Corporate Wellness: Productivity and Exercise 

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It’s something your hear about everyday in school, at work and in your family life. People always look for new and better ways to be more productive. The people who are the most successful all have one thing in common, and it might not be what you think. They are extremely motivated individuals and  maintain a healthy lifestyle with daily EXERCISE. People who exercise are more likely to enjoy their jobs and achieve a higher level of performance and productivity. Besides the health benefits of being physically active, it also benefits other aspects of life. 

  • Get a better night’s rest – when exercise is added to your daily life you can get better quality sleep. This is crucial in preparation of a highly productive day. 
  • Experience elevated energy – exercise is proven to enhance energy levels and improve focus. All successful people maintain a high level of focus/concentration and stay “in the moment”. You are also less likely to procrastinate and thereby become more productive. 
  • You’ll experience less mood swings – one of the best byproducts of exercise is being happy. When you exercise endorphins are released into the bloodstream. The interaction of endorphins with your brain triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. The improved sense of wellbeing makes you more calm and a pleasure to be around. That makes it a whole lot easier to make better decisions and be fully engaged. When you’re happy you’re more productive! 
  • Develop healthy behaviors – including exercise into your work day requires a little planning and time management. The behaviors that result are being more task oriented, improved work performance, ability to follow through and being better prepared. 

My view on working is based on time and energy expended. Everyone has a baseline amount of energy they can use each day. Some people have more than others, but with the addition of exercise this level can be altered. The amount of exercise you can handle is directly related to the amount of work you can do. By increasing your level of activity we are actually building the foundation for how much work you can do.

Most people want to exercise to get in shape. There’s no doubt that being fit is the greatest result of working out. However, a very interesting result of daily exercise is the effect on workplace productivity. Employees who exercise avoid procrastination and perform better than employees who are sedentary. Studies have shown that companies that require daily exercise from their staff experience a reduction in rates of illness and injury, which can save $500 per employee every year. Companies should know that implementing a wellness program normally lowers the rate of employee turnover, healthcare costs, disability insurance and sick leave. The increase in overall output from every employee makes this a win-win scenario. 

  

Workplace productivity isn’t purely energy based. It also relies heavily on your mental state of awareness. Sifting through paperwork and a constant barrage of meetings and phone calls can get overwhelming. So just like your body’s energy levels need attention, you need to maintain proper brain function. Exercise enhances the body’s ability to transfer glucose and oxygen to the body and brain. By creating stimuli such as physical activity and proper nutrition we can give the brain what it needs to function optimally. This can have a drastic effect on your performance and workplace capacity. 

Corporate wellness programs are essential to long-term success of any business. 

Here’s an example of what my corporate wellness program would look like: 

Crevfit Corporate Wellness Initiative: goal is to increase employee awareness and benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Fitness Activities:

Fitness and Mobility testing

Onsite exercise room or fitness center
Walking and/or running club (during lunch hour or breaks)
Onsite bike rake

Mind and Body classes (yoga, tai chi) initiatives

Team sports (basketball, volleyball softball)

Host an exercise equipment swap

Behavior Change or Lifestyle Change Programs:

Smoking cessation
Weight management initiatives

Substance abuse initiatives

Fitness activity

Stress management initiatives

Safety and Prevention Programs:

Back-injury training and prevention
Education about Ergonomics

Exercise Equipment awareness and tutorials

Awareness, Health Education, and Support Programs:

Lunch & Learn or brown-bag wellness seminars
Diet and Nutrition information, plus make available healthy food alternatives in your vending machines and cafeteria, and make available food storage and preparation facilities to encourage healthier eating

Prenatal care initiatives

Work-Life Balance initiatives

Financial education

Stress-Relief Programs:

Laughter bulletin board where employee can post jokes and cartoons (in good taste)
Visiting massage therapist

Stretch breaks

Group lunches or celebrations

  

Proper work desk posture: part of the back pain/injury prevention and Education about Ergonomics.

Being an Olympic athlete makes me an expert in the areas of health and wellness. Inviting me to your workplace could be a motivational catalyts or at the very least a great team building experience. Any inquiries can be directed to the CONTACT tab on my site Crevfit Online Coaching or my email ccreveling@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

-Chris Creveling

Olympic Silver Medalist, Founder of Crevfit

Cardio That Works in 2016

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“What’s the best form of cardio?” It’s a question asked by many and there are numerous answers. The right answer is different for everyone because it’s based on each person’s individual needs. This question grabbed my attention and I immediately went to work on it. It brought up other questions like, “What cardio works for weight lifters? They have specific goals they want to achieve without an aerobic overload. What cardio works best for the elderly?” 

Cardio can be summed up as any cardiovascular exercise such as running or biking over an extended period of time. It’s very important for our overall health and plays a key role in weight loss. Without this form of exercise the human body could not function. Not to mention you would be incredibly sedentary. But who has time to spend on the treadmill, riding a bike or swimming? Nowadays people really focus on short and effective workouts that produce the best results.

Cardio For Weight Loss
   
Being out of shape is never fun. It’s actually the opposite of fun, and that’s why we decide to lace up the shoes to go out and do something about it. For most people that means buying a pair of $200 Asics and going overboard with jogging everyday, and quiting a few weeks later because of injury or boredom. Instead of doing this I would recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Usually HIIT only takes twenty minutes of your time to get a full body workout. This is done with no equipment and only bodyweight exercises from the comfort of your home or while on the road. Not only are these exercises more enjoyable and people LIKE doing HIIT, but they are proven to get results fast.  

 

No matter what your ability level or health, there’s always a HIIT program for you. HIIT programs have proven to be successful for the very old, the obese, and very sick at whatever intensity is considered “all-out” for them. For example, instead of going out for 1 hour of continuous walking try interval walking/jogging. Interval walking should consist of alternating every 3 minutes with low-intensity walking and high-intensity walking (fast pace). The results will be significant reductions in fat mass, visceral fat, and fasting glucose. These are all precursors to weight loss and not achievable with continuous walking alone. 


Cardio Option for Weight Lifting:

As another option, I recommend a different form of interval training called HITC (High Intensity Continuous Training). This differs from HIIT training because it stimulates fast twitch muscle fibers and doesn’t cut into possible muscular growth. Before we get into the benefit of HICT lets talk about the benefits of weight lifting. The main goal for any weight lifting program is to gain size and strength. Although weight lifting does burn fat stores, it will never melt away fat entirely to reveal six pack abs or ripped arms. The reason for that is almost all weight lifting programs lack a key component to fat loss: cardio exercise. Until now, traditional cardio was the only method to achieve fat loss and a lean appearance. 

Since there’s a way to bypass traditional cardio, more people are starting HICT. After adding this to your routine you will get more out of your workouts than you ever thought possible. If you’re a weight lifter or if you’re looking for a “jacked physique” this is going to be a godsend. 

Traditional Cardio isn’t for Everyone

 

Cardio has always been sort of taboo because it allows for a catabolic state of muscle wasting. Once you go beyond your aerobic limits you actually start to lose muscle. That’s exactly the reason many weight lifters avoid cardio like the plague! Luckily for you, there is a middle ground that will allow you to get the best of both worlds…

HITC is designed to enhance your aerobic development in explosive movements over an extended period of time. Workouts will last anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minuted based in your physical preparedness. Depending on your specific aerobic needs the workout can be shorter or longer, with 5 minute breaks in between 20 minute bouts. During the workout your heart rate shouldn’t exceed 150bpm. Each exercise consists of an eccentric and a concentric movement lasting 2-3 seconds. Rest 3-5 seconds in between reps then continue. 

Take a look at this example of a weighted step up HICT workout—> 

Ideally you would use a weight vest weighing 20-40 lb. and hold 10-15 lb. DB’s in each hand. Using a weight vest will help balance the load without placing too much weight in your hands. I set up a box so that my thigh is around parallel to the floor or slightly higher, and set a metronome app on my phone (or stand in front of a clock) to ensure that I perform one rep every 2-3 seconds. You can use whatever method you’d like to ensure than you perform a repetition every 2-3 seconds. I typically switch legs every 15-30 seconds to avoid fatigue.

Chris Creveling performs weighted step up

High Intesnsity Continuous Training (HICT) is the best form of cardio to aid in muscle building. This includes exercises like weight-vest step ups, sled pulls with heavy weight and stationary bike with high resistance. These exercises are explosive and powerful, but at a much slower pace than normal. The key is to enhance the muscle fiber’s endurance so it can handle heavier loads for longer durations. This is all done without exhausting the muscles completely. For best results I recommend implementing this at the end of a hypertrophy workout.

As your online fitness coach I aim to create a fitness plan that matches your unique needs. Working out without a detailed plan and expecting to reach your goal is useless. There has to be a vision that aligns with what you want to achieve. To get a fitness+nutrition plan designed specifically for you, visit the Crevfit website and schedule a free consultation. 

Pre-season visits to LA and Co. Springs

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Last month I had the privilege to be part of the NBC Olympic promo shoot in Los Angeles, California. The whole trip lasted about 5 days which gave me plenty of time to check out Beverly Hills and Hollywood. My mom also lived in the area so we had the chance to spend time together in Santa Monica.

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While I was in LA there was also filming of short track skating. We managed to spend over four hours on the ice which turned out to be a lot of fun. We did some filming using the sled camera that followed us down the straight-away. That camera shoots over 1,000 frames per second to get every little detail of skating. The film crew focused on the the start and ice chips flying through the air! We also used helmet mounted Go-Pro cameras to capture passing and pack skating on short track. I’m really excited to see how these clips will come out when they air on NBC this fall.

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The studio was packed with other winter Olympic athletes. I had the chance to meet bobsledders, lugers and skiers who were also invited to the event. The “event” was very fast paced and energized. What was cool about it was meeting the producers and newscasters from NBC who will be putting the footage together. They were extremely helpful in getting me prepped for the interviews and made everything go smoothly. I had no problems with being filmed alongside JR, Eddy, Jeff and the other athletes.

After I returned from LA. it was time to get back to training. The racing season is still months away, but we are getting a head start on the Olympic year. The atmosphere is quite different since the competition will be really fierce to capture a spot on the world team, and ultimately the Olympic team.

The next stop in my summer training was the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. We departed SLC with great expectations for the training camp. The flight was a little rough, but we made it to the ground safely. Flying in a prop plane isn’t ever an enjoyable experience. Every small wind sheer would shake the plane, which made for an interesting flight with lots of turbulence. We also saw this sign when we headed down to baggage claim.

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It was great to be around other athletes in the training center. Don’t get me wrong, spending time with Travis Jayner, Johnathan Garcia, and the other speed skating athletes is very entertaining. We had a great time training together and getting ready for the tough year ahead. Not to mention the ping pong, and foosball games we had in the athlete lounge.. The athletes who live in the OTC all share that same energy for their sport and the dedication it takes to win. The staff and trainers are a big part of the push to get us ready for competing. I am very grateful to have them on my team as I prepare for the 2014 season.

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There was an event going on at the OTC called The Warrior Games. More than 200 wounded service members competed in seven sports (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball). Athletes were from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Sec Ops as well as the British armed forces. We were honored to be greeted by Prince Harry as he was the keynote speaker for the event. The event did mean a lot to me since I have family members in the marines. Being in the presence of the soldiers was really inspiring.

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Spending time with the long track team and staff—> tons of fun. The coaches are fun when we re on the ice. But spending time with the off the ice, we had a lot of laughs and good times together. We had team activities planned like dry land sessions, weight training, hiking and running the incline. It brought back memories from my inline racing days when I stayed at the OTC for residency. But this time, being with the short track team was excellent. We also had fencing bouts, basketball and dodgeball games to boost team building.

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