When you think about fitness, what comes to your mind? A marathon? A triathalon? A barbell so loaded up with weight it seems to bend?
Everywhere we look, we see the examples of fitness that we can't relate to. In magazines, at our gyms, and on our televisions. Fitness seems to be all about the exceptional athletes.
But fitness doesn't need to be about runs that require ice baths and advil or gymnastic inspired strength feats. Behavioral psychologists tell us that consistency is the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. And the way to achieve consistency is through small, daily habits.
Rick, a business analyst at the insurance company UCare, talks about how he pulled off a physical activity turnaround with Perk Health.
From the very first time I logged an activity on Perk Health, I have been reaping the benefits.
Last Winter I had unfortunately taken a hiatus from exercise because of a huge project I was working on at work. It was difficult trying to keep up with exercise and stress reduction when some nights I was up until late working to make sure we met deadlines. As a result, on weekends all I wanted to do was relax and see friends and family that I no longer got to see during the week.
Time continued to go by and my well-being started to suffer. Staying focused and energized at work became more and more difficult. One day when I was cleaning out my e-mail inbox, I found a reminder e-mail from Perk Health that I had not logged an exercise in quite some time. This helped me to remember how exercise is part of the equation to better health and wellness. At first I felt a lot of shame and guilt in that moment, but I also knew that I was completely capable of changing my habits. I was curious to see if others on my project were also logging in Perk Health. Come to find out, I saw many others posting who even had second part-time jobs as parents and still found time. How was it possible that they were able to find the time when I couldn’t?
So I made the goal of going back to the gym again just to prove to myself I can do it. It started to work well at first with me going to the gym 2-3 times a week and a new standing desk. However, I found myself reverting back to old habits again and didn’t know why initially. Eventually I realized that I was forgetting to log many of my exercises, which made it hard for me to gauge what progress I was making. It was only when I started logging my activities again that I began to finally notice the benefits. Seeing what you accomplish whether that’s measured in cash, kudos, doughnut equivalents, or calories serves as a positive reminder of how beneficial being active and reducing stress is. Sometimes work may seem to get in the way, but in reality, it’s only you. Perk Health simply can not force you to exercise, but it can be just that little extra something to push you to finally make time to improve your health. Because I did, I actually feel more focused, energized, and productive at work that now I actually have more time at home with friends and family than I thought I would.