By Lee-Ann Watanabe, Wellness Educator

I meet with a client once a week for her scheduled fitness workout. Every week, we discuss all the ways she will move her body in a mindful but physical way, all on her own before we meet again. And each week, our conversation is the same; she can’t seem to prioritize her physical fitness on her own-without me-because as she says “work always gets in the way.”

Read on for 3 tips on how you can prioritize your health and wellness, even when work and other obligations come a calling.

Wellness Tip #1: Find Your Excitement and Joy
When kids are playing, do you think they ask themselves if they are actually enjoying what they are doing? Of course not! Kids do what brings them joy without really thinking about it. They don’t spend time contemplating doing something or not doing something based on the sheer fact if doing that thing will bring them joy. They play because that very act of playing brings them joy and excitement.

Our tip number one? Go back to those days and ask yourself what brings you excitement and joy, straight off the top of your head with no hesitation or evaluation. If you can participate in those sorts of activities on a regular basis, you’ll for sure be in a healthy, happy body!

Wellness Tip #2: Fake it Till you Make It – SMILE BIG!
Have you ever watched a baby laugh? A baby laughs with its entire body and its entire face and and I would put all of my money into betting that when you see a baby laugh or smile, that very interaction will leave you smiling and laughing too! After all, Research shows that babies laugh before they start to speak.

Smiling conducts nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, an emotional center in the brain that will illicit feelings of calm, serenity and happiness. Simply put, smiling can trick your brain into happiness and boost your health.

Tip number two? Fake it till you make it. Consider smiling a few times a day for at least 30-seconds at a time. You will be surprised at how this very act (a simple smile), particularly when you are dealing with long office days or tedious work, can create a feeling of energy and calm. And bonus points? A smile is contagious, so pass it on!

Tip #3: Keep it Moving!
“Nothing happens until something moves” are the words of the greatest scientific mind of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein. … In other words, an idea, of and by itself, has no intrinsic value. It must be accompanied by action.

Ok, so what? Moving is living; but, whose to tell us what that movement should be?

Are you fixated that movement must be a one hour spin class or a 30-minute jog?

Are you set on the idea that moving must be a structured and rigid act that leaves you huffing, puffing and sweaty all over?

Eugen Sandow is quoted as saying “Life is movement. Once you stop moving, you’re dead. Choose life.”

I challenge you to reconsider your ideas of movement and moving. If you are a gym rat then great, keep at it! If you prefer a yoga class, sure, sure, that’s cool too. Now go deeper – and think about all of the ways you are currently moving right now, in your every day life, that you may not consider as prescribed exercise.

Are you moving in your work, advancing your skill set so you continue to grow professionally?

Are you intrinsically moving by dancing in your kitchen when your favorite song comes on? Perhaps you take the stairs instead of the elevator or park extra far away from your workplace entrance.

Are you moving in your mindfulness through incorporating breathing techniques or perhaps meditation, into your regular routine?

If you find it hard to get into a traditional exercise program, I challenge you to skip the idea of what an exercise regimen should look or feel like and instead, find options that work for YOU!

Maybe you turn one of your meetings into a walking meeting? Perhaps consider a standing desk? Have a solo step challenge and consider doing more of your errands on foot versus by car.

The movement you will stick with is the one you will find fun!

Prioritizing your health may seem out of reach for you, simply because it just doesn’t fit into your schedule. But that’s not necessarily the case. If you have the right mindset going in and make a conscious effort, you can focus on both your wellness and corporate life. And you’ll be thankful you did!

WYAO Hawaii is designed to support companies in the shift from an ‘activity-based’ wellness program to a thriving, integrated results-oriented wellness system. We are grounded in a nationally recognized and research-based model to assist companies through a seven-step sequence toward Workplace Wellness Success.

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