04 Apr Workplace Wellness
Here at Wimmer we love to get our wellness in; it’s a habit instilled in the Wimmer mentality. Wimmer HQ features a free, onsite gym with both weight and cardio equipment. Wimmer’s location on the Burke-Gilman trail offers a great outdoor alternative for those that run. Once employees have worked up a sweat, they can take advantage of our private shower facility, complete with towel service. If you head into our kitchen you’ll notice healthy snacks, fruit, blenders for making fresh smoothies. In addition, if a Wimmer employee wears a Wimmer shirt while participating in a fun run, 5k, or other sporting event, Wimmer pays their registration fee or matches it as a donation to the eligible charitable organization benefiting from the event.
We asked CEO/Founder Matt Sauri to explain why wellness, and wellness in the workplace, is important and why he has fully incorporated wellness into the Wimmer Culture. Read on for his thoughts!
Why Wellness is Key, by Matt Sauri:
It’s for my noggin more than anything else – that’s what I’m always telling people, anyway. I genuinely believe it to be true. The fact is that daily exercise does much more than benefit one’s physical well-being. In fact, that’s why I call it wellness. It’s an agreement I keep with myself, and I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t feel normal if I haven’t done it. It’s a Daily Promise, and I keep it. Every. Single. Day.
In today’s corporate environment, everyone is faced with the reality of stress; all of us have felt our blood pressure rise during challenging situations and felt the ol’ ticker thumping during those moments of despair (or elation). So, why not try getting that heart rate up in a positive way to offset (or even train for) those times? Good for the body, but also the mind.
For me, it’s every day. It’s gotta be every day. This isn’t because I’m ultra-disciplined, quite the contrary; I’m of the belief that the daily occurrence of my wellness is actually easier to maintain than trying to schedule and execute full-blown workouts 3-4 times per week. Why? Many reasons, and here are just a few practical/logistical ones:
- The actual time spent each day is shorter. Instead of budgeting 90-120 minutes to be absent/occupied, you’ll only need 45-60. And, getting the blood flowing for 35 minutes every day will always be better than doing so for 60 minutes 3 or 4 times per week.
- Your teammates/co-workers will begin to understand and support the disciplined habit they’ve seen you adopt. Your departure won’t seem sporadic or selfish; they’ll come to expect your measure of self-discipline, even if it’s in the middle of the day. They might even join you, or copy your practice, which means great things for the organization as a whole. At Wimmer, we encourage our people to take care of themselves through wellness, and at whatever time of day suits them. We have a gym and shower at the office to make this possible.
- Keeping the ‘daily promise’ becomes routine. You’ll soon feel weird if you don’t do it. Trust me, this is a good thing, or at least it has been for me.
Obviously, it may seem tedious to ‘prove it every day’. And, it can be. UNLESS…you switch it up. For me, the key to doing something every day is variety. For me, it didn’t happen overnight, but I eventually began to understand the ways I could consistently challenge myself, physically, every day. Whether it’s riding a bike (stationary or actually riding a bike), running, weight training, swimming, yoga, basketball or circuit training, there’s always a way to keep it fresh. I’ve even got a routine that involves deep stretching and meditation (this may be the hardest one for me – I suck at meditation).
To be clear, it’s not like every single day is about going as hard or deep as I can; daily rigor wouldn’t allow for my 46-year-old body to do that. Some days are about checking a box vs getting after it. And, with that said, please know that most days I absolutely DO get after it. Some days I don’t feel like doing it at all. Those days are actually the most rewarding, though, especially if the act of doing so sharpens my senses, which it almost always does.
You may be thinking: ‘I don’t have time; how can I possibly fit daily wellness into my already cramped schedule?’. I’ve thought that before as well, and I realized: ‘I make time to sleep, eat and use the washroom; why can’t I also make time for the daily promise that delivers the obvious benefits of health, and so much more?’
As for the ‘so much more’, let’s go back to the mental health the Daily Promise promotes; many benefits exist in plain view (for me, anyway, they’re clear as daylight):
- Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” What this means to me is that the time spent ‘sharpening my axe’ (doing my wellness) will make me more effective while I’m ‘cutting down the tree’ (work/family/personal matters, all of which require my active listening, intentional responses, actions and accountability). I’m simply better if I’m standing up to my Daily Promise. Less grumpy, more engaged, just…better (ask my Executive Team).
- I’ve referred to them as ‘uninvited thoughts’; during the actual wellness session, it’s a frequent occurrence that I’ll have a realization; an answer; a solution; the recognition of a challenge I hadn’t considered. You see, for me, my subconscious brain flow works overtime when I’m in the throes of physical rigor. It’s a pretty frequent occurrence for me to have these ‘uninvited thoughts’ when my heart rate is revved up for a health-related reason. In fact, it’s rare that I don’t at least get clarity around something I already felt was right, much less get a game-changing epiphany that changes the course of whatever current plan is being launched. In fact, I usually bring a notebook with me to capture these blessings (never a phone, though. It’s MY time).
The biggest and best reason for getting wellness every day is simple: It’s the satisfaction of being successfully accountable to someone that’s important to treat with respect and compassion. The person for whom my own accountability, is most important to ensure. That person is…me.