them in, and make them count.