There’s no denying that exercise is beneficial. People who work out perform better, are happier and live longer. As an employer you may think this to be the responsibility of the employee. Think of it less as a personal choice and more as a way to boost the productivity levels of your staff. Seeking the best interest of your staff is rewarding to your business as well.
Research is in favor of providing a fitness center to your employees, or even just in creating an at home fitness studio. The employee may be encouraged as the gym is readily available and conveniently located. The environment will be familiar and comfortable. It may aid in employee retention as employees may notice your interest in their well- being. A happier work force will lead to a more conducive environment which will improve team work. If a simple thing like a fifteen to thirty minute run on a treadmill during an employee’s lunch break can increase production rates for the usually slower part of the day, this will be worth the investment.
The benefits of exercise
- Prevention of cognitive decline and sharpened memory. As we grow older our brain shrinks from loss of brain cells due to aging or degenerative diseases. Working out boosts production of the chemical responsible for the support and protection of the Hippocampus – your memory and learning control center.
- Boosting brain power. Exercise encourages the generation of new brain cells, and improves overall brain function. Exercise is also known to increase levels of a brain protein, (BDNF), which is linked to decision making, higher thinking and learning.
- Getting more done. There is no shortage of research which proves that exercise at work improves performance and productivity. Research also shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are much more productive and filled with energy than those who do not. Working out is shown to result in a boost in creativity for up to two hours afterwards.
- Emotional boost. Countless studies have proven that exercising triggers the release of chemicals in the brain associated with pain and stress relief as well as those responsible for making you happy. The chemicals in focus here are, serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins and dopamine, which alleviate depression and anxiety.
- More energy. By improving your muscle strength and boosting your endurance, you will deliver oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to your tissue which helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. This leads to heart and lung improvement which results in an energy boost.
- Increases lifespan. Moderate intensity activity tends to reduce cell aging.
- Better skin. Your skin will be flushed with nutrient dense, oxygenated blood which leads to faster wound recovery and healthy, radiant skin.
- Helps you recover from illness and disease. Exercise boosts your HDL, (good cholesterol) and decreases triglycerides. This contributes to keeping your blood flowing smoothly and helps to prevent and manage a wide range of health concerns such as cancer and diabetes.
- Improved self confidence. With the positive physical changes as a result of exercising, you feel happier, healthier and confident.
After designating your preferred gym area, establish a budget and what type of fitness regime you can achieve. Take an all-round approach, you are not required to create a huge, state-of-the-art project, keep it simple and functional.
Yoga and pilates
The importance of stretching before and after working out is crucial to avoiding injury. Yoga has been known to have a calming and stress relieving effect.
- Exercise mats. Stock up on two or three yoga and exercise mats. These can be rolled and tucked away neatly after use without commanding a large amount of space.
- Foam rollers. These are for self-administered deep tissue massages to remove muscle knots. Foam rollers use acupressure; utilizing the body’s natural response to pressure to relax muscles, this also helps with speedy muscle recovery.
- Pilates resistance power cord. Adds resistance to your Pilates workout, which in turn builds strength.
- Yoga/pilates weight balls. Utilized in Yoga and Pilates for strength building.
- Stamina pilates magic circle. Utilized in Pilates for improving muscle tone.
Cardio gets your heart pumping. To afford your employees a cardio workout, have the following in as many units as is practical for the number of employees, your budget and space.
- Treadmills. Simple, easy and efficient, your employees can walk, jog and run to their content. There is a wide assortment to choose from with features ranging from electric treadmills, manual walking treadmills, folding incline treadmills and beyond.
- Peddlers or stationary bicycles. For toning leg muscles.
- Ankle weights. Often used in combination with cardio for leg toning.
Weight training increases strength, muscle mass and burns fat! Research has shown that weight lifting in combination with a proper diet burns more fat than cardio only and dieting.
- Resistance bands. Utilized for strength training by adding further resistance to body weight or weighted exercises.
- Dumbbells and kettle bells. These are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Consider dumbbells and kettle bells in various weight classes.
- Weights. A hardcore approach is not necessary but a few key pieces are needed. Your fitness center will need iron disc weight plates, stacked on their very own rack. Your weight plates need to be in pairs. The amount in each pair you purchase is up to your discretion.
- Weight bars. You’ll also need at least one of each type of weight bar, the weight of the bar must be in accordance with your provided weight selection, meaning the bar must be sturdy enough to stand up to the weight you have available or to be lifted. The three types of bars you need to make available are, body bars, bearing bars and Olympic bars.
Cleaning and sanitizing
Just picturing sweat stained equipment will make you cringe in agony. Thinking about the bacteria will do you much worse. This is why you need to strictly enforce the proper care and cleaning of all equipment after use.
- Hand sanitizing. Have dispensers at the entrance and exit of the facility.
- Disinfecting spray with rags. Each exercise station should be armed with at least one bottle of disinfectant spray and disinfectant wipe or rag. Once any equipment is used or has come into contact with human handling and sweat, it should be disinfected.
- Hand soap. Utilize a hands-free approach by mounting hand soap dispensers near sinks and wash stations.
- Tile cleaner and disinfecting spray. Ensure that there are disinfectant sprays for users to utilize before and after taking showers.
- Air purifiers and fresheners. An enclosed room with profusely sweating individuals will become humid, and the air quality will become poor. Install as many air purifiers as needed, accompanied by air sanitizing sprays and dispensers to rid the facility of all odors.
Providing a fitness zone for yourself or your employees may leave a small dent in your pocket, but the rewards are worth it. The turnover for your investment will be visible in the form of a happy, healthy team and will be reflected across worker performance.