Work-life balance has been a major topic since ever. Most organizations use it in their communication efforts, both internally and externally, to convey a culture based on a sense of wellbeing that is much needed in our modern society. To us it isn’t just another word that makes us look good, but instead a concept that combines many factors like flexibility of schedule, autonomy, work from anywhere, exercise and mental health support.
Every Tuesday evening Polarising promotes workout sessions. I guess we can say that most of our consultants have some sport they love or some physical routine, which made it easy to move forward with this initiative. We just had to scout for the most compatible and Polarising culture-oriented Personal Trainer, and we got the best: Elisa de La Cruz. Elisa has 8 years of experience in the area and is relentless in persuing what’s best and more suitable for each person that attends her trainings.
Her sessions always have room for someone that shows up last minute or just decides to come back to the exercise routine, but she has already a loyal group of followers. One of these days we went to Cidade Universitária to get to know her better and see for ourselves what actually means to have a sound body in a healthy mind.
How is it to be Polarising’s personal trainer? Are we an easy-going team?
Polarising’s workout team.
Elisa: I was very happy to be invited and take this opportunity! As the trainings and seasons go by, I am more and more pleased with the results and to see how people have evolved. Despite being a heterogeneous group, they are all very hardworking and friendly, which makes my work so much easier and more joyful.
A lot has changed since your first year with us, in 2016; what would you say were your major challenges with the pandemic?
Elisa: The pandemic forced me, all of us in fact, to be even more diligent and aware of other people’s needs. After getting feedback from the management and understanding Polarising’s major challenges, I created exercise plans that were kept updated and available on the intranet and was always available to address any particular need or request.
But promoting online classes also allowed many people that usually didn’t had the time and availability to fit our weekly class in their schedules to start participating in the comfort of their homes. And as soon as there was the possibility to came back to our outdoors routine, and despite the restrictions, we were able to maintain the level of trainings and go back to socialize and be together, that is so important to everyone.
How can (and should) we combat the sedentary lifestyle that we ended up having working remotely?
Elisa: Both remote and daily office work lead to a decrease in physical activity in general, which we should be aware of and compensate with some activity that gets us moving. But being at home definitely creates more resistance to go out and exercise. Working remotely can be an advantage if you use the time saved in commute to invest in a physical activity. But the important thing is to establish routines that force you to move. And if you have a specific activity or sport that you enjoy even better, because it’s easier to commit.
Does physical activity promote wellbeing and, consequently, more productive employees?
Elisa: Without a doubt, an active person has a more positive attitude and ends up being more productive, since the probabilities of feeling overwhelmed are lower and more easily managed. Physical activity increases confidence and promotes a sense of security. It also invites to a better mood! All this reflects in both our personal and professional life. Therefore, physical activity not only helps your health in general, but also your intellectual and emotional state.
Does physical activity affect concentration? What about sleep?
Elisa: The only way it can affect it is positively! It’s very simple: physical activity increases the blood flow, so that more nutrients and oxygen reach the brain. This helps our concentration and performance. The same thing happens with sleep because if you rest better you’ll be more productive, in a good mood and intellectually aware.
What is “labor gymnastics”? What are the benefits for companies like Polarising?
Elisa: Every physical activity that is promoted during work hours is considered labor gymnastics. In other words, it’s when the company where you work offers its employees the opportunity to exercise accompanied and safely.
Polarising has outdoor workout sessions once a week where we train a little bit of everything. The outdoors advantage is that you can work mostly on the aerobic component having in mind the balance between physical and mental health. The outdoor nature by itself contributes a lot to get people out of their homes, allowing also to cultivate relationships with colleagues and socialize more. Other amazing benefits are stress release, to learn how to train safely preventing injuries, and improve your general physical state.
Can you give us some posture tips and exercises to do throughout the day? Do breaks count?
Elisa: The most important thing you can do for posture during work hours is called “Postural Hygiene”. Having a good posture means to gain consciousness of your body. May main advice would be to invest some time in adapting your workstation: the screen should be at the eyes level, and you must be seated in a chair that allows your joints to be at 90º (elbow, torso, hip, knee, and ankle). Not only will you maintain the right posture, but you’ll also prevent injuries.
Along the day you must mind not to relax the lumbar area, meaning you should not let yourself sink against the chair! Another good example is that ladies usually have the tendency to cross their legs, forcing their spine and increasing the possibility of causing varicose veins and high blood pressure.
Breaks are so important! One very easy tip that I always like to give is to set an alarm every hour or hour and a half and get up to perform a few mobility movements and small stretches. At Polarising’s workout sessions I teach easy ways for everyone to include these small routines throughout their day. And laugh, laugh a lot!
See you next Tuesday?
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