By Miranda Massie on January 11, 2018
Bring those fitness-based New Year’s resolutions back to life with these great tips and tricks for staying on track and building strong and lasting habits.
Week 1 and 2:
We often look to the end results when determining the progress and achievements of our fitness goals. By focusing on goal setting and measurement at the start, we can set ourselves up for long-term success.
Sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated if we are not enjoying our activities. The best way to resuscitate your fitness plan is to make it fun! If you don’t enjoy running, don’t make this a resolution. Try UBC Recreation’s Free Week to discover what gets you excited and raring to work out.
Week 3: Go high tech
With the number of apps, YouTube videos and open-sourced fitness classes available, there are countless low and no-cost ways to stay active. Try one of Fitness Blender’s new workouts, like this “Pain in the Abs” core workout:
Or download a fresh new app like Aaptiv that offers personalized and narrated training programs that you can do indoor or outdoor, including walking, running, elliptical, biking, yoga and more. Please note that Aaptiv requires in-app purchases. For free workout options, try the Nike Training App or Sworkit.
Week 4: Stay motivated
The Greatist.com offers tips on the best ways to stick to your fitness resolutions. They are more fun and interesting than you think!
By Colin Hearne on January 7, 2015
This month features Christina Thiele, Communications and Community Relations Manager at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.
Welcome to Thriving Campus – a new addition to our Healthy UBC Newsletter featuring, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences from UBC staff, faculty and students.
What strategies do you use in your work life to help you thrive?
There’s nothing like some good old-fashioned peer pressure to help you stay healthy at work. My colleagues at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility are some of the healthiest people I know, and every day I learn more from them about how to embed healthy strategies into my workday. Here’s what I’ve picked up so far:
- It’s not always possible, but when you can, why not take a walking meeting?
- Take those stairs. Our beautiful building was designed to encourage movement and our stairs were designed to be our prime method of moving between the floors, with adjacent spaces to encourage informal meetings and discussions, plus amazing views of the city.
- Did you know sitting is the new smoking? I’m lucky enough to have a standing desk. I find that doing fine mouse work is better for sitting and an email/tackling to-do list is better while standing.
- If you can, get to work using active transport, such as walking or cycling. It’s definitely not as fun when the days are shorter and it seems like it’s always raining, but I prefer it to taking packed bus or paying for parking.
- Like many of the people at our Centre, I wear an activity tracker. My goal is at least 10,000 steps a day. If you are motivated by metrics, I recommend getting one.
A huge factor that helps me feel connected to the healthy habits of my colleagues is our Healthy Workplace Initiative (HWIP) called Hip to be Fit. It’s a points-based program infused with a bit of healthy competition where you earn points for using active transport to get to work, eating vegetables, and participating in healthy challenges. To me, it drives home the point that you don’t need to run marathons and wear high-tech spandex to be a healthy person. You can realize so many health benefits just by building a bit of activity into your day.
What strategies do you use in your personal life to help you thrive?
I find that I get bored easily with any particular activity so I try to mix it up, though I cycle year-round. In the winter I do hot yoga and get a season’s pass to a different mountain each year with friends. In the summer I try to find new and exciting places to hike and swim.
Christina holds primary responsibility for the communications portfolio at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. CHHM is a Centre filled with passionate researchers, clinicians, trainees, and staff who collectively care about research excellence, community, and health promotion.
She is also the vice chair of the Environmental Youth Alliance’s Board of Directors.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Thriving Campus | Tagged Hip to be Fit, mental health, physical health, stairs, standing, strategies, success, thriving campus, Walking | 1 Response
By Guest Contributor on January 7, 2015
Guest contribution by Dr. Joti Samra
The start of a new year seems to be a perfect time to make changes in one’s life. About half the population of North America makes New Year’s resolutions, with the most common resolutions relating to weight loss, exercising more, quitting smoking, and improving one’s financial situation. However, research indicates that by July, the overwhelming majority of individuals have failed in sticking to their resolution, or even remembering what they promised to resolve.
You are not alone in both making a resolution and feeling you have failed in the past. Most people fall into the trap of making unrealistic resolutions with goals that are overly ambitious.
The following steps can increase the likelihood that you make a resolution that actually sticks!
- Pick an attainable goal
The goal should be something that, based upon the life you are living, is something that you can achieve.
Ensure that your goal is measureable. To change your goal, you will have to know where you are headed, and how to determine if you are getting/have gotten there.
Ensure the goal is realistic and time-limited. You may want to lose 30 pounds, but a realistic goal may be to lose 15 pounds this year and 15 pounds the following year. Set a specific period of time in which you will accomplish your goal. As you accomplish your time-limited steps, you can reward yourself for successes.
Remember that small change is better than no change. Get support as you start to make the change.
- Identify Barriers
Anticipate setbacks. If you have tried to make this change in the past, what got in the way of the change being successful before? Problem-solve the barriers that you have encountered in the past.
Identify the pros of not changing the behaviour (this can often help you appreciate why the change has not yet happened). Identify the cons of changing (the reasons the change may be difficult to do).
Establish a specific contingency plan for each of the barriers you identify.
- Implement Change
Obtain a baseline of your behaviour. Track your usual activity for a week. This can often help you to identify patterns in your day and help identify times when it would be easier to implement the change.
Be aware of the powerful impact that conditioning plays in activity and behaviour. Actively working to change habits that you may have gotten into that are not conducive to achieving your goal.
Approach behavioural change gradually. Make small, specific changes.
Make a schedule with yourself to build the activity into your day-to-day life.
- Revisit & Revise
Do not get discouraged by setbacks. If you are not on track with the changes you identified, work to identify the barriers. Were your expectations too high? Was the specific goal you set too ambitious?
Revise your goal as necessary.
Expect & visualize success.
- Reward yourself: Set milestones that can help you track your progress. Ensure that you schedule in regular rewards for each milestone that you achieve.
Reminder: UBC Staff and Faculty have access to a number of health related prevention services through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. Staff and faculty who are enrolled in UBC’s extended benefits plan also have $1,200 coverage per year to see a Registered Psychologist.
This article is adapted in part from an article Dr. Samra wrote for The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/fail-ive-already-given-up-on-my-new-years-resolution/article1355420/).
Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych., is a clinical psychologist and organizational and media consultant. She is the host of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Million Dollar Neighbourhood” and was the psychological consultant to CITY-TV’s “The Bachelor Canada”. She has also served as a psychological consultant and expert to a number of other TV shows and news outlets. Dr. Samra maintains a clinical practice in Vancouver. Her website is www.drjotisamra.com and she can be followed @drjotisamra.
By Miranda Massie on October 29, 2014
Nov. 3-7, 2014, marks the 6th annual Thrive week held at UBC Vancouver.
Thrive is about celebrating our collective mental health and working together as a community to build skills, increase resiliency and help each another to cope effectively with challenges.
I believe Thrive is a celebration.
The intention behind this initiative is not to detract from the seriousness of mental illness. The prevalence of mental illness, paired often with a lack of adequate social support, is a serious issue facing not only those in our communities and our country, but individuals around the world. The prospect of improving mental health support systems and statistics is daunting, to say the least, and I feel quite powerless to effect any sustainable change.
What I do have to power and capacity to do, especially in my job at UBC, is to empower, encourage, educate and support others in understanding that mental health is a universal concept. We all have mental health and we do have some control over how we face the day and how it impacts our lives. This is the message I would like to share with you this month:
UBC Thrive is a celebration.
It is a celebration of our diverse campus communities.
It is a celebration of the collective mental health that unites us.
It is a celebration of our efforts to cope effectively with life’s challenges.
It is a celebration of our small victories on the road to success.
It is a celebration of our (very human) stumbles and setbacks along the way.
It is a celebration of those who work to ensure that we can teach, work and learn in an informed and supportive environment.
It is a celebration of those who struggle to find balance each day, but keep trying.
It is a celebration the resources that exist that we can reach out to for support.
It is a celebration of those who have reached out to get help for themselves or others.
It is a celebration of the thriving campus community that we are working to build and achieve.
Did you know…
Thrive, as a positive mental health movement, is spreading across the country. This year, 10 other Universities across Canada have adopted and adapted “Thrive” on their campuses, using UBC’s collaborative model to promote positive mental health!
This month, I invite you to celebrate with me. Attend a Thrive event, be inspired by stories of others, talk about mental health or reach out if you or someone you know is in need. Highlights include UBC’s Largest Zumba class on Friday, Nov. 7 at 12pm at the Student Recreation Centre (SRC). See full event listings here.
Let’s celebrate our mental health and let’s keep thriving!
All my best,
*Remember: No matter who you are or your role on campus, help is out there – for you and for those you might be concerned about. Learn more about the mental health resources that exist on campus for faculty, staff, managers, deans and HR professionals.
Posted in Editorial, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged celebration, editorial, mental health, Miranda Massie, reach out, resilience, success, Support, thrive, Thrive 2014, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on August 6, 2014
In my editorial last month, I invited our readers to reflect on their work environment, and to try one new thing to create a healthier workplace. The University is a large entity and attempting to establish healthier environments can be a daunting task. If each individual member of our staff and faculty community tried to make one change, we could harness this momentum and the impact could be felt on a wider scale.
So, what can we do as individuals to make our working communities healthier?
In posing this question, I am reminded of a 5X15 event that I attended as part of the Indian Summer Festival in June. Five dynamic and engaging speakers are invited to each talk for 15 minutes, unscripted, on a topic of their choice. I was fortunate to hear Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, visual artist and member of the Haida Nation, speak as one of the evenings presenters. Michael recounted an old Quechan legend that made its way to Haida Gwaii called The Little Hummingbird.
Michael spoke about belonging, specifically as individuals to a larger community and how in Haida communities, people rely on individual members to “do what they can” in order to contribute to the larger whole. No matter how small or insignificant an individual may perceive their gesture to be, acknowledging that it all contributes to the betterment of the future of the group is essential.
I really appreciate this idea that in doing what we can with what we have at our disposal, we have the ability to take an active and participating role in our health at work.
An easy way to embark on this journey is through recognition. ‘Thank you’s’ are free and gratitude does not cost a thing. Best of all, rewarding the work of others through recognition has been proven to benefit one’s health.
Peer recognition has the most impact, as colleagues tend to be the people that see day–to-day work and tasks being completed. This type of public recognition is more meaningful and lasting as it fulfills two of our innate human needs: the need to belong (social) and the need to be appreciated (esteem). People who feel appreciated and valued in the workplace are more productive, generally happier and more likely to extend their gratitude to their families, social networks and communities. Showing and receiving gratitude and appreciation has been shown to release the hormone oxytocin in the body which serves to bond relationships, reduce negative emotions and relieve pain.
This month, I invite you to be generous with your ‘thank you’s’, and to show your appreciation for colleagues when you feel it is deserved. If you are looking for other ways to recognize staff and faculty at UBC, or want to find out what the University does as an organization to reward employees, visit the Staff Recognition page.
With recognition in mind, I would like to thank all of our readers who take the time to provide feedback and send their appreciation. We do this work for you and hope that it helps you move towards a healthier UBC!
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Physical Health, Spot Light | Tagged appreciation, Celebrate, community involvement, culture, gratitude, Haida, health, hummingbird, indigenous, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, recognition, success, thank you, wellbeing, workplace | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on August 6, 2014
Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Whatever else we derive from our work, nothing rivals the feeling that we truly matter – that we are recognized for contributing a unique value to this beautiful university. Studies in North America also reflect this phenomenon. More than two-thirds of people surveyed by Boston-based Globoforce through their Workforce Mood Tracker said they were motivated by praise, while 78 percent said they would work harder if their contributions were recognized or appreciated.
Recognition and appreciation can come in many forms: a simple thank you, an award, an invite to lunch; and is equally important when coming from a colleague as when coming from a supervisor.
Every Day is Colleague Appreciation Day
Here are some examples for inspiration as highlighted by Dr Robert Nelson in his book, 1501 Ways to Reward Employees
- Royal Victoria Hospital in Ontario has a special voicemail line for employees to leave anonymous messages about their co-workers’ good performance, which are then written on cards and given to the complimented employee’s manager for individual recognition.
- Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has an online employee peer-to-peer recognition system for employees to enter co-worker recognition. The system then sends an email, notifying the giver’s and recipient’s managers, and enters points into employees’ electronic cards for redeeming merchandise.
- ComDoc in Ohio utilizes employee emails to HR that are then distributed company-wide to recognize and share news of accomplishments.
- Toronto Scotiabank has an award-winning comprehensive peer-to-peer recognition program that enables and encourages employees to recognize each other for living the company’s values.
- Wells Fargo’s electronic peer-to-peer recognition program utilizes e-cards, e-wards, and “Ride the Wave” annual awards to make it fun and easy for employees to recognize each other’s’ performance to organizational values.
What You Can Do Today
Every single person reading this article has a co-worker who does their job in such a way that you are able to do your job more effectively. You know who I’m talking about, the people who always have the answers and are there for you when you need them. So, why not take a minute today to try some of these creative ways to give cheers to your peers?
- Random acts of kindness: Make it a point to not leave on Friday afternoon until you have performed an act of kindness for a coworker. Help them with a project, grab them a cup of coffee, or buy them lunch.
- Leave them a note: Write a secret note of thanks to your co-worker specifically describing what they do to deserve your praise.
- Celebrate successes: When one of your coworkers reaches a goal or a milestone, do what you can to help them celebrate! Bake a cake, decorate their workspace: or sing a song of celebration.
- Become a UBC Health Contact: Be the person in your office or unit to share healthy information for UBC employees. Get the news about the latest corporate fitness discounts, free workshops and free trainings. and spread the healthy news to your peers. Click here for more information.
- Write them up: Tell Your Team: If a coworker goes above and beyond, put it in writing and praise them in a group email or note!
- Support them when they’re down: Consider how you can support co-workers under stress.
- Start a peer-to-peer recognition team: If your workplace doesn’t already have one, why not approach your manager with this idea? Develop a team to recognize your co-workers. Rotate the members on an annual basis so everyone has a chance to serve.
Make It Happen
One excellent way to build a system of support, recognise achievements, and build a culture of rewarding is to create a Healthy Work place Initiative Program for your department. The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is a fund available to UBC departments to support healthy activities in the workplace. The program provides start-up funds to starting health-related initiatives. The application deadline for next round of funding is Nov. 21, 2014. For more information, or to be inspired by previous programs, visit our website.