I’ve always been the kind of person who avoids exercise at all costs. Back in high school, I’d choose the weightlifting option in gym class while everyone else went to play indoor soccer. This decision was partially motivated by the fact that I could sit on the leg press machine for forty minutes doing absolutely nothing, and partially to avoid an inevitable indoor soccer injury (usually in the form of a broken nose). As I got older, it became much easier to avoid working out because of all the new excuses that adulthood brought to the table. I was always too busy at work to take a lunch break, let alone go to the gym during the day. After work I was too exhausted and mentally drained to do anything other than lay on the couch and watch Netflix.
Coming to work at TMX Companies led to some unexpected but overwhelmingly positive changes for me. The amazing perks and the focus on employee wellness has allowed me to change my lifestyle in a way I never anticipated. Years ago, I discovered yoga and realized that it was the only type of workout I truly enjoyed and was motivated to participate in. The downside is that yoga tends to be expensive, and monthly memberships can cost well over a hundred dollars. I tried doing yoga at home using free videos, but without the sense of community that comes from a group practice it just wasn’t as gratifying, and there was no one to hold me accountable if I decided not to do it.
Shortly after I started at TMX Companies, another team member told me that we had a perk with a local yoga studio for a discounted monthly membership. I quickly signed up and started going on my lunch break a few times each week, sometimes alone and sometimes with a coworker. The studio even offers a shorter lunchtime class for members who need to get back to work in a hurry! It’s easy to fit into my schedule, and it’s been an amazing experience for me. Yoga can also be effective in managing stress and improving your overall mood and mental wellness. I feel better than ever!
Going to yoga also forces me to pack a lunch more often, so it’s easier to eat healthy most days. I’ve never been one to meal prep. I like to enjoy my weekends, and it always seemed like a lot of extra work. Now I make the effort to take an hour out of my Sunday each week to cook. Usually I put together something simple that will be good for the whole week, like chicken and veggies.
I also track my yoga sessions on the Strava app, which really helps to hold me accountable whenever I’m feeling lazy. It’s great to use alongside other team members for that extra push when the temptation to skip a workout becomes a little too strong, especially on taco Tuesdays.
It’s easy to make excuses to avoid working out and eating healthy – we’re all busy, and I would much rather go out for sushi or pizza than heat up my leftovers. On those days, just remind yourself what you’re getting out of it – more energy, happiness, better health…all great things! As my favorite yoga teacher always reminds me, “the hard stuff is usually what matters the most.”