Keeping fit in a sick economy

October 27, 2008 by  

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These are tough times. The economy is sick. But that doesn’t mean to say we should let our body get sick. Here are some tips to keep our heart strong and our body fit in the face of the current recession. Without extra spending, of course.

Leave the car at home

How about keeping fit, at the same time keeping your CO2 emission down? Try cycling. You stay fit, save money on gasoline as well as on fitness club membership fees. Plus, you avoid the traffic jams and the stress that goes with them.

The call for companies to encourage cycling to work is on. Last July, the bank Credit Suisse was awarded as “Best Company that Encourages Employees to Bike to Work” by the New York City Department of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives. The bank provides secure parking spaces for bicycles in its Manhattan office. In addition, it enables employees to use lockers and shower at a nearby fitness club at reduced rates. In its headquarters in Switzerland, the bike-to-work movement was also a resounding success.

Around 950 Credit Suisse employees opted for this environmentally friendly method of getting to work on over 12’000 work days, covering a total distance of 145’000 kilometers – more than three times the circumference of the earth.”

Take the stairs

We spend more than half of our waking hours at the workplace. How can we integrate fitness into those hours? “The challenge remains to develop successful population-based interventions, which promote physical activities that can be easily integrated into everyday life,” according to one of the researchers of the Geneva stairs study.

Well, they may have found another way to keep fit at work – forget the elevators and take the stairs. After 12 weeks of taking the stairs at work, a significant decline in the waist circumference, weight, fat mass, diastolic blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol of the participating employees was observed. And think of the energy saved!

Get back to a healthy lifestyle

Now that the expense accounts are closed, and business travels are suspended, this is your chance to cut down on those expensive 5-course dinners, cocktail parties, and long-haul flights. In tightening our belts (and budgets), we can lose a few pounds in the process. Now, why don’t you fill up your fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables? They are great for the evenings. Apples are especially handy as snacks – easily transportable in your laptop bag and they don’t spoil easily. Plus, now that jet lag is seldom a problem, get your sleep routine in order. Be aware that your sleeping habit can affect your heart. And while you are at it, why not cut back on the cigarettes as well? Better save your cigarette money for a rainy day. Who knows how long this recession will last.

Keep moving, keep the blues away

Out of job? Moping around the house? Maybe it’s time to have some downtime from corporate life and relax more. Times are hard so expensive holidays are out of the question. What about catching up with the yard work, a bit of gardening here and there? Start a vegetable patch (season and space allowing), do some of the paint job you’ve always wanted done? Why not join a walking or running club? Remember, the fitter you are, the more competitive you will be on the job market.

There is a recession going on. All the more reason why we should take care of ourselves. We don’t want additional health care costs, do we?

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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