By Miranda Massie on April 2, 2019
Have you registered for Staff & Faculty Sports Day on May 3, 2019 (2:30 – 4:00 p.m.)? Don’t delay because this popular event fills up quickly each year!
Sports Day is one of the largest events organized for staff and faculty, taking place across UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan. Teams from departments across both campuses participate in a variety of fun, recreational challenges that can only be accomplished through teamwork, collaboration and team spirit.
Open to UBC faculty, staff and grad students, this free event is an exciting team-building afternoon that encourages inclusivity, accessibility, mental and physical wellbeing, and fun! Participate in what your time allows.
- Register now for Staff & Faculty Sports Day in Vancouver
- Register here for Sports Day at UBC Okanagan
Après Sports Day Celebration (UBC Vancouver)
Don’t forget to join us from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. for an Apres Sports Day social and beer garden, open to participants and non-participants. See you there!
Volunteer for Staff & Faculty Sports Day (UBC Vancouver)
Want to support Sports Day instead of participating? Volunteer for the event instead! Visit UBC Recreation’s Get Involved & Volunteer page for more information.
Photo credit: UBC Recreation
By Miranda Massie on January 8, 2019
Set yourself up for success this year by rethinking the way you approach your fitness goals. Discover great tips and tricks for staying on track, feeling confident and building lasting habits.
Week 1: Assess your goals
We often look to the end results when determining the progress and achievements of our fitness goals. Instead, try asking yourself why you want to achieve your goals. How will the end result impact your life or benefit your overall wellbeing? This article from Greatist.com describes how to assess and re-set your goals. Level up for success!
Week 2: Mix it up
It can be difficult to stay motivated if we’re not enjoying the activities we take part in. The best way to resuscitate a fitness plan is to make it fun! If you don’t enjoy running, then don’t make this a resolution. Try UBC Recreation’s Free Week to discover what gets you excited to work out.
Week 3: Go social
Consider gathering a group of colleagues to join the annual UBC Walkabout. This nine-week step challenge is a great way to stay active, motivated and accountable. Attend the Jan.16 Kick-off Event or register now.
Week 4: Try low or no cost
It can be easy to pass on a fitness activity, especially if it comes with a price tag. But with the number of free apps, YouTube videos and open-sourced fitness classes available, there are countless low and no cost ways to stay active. Try exploring this list of 18 YouTube Channels to Get in Shape (Goodful by Buzzfeed). Or, read up on the best free fitness apps out there:
- 7 workout and fitness apps for tracking and planning (TheSportsEdit)
- 8 fitness apps that can help you get in shape — and what they’re best for (Business Insider)
By Miranda Massie on December 5, 2018
During cold and dark winter months, it can be enticing to hibernate and stay indoors, leading to less activity. But there are still lots of ways to keep moving and to maintain a fitness routine. This month, we offer some winter-proof workouts for you to try.
Week 1: Maximize your energy by being prepared
Before heading outdoors, make sure to brush up on these Cold Weather Clues (from our Fitting in Fitness archive) to ensure that you stay warm, dry and hydrated. This will help conserve energy for your chosen form of activity.
Week 2: Work out on your break
No gym? No problem! Make the most of your break with this quick and easy routine from FitnessBlender.com that can be done at a desk, an office, or anywhere with a spare chair.
Week 3: Embrace the cold (and the activities that come with it)
Metro Vancouver offers a wealth of unique winter activities and adventures that can only be done at this time of year. Don’t miss out on the fitness opportunities that snowy conditions can bring.
Week 4: Think outside the box
Feeling busy and overwhelmed? Consider the Greatist.com’s list of stress-free ways to incorporate activity into your day, like delivering gifts on foot, decorating and even singing!
For more fitness tips and inspiration, visit our Fitting in Fitness page.
Photo credit: ICORD
By Miranda Massie on October 3, 2018
Social connection is not just great for enhancing our overall wellbeing: it can also help boost our physical activity. Grab a friend or family member and find new ways to move this fall.
Week 1: Partner-up
Need a bit of extra motivation? Find a workout buddy and try these great exercises designed for two. FitnessBlender’s Total Body Partner Workout offers information on calories burned and a printable workout sheet.
Week 2: Make it a family affair
Check out these suggestions from Tourism Vancouver to get your family active and moving (includes both indoor and outdoor activities).
Week 3: Maximize your tech
Looking for some friendly competition? Many fitness apps and trackers have options that let you follow your progress or compete against friends or members of your online community using the same fitness technology. Read more about tapping into the power of friends (CNN.com).
Week 4: Stretching for two
Stretch, tone and boost your relaxation with this set of partner yoga stretches (FitnessBlender).
Photo credit: UBC Brand & Marketing
By Miranda Massie on September 11, 2018
September is busy enough without worrying about finances too. Read on to discover low-cost or no-cost fitness options and inclusive activities on campus.
Week 1: Make the most of Free Week!
From Sep. 10-16, UBC Recreation invites you explore as many classes as you like at various Vancouver campus locations. See the full class schedule on the UBC Rec’s Free Week webpage, including details about open houses happening at the ARC, Aquatic Centre and Tennis Centre, and special events like Recess on Main Mall or the Free Skate.
If you’re in the Okanagan, check out the Campus Rec Free Week (Sep. 10-15).
Week 2: Take advantage of UBC corporate discounts
UBC staff and faculty have access to a wide range of on- and off-campus corporate health, fitness and family discounts. Fit in your fitness without breaking the bank.
Week 3: New staff and faculty recreation rates
Want to move more while on campus? Check out UBC Recreation’s new fitness membership bundles which include fitness centre access and spin and fitness classes, as well as yoga and Pilates.
Week 4: Stay in shape while on the move
Walking is a wonderful no-cost option for keeping active. Try incorporating it into your commute: park on the top level of the parkade, get off the bus 1-2 stops early, or host a walking meeting. People who use active transportation (e.g. bus, bike, on foot) to commute to work and school tend to be more active, and have more positive lifestyle attributes [source].
Looking for accessible fitness options? Discover these inclusive recreation options offered at UBC Point Grey.
By Miranda Massie on April 3, 2018
Spring has sprung, and with it comes a renewed desire to spend more time outside. Take advantage of the fresh air and budding trees by using them as motivation to move more during your breaks on campus. These handy, printable walking maps offer a variety of 30-minute walks around campus. They even include information about distances, steps, terrain and level of difficulty. Bonus: They’re free!
Week 1: Main Mall Trail (Central)
Week 2: Thunderbird Trail (South)
Week 3: Tower Beach Trail (North)
Week 4: Wreck Beach Trail (East)
Bonus: Sword Fern Trail (West)
Photo Credit: UBC Communications and Marketing
By Miranda Massie on February 5, 2018
February seems like the perfect time to focus on fitness that is good for the heart. Protect your heart by exploring ways to keep yourself motivated and moving.
Week 1: Take Part in Move UBC Month
Move UBC encourages us incorporate more movement into our daily lives. By sitting less and moving more – and getting your colleagues to move along with you – we can improve our mental, physical and social health and reduce the risk of many preventable diseases. Get inspired to move by checking out the Move UBC events calendar.
Week 2: Jump Around
Bring back the nostalgia of childhood and get your heart pumping with just 15 minutes of this fun and easy cardio alternative. Or, follow along with this 6 minute video.
Week 3: Book a Heart Health Assessment
UBC’s annual Travelling Health Fair may be booked up, but faculty and staff can still get a heart health check-up in these two ways:
- February 26 – March 9, contact the UBC Pharmacists Clinic at 604-827-2584 to request a free heart health assessment, the same screening offered through the Travelling Health Fair this year.
- Visit our online Virtual Health Fair, where you’ll find over 20 different screenings, tools and resources to help you assess your current status and make improvements towards a healthier self.
Week 4: Get Your Cardio on Demand
Looking for inspiration to get moving? Look no further than the following list of YouTube channels that offer fitness videos on demand.
Photo credit: UBC Communications and Marketing
By Miranda Massie on September 13, 2016
September is a hectic time of year, which can make it challenging to stay active. Competing demands on our time, financial obligations and fatigue are among some of the reasons that contribute to a decline in our fitness habits.
Here are some ideas for fitting a little fitness into your day, without breaking the bank, as you kick off the new school year:
Week 1: Take advantage of Free Week!
Try out as many classes as you want on campus from both UBC Recreation (Sept. 12-18) and Bodyworks Fitness centre (Sept. 6-17) totally free. Provides a great opportunity to try new classes while exploring different campus fitness locations.
Week 2: Try active commuting
People who commute to work and school by bus, bike, or foot tend to be more active in their day, and have more positive lifestyle attributes [Source]. Look for opportunities to build more walking into your day. Park on the top level of the parkade, get off the bus 1-2 stops early, or cycle to your meeting across campus. Or try taking the stairs to your classroom or office.
Week 3: Access corporate discounts
UBC has a wide variety of corporate health and fitness discount partners to help you fit in your fitness without taking too much out of your wallet. Be sure to check back as the list is updated and expanded regularly.
Week 4: Book time with a workout buddy
Scheduling your active time with a buddy is a great way to stay accountable to yourself and your health and fitness goals. Join a running group, sign up for a class with a friend, or share your goals with someone who will provide encouragement and support.
Check out these workouts for two:
By Miranda Massie on June 3, 2014
In March of this year, UBC’s Department of Human Resources changed homes. We moved from the centrally located General Services Administration Building (GSAB) to the south end of campus, to join the TEF3 building family.
The move has made me realize how spoiled we were in terms of location in GSAB. There is something to be said for being steps away from transportation, ample food choices and for the ease of knowing it would never take more than 10 minutes to walk to a meeting. The thought of having to walk farther to get to the office each day, in addition to the prospect of adding additional time to get to and from meetings, caused me anxiety and frustration.
Three months later, I realize that the move has provided us with a great opportunity. We have been given the chance to be outside more often during the day, to explore a different corner of campus and to walk. I plan on taking full advantage of walking on campus this summer and in doing so, hope to promote not only my physical health but my mental health.
Too busy to get out of the office? Try a walking meeting.
Walking meetings are becoming more popular as they allow work and productivity to continue while promoting healthy behaviours.
Take advantage of the nicest months that Vancouver has to offer on campus and become healthier and more productive in the process. Studies show that walking increases creativity and cognitive function. The multitasking that occurs when a person walks and talks does not hinder performance and can actually boost focus and attention. Want to make your walking meeting even better? Take it outside.
According to studies, “forest bathing”, a short leisurely visit outside, particularly in a forest or highly green area, can lead to decreased stress levels and a healthier immune system. Forest environments promoted lower cortisol levels (a hormone released in response to stress), lower blood pressure, and a heightened parasympathetic nervous system (promotes digestion and slows heart rate).
Here are some tips for hosting a walking meeting. I hope to see more of our UBC colleagues out this summer, walking and talking their way to increased productivity and better health.
How to Host a Walking Meeting:
Keep meetings small and manageable
Host one-on-one meetings, small group brainstorms, or break a larger group up into small working groups
Set out the meeting objectives ahead of time
Provide notice to participants to dress appropriately
Proper footwear is a must for walking meetings.
Bring small note pads or a recording device
You might want to jot down or record ideas that come up.
Map out a basic route ahead of time
This will provide direction to the group and keep you on task
Keep it concise
Be mindful that people have others tasks to accomplish in their day.
Add a walk to a conference
Think about adding a walk as part of a conference or meeting break.
Campus and Community’s UTown has provided us with some suggestions for walking tours around campus. They have provided the approximate times and notable stops along the way!
Pacific Spirit Park is always another good option. Find the trail map here.
Until next time,
Kline, J., Poggensee, K., Ferris, D. (2014) Your brain on speed: cognitive performance of a spatial working memory task is not affected by walking speed. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Vol. 8.
Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning,Memory, and Cognition.
Park, BJ., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T., Miyazaki, Y. (2010) The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): Evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. Vol 15, Issue 1.