Spring into wellness: why investing in movement offers big returns for life

Sarah King, Exercise Physiologist, KPMG Performance Clinic
Sarah King, Exercise Physiologist, KPMG Performance Clinic

Coming into KPMG seemed like a very foreign concept for someone whose day to day focus was exercise, nutrition, and optimising wellbeing. How does an exercise physiologist fit in at a professional services firm?

Although I don’t speak the language of tax, I do have a love of numbers. Some of which might appeal to you.

Things like your stress score, fitness capacity, resting heart rate, and the number of fruits and vegetables you consume in a day. Put those in a balance sheet and the average comes out as your life expectancy. Probably the most important number you should care about. You see, health is a fickle thing, and something we probably take for granted when we’re feeling well. We all know the daily habits we should be doing, like drinking plenty of water, making good food choices, and exercising regularly. Yet we make excuses. However, if you don’t make time for your health now, then sooner or later you will have to make time for sickness.

The biggest return on your investment for health is increasing your fitness. Physical inactivity is the single worst risk factor for disease, even more so than diet (although that’s not a license to eat fast food). Our environment makes sitting the easy option, with standing being slightly better, but not a cure all.

You simply need to move every day doing something that increases your heart rate. Increasing your cardiovascular fitness will give you more energy, boost your mood, help maintain or achieve a healthy weight, and boost your concentration and creativity at work. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some easy ways to integrate fitness into your day:

  • Go for a power walk at lunch – 10 minute bouts of exercise are still beneficial and can help prevent that 3pm energy slump
  • Ditch public transport – ride or walk part or all of the way into work
  • Instead of a coffee meeting opt for a walk and talk meeting (best for one-on-ones)
  • Find a fitness buddy – you’re more likely to stick to your routine when you know someone is counting on you to be there
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator – challenge yourself by running up/down as you increase your fitness
  • Swap Netflix for Fitflix – there are plenty of online YouTube videos you can do in the comfort of your living room; no equipment necessary
  • Make fitness fun – Apps like Zova provide short and snappy workouts, while Zombies, Run! turns interval training into a game

Ask me anything – as an exercise physiologist fitness is my thing. I could talk about it all day!

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