Make Walking Meetings WORK!
Do you feel less stressed and happier after exercising? Does your creative energy flow after moving to music? Were you ever calmer while handling a work conflict after talking a break to walk away first? Regular physical activity offers us these benefits and hundreds more. Getting the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of movement each day helps every single body function work better. Exercise really is medicine! A daily dose of fitness can do wonders for you at work and at home.
The challenge for many is how to fit fitness into their busy life! The answer is to integrate fitness into your everyday life, especially at work! Create a win-win! If there is interest in being more productive, having less stress, and being more successful, then there's a desire to be fit. Combine work and fitness. Instead of thinking of these as seperate goals, consider blending them together. Start by scheduling walking meetings!
Why plan a walking meeting?
- Physical activity energizes people and makes them more alert.
- Different environments can inspire new ideas and stimulate creativity.
- Time outdoors, in nature, with fresh air and light, improves physical and mental well-being.
- Walking and talking side-by-side cuts through hierarchical work distractions and sets people at ease, which enhances a positive working spirit.
- Walking burns calories and stimulates oxygen flow around the body that increases brain function to increase the ability to solve problems better.
- Walking helps co-workers to get to know each other better so as to foster healthier work relationships.
How do you conduct a walking meeting?
- Discuss a walking meeting idea with your department.
- Plan a walking meeting into the schedule. Begin having it once a week at a certain day and time. Add other days after a few weeks.
- Make sure everyone is aware to bring fitness shoes to work, when the walk will take place, and what the meeting agenda will be.
- Be flexible with the walking route. Use a loop course outside or if it rains, walk the halls of your building.
- Visit www.ipfw.edu/health for a sampling of campus walking routes and indoor walking distances.
- Think about everyone's walking abilities and be considerate of what the best distance should be.
- Maybe the first walking meeting could be 1/4 - 1/2 mile, gradually increasing it to 1 - 2 miles or a distance that best meets your group's needs. Maybe a short walk could be at the beginning or end of a sit down meeting.
- Evaluate progress to understand what everyone is learning and take their recommendations into account.
So when's your next walking meeting? Raise the question, "How about a walking meeting?" Take steps to shape a healthier and happier IPFW. Everyone will benefit!
Judy Tillapaugh, R.D., ACSM HFS
IPFW Wellness/Fitness Coordinator