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Employee Health Spotlight: Emily Rykaczewski

By Jordi Wallen
GlobalFit interviewed employees of all ages and identities to learn about how they live our mission of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both in and out of the office. Here’s what they had to say.



GF: Thanks for volunteering your time today. Can you please introduce yourself and your role at GlobalFit?

E: I’m Emily Rykaczewski, a Registered Dietitian with CHARGE

GF: Hi Emily! What does a “healthy lifestyle” mean to you?

E: A healthy lifestyle, to me, encompasses several factors - nutrition, physical activity, and mental wellness. I try to follow evidence-based recommendations in each of these facets.

GF: When did you begin focusing on a healthy lifestyle and why?

E: My journey to living a healthier lifestyle happened gradually. I never considered my health when I was a kid or teenager. I was a self-proclaimed picky eater and hated organized sports. It wasn't until a new gym opened at my university my sophomore year in college that I even considered being active. After visiting the gym a few times, I began to feel different - healthier! I was amazed at what physical activity could do for my body. Organically nutrition came next. If moving my body could make me feel good - how would it feel if I fed it the right stuff! My passion for dietetics followed.

GF: How do you stay physically active?

E: Over time I have developed a liking for anything physically active. My workouts typically consist of weight lifting, HIIT plyometrics, and running.

GF: How do you practice mindfulness or mental “fitness?”

E: This one is tough for me. Physical activity and nutrition now come naturally to me. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is easy to slack on. What I found most helpful for my "mental fitness" is to take time on Sunday to plan my upcoming week. My meals, my workouts, my free time. This gives me time to reflect on my week and assess how I can tackle all my goals! It's easy to skip over, but when I do it, I notice a huge difference in how my week goes!

GF: Does your wellness routine include a certain way of eating? If so, can you describe it?

E: Starting my day with breakfast!! I find this super crucial for me - if I miss it, I can totally see a difference in my appetite later at night (IE more snacking on processed foods). I start my day off with a balanced breakfast so I can end my night in success.

GF: How do you make time for your wellness routine amidst work, family, and other responsibilities?

E: It is by creating realistic goals! Personally, for me, I like to workout for AT LEAST 30 minutes for four days a week. It seems like a lot - however, I do not limit myself to what that workout entails. Ideally, I would love to get to the gym four days a week, but that's not always realistic. I consider walking, stretching, yoga, or an at-home workout video as alternatives. Even in my busiest weeks, I have been able to achieve this. Having a Plan B makes it helpful if plan A doesn't pan out.

GF: In regards to your wellness routine, what have you tried before that didn't work for you, and why not?

E: Waking up early to work out. In theory, this sounds like a great plan. In action... not so much. After several attempts and much frustration, I realized this approach just doesn't work for me. I was bringing more stress into my life rather than a reduction! After realizing that not all strategies (however positive they sound) do not always work for each individual, I gave up on my morning workouts. Now I leave my physical activity for after work. I find myself feeling more keyed in and energized at that time than I ever did during my morning workouts.

GF: What does it take for you to be consistent in your wellness routine?

E: Through consistency, my wellness routine has become a habit. The more consistent you are, the easier it becomes. Starting out, I found tracking very helpful in building consistency. I highly recommend this to anyone starting a new goal. I like to think of tracking as training wheels. At the start, we use them as a way to keep us going forward. Over time we build these habits into our lifestyle, taking away the need for support.

GF: What are your top tips for someone looking to live a more healthy lifestyle?

E: 1. Drink more water!! Overstated but still stands strong. People are more dehydrated than they think! A great tactic is to start the morning off with a large glass.

2. Start the morning off with a balanced breakfast. I'm not talking a bag of pop tarts. We want a quality carbohydrate for energy, a decent amount of protein to keep us full, and healthy fat to increase absorption of specific vitamins.

3. Get active! Don't have time? Work it into your day - walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, get off the bus a stop earlier, go to the bathroom on the second floor.

Tags: Employee Spotlight

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