Shijo Joseph cycles 500 km a month, runs and goes to the gym. So he knows a thing or two about leading a healthy lifestyle. Here’s his advice.
1. Fitness is a way of life
“People think fitness is about a setting aside a specific amount of time to go to the gym/exercise to get fit. But it doesn’t end at that. Fitness is a way of life. That means that you should be eating healthy and drinking enough water, even when you’re in office. Find ways to move about—walk to the water cooler or coffee machine, use the stairs instead of the lift, walk out from behind your desk to receive visitors, walk to your colleagues’ desk every time you want to talk to them. It also instils a sense of urgency in what you’re doing, making you feel purposeful and burning more calories at the same time. Your office offers many opportunities where you can burn calories just by doing daily tasks faster than normal.”
2. Be consistent
“Find out and understand what you’re passionate about. Try out a few options, observe yourself, find out your likes, dislikes. You’re more liable to sustain a fitness routine if you’re doing something you truly enjoy. At 36 I used to go the gym and run regularly. But then I discovered cycling and realised that I really enjoyed it. So I incorporated cycling as the main part of my workout routine. But just because you’ve found something you like doesn’t mean you do it every day. You’ll burn out in no time. Work out whenever you get time if you are not able to dedicate a fixed time of the day. Keep weekly targets; for example my target is to cycle 100 km or run 25 km a week.
“And once you’ve come up with a routine don’t think it is set in stone. You should mix things up. Do some cross training, functional training, etc and keep yourself on your toes. Or else you’ll get bored and lose focus.”
3. Motivation is important
“The best way to motivate yourself is by sharing your accomplishments with close ones (but don’t spam their FB wall). Become a part of communities that share your passion; they’re more likely to appreciate your updates and triumphs, and egg you on to do better. We always feel better and push ourselves harder when we’re appreciated.”
4. Keep aside time at work
“Take a few minutes out of your daily schedule to look up tips and advice online. This helps you switch off and gives you a break from work, easing monotony. I’ve noticed that spending this small amount of time on something you’re passionate about tends to make you more productive in the office space. It clears your head, so that you come back to work mode with a sharper mind and a more positive attitude.”
5. Exercise makes you a better manager
“People don’t realise that fitness makes you a better manager and a leader. It helps you focus, have a more positive attitude, so you are a lot more productive. With improved fitness levels your confidence also improves and your outlook on life changes. You become more optimistic and its positive impact is felt on your work as well. I’ve noticed that those who do endurance exercises tend to be more successful in what they do. This is also an ideal time to think about your business strategies or formulate a presentation that you need to prepare.”
Shijo Joseph is Associate VP – IT at Gujarat Gas Ltd.