In June 2016, we ran the fourth RBI Corporate Living Well Experience, a 3 day event designed to inspire and empower RBI’s employees to build their own, personal toolkits to help them reduce risk by helping their bodies be more resilient. It took place on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Living Well experience brought to life RBI’s holistic model that was designed last year to encourage employees to achieve balance in their overall life, through a range of methods including: movement, eating well, getting sufficient rest and recovery, contributing to wider causes and getting support from other people and from modern technology. All in themselves straightforward, but together a powerful combination.
RBI Corporate Living Well Experience Philosophy
The agenda included:
- A range of fitness activities to attend: running, pilates, yoga, spinning.
- Daily meditation
- Nutritional tests & advice
- 360 blood tests from LiveSmart
- A range of inspiring talks, both from internal and external experts.
I attended the RBI Corporate Living Well Experience London event and was able to experience a lot of what was on offer:
- I had a nutritional test and learnt that my biological age was 15 years younger than my chronological age. That was a good start!
- I ran the 5k river run with the guys who work in the running shop next door, both of whom were a bit shocked at the ragged appearance of my running shoes. Time I bought another pair.
- I went to the Boom Cycle spinning class which took me by surprise as it was set in a pitch black venue and felt very ‘night-clubish’, with strobe lighting and pounding music. My mental model of what happens in a spinning class shifted during those 50 minutes.
- I went to the Yoga taster which I’d been especially keen to try, and left feeling like I should audition for the part of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Perhaps Yoga isn’t my thing.
- I had a wonderful shoulder massage from one of our roaming massage therapists, and discovered how much tension I carry in my shoulders. It was painful, but worth it.
- I got to share the wonders of kombucha with more people, courtesy of Raw Press. I love it as it’s so good for the body, but it’s an acquired taste as many people reminded me!
- We had free healthy lunch every day and there’s nothing like free food to bring people together. Works every time!
- I shared my personal tips for reducing stress which you can read here:
RBI Corporate Living Well Experience Speakers
We had four external keynote speakers, a section highlighting RBI Employee wellbeing journeys, as well as a focus on what other support is available to help employees on a day-to-day basis.
The first speaker was Dr Barbara Mariposa, author of a number of books including her latest book: The Kindness Habit: Transforming our relationships to addictive behaviours.
Dr Barbara’s words connected well with the audience as she shared insights on how the brain works; what stress does to our bodies, shutting down all non-essential functions like digesting, sleeping and procreating, to help you deal with the cause of the stress, and the risks to our health if we stay on ‘high alert’ for a long period.
She encouraged us to take back control, be the leader of our own lives and be sure to ask for support and help when you need it. So many of us at work have learnt how to successfully put on a brave face on the outside, whilst feeling deep fear on the inside. Part of the problem, according to Dr B is that we have forgotten to recharge ourselves.
Her simple system for taking back control included three steps:
- Press pause
- 1 in 1 – stop, breath and close your eyes for one minute every 1 hour to recharge yourself
Geeta Sidhu-Robb the CEO of Nosh Detox spoke passionately about the importance of good nutrition, how the mind and body are 100% connected and if we focus on making ourselves physically strong, this will give us mental strength.
Her approach is based on a few key principles:
- Focus on increasing the level of nutrients in your body to help the body work better and reduce stress. Like a car with better fuel, the body needs nutrients to function
- Eat a piece of fruit, (different colours) before every meal to support the digestive process
- Add in the greens. Eat green leaves everyday to enhance your body, improving how you look and feel. Can’t stomach green leaves? Try my green smoothie recipe
- Drink good quality water and sip it at regular intervals all day long to keep your body hydrated (Check out my article on water here).
- Move your body every day as movement helps your lymph get rid of all bad stuff so that you don’t feel sluggish
Finally, Max Tomlinson, author of Clean up Your Diet gave us some great tips on becoming an intellectual athlete. He reminded us that the decisions and actions we take today will create a risk or an opportunity in the future, and to think clearly, concisely and cleverly he encouraged us to:
- Exercise 4 times per week
- Eat vegetables
- Keep dinners simple, as lying in bed digesting, will impact sleep quality, and poor sleep leads to a haze between you and the world
- Avoid fruit-only smoothies which are ‘sugar fests’ that raises blood sugar like Coca Cola
His final words spoke directly to our intuition:
‘If what you’re eating leaves you feel energised, healthy then don’t make the changes.’
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