Corporate Wellbeing Specialist

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Sarah McGuinness / Blog (Page 3)

Christchurch’s best kept secret and why you’re missing out

Take a seat – any seat – as I reveal Christchurch’s best kept secret. Or perhaps glance out the car window as you remain stuck at the lights while another one goes past. What is it? It's the city’s bus service. I know. “Accessibility” might be the buzzword but to many people (including me up until recently) a bus is more like a giant obstacle on wheels. Under a drive for a more “accessible city”, the council plans to upgrade the travel network. With glorious green spaces, Manchester Street will “support key bus routes”, while “enhanced one-way systems” will get us around the city more efficiently. We will even have “super stop” bus facilities to complement the new Bus Interchange. Sadly, for now, the bus service remains a secret. Why? Because...

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Why midlife is so bloody tough and what to do about it

While writing my psychology honours research on midlife adults a few years ago, I made a list of major life events and milestones that happened during that period. I realised that during the ages of 30 and 60, the average person will, in no particular order: Start or already be in a serious relationship Get married Buy a house and attempt to maintain it Commit to a career building job Try to have children Realise children may or may not happen Have children and learn how to parent Take parental leave away from the workforce Sell a house and buy another one Get pets Care for ageing parents Be promoted, made redundant, and/or start again in another career field Experience major change at work Become totally responsible for reoccurring bills and...

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Tilt the balance your way

As a working parent, I know the often overwhelming challenges we face in finding a work-life balance. Always rushing? Feeling the pressure? Losing perspective? Just remember, you’re not alone. It’s time to slow down, breathe deep and focus on the three main issues.   Make a plan In my experience working with clients, most people come undone because they haven’t planned. And because they haven’t planned, they haven’t gone to the gym, eaten well or managed stress. As a result, they feel they’ve failed. The truth is you haven’t failed. You just need time to reassess. Take 60 seconds and think: What do I want to achieve this week? Set yourself a couple of goals. If you’re trying to get fit, factor in two exercise sessions or six in a week –...

Take care right now

If there's one thing I've learnt from health coaching, it's that everyone gets derailed from their goals at some point. Me included! Just when I think all is going well - my cycling training is going well, everyone is eating well, no one is sick...

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Exercise is good for body and mind

Keep well this winter by keeping active indoors

It’s not an uncommon story; the best laid exercise plans being derailed by inclement weather and low temperatures. That run or walk gets put off and the heater gets turned up. Let’s face it, sometimes the heat pump is more attractive than the outdoors. However, there is no better way to stay warm and stop your energy levels slumping mid winter than with a regular exercise session. If the outdoors isn’t calling the way it did in summer, make the most of the indoor activities that are available to you at facilities nearby. Even the hardiest outdoor exerciser sometimes wants to stay indoors, so why not think about getting along to a exercise facility or studio where you can stay warm and dry and still get...

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Executive health

The skill every leader needs to master

There’s a skill every leader needs to master that you won’t find in most, if any, leadership competency frameworks. It’s a skill so crucial that it could make or break a business and yet it’s a skill that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. The skill every leader needs to master is health promotion.   Changing of the guard To date, the bulk of health promotion work has been driven by government and not-for-profit agencies.  En masse, they've  encouraged us to quit smoking, wear sunscreen, eat better and be more active. In the workplace, health promotion has usually been led by a single or small group of health and safety representatives and the focus has tended to be on staying safe. We're starting to see more of a shift towards health and wellness more broadly. However, leaving...

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Alcohol on your fitness levels

Many people enjoy a drink or two to relax and unwind, or when out socialising. Statistics show that in 2013/14, 80% of New Zealanders aged 15-years or more were drinking alcohol on a regular basis. While a drink or two is unlikely to do harm to your fitness levels, and has been shown in some research to have a beneficial impact on health, over consumption may have a negative effect on both your exercise session post drinking, and on your exercise and fitness gains in the medium to long term. There are also long term health consequences for the 20% of New Zealanders who report a potentially hazardous alcohol consumption pattern. The  health benefits of alcohol consumption often referred to relate to the risk reduction of developing heart disease,...

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Teaspoon of sugar

How much sugar is too much sugar?

There has been plenty of media on sugar recently with news that most of us eat more of it than we should. I'll be frank and say I'm totally partial to a good piece of citrus slice on occasion, so I was interested to see that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released new guidelines recommending that adults and children keep their free sugar intake to less than 10% of their total energy intake. To be clear, free sugars refer to sugars added to foods (such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and table sugar) and those that occur naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. It doesn’t include fresh fruits and vegetables, and sugars naturally present in milk, because according to the WHO there is no...

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Exercise is good for body and mind

Exercise! Great for the body and mind

We know exercise is good for your body, but just as importantly, it’s good for your mental health with many studies showing that improving your physical health also improves your mental health. Little or no physical exercise can increase the risk of depression, and a poor diet can decrease your sense of wellbeing, so regular exercise and physical activity should be part of any mental healthcare. There is a good reason why exercise is recommended for improving mood. It’s those endorphins; the chemicals our body releases when we get moving that contribute to a feeling of wellness post exercise. But it doesn’t stop with a post workout good mood. Exercise improves your alertness, makes everyday movement easier and improves sleep. Any amount of exercise is better than none, and for those who are...

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Stretch the mind and body

While there is plenty of research to indicate that getting your heart rate up and working with different weights and intensities is beneficial, we also know that the inclusion of more gentle, mindful exercise practices can also have a positive effect on your health and exercise levels. And winter can be the perfect time to try mindful exercise when you're looking for options to keep you feeling healthy and well over the colder months. Mind and body (also referred to as MindBody) practices have been around for a long time. In the last couple of decades exercise options in this area have increased, with a big surge in not just mainstream exercise facilities, but also in smaller studios offering specialist mind and body exercise options. For some people,  intensive...

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Self Care Cards: This year, give the gift that takes care. Dismiss