In this edition of our No Excuses Series, we hear from Katie Redhead who recently came on board as Event Leader for Tour de Office. During our chat with Katie, she shared how she keeps herself motivated to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. 

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

Following 8 years in the events industry, November will be my second month in the role of Event Leader… and I’m loving it! This role involves managing the Tour de Office event for Healthy Workplaces, as well as planning client and industry events for Scout Talent. To make these events happen, I am supported by and work with many amazing people. Collaborating with lots of stakeholders is a part of my role that is really enjoyable.

What does your average day of being active look like? 

My partner and I spend our mornings together in the kitchen preparing yummy and healthy meals for the day. Breakfast is usually eggs and avocado on toast, with a delicious hot cup of coffee from the Breville machine (my most prized possession). From there, I’m off to work where it usually gets pretty busy but I do make a conscious effort to take a lunch break to stretch my legs and get some Vitamin D. 

I am very grateful to work for a group who supports the health and wellbeing of its employees. We use standing-desks in the office so I try to spend part of my day standing up – although I would like to achieve longer periods of standing in the future. In addition, there is an in-office yoga group that I participate in once a week for an hour.

After work, 5 days a week, I will go to the gym to either do some Olympic Weightlifting or a CrossFit class. Training normally takes 2 – 2.5 hours, so after that, it is pretty much home, cook, clean, and go to sleep. All that weightlifting makes me tired!). 

How do you stay motivated and continue to do this (nearly) every day?

I have stuck to this routine for about 5 years now so it is pretty much habit. But that’s not to say that some afternoon’s I don’t feel like going straight home to relax or catch up on housework or emails. I try to keep in mind how I feel after eating well and exercising. No matter how tired or stressed I am, I know that I will always feel better after a workout. 

Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit are both sports too, which I think is key to staying motivated. Being a sport, you have teammates and a coach who checks in on you if you miss a few sessions in a row. You also have competitions to work towards and goals to meet that helps get you to training. My partner also trains at the same gym so it is something we enjoy doing together.

What do you find the most challenging about keeping an active and healthy lifestyle?

It’s very time-consuming! I sometimes think of all the things I could achieve if I gave up sport… but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

When did this routine begin? And why?

My routine of working out regularly started about 5 years ago. That is when I first started training in Olympic Weightlifting, and I become really addicted, really quickly. It was the first sport I participated in after high school, and it was the challenge of getting better at particular skills and movements that kept me going back. I found that to be very motivating.

Do you ever change it up?

Not really. If I am sick or injured, I will always listen to my body and give it a rest. Otherwise, I’m pretty content with the routine I have going at the moment.

What is your tip for others? 

If possible, join a sport or make working out as social as possible. Having other people involved can help you to feel accountable, and you can motivate one another too.

What is your favourite exercise?

If I have to do cardio, I’ll go for rowing or cycling. I try to avoid running as it tends to result in sore knees. In terms of weights, I’m not fussy but I will make sure there is a lot of variety so that I don’t get bored. Anything that requires a bit of skill or technique is my favourite, as you become so focussed on that, you forget you’re working out!

Read Part 1 of our No Excuses to see how Helen, a mum of nearly three balances work and keeping active. Or Part 2 if you want to know how Alex stays fit and keeps his nutrition in check.

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In addition to raising a daughter together, Andrea and Mark work and exercise together. Andrea is the CEO of Scout Talent Group and Mark works part-time in Client Success at Scout Talent while also working as a stay-at-home dad. 

What does your average day of being active look like?

Andrea: My day is scheduled to the minute and I like to keep myself on track. I time-block my exercise and treat it like a meeting. I strongly believe you have to prioritise yourself and take care of yourself. I aim to exercise for an hour a day, 5 days a week. I usually run as I’m training for a half marathon but I also do yoga, strength training, and of course my two-year-old keeps me on my toes.

Mark: When I can, I like to exercise with Andrea, usually joining her for a run. This tends to be on our lunch break as it can be hard to fit in exercise on the days when I’m at home with our daughter. I like Crossfit and running. I’ll also run around with our daughter at the park a lot and usually after I’ve put her to bed I try to squeeze in 15 to 30 minutes of yoga. 

How do you stay motivated and continue to do this (nearly) every day?

Andrea: When I exercise regularly, I notice an improvement in my mental health. If I don’t exercise I feel more tired and glum but when I do exercise I definitely have a more positive attitude and outlook. Since becoming a mother, our daughter has become a key source of inspiration for me. I want to set a positive example. My Mum also inspires me – she has recently lost weight and it’s inspirational to see her hard work, focus and commitment pay off. I’m motivated to make sure I can keep up with her!

Mark: I’ve experienced what it’s like to be inactive before and I definitely feel a positive difference when I am active. It really affects both my physical and mental health. Also, just like Andrea, I want to set a positive example for our daughter.

What do you find the most challenging about keeping an active and healthy lifestyle?

Andrea: Fitting it in can be the hardest. When I’m not at work I want to be with my family, so that’s why I exercise through my lunch break.

Mark: Fitting exercise in as a parent of a toddler, and a part-time worker is definitely the biggest challenge.

When did this routine begin? And why?

Andrea: I didn’t exercise or participate in sport much as a kid, but in my late teens, I started to enjoy going to the gym. Ever since then I’ve been a regular exerciser., I did take a hiatus after giving birth, but 4 months after my daughter was born I was back on track.

Mark: I was similar to Andrea – not very active as a kid, but became very interested in health and fitness when I was a teenager. I did a lot of martial arts in my late teens. I’m a qualified personal trainer and Cross-Fit coach and this line of work has helped keep me on track over the years.

Do you ever change it up?

Andrea: I’ve started boxing which is new and I try and engage in that weekly.

Mark: I’ve started taking our daughter to the trampoline park which puts me through my paces! Though I’ve re-learnt how to do backflips which is an accomplishment!

What is your tip for others? 

Andrea: If you have a busy job and/or you’re a parent, just remember it’s okay to prioritise yourself. “You can’t pour from an empty cup” – as in, you can’t give to your family and your work if you’re not giving to yourself … so don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself.

Mark: I agree, prioritising some time to focus on your own health and fitness definitely helps you be a better parent and worker.

What is your favourite exercise?

Andrea: I love running. I can easily track my improvements and I can do it anywhere, anytime weekdays, weekends, holidays, and when I’m travelling for work.
Mark: CrossFit. It tests you in lots of different ways and is a very efficient workout. 

Problem: Keeping Healthy on the Holidays

Another holiday approaches, and though thankful for the break, it’s hard to keep a routine at what has turned into such a busy time of year. Luckily Easter doesn’t drag itself out as long as Christmas but it’s too easy to consume your body weight in food, particularly gloriously, sugary chocolates that seem to just be lying everywhere around the house.

So how do you keep up some sort of healthy routine when you feel like those chocolate bunnies in the fridge are staring you down saying ‘eat me, eat me’?

If you’re staying home for the break but don’t have much time in between family visiting and bathing your child for the millionth time because they have melted chocolate in their hair then try exer-cleaning. Yes, exer-cleaning, the cleaning version of jazz-ercise. You’re bound to be tidying up the house over this time so amp it up a bit and make it a workout. Try vacuuming your house that little bit faster or adding in a few squats while picking items up from the floor.

If your holiday involves some travelling, possibly some road tripping, make sure to take regular stops to stretch your legs. Walk around for five minutes or do some jumping jacks to get your blood pumping. Once you’ve reached your destination, try and walk everywhere you need to go if possible. Not only good for your health but you’ll notice things that would have been missed while driving.

Even with some little extra bursts of exercise, it can be hard to balance out your eating habits. So try out an Easter Egg Hunt: Squat Edition. Every time you go to pick up an egg, perform a proper squat or 5 if you feel so inclined.

Don’t let these holidays get the best of you, you don’t want to have to buy new work pants just after a few days off.

Status: Solved

 

Welcome to the No Excuses Series where different active lifestyles are explored to show there really is no excuse. In this interview, we speak with Helen, Event Leader for Tour de Office, mother of three and runner. 

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m the Event Leader for the Tour de Office Event, I work with a fantastic team to deliver the in-office cycling relay experience for companies around Australia. I work four days a week which gives me time to spend with my two young children.

What does a basic rundown of your day look like? 

I usually get jumped on by an energetic toddler or hear the unmistakable call of a waking baby around 5 am each day. We all head downstairs for a family breakfast and then depending on the season/light we’ll have a sneaky swim together, a walk outside or a dance party inside. It’s safe to say sitting down and eating a leisurely breakfast is a thing of the past. The positive is that I get my body moving from the moment I wake up, albeit involuntarily.

From there, its dressing and daycare drop off followed by a drive into work. I’m lucky to have a stand-up desk which helps to increase my time standing – and honestly does great things for my back and posture. Some work lends itself really well to walking and standing – like talking on the phone or creative thinking while I prefer to sit when I need to smash out a pile of written work or respond to emails. I take a small break for lunch and finish earlier in the afternoon so I can exercise outside and avoid the heat and strong sun. I’m lucky to work in an office on the Brisbane river so it’s easy to jump on to the riverside path and do a short run before heading out to pick up the kids.

The evening routine is pretty hectic with dinner, baths, books and bed so I usually fall at the same time as my children (sometimes mid-bed time story much to my 3-year-old’s disappointment). Then we do this all over again – cue 5 am wake up call!

How do you stay motivated and continue to do this (nearly) every day?

My children and husband motivate me. It is hard to sit on the sidelines when we are such an active family. I need my body to be strong and healthy so I can play with my children and have the energy to run the Tour de Office event!

What do you find the most challenging about keeping an active and healthy lifestyle?

As much as my children motivate me – they are also my biggest obstacle to keeping fit. Before them, I ran marathons and participated in loads of team sports in the evening. Now it is harder to find the time and freedom to head out for a 3-hour training run – and then give my body the necessary recovery.

Do you ever change it up?

I hope to soon – but this is a pretty standard routine. The weekends we start our Saturday with a local park run and include a family bike ride at one point.

What is your tip for others?

Find every opportunity to move – you don’t have to have a designated time or place. Once you start you can’t stop.

What is your favourite exercise?

Competitive sport! I lived in Canada for several years and loved playing ball hockey, while in Australia I grew up playing netball and touch football.

Problem: Riding to work

Whether you already ride to work or want to ride to work there are daily stresses to this process. Riding to work is not as easy as it seems, and not just because you realise how unfit you are when you hit any sort of gradient. There are many challenges faced by riding a bike to work, especially in Australia where it gets hotter than a shirtless Hemsworth. You need to shower after your ride, you need a fresh change of clothes, maybe these need to be ironed. You also have to carry all of this in a bag on your back while you’re riding up a hill that you swore wasn’t there yesterday. And then after all this, where do you put your bike?

Maybe these are struggles you face now or the obstacles that stop you from riding to work. But no more I say. Here are some handy solutions to make your commute to work easier.

Travel lighter

Particularly if you’re working in cities, many offices have showering facilities for their workers. If you have a workstation you’re able to leave some clothes or toiletries at, do so.

Shop smart

No matter what you do, your clothes are bound to get wrinkled in your bag through their transportation. It’s also not a great idea to bring an iron with you to work or leave one in the workplace. Luckily there are so many business clothes that are wrinkle-free and will never have to bear the heat of an iron.

Google

Maybe your work doesn’t offer any sort of facility for use but there are ways to get around this. There are places like Cycle2City that offer all of these facilities in the heart of Brisbane to make riders lives easier (you can check them out here: http://cycle2city.com.au/ or check your city for similar services). It does cost a small amount but it’s less than what you would spend on public transport, and most definitely cheaper than a car.

So if you’re still um-ing and ah-ing, you can stop. Instead, you can get on your bike and start riding.

Status: SOLVED