Month: July 2012

#makingthehrconnection

Health & Family

You don’t have to be a devoted yogi to reap the benefits of the cobra pose. A new study in chronic stroke survivors shows that practicing yoga can improve balance in patients, giving them more confidence to handle day-to-day activities and potentially reducing disability.

The study, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, involved 47 stroke survivors, mostly male veterans, who had had their stroke six months prior. The participants were still experiencing balance problems, which can be long-lasting after stroke, arising from injury to central brain structures and impaired senses. Difficulties with balance can lead to a higher risk of falls, further injury and continued disability.

The oldest patient was in his 90s. To qualify for the study, all the participants had to be able to stand on their own.

The patients were divided into three groups: one group participated in twice-weekly sessions of group yoga for eight…

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Be a Mentor. Find a Mentor. The Missing Piece – Have a Plan!

I read this great article this evening, The 3 Career Mentors Everyone Should Have and it reminded me how important it is to take and participate in active mentoring. I’ve found that the last couple of years, I’ve worn the hat of “mentor”  — but I really need to get back into being the “mentee.” I just haven’t found the right mentor — well that’s the lie I tell myself. Truthfully, I haven’t been looking.

“If you’re waiting to find a mentor who looks like you, you may be waiting a long time.”

I attended #SHRM12 last month in Atlanta, GA and this article immediately reminded me of the opening conference speech by Condoleezza Rice. She spoke on many topics and I gained TONS of nuggets of wisdom. She spoke specifically on mentoring and said, “If you’re waiting to find a mentor who looks like you, you may be waiting a long time.” I LOVE that sentiment because it drives empowerment and ownership in your career. That kind of talk really speaks to me. It moved me to action and I wanted to find some “new” mentors! But when I went back to my office, I fizzled out a bit about “WHO” to start a mentoring relationship with.

The great thing about the tips in this article is that it helps to gives guidance around finding a mentor for both short and longer term goals and while many may find that it has more of a professional slant — mentoring – mentee relationships don’t always have to be about the workplace. They may revolve around an activity, an attribute you like in someone else that you want to develop, or a subject/area that you want to get to know more about — and probably a dozen more reasons.

Take charge of your career and development! You’re in the driver seat!

Drive your career and development! Find someone to mentor you! And find someone to mentor!

Spend the rest of the month of July coming up with your requirements (PM talk for what do you need to get out of a mentoring relationship) and then come up with your plan and identify some resources. And focus on August to get  something started — many of us have just completed mid year performance reviews or assessments —  career and development are top of mind!

I’m re-energized and back on track! Join me!

No — Not my flip flops! Not my flip flops!!! — Comfort and fashion impacting wellness? Indeed.

Its summer and its Texas — that means pedicures and more importantly — FLIP FLOPS. Who am I kidding, I live in central Texas, so that in and of itself means flip flops year round except for the handful of days that it gets really “cold.”

Flip Flops are a staple in my wardrobe, this CNN article discusses the harms of wearing flip flops too often. It made me think “ts not just about fashion, it may impact the wellness of your employees.”

I started my career in retail. Which meant long days on my feet. I had worked retail in high school and through college, but when I took my first job out of college, the ante was raised. As a manager, I couldn’t wear sneakers (“tennis shoes”) to work. After a few years of walking the store in heels and “fashionable” comfort shoes my feet had taken a beaten. I was in my early 20s and had already been to several foot specialists. Talk about a big cost to my pocket — even with my insurance. I had severe heel spurs and required physical therapy every week that left me in tears. Many of my co-workers from that job are still in retail and were too proud to go to a podiatrist. I wonder how the toll has taken on their feet — and legs and backs.

Fast forward to the present where my professional environment is all about being casual and comfortable — jeans and t-shirts — and flip flops. It took me almost 2 years before I broke down and accepted the fashion rules, but now I’m hooked on my flip flops. What used to be a staple as house shoes or quick trips to the mailbox now consume my closet in every color (to match all those t-shirts that I get my from my employer – and my sun dresses for the days that I want to “dress up”).

What I took as comfort I now see could have a serious impact to my health and well being – -and could lead me to those regular appointments again with the podiatrist.

Bringing it all together…

Not many employers are probably asking themselves if their dress culture promotes a culture of wellness. And if you don’t want to think about your employees and their health — let’s think about the bottom line — potential increasing costs of benefits as medical claims rise. If your employees are anything like mine at my retail gig, you may not see them as podiatry claims – but likely as leg and back plain — maybe even head, neck and headache pains — not understanding the connection between what is on their feet and the impacts that it makes to misalignment in the body.

I prefer to take the lens of the former — healthy employees! There is an opportunity to communicate to employees the impacts that their shoes could make to their health. Is it any different than helping educate people on healthy eating habits which also impact wellness?

Today as I get ready for work, I’m ditching the flip flops and grabbing the sneakers! And this weekend, I’ll be replacing my cheapo flip flops for some that offer more support — its Texas after all!