The Data Warrior

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Archive for the tag “Health”

The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge from @zen_habits

One of my favorite non-tech bloggers is Leo Babuta over at ZenHabits.com. This post came up yesterday and caught my eye.

Why?

I had just been at my weekly yoga class and was a bit bummed out looking in the mirror at the profile of my not-so-slim-anymore belly while doing Warrior 2.

Not a pretty picture. ūüė¶

To be a good warrior of any kind it really helps to stay in shape. And, like every year this time, I do think about such things as I contemplate all the yummy treats headed my way.

I really could stand to loose a few pounds here (definitely before Christmas), but have been pretty unsuccessful doing so in the past few years.

The older I get, the easier they go on, the harder they come off. It’s a fact of life.

Then I see Leo’s post and think – hmm maybe this will get me going in the right direction. He made it a challenge, and who is not motivated by challenge eh?

So here is the intro for my fellow warriors to peruse.

The SFH Holiday Challenge

We recently announced our holiday challenge to SFH members, and today I’m sharing it with you guys too.

What‚Äôs the challenge about? Basically, sticking to rules you create to stay healthy during the holidays ‚ÄĒ not gaining all that holiday weight, and maybe getting leaner and healthier in the process.

How does it work?

  1. Choose an eating habit. We have several suggestions, from No White Foods to our Mindful Diet to a vegan diet, but what you choose is up to you.
  2. Choose an exercise challenge. Again, it’s up to you, though we have a couple of suggestions here.
  3. Make a big public commitment. Announce it big time.
  4. Stay accountable. Check in daily or as often as you have time for. This will help you stick to the challenge.

Sound good? Read more here.

Read the entire post here:  The Simple Fitness Habit Holiday Challenge : zenhabits.

Once you click through everything, you will get to all the details. One of the suggestions is a push up challenge for the exercise piece. Since I already walk most days at lunch I decided to try that one out.

This morning I did the the initial test and pulled off 30 good-form pushups in a row.

In a few days I will start the program based on that result. Looks like I get to skip all the way to the week 3 program!  Wow.

So who else is will join me in this Data Warrior Challenge?

Leave a comment below to let us know who will give it a shot (that counts as #3 above – public commitment).

Let’s get in better shape so we can start 2014 in prime form!

Pil Sung!

Kent

The Oracle Data Warrior

At the mother ship: Oracle ACE Director Briefing

Well, I can’t really talk about the meeting (yet) as everything is under NDA until next week (at least), but I can say it is great to get together with the top Oracle practitioners in the world and chat and discuss the issues and solutions in our field. It is like returning to the mother ship.

Oracle HQ - The Mother Ship

Oracle HQ – The Mother Ship

With all the tech talk and product futures, there is also just general catching up, networking, and bonding. Much is learned over pizza and beer.

And we are all following the America’s Cup race with Oracle Team USA trying to keep the cup away from Team New Zealand

I try to do my part in making sure we stay healthy and energized as well by running Chi Gung (Qigong) sessions in the morning before breakfast. Here is a shot of some of us outside this morning:

 

Not the best photo of Chi Gung practice, but what are you gonna do.

Lots more to come this week at Oracle Open World, so stay tuned for some very exciting announcements.

Go Team Oracle!

Kent

Investing to Improve Our Health

Great information this morning from @Claudia_Imhoff on Twitter:

#BDA13 Investing to improve health, wellness and community vitality pays off for business and society:twitpic.com/cvlz42

‚ÄĒ Claudia Imhoff (@Claudia_Imhoff) June 6, 2013

Pay me now, or pay me later…

It is amazing what impact an upfront investment can return over the longer term.

And that applies in so many areas.

Later.

Kent

Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection to Corporate America’s Bottom Line

Saw this great article on LinkedIn last week by Arianna Huffington and just had to repost it. Health and fitness are topics I am always interested in and have written about (here, here, and here). For us to be happy and productive we all need to be at our personal best. This article discusses some recent studies and why employers should pay attention to this as well.

On Tuesday Ill be guest-hosting CNBCs Squawk Box, a program that bills itself as the show that “brings Wall Street to Main Street.” As well as discussing Cyprus and a possible euro-crisis, we are going to discuss the growing trend in corporate America of taking steps — meditation, yoga, mindfulness training — to reduce stress and improve health and creativity.

One of my guests will be Mark Bertolini, CEO of the third-largest health insurer in the country with 30,000 employees insuring 17 million people. In 2010, Aetna partnered with Duke¬†University’s¬†School of Medicine and found that regular yoga substantially decreased stress levels and health care costs. Following this, Bertolini made yoga available to all Aetna employees nationwide and has a much bigger mission: to make sure there is research available to facilitate private as well as state and federal coverage of yoga and mind-body therapies.

Even a quick look at whats happening in the American workplace shows that its a seriously split-screen world. On the one hand, there’s the stressful world of quarterly earnings reports, beating growth expectations, hard-charging CEOs, and focusing on the bottom line — the world that is the usual focus of CNBC and Squawk Box. On the other hand, there’s the world populated by the growing awareness of the costs of stress, not just in the health and well-being of business leaders and employees, but on the bottom line as well.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows that these two worlds are, in fact, very much aligned — or at least that they can, and should, be. And that when we treat them as separate, there is a heavy price to pay — both for individuals and companies. The former in terms of health and happiness, and the latter in terms of dollars and cents. So yes, I do want to talk about maximizing profits and beating expectations — by emphasizing the notion that what’s good for us as individuals is also good for corporate Americas bottom line. To do that, I’ll be featuring guests who have had great success at bringing these two worlds together and putting what at first might seem like abstract or esoteric concepts to very productive use in the workplace.

When we separate these two worlds, the costs come in two forms. First, there are the direct costs due to stress and its associated medical conditions, and, second, there’s the cost of lost creativity and diminished performance and productivity.

According to the World Health Organization, the cost of stress to American businesses is as high as $300 billion. And unless we change course, this will only get worse. Over the last 30 years, self-reported levels of stress have increased 18 percent for women and 25 percent for men.

Check out the rest of the article here: Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection to Corporate Americas Bottom Line | LinkedIn.

Take care,

Kent

Breaking a non-Fitness Habit

After writing about creating a new fitness habit yesterday, I had my own little ah-ha moment today about a bad habit I had formed..

For lunch today, I went downstairs to the building cafe and got a pretty healthy sandwich and some steamed broccoli (instead of fries) and headed outside to eat. There are a few shaded tables outside our building in a little garden-like area. Good place to sit and eat in relative peace. (I even kept my phone in my  pocket)

It was a nice day, only about 75 degrees . (That might seem warm for November, but for Houston that is bordering on cool.)

After eating, I realized I had about 30 minutes to spare before needing to get back to work. So I decided to take a little walk along The Woodlands Waterway, which is a few blocks from the office. Figured I could get in a quiet little stroll.

As I was walking, it occurred to me that, at least this time of year, I could probably do this most days.

Hmm…that could be a little fitness habit for me to start.

That was not the ah-ha moment though…

The ah-ha part was realizing that, in fact, I had walked at lunch everyday since I started this new contract.

Huh? How could that be?

Well since last week was my first week at a new location, with a new client, and new co-workers, I had actually gone out for lunch everyday (not something I normally do). Due to the location of the office, I had walked to get lunch every day since there are a bunch of restaurants and shops along and near The Waterway.

So, even before I wrote the post yesterday, or had read the post on Zen Habits, I had actually already started forming a new fitness habit.

Cool.

Getting more regular exercise was one of the reasons I took the new gig with the shorter commute.

Check! This is a good start.

However, there was also a more dramatic ah-ha in all this.

In starting this new habit, accidental as it was, I had actually broken a really BAD non-fitness inducing habit that many office professionals (you know who you are) do on a regular basis:

Eating lunch at your desk!

That really is not a healthy habit for a bunch of reasons (which I hope I do not have to explain to anyone).

Today I realized that I had fallen prey to that bad habit over the last 2+ years while I was working at my last assignment. I ate lunch at my desk, on average, up to 4 days a week (unless I went out to lunch with someone).

Four days a week eating at my desk, while reading blogs, writing blogs, or reading email!

Bad Data Warrior! 

Good way to become a Data Zombie.

Well that’s over! With my little awakening today, I plan to making it a habit to NOT eat at my desk and to get outside and walk 15-20 minutes at lunch at least 4 days a week. ¬†If the weather is too hot, or raining, I will check out the fitness center in our building (free to use!). Worse case, there is a treadmill.

So, what is your story?

Do you eat lunch at your desk trying to be more productive?

Stop that now (you are not being more productive, really).

Get up, get outside. Even if you don’t go for a walk, at least eat somewhere other than¬†your¬†desk. Get away from that computer. Talk to some real people – in person. Or talk to yourself.

See the world outside¬†your¬†cube. It’s pretty nice out here.

Later.

Kent

P.S. Side benefit of my walk today was that I found a hidden Zen Garden and Koi Pond along the way. No idea how long it had been there, but I know where to go now for even more peace along the already pretty peaceful waterway. Might be able to proactice a little Tai Chi or Chi Gung there while I am at it.

My secret Zen garden

 

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