Take the route of organised walkathons and trek your way to better fitness and enhanced productivity.
The commonest excuse given by working professionals when asked to invest in their health and fitness is that they simply don’t have the time. True, most organisations today come equipped with in-house gymnasiums and optional yoga sessions. But how many employees actually set aside time from their hectic work schedules to enjoy these benefits? Perhaps, the answer lies in taking them outdoors on organised walkathons, many of which also serve as fundraising activities. Manoj Verma, CEO, Jaguar Security talks about how he won the fastest male team’ award at Oxfam Trailwalker, a global fund raising event that supports Oxfam India to work on projects to reduce inequality in India, “I’ve been associated with Oxfam Trailwalker since two and a half years. So far, I’ve been a part of the winning team all five times. To that extent, it’s been a fantastic association and the fact that we’re running for a cause makes it better.” Rakesh Arora, head of research, Macquarie Securities won the ‘fastest mixed team’ award at Oxfam Trailwalker last year. He says, “I have been participating in Oxfam Trailwalker since the last four years, both, in Bengaluru and Mumbai. It’s really a team effort and requires constant motivation to continue pushing through.We loved our experience and feel really great about what we achieved as we look back.” Walkathons and marathons are no longer restricted to those who put in hours at the gym everyday to maintain fitness levels. These days, more and more people from all walks of life are choosing to participate in such events and competitions and use them as an opportunity to up their health quotient. Verma agrees to an extent, “Yes, walkathons do help enhance fitness, but the awareness is limited. The focus is more on giving exposure to social responsibility for these events happen only once or twice a year and you have to do it in 48 hours.But it’ll help build health and wellbeing if it’s a constant effort throughout the year. Such events tell employees what they are capable of because walking for 100 kms is not a joke. The trailwalker helps them to realise their potential.” He explains further, “There are two types of participants those who get hooked after doing it once and those who want to do it just for a social cause. But the running culture is catching up in India; all adventure sports in fact. People of different genders and ages and those from corporate as well as entrepreneurial backgrounds participate in the trailwalker.”
Managers need not fear that involving their team members in such activities will take them away from their tasks and responsibilities. Rather, they are likely to return to their desks with renewed enthusiasm and much less proclivity to fall asleep amidst meetings! Research has proven that there is a direct correlation between health and productivity .Healthier employees are, by default, happier, more engaged and highperforming employees. Arora concurs, “In fact, one of the reasons I picked up running was to prepare for this event and now I am hooked to it. Corporates should motivate employees to take up these activities; not only will they help employees with a healthy lifestyle, but employers also gain from better team work.”
So, get your walking shoes on and take your colleagues along as well, as you walk on the road to enhanced fitness and productivity.