5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer was founded in June 2018 by cancer doctor and 13-time Ironman champion Lucy Gossage and Gemma Hillier-Moses, an international athlete who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24 in 2012. AKTIV Against Cancer was founded by Norwegian national icon, and nine-time New York City Marathon champion, Grete Waitz, and Helle Aanesen in Norway, 2007. Our passion for health and activity is also demonstrated through Zalaris Norseman which represents another way we’re striving to make a difference by sponsoring the most iconic triathlon in the world.
These charitable organisations can literally change lives as they use exercise both to fundraise, and as a treatment to help cancer patients. We see initiatives like these charities as an ideal means of giving back to communities. But during this pandemic, we have turned to these organisations for inspiration with how to remain active.
Here at Zalaris, we recognise every individual and #bestingmyself is everyone’s motto. Creating a positive and uplifting work environment has long been a primary focus at Zalaris. We strongly encourage our employees to stay in good physical shape. Workplaces that motivate and encourage exercise are proven to improve employee job satisfaction, reduce sick leave and increase the opportunity to live a long, fulfilling life. Even the Coronavirus isn’t stopping us! CEO Hans-Petter encourages his employees to “try and get at least 30 mins of recommended activity daily. Lots of training can be done inhouse without any equipment other than your will. If you can be outdoors, what about a 30 min walk or run after work and before dinner? Stay #AKTIVAgainstCancer !” It is important to us that our colleagues have a healthy work/life balance, especially now that the office and home have merged into one.
When we reached out to our charities, they both agreed that exercise is one of the top ways you can improve mental health. Lucy Gossage explains that “due to the rush of endorphins it gives you, exercise is a great stressbuster”. To help their members keep active, 5k Your Way have uploaded videos on their webpage of easy home workouts, which even includes a chair-workout routine.
Similarly, Helle Aanesen explains that at AKTIV Against Cancer “we have live workout-sessions every Monday and Thursday on our website, for as long as The Breathing Rooms (fitness centers) are closed due to Coronavirus, and every Monday before the workout there will be a special guest talking about exercise and health”.
Both charities wish to build a sense of ‘togetherness’ by doing a weekly Facebook Live in order to combat loneliness and uplift their members in times of isolation.
The founders of AKTIV Against Cancer explain that: “Physical activity is positive for the vast majority of cancer patients, both before, during and after treatment. It helps reduce unwanted side effects such as nausea, fatigue, and sleep problems while increasing endurance, strength and energy. It will also help build a sense of empowerment and improve quality of life”.
We applaud out sponsored charities and ask how our colleagues can experience the positive empowerment of keeping active, so here are some top tips for staying active at home:
Make a timetable
Making an exercise timetable will encourage you stick to your routine and help you to feel productive.
Follow an online exercise class
There is a vast wealth of online exercise classes for all levels. There are several fitness instructors who upload free daily classes on YouTube or Instagram.
Walking is seriously underestimated but it’s a great way to remain active, and a change of scenery will help break up your day and clear your mind. Even if you can’t leave your house, walking around the home listening to a podcast or calling a friend will help.
Think outside the box
What have you got in your house that can double as exercise equipment? Tin cans, bottles, logs of wood, the stairs, a heavy rucksack? Be creative.
Whilst the kettle is boiling or you’re brushing your teeth, do some squats, calf raises, or press-ups against the counter – every little activity helps!