Academic Librarians should Exercise their benefits

Steven Bell writes on the ACRLog:

If staying fit and exercising regularly are important to your lifestyle, it pays to be an academic librarian. If this is one of the benefits you have as an academic librarian, give some thought to putting it to good use.

In the post, Steven looks at the results of the ALA’s Library Workplace Wellness survey.  He writes that while the results for academic librarians look good, it would be ideal if more academic librarians would take advantage of their campus wellness initiatives.

I agree with Steven on this one, and I do my best to use our staff/faculty exercise facility almost every day.  My employer offers memberships to a staff facility called Wellworks for a very reasonable price.  Wellworks is in close proximity to the library, so I am able to get down to the gym and work out during my lunch break.   Since I have two kids, the most convenient time for me to take time for exercise is on my lunch break.   I can generally get to the gym, get a good 30-minute workout in, shower, and be back at my desk in an hour.  Granted, I would love to spend more time down there, but I generally make the most of my 30 minutes with a pretty vigorous routine.  This is often one of the few times where it pays to be folicularly challenged, as I don’t have to worry about drying my hair after the shower.

Like most exercisers and New Year’s resoluters, my exercise participation can often have ebbs and flows.  Since the first of January, I’ve stayed pretty much on course with my routine.  During most weeks I have been able to get to the gym at least 3-4 times during the workweek.  Going at lunch is really nice, and once you start to get a rhythm you start seeing the same people on a regular basis.  The lunchtime camaraderie can actually encourage you not to miss the next workout.  I find that on days that I miss my workout, I’m a little more edgy and not nearly as relaxed.  I also find that if I miss my workout, I wind up not taking a lunch break at all, as I’m more inclined to eat my sandwich at my desk.  So for me, getting my daily dose of exercise is not only for my physical health, but for my mental health as well.

I’m fortunate that I have an employer who offers a workout facility, and I am really thankful that I am able to go exercise at lunch.  If you have a facility near your library, I encourage you to check it out and try working out a few days a week for a couple of months.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy taking time for yourself and get away from the daily grind, while helping your physical and mental health.

One thought on “Academic Librarians should Exercise their benefits”

  1. Thank you! For so long I have been feeling guilty about using my lunch hour to work out at our university fitness facility. I’m glad to know that others in similar professional positions find the value in doing the same thing. Cheers!

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