Mindfulness for a Better Workout

Mindfulness is now widely recognised as an important tool for employee wellbeing. But what exactly is it and how can it help make for a better workout? We look at how to incorporate mindfulness into an exercise programme to get even better results.

In a world that is ‘always on’, it is getting harder and harder to switch-off and unwind, with work stress, social media and the Internet all being contributing factors.

In fact, over the past 3 years,  the ONS has recorded a deterioration in the mental wellbeing of the population as well as a decline in the proportion of people participating in sport once a week.

As a result, stress in the workplace is increasing. Since 2009, the number of sick days lost to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24%.

Last year alone there were nearly half a million cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety, which is why more and more employers are now focusing on a more holistic approach to employee wellbeing.

What is mindfulness?

One area in particular that businesses are increasingly focusing on is mindfulness at work, as it can reduce stress, improve concentration, resilience, employee relationships and overall wellbeing.

Mindfulness is a mental state that is achieved by focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your own feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is an awareness of what you are doing at that moment. Quite simply, it focuses on the ‘now’, as opposed to dwelling on the past or thinking about the future.

There is a perception that mindfulness is something that can only be done at the desk or in your lunch hour, but this is not the case as it can permeate through all aspects of employee time at work, and one of these is through exercise.

Mindfulness for a good workout

We spoke to Flora Mac Donald, who is an executive coach using mindfulness in her work, to tell us about the key benefits of a mindful workout. She says:

“When it comes to exercising on a regular basis, it can be hard to stay motivated all the time – we all have good days and bad days – and this is when we tend to cut corners or look to distract ourselves to get through the workout. This could take the form of reading a magazine, checking social media or messaging friends.

“These distractions can lead to a less-effective workout, and may leave you feeling as though it wasn’t a job well-done. A workout filled with distractions can potentially result in the body not being worked as hard as it could, or pushing it harder than it should go.”

A mindful workout, however, puts you right in the moment and is a great motivator; turn off the phone, switch off the music and, quite simply, listen to your body.

Mac Donald continues: “Running on a treadmill, for example, can be the perfect time to be mindful. Put yourself in the moment, get into a rhythm and tune into your body. Think about how you can work your body better or harder, or if muscles could be stretched a bit more. If you’re feeling tired or in pain, can you work through it? Simply staying with those feelings can, in turn, help you manage them better.

“Swimming is another great way to practice mindfulness. As it’s all about the technique of the stroke, it’s easy to focus on what you are doing and get into a rhythm of movement.”

Time constraints

If you’re pushed for time, then a rushed workout may not necessarily give you what you want from exercise: a sense of wellbeing, a rush of endorphins, or feeling as though you’ve made another positive step towards reaching your exercise or fitness goals.

However, Mac Donald believes that; “although we don’t live in a perfect world, mindfulness can help maximise that valuable workout time. Simply by listening to your body and being in the moment can help you use the time more efficiently and really get your body working hard in that timeframe.”

The corporate environment is fast-paced, but by simply slowing down for a bit and just enjoying being in the moment, it can transform an employee’s state of mind.

Benefits for employers

Although there are many ways to practice mindfulness at work, using a combination of exercise and mindfulness together is a way to improve mental health and wellbeing. Over time, it can boost morale and productivity.

Nick Sadler, Managing Director at motive8 says:

“Employee wellbeing is moving up the boardroom agenda, and it is a known fact that exercise and mindfulness are highly beneficial for employee productivity. Now’s the time for businesses to take action.”

Other ways to be mindful

Mindfulness can permeate throughout all aspects of an employee’s day at work and help them manage stress and anxiety. Flora Mac Donald gives us some more tips on taking a more mindful approach.

Flora Mac Donald’s mindfulness tips

Getting into a mindful state: Always tune into the body first and then focus on breathing.

How to get into the present: Notice four things around you and focus on what you can hear, see and feel.

When to practice: Besides exercise, there are many times of the day to be mindful, such as the daily commute or at the desk. Washing your hands is a great time for mindfulness. Focus on the action of washing your hands and focus on the feeling of water on your hands.

At motive8, we work with businesses to provide a range of health and wellbeing solutions for the workplace, from gym design, installation and maintenance, right through to personal trainers and coaches. We’re helping organisations lead the way in reducing workplace stress to create positive and productive environments to boost employee wellbeing.

Flora Mac Donald is an executive coach and consultant. With over 17 years experience, she has worked with some of the world’s leading organisations at every level of seniority.

See also:

SHARE
POST
SHARE

RELATED ARTICLES

Emergency Response

Keep disruption to a minimum with our emergency call-out service. Our engineers will quickly run diagnostic tests and carry out repairs during the visit if possible. motive8 know how important it is to get your pool, spa or water feature back up and running as soon as possible.

Kim Mead

Gym & Spa Design

Kim’s career began in the property industry, where she spent a number of years working for both estate agents and developers, giving her a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge of how the industry functions.

Kim has worked alongside Nick for the past 11 years and transforms his ideas & designs into 3D visuals and 2D floor layouts via CAD & Visio in line with the architect’s requirements. She brings together all project documentation including equipment specifications, quotes & project drawings. Once finalised and agreed, Kim procures all the required equipment.

In her spare time, Kim loves playing tennis, cooking and travelling.

Nick Sadler

Managing Director

Nick Sadler is the Founding Director of motive8 and has worked in the industry for 18 years. He has worked as the lead Gym and Spa consultant on projects across all sectors on a number of prestigious schemes with developers, architects, interior design agencies and managing agents. His expertise and consultancy on projects have ensured that the original design concepts are always met or exceeded whilst maintaining the future operational efficiency of the facility.

Jenny Cromack

DIRECTOR

Jenny’s specialism’s are fat loss and endurance training, she has a proven record in helping clients to lose weight, change their body image and simply feel amazing about themselves! Having seen what we can achieve with clients on a 1:1 basis, Jenny transfers these skills to be able to impact the health and wellbeing of corporate clients and groups.

A keen duathlete and triathlete, Jenny has recently started representing Great Britain for her age group. So, if she isn’t at work she will be cycling, swimming or running somewhere!

Sarah Cleland-Smith

DIRECTOR

Sarah has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years and is a co-owner of motive8. She has worked across all areas of the business, predominantly the day to day operations of the Gym and Spa facilities we currently manage on behalf of our clients. She has a key understanding of how design must meet operational requirements, ensuring the client and end user receive the best possible service and ongoing running costs are considered in the design. Her current focus is project management and financials.

Richard Moon

DIRECTOR

Richard has headed up the motive8 maintenance team for the past 12 years and became a Director and co-owner of the business in 2016. He provides service contracts and maintenance for all motive8 equipped facilities to ensure longevity and value for the client. The maintenance department currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK. He works with the client and their onsite team to provide H&S best practice which includes daily checks of the facility. Richard also manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard.

Rob Clarke

DIRECTOR

Rob has worked in the leisure industry all of his working life and brings with him a huge amount of experience from the commercial leisure sector. He has provided consultancy to the majority of the country’s leading developers, architects and property management companies and is widely considered as one of the leading experts in residential leisure facilities.

Rob’s role at motive8 is a varied one and involves business development, overseeing the maintenance and management departments whilst also consulting on a variety of client projects.

Outside of the office, you will often find Rob walking his beloved Labrador in Windsor Great Park. Rob also enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Nikki Spratley

IQ coordinator

Nikki has always had a passion for helping people and after spending a number of years working in and running the Gym & Spa department, an opportunity to develop and grow motive8’s training division presented itself and so Nikki moved from overseeing the Gym & Spa team and managed sites to developing the training of our own team along with those from outside of motive8.

Outside of motive8, Nikki continues to work at a sports massage clinic helping her clients with various injuries along with making time for her own fitness and wellbeing.

Nisha Hansewraj

Accountant

Nisha graduated from university with a BA Hons in Accounting and Finance. Since then, she has gained significant experience and knowledge in all aspects of accounting and finance. She has joined our accounts team and is responsible for managing our books and preparing relevant financial reports for the business. She is very productive in challenging roles and as a self-motivated and meticulous person is willing to learn new skills and develop existing knowledge.

Outside of work, Nisha enjoys spending time with her family and exploring nature, especially taking scenic countryside walks. Cooking and baking is another of Nisha’s passions. 

Rolstone Langmead

Logistics & Gym Install Manager

Joining motive8 back in 2013 with the Gym & Spa department, Rolstone brought his experience from the customer service industry as well as 8 years’ experience as a personal trainer, the knowledge of which was spread into the department.

Rolstone now manages motive8 gym installations, ensuring equipment and design are delivered on time, safely and to a high standard. Providing H&S best practice and service support to our customers for all our products with the aid of our team of engineers. Rolstone is also working with our Maintenance team that currently services in excess of 200 sites in the UK to ensure longevity and value for the client.

Albert Spangenberg

Refurb and Technicians Manager

Albert started his career in facility maintenance and operations; he is now motive8’s Refurb and Technicians Manager. Albert launched a new department providing refurbished gym equipment to rent or buy which his background in mechanical engineering and manufacturing perfectly suits. He has worked in the fitness industry for the past 17 years. Albert is meticulous about how the equipment is maintained and is always looking at ways to improve the service motive8 can offer to their clients.

In his spare time he likes spend quality time with the family and work on mechanical projects.

Monika Blaziak

Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager

Monika is the Gym Maintenance Co-ordinator Manager for all gym and pool/leisure equipment and has a background in maintenance and accounts administration for property development companies.

Monika’s skills include accounting, IT and of course the backbone of all busy administration roles, multi-tasking!

In her spare time she likes to spend her free time with her dog Cezar, walking through parks and forests and also likes to relax with a good book at the end of the day. Monika is also interested in psychology, which she is currently studying.

Kamil Reyad

Maintenance Admin Assistant

Kamil is a recent law graduate with a background in customer service and sales, working within the maintenance administration team. His skills include IT, Multi-tasking and customer service.

In his spare time he enjoys going to the gym, boxing, practicing MMA, playing guitar, reading and gaming.

Sally Ottewell

Gym & Spa Consultant

Sally has over 10 years’ experience in sales. She has worked within the communications industry for 12 years and made the move to motive8 because of her love for all things fitness.

Sally is passionate about gym and spa design and takes pride in each individual project, whether that be residential, corporate, commercial or within the hotel market. She consults, designs layouts and provides product advice on schemes nationwide with a range of developers, designers, project managers and private clients.

She enjoys being active, is a regular gym goer and has practiced yoga since being a teenager, qualifying to teach it in 2014.

Repair & Refurbishment

Keep your facilities looking fresh, modern and in pristine condition. motive8 can advise you on the latest trends in design, sustainability and efficiency to make sure your pool and spa continue to give your site a competitive advantage.

Yaasmeen Muhammad

ASSISTANT DESIGN CONSULTANT

Yaasmeen (Yaas for short) has recently joined the Gym and Spa Team, after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a master’s in Architecture. She is experienced in CAD and creating 3D visuals and has extensive design knowledge especially when it comes to gyms as she also used to be an athlete and personal trainer and so she knows what it takes to design a well thought out gym and bring the ideas to life.

In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, martial arts and spending time with her family. 

Ashley Wright

Head of Gym & Spa Management

Ashley moved back to the UK after working as a singer in production shows around Europe. Starting in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Ashley joined Motive8 as an Area Manager in 2019 before moving into the role of Head of Gym and Spa Management. Ashley oversees the Gym and Spa Department ensuring a high standard of service is met for the residents and motive8’s clients.

Away from work, Ashley still teaches spin classes at a number of gyms across London and enjoys cooking and travelling.

Josh Remedios

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Josh has worked for motive8 since 2013 after graduating from University of Portsmouth. He has worked his way up through the gym and spa department from Spa Operative, to Supervisor, Manager and now Area Manager. Josh works with the managers he oversees to provide facilities residents can enjoy as an extension to their homes as well as working closely with the estate management companies to ensure the standards at all sites remain high.

Outside of motive8 Josh is a keen on his travelling and adding to a growing list of countries he has visited as well as being passionate about his own fitness and football.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager. Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.

Bradley Dixon

GYM & SPA AREA MANAGER

Bradley has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 16, starting as a Lifeguard and progressing through various management roles which also took him to working and living abroad both in Dubai and Australia. Bradley joined motive8 in June in 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager before being promoted into the role of Area Manager.

Outside of motive8 Bradley also enjoys teaching various group exercise classes as well as spending time with friends and travelling.

Kate Halsall

Personal Trainer & Biomechanics Coach

Kate is an enthusiastic personal trainer, and qualified biomechanics coach, who specialises in posture and back care. She has worked in the industry since 2009, and her other specialisms include weight/fat loss, group exercise and working with specialist populations.

On top of that, Kate loves working with groups of pregnant ladies as she is also pre and post-natal qualified! Exercise is a real passion of hers, and she can often be found riding her bike, going to fitness weekends, walking in the lake district – and she’s recently started participating in cycling sportives.

When it comes to advice, she claims “give it a try – what’s the worst that could happen?” is her greatest piece.

Emily Forbes

Personal Trainer

Emily is motive8’s in-house nutritionist, and doesn’t stop at just being a great personal trainer. Her effective programming and nutritional advice is highly popular and aimed at helping clients achieve a variety of fitness goals.

Not only is Emily passionate about nutrition though, as she also loves strength training and Yoga. She takes a holistic approach to exercise, nutrition and health as a whole, which no doubt makes for a recipe for success across the board.

Her greatest piece of advice is simply “consistency…this will help you achieve your goals for the long term.”

Warren Killeen

Head of Maintenance

Warren started his career as an Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration engineer servicing a wide range of commercial and industrial systems. He has over 20 years’ experience in the FM industry working for major players across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. With his technical and hands-on experience, Warren has always been happy to roll his sleeves up and get involved with works on sites when needed. In Warren’s spare time he enjoys DIY, quizzing and country walks. He is also involved with helping at his local Irish club organising charity fundraising nights and other events.

Alice Ward

Operations

Alice has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, one of her first places of work being motive8! Since then, Alice has gone on to work for some of the leading U.K gym providers and most recently managed a large corporate gym in Surrey, implementing innovative fitness trends and overseeing the health and wellbeing of the clients, alongside opening a second corporate club and managing a team of personal trainers and instructors. A keen interest in health and fitness drives Alice outside of work, spending regular time working out in the gym, outdoors or at home.

Sarah Humphreys

Gym & Spa Area Manager

Sarah has worked in the leisure industry since the age of 17, starting out as a Fitness Instructor initially, then working as Sales Manager and then progressing to Club Manager.

Sarah joined motive8 in January 2020 as a Gym and Spa Manager of our first Manchester gym & spa facility before being promoted into the role of Area Manager to oversee our growing operation in Manchester and the North West. 

Outside of motive8 Sarah enjoys running, Personal Training as well as spending time with family and friends.

 

Maintenance and servicing

Protect your investment, meet compliance regulations and prevent costly breakdowns. Our experienced pool engineers schedule regular maintenance visits or can attend as requested for events such as preparing an outdoor pool for summer. Our maintenance covers all kinds of pool, spa and water features for: