March 30th, 2014 11:54 EST
One of the Most Stressful Things 'Managing Work/Life Balance'
In today`s daily routine of life most people are busier than a one-legged man in an Butt kicking contest, no pun intended but this analogy is so true and it summarizes how busy we really are. Most of us depending on our job spend more time at work than we do at home and if you have a job you hate I don`t have to go into how bad that bites the bullet but there is possible hope.
Research has found that regular exercise will help most individual deal better with their task of managing work/life balance. If any of you have been in my shoes then you have worked with or managed the direct-reports or co-workers that you know do not work out or exercise. Not only are they more than likely on the heavy set side but just in how they deal with their daily job.
You have the everything is a crises co-worker that man if he or she gets that one E-Mail or task that disrupts their structured work routine they act like the world just came to an end and How dare they give me another task that I don`t think I should have on my plate! We all know in today`s corporate work environment that it is so ever-changing that every day is different from the next day and one day could seem like a Friday for you and then the next could be a string of Monday`s. It`s all how we handle and deal with the things our job throws at us and the challenges in dealing with them in a positive way and the example of this is what I just summarized in the everything is a crisis person scenario that working out has become a necessity for doing .
Working out on a regular basis is so darn healthy for you both physically and mentally most people who don`t do it just do not realize the benefits. I have always been an athlete and played sports. And being in the military and the daily, grueling workouts we did when I was serving were great. When I served in the Army, if anyone has gone through Army basic training then you know how grueling it is but how much someone like me loved it.
I have seen guys when they first enter basic training look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the second they step off those cattle trucks that take new recruits from the Military In-Doctorination Station to their basic training unit after just a couple of weeks going through basic training look like Bruce Lee. We had one guy my first day in Army basic training get off the cattle truck and ask the drill sergeants Where`s the Chow Hall? Now, first of all Dude, What in the world were you thinking?! And second you don`t ask battle hardened, tough, Army drill sergeants, Where`s the chow hall? especially when you are a new recruit and just stepped into basic training for a minute, that`s kinda bone headed but you especially don`t ask this question to Army drill sergeants when you are also 250 Lbs. I can say they had a field day with this one recruit and with our basic training unit. We did nothing but push-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups, run, run, run, grass drills, etc., for eleven hours straight in 105 degree temperatures. If anyone has taken Army basic at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri then you know how hot the mid-west gets in July!
This kind of working out of course is not for everyone, and the Army starts out slower and works up to the high levels of physical fitness new recruits reach after basic training but once you reach it you stay there as long as you work out on a routine basis. At my age and I won`t say what it is, I am still in shape from Army basic training but of course I work out on a daily basis and have over the years.
Working out not only helps you physically but mentally as-well. You can deal with stress at work better and are much happier to go to work (again unless you hate you job) but even then you are in a better mood to deal with your job and go to it.
Russell Clayton who is an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University commented on this, "Individuals who exercised regularly were more confident they could handle the interaction of their work and home life and were less likely to be stressed at work." (Clayton, R.)
This is so true when you have that job that you eat lunch at your desk because you are so busy there is no time to get up and go out to lunch and if you have that over demanding boss but to stay mentally sane and keep your body in shape you have to do something other than work and that is to exercise regularly.
Further research suggests that the stress of managing work/life balance can be categorized in two ways; the work that interferes with family time describes typical job based pressures (ex. Deadlines, no time in the day to complete you job, etc.) the interference with your family time. Then, you have it form the other end the family interference with your daily job when family or personal issues you have to deal with (family first) make their way into your job time.
We all deal with this it`s how we deal with this in how we react to each individual situation. We all have to work unless you are rich but even then if you are like me I have to be doing something all the time or I go completely stir crazy. That`s why I will never want to or be able to completely retire.
Additional research also found that exercise as I have mentioned here does reduce stress. You can have a stressful or busy job and be a couch potato to expect to also have the mental aspect going for you of work/life balance. You have to exercise to find that tranquility.
There are numerous types of workouts out there to do. One of the best workouts I do is lift weights and do Martial-Arts and boxing training. I recently signed up for a gym with my son who is also a huge sports fan and avid athlete to life weights together. I have always lifted weights but this just feels better now because I do it with my son and as an older person the benefits of weight lifting for older adults is extremely beneficial. Weight lifting and working out slows down the again process.
You have probably seen those older adults that walk hunched over? That`s more than likely because when we age our muscles lose strength (I believe I once read its ten percent every five years) and our bone density decreases. Those slumped over people probably do not work out. When you weight lift it increases bone density and of course strengthens muscles and puts on size depending on if you do heavy weights or light weights for tone. And when you weight lift and work out it releases good chemical in your bloodstream like those happy endorphins.
High impact workouts like Aerobics are outstanding for releasing stress. I don`t go to aerobics classes and bounce around like you see at most gyms but I get my high-impact aerobic workout from my Martial-arts and heavy bag training. My style of Martial-Arts is my own individual style. Since I have been doing the Martial-arts for over twenty-years now I have developed my own fighting system but my system consists of techniques from Western Boxing, Maui-Thai Kick Boxing (love those elbows and flying knee attacks) Kenpo Karate (those lightning fast hand techniques) and regular traditional Karate. Combining all these moves in my workout increases my heart rate and adds the high-impact aerobic workout we all need especially when you are older. And it helps with my mood and to deal with the work/life puzzle better.
Russell Clayton went on to comment, "The idea sounds counterintuitive. How is it that adding something else to our work day helps to alleviate stress and empower us to deal with work-family issues? We think exercise is a way to psychologically detach from work -- you`re not there physically and you`re not thinking about it either -- and, furthermore, it can help us feel good about ourselves." (Clayton, R.)
So, when you are hungry, stressed out, miss your furry cat at home named Hairless and your mood is starting to sink as your work day goes on, don`t start thinking about, What am I going to eat on my lunch break? How bout that Mc Donald`s Big Mac loaded with thousands of grams of cholesterol and more fat than a fat man taking a cannon ball to the stomach, no have will power my friends and think about eating that bowl of Jell-O with only two grams of fat and no cholesterol. And also think about, What time am I going to start my work out tonight? Not Let`s lay on my big and soft couch as I crunch away on the Lay`s Potato chips and ad size to my hips. Get off the couch and hit the gym or workout area at your home. You will do much better at work and deal with the task and challenge of creating harmony between work/life balance.
For more information on How to get motivated to workout read my next article titled, `The Power of Positive Memories to Influence the Motivation to Workout` also posted on the SOP`s website.
Dick Jones Communications. "Want a better work-life balance? Exercise, study finds." Science Daily. Science Daily, 9 January 2014. (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109101742.htm). Retrieved 2014.
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