ABOVE: BLAZE Studio Birmingham

With many businesses in the Midlands and across the UK returning to the office, BLAZE Birmingham’s Studio Manager, Zoe Mead shares member tips on how to build exercise routines into our new working patterns from the outset to ensure good mental health and productivity at work.  

After a long period of remote working, the return to the office can bring mixed feelings of apprehension and anticipation. Our approach to work-life balance has changed over the last 18 months; many people have been able to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, taking more regular breaks, and using exercise to break up the daily routine.  For some, the transition back to the office might feel daunting, owing to the perceived lack of flexibility in the day, but it’s important to see this as an opportunity to rewrite some ground rules, build in good habits from the outset, and reap the mental and physical rewards.

Opportunity for Change

In the last decade, employers have increasingly prioritised employee health and wellbeing, understanding that happiness and productivity go hand in hand.  With mental health problems on the rise post Covid-19, there will inevitably be an even sharper focus on the physical and mental health of employees in the workplace. Employees will seek out opportunities to improve their wellness on office days and employers will drive conversations around ways for employees to reconnect, reset and rebalance.

Finding Your New Balance

There’s no reason why working from the office should signify an end to daily exercise or working out. Being active is an ideal stress management tool and is more likely to be sustained if it forms part of a regular routine, either at the start or end of the day or at lunchtime. So, how can we incorporate a better exercise routine into new hybrid working patterns?

Break Out For Your Mind and Body

Stress and anxiety can leave people feeling stuck in a rut, but one of the best ways to break out of this mindset, especially when back in the office environment, is by integrating positive, repeatable, and personalised exercise into the working week in order to de-stress, get fitter and feel happier.  Finding and sticking to a workout routine that suits busy work schedules can feel overwhelming at first, but here are some useful tips from our BLAZE Birmingham members to make this more manageable and less scary:

  • If you are an early bird, you should do your workout before the business day starts. You will beat the traffic, feel one step ahead of the game, be powered up for the day and can keep your evenings free for other activities.
  • A city centre venue can make it much easier to do a class or workout during lunchtime. Conveniently located on Cornwall St, the BLAZE Birmingham fitness studio is close to work, easy to reach and instructors are really prompt with start and finish times. You can walk there, do a class, shower and grab a nutritious smoothie or shake from the studio, all within an hour before heading back to the office.
  • Book in and commit to at least a couple of weekly sessions in advance so you can mentally prepare and put them in your diary.  Then, treat these sessions like you would a client meeting – something that is important for you and which you wouldn’t casually cancel.
  • Get your workout kit ready the night before so everything is ready to go in the morning. Don’t be afraid to try something different, and don’t push yourself too hard at the start – it’s best to take small, manageable steps to find a routine that you’re comfortable with. With classes at different times throughout the day and a nightclub soundtrack feel, the team at BLAZE can support and motivate you as you establish a fitness routine around your work schedule to help you achieve your personal goals, whether these are to reduce stress and anxiety levels, manage your weight, or get healthier, fitter and leaner.

BLAZE, by David Lloyd Clubs, offers a dynamic fast-paced HIIT (high intensity interval training) full-body workout, combining combat and mixed martial arts with cardio and strength training – synced to high-energy music and cutting-edge light effects. With classes to suit all working patterns, there is no better time to get back to business with BLAZE!