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“Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.” Joseph Pilates.
Jumping into a new challenge can be difficult, especially when it comes to starting a new fitness routine. Taking the step to join a new fitness center or try a new exercise might seem to be a little daunting. Especially when feeling like you are going into this new challenge alone.
Starting that new routine with friends and a sense of community will make that transition easier and will help keep you motivated. In fact, “Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times.” (www.mayoclinic.org).
Having a support network and sense of community when starting an exercise routine will increase sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness and reduce stress, and improve self-confidence and self-worth. That support network is there to cheer you on when success is achieved and encourage when a challenge is faced.
At FreedomCore Pilates of Prescott Valley, there is so much more to attending classes than getting in shape. There’s a sense of community. From the start, owner Jess Costa, had the goal of creating a sense of community with those who come to her studio. Those who attend classes find support, individual attention, community support, friendship, and positivity.
No one at FreedomCore experiences judgment from other attendees or from instructors. Those who attend classes find they start to forge friendships and a support network to keep trekking in their journey to physical fitness. Someone might come in feeling bad about the way they look or worry they won’t be able to keep up but everyone who goes to FreedomCore quickly realize they are all in the same boat.
Attending FreedomCore goes beyond simply attending fitness classes and getting into shape. Jess has shared in the past that she wanted to bring a sense of community to Prescott Valley with her studio and she has succeeded. Each station in the studio has whiteboards where people who attend classes and staff write positive messages to encourage one another.
In the end, it might feel like attacking a new challenge all alone at the start but it won’t be long before you start meeting others and start forging new friendships. Having like-minded goals and similar interests gives a common ground to connect with others and is a great way to start that journey to physical fitness.
>>FreedomCore is also offering a FREE introductory class for anyone who is interested! Be sure to visit freedomcorepilates.com to book your free session!<<
With a variety of class offerings and membership packages to suit anyone plus a drop-in-class option and even a FREE introductory class, FreedomCore Pilates is perfect for everybody. Visit freedomcorepilates.com or check out their Facebook Page to learn more.
The MIND BODY SOUL section is made possible by Thumb Butte Medical Center, the Quad Cities only multi-specialty medical clinics with locations in Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley, AZ.
Is your business listed in the official Prescott Valley Recreation Guide?! 60,000 copies are being printed annually! How can you add your business? Call 928-257-4177 or email email@example.com or fill out the form at www.signalsaz.com.
As return-to-the-office dates come into focus, more people are looking for new remote jobs, but many worry such a move could result in a pay cut.
Experts say a pay cut isn’t a given—but individuals must be savvy about how they negotiate.
Before the last major COP meeting, in Paris in 2015, innovation was barely on the climate agenda. This year in Glasgow it will take centre stage. Shifting the world’s focus to inventing clean technologies was among the greatest successes of the Paris COP. Continuing that trajectory is, perhaps, its biggest opportunity this year, because innovation is the only way the world can cut net greenhouse gas emissions from roughly 51bn tonnes per year to zero by 2050.
There is now significantly more money for basic research and development and more venture capital for clean start-ups in hard-to-decarbonise sectors than ever before. As a result, some important clean technologies — like sustainable aeroplane fuel, green steel and extra-powerful batteries — now exist and are ready to scale up.
If the world is really committed to climate innovation, however, then these breakthroughs must be only the beginning of the story, not the end. At COP26 we need to think about how to turn lab-proven concepts into ubiquitous products that people want and can afford to buy. This will require a massive effort to fund hundreds of commercial demonstration projects of early-stage climate technologies.
It is incredibly challenging for any start-up to commercialise its product, but it is uniquely so for energy companies. When I was starting Microsoft, we didn’t need much infrastructure to write code and, once we’d written it, we could make nearly infinite copies with perfect fidelity for very little money.
Climate-smart technologies are much more difficult to navigate. Once you can make green hydrogen in a lab, you have to prove that it works — safely and reliably — at scale. That means building an enormous physical plant, ironing out engineering, supply chain and distribution issues, repeating them over and over again and steadily cutting costs. Demonstration projects like this are hugely complicated, extremely risky, and extraordinarily expensive — and it’s very hard to finance them.
In clean technology, there is yet another complication. When all that complicated, risky, expensive work is finished, you end up with a product that does more or less the same thing as the one it’s intended to replace — green steel has pretty much the same functionality as today’s steel — but costs more, at least for a while.
Naturally, it’s hard to find buyers, which means banks charge more for loans. The high cost of capital, in turn, increases the price of the products. Because financing is so hard to come by, commercial demonstration can be an excruciatingly slow process. Right now, the key to the climate innovation agenda is making it go faster.
I believe we can do this. Hundreds of governments and companies have made net zero commitments, and they have billions of dollars to invest. If we create systems that incentivise them to finance these projects and to commit to buying products such as sustainable aviation fuel and green steel, then we stand a chance of speeding up the innovation cycle. By committing a lot more money to build demonstration projects, recognising these contributions as one of the best ways to meet net zero commitments, and creating a system to measure the impact of these investments, we will give ourselves our best chance to avoid a climate disaster.
When I think about getting to zero, I ask three questions. First, can the world maintain public support for climate action? That depends on making sure the energy transition doesn’t cost so much that people lose patience. Second, can emerging economies like India, Brazil, and South Africa — which have done much less to contribute to climate change than in rich countries but are affected the most — continue to drive down poverty without emitting greenhouse gases? That depends on bringing down the price of green materials, so they don’t face a trade-off between growth and a liveable climate.
And third, what happens in the meantime? Just about everyone alive today will have to adapt to a warmer climate. The effects of higher temperatures — more frequent droughts and floods, the desiccation of farmland, the spread of crop-eating pests — will hit farmers especially hard. These changes will be problematic for farmers in rich countries, but potentially deadly for those in low-income ones. So, in addition to making clean energy cheaper, we need to double down on innovations like improved seeds that will help the poorest farmers grow more food.
At COP26, the world should put scaling up clean technology innovation — both for mitigating the worst impacts of climate and for adapting to the effects that we will already feel — on the agenda in the same way it put R&D on it in 2015.
What has been the British government’s biggest mistake since the war? For Charlie Mullins, the boss of Pimlico Plumbers, the answer is obvious: letting people work from home. It’s a surprising line from a plumber. Surely homeworking has been a bonanza, with central heating being run all day, domestic loos in constant service, and dishwashers flogged like oxen? Not to mention people kicking bits of pipe in frustration when they read news stories. Even better, when the plumber comes, someone will always be in. Turn up any time between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
In fact, Covid could have been engineered by plumbers. Can it be a coincidence that Mullins recently sold the company for somewhere north of £120m?
His remarks were echoed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain a couple of days later by businesswoman Tina Knight, who said that the rise in working from home was setting a “bad example” to children. Speaking personally, Tina’s comments were a wake-up call. I realised that until then, I had probably been one of these problematic home-workers. I would typically wake around 11pm and begin the day with a game of Russian roulette, making sure not to brush my teeth or floss.
After that it would be time for the first drink of the day, usually a can of Carling, while I sent my daughter down the road for some fags. At 18 months she is old enough to buy them but still needs someone else to light them for her.
As a reward I would let her drink a litre of Pepsi and settle in with an ultraviolent Korean revenge horror. Since reading Knight’s comments, however, I have decided to be more mindful about the example I’m setting. I sit down at my desk at 8am and work until 5pm. Sometimes I go for a short walk.
Nobody is more self-deceitful than the office worker, all of whom are complicit in a grand conspiracy – some call it “being men” – to convince those working at home – women, for most of history – that being in an office is more difficult and important than anything that takes place at home.
It was always nonsense. The pandemic has simply lifted the veil. If the average child were to accompany their office-bound parent, by teatime they would be requesting a transfer to a different family. They would see sad figures trudging to transport hubs, perhaps via the first of the eight coffees a day they need to feel alive.
They would spend the commute browsing trousers, looking at pictures of their enemies, or playing phone games about exploding sweets. The truly ambitious might listen to podcasts about billionaires’ gym habits or how celebrities overcame their fear of spiders. Others simply stare out of the window of the tube, peering into the void for a glimpse of their reflection.
Once these grey automata make it to their building, they spend half an hour taking their coat off, going to the loo or getting another hot drink. By the time they have sat down and sent a few emails, it is time for the first pointless meeting of the day. Then it’s lunch. The afternoon typically passes in a mix of pointless meetings, pointless emails and other hollow diversions.
This isn’t to say that these activities aren’t open to the home-worker – they are. But at least at home, time wasting is obviously just that. In an office, surrounded by clacking keyboards and the hum of industrious photocopiers, time wasting can feel a lot like work.
Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers. It’s not difficult to see why. Going to an office can be enough to make you feel like part of the world economy. Without the office environment to create the illusion of productivity, more of us are stopping to have a think about our options. Maybe there is more important work out there. Maybe, by working at home, we can save some time to hang out with the kids, or at least read on the internet about how to set a good example.
Until then, my child will see a man in a chair at a keyboard, looking out at the rain and vaguely wondering how he is going to pay for everything. The office fetishists might not like it, but there could be no better preparation for life in the remainder of 21st-century Britain.
Hands up who wants to make their workforce whiter?
Put another way, who thinks it is a good idea to run a business in a way that makes black staff or other people of colour think about quitting more than white employees?
I am aware these questions sound inane.
Yet I have not been able to stop thinking about them since I came across research suggesting this is precisely what some companies may be inadvertently doing as they try to lure workers back to the office from home.
The data comes from monthly surveys that a team of economists began last year to see what Americans think about the jolting shifts in working arrangements wrought by the pandemic.
The surveys have uncovered something that might not have gained wide attention if it weren’t for the great Covid working-from-home experiment.
People of colour want more time working from home than white people.
The researchers’ most recent data shows that, when asked how often they would like to work at home once the pandemic eases, white workers said 2.2 days a week on average.
Hispanic Americans said 2.42 days; Asian Americans 2.48 days and black Americans 2.54 days.
The difference is even starker when workers are asked what they would do if forced to return to the office five days a week.
A solid 33 per cent of white workers say they would go back but start looking for a job that let them work from home. For minority workers, however, the figure jumps to 40 per cent.
The same trend has emerged in other studies this year.
Only 3 per cent of black knowledge workers want to return to full-time office working, compared with 21 per cent of their white counterparts in the US, according to the Future Forum, a future of work think-tank launched by Slack, the workplace messaging app.
Its researchers think a number of factors explain the difference.
Working at home can reduce the need for black workers to constantly engage in draining “code-switching”, or changing the way they talk, dress or behave to fit into a predominantly white workplace.
They say it may also spare workers from “microaggressions”, offensive if often unintended incidents, such as being mistaken for a colleague of the same race, or having your hair touched.
A friend in London gave another reason why working from home made sense for people of colour like her: “This virus seems to hate us in particular.”
People from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK have accounted for a disproportionate number of severe Covid cases and deaths.
As my friend said, that makes getting on to a train to go to work with a lot of unmasked commuters a distinctly uninviting prospect.
There is another group of workers who constitute a flight risk if pushed to go back to the office full-time: highly-educated women with young children.
The monthly surveys of Americans have shown 34 per cent of these women would like to work at home five days a week, compared with 26 per cent of men.
A lot of businesses are already scrambling to hire and hold on to women and minority workers. These figures suggest they should think carefully before trying to recreate pre-pandemic office life.
In today’s tight labour market, there is no sign of this changing any time soon. Regardless of race or gender, the share of US workers who say they would simply quit with no other job in hand if forced back to full-time office work has steadily risen this year, from 6.1 per cent in June to 7.8 per cent in September.
One of the economists leading the US survey research, Stanford University’s Nick Bloom, says these figures underline a fact of working life today that most large companies have grasped.
Any employer wanting to retain a well-educated, diverse workforce cannot force staff back to the office full-time, he told an FT conference two weeks ago.
“It’s just not possible,” he said. “We’re in a hyper competitive labour market for talent. You can’t do something that employees hate. It’s kind of Econ 101.”
In the first episode of Apple TV’s new show Physical, starring Rose Byrne, it’s evident how fashion and workout wear converged since the fitness boom in the 1980s. Fast-forward to today, when wearing athleisure styles crept into some corporate work attires. No one was poised better to capitalize on this emerging trend of blurring the lines between street and gym wear than Carbon38 co-founder Katie Warner Johnson. The CEO blended her Harvard degree and fitness trainer skills to launch the premier luxury athletic multi-brand retailer with a mission to boost other female-led brands along the way.
Upon graduating with a BA in art history and architecture, Warner Johnson deferred a job offer from Deutsche Bank to continue her other passion, ballet. That dream was stalled due to several injuries, but rather than fall back on finance; she became a coveted fitness trainer in Los Angeles. “I was a fitness instructor and thus lived in spandex,” says Warner Johnson of how the brand was hatched.
“I got to know cool, up and coming brands, the majority of which were run by women. I found these brands wanted to go after the major players in the activewear space, but rather than do that; my thought was to stitch together the micro-players and crowdsource our way to success.” An invitation to the 2012 Women 2.0 startup conference weekend in San Francisco helped cement the idea.
The name sprang from the CEO’s passion for the periodic table, and in 2014 the brand launched with five brands. “Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in our bodies, and it felt compelling for the business I was beginning to create,” she explains. They have worked with over 260 brands to date, 75% of which are run or founded by women. “It is important to me to support fellow female leaders – Carbon38 exists because of them,” asserts Warner Johnson.
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The site carries Adidas by Stella McCartney, LoveShackFancy, Balmain, Reebok X Victoria Beckham and Sweaty Betty, among others. The looks promote a style that blends activewear’s DNA with fashion ready-to-wear silhouettes, an empowering look for modern women.
The fitness pro dialed into her finance acumen culled from college experience, growing the company from $0 to over $50M, raising successful funding rounds, and hiring the right industry leaders to support the vision.
The fitness universe was a community long before social media and the internet was buzzing with them. It proved to be the retailer’s first marketing vehicle, with Warner Johnson serving as the first brand ambassador. “I served as our first ambassador, wearing the newest styles on Carbon38 to my morning fitness classes. By the time I made it home from the studio, we had hit our daily sales goal.” She credits the ambassadors with Carbon38’s founding and success.
The company has a network of thousands of fitness instructors in 23 countries serving as ‘evangelists for the brand,’ as she puts it. “Today’s consumers can spot a fake endorsement in one glance. When there is a genuine bond between brand and partner, consumers feel it, believe it, and buy into it. Cultivating an authentic ambassador network has been our mission at Carbon38.”
Recently, the brand launched the ‘At Our Core’ campaign that highlights the female ambassadors’ roles and social contributions globally. “These women are pillars of their community and the foundation of our company,” she explains.
Like any start-up, Carbon38 was not without a learning curve, especially the uncanny luck of their crowd-sourced community-based success. “Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken risks or backed our way into some of our craziest, biggest wins,” she reveals. “That said, in the last year alone, Carbon38 has experienced some of its highest highs and lowest lows. My biggest learning has been ‘you are never in control,’ a terrifying and freeing realization,” she continues of the critical business lessons.
As a fitness brand with a slew of instructor ambassadors, they were poised during the start of the pandemic to reach out to their community, providing classes to help retain some aspect of customarily scheduled lives. “Early in lockdown, we implemented “Work(out) From Home” – a 3x a day fitness class hosted on our Instagram featuring a vast array of instructors from our ambassador community.”
The platform brought customers, brands, vendors, investors, teams and ambassadors together during the challenging time. “We still offer live weekend classes on our Instagram. The possibilities to connect with our larger community goes well beyond leggings.”
For those on the East and West Coasts searching for an IRL Carbon38 experience, the brand currently has two physical locations, Palisades Park and Bridgehampton. Current investments are geared at not only carrying over 70 percent of female-led brands but investing in some acting both investor and incubator for those who may otherwise never receive capital and exposure to succeed at scale. Collaboration is also core to the brand, having forged an exclusive tennis-centric collection between Venus Williams and EleVen.
In 2015, the brand added their own branded line of workout wear which is exclusive to Carbon38. They take steps towards sustainability by using two fabrics in core goods, the Cloud and Diamond compression, made from recycled water bottles. Additionally, 100% of branded label poly bags are made from recycled plastics.
The road to sustainability is a journey not unlike founding a brand. Small steps and actions grow into bigger ideas and results. Warner Johnson is grateful for the opportunity, however self-created and wisdom gained along the way.
“Building something from scratch at my kitchen table to spending the last 20 months back at that table prepping the business for a new era and its next decade of success has been a gift,” she reflects, adding, “Back to the learning that you are never in control. I plan to listen more closely to our customers, vendors, and teammates as the answer is always in the room.”
Will Smith’s upcoming YouTube series, Best Shape of My Life, will not be a typical, light-hearted ride-along with a middle-aged movie star as he tries to shed a few pounds. What starts with some jokey images of belly flab and comments about his mega-cut appearance in I, Robot quickly turns more serious. In the new trailer, which also touches on his forthcoming book, the A-lister alludes to a time in his life that he “considered suicide.”
He speaks those words at a table surrounded by his visibly concerned family. He is later seen at the same table (but wearing a different shirt) dabbing his eyes and muttering “damn.”
Shooting for the fitness series coincided with Smith writing his heavily-anticipated memoir, Will. “It’s exposing my life and so many things that people don’t know about me,” he says about the book in the short clip. A clinical psychologist named Dr. Ramani Durvasula says that Smith is embarking on “two extraordinary difficult journeys,” referring to the autobiography and his push to lose 20 lbs in 20 weeks. The trailer shows Smith reaching a breaking point: Amid barbells and workout equipment, he turns to the camera and says, “I don’t want to do any of this,” and that he is “finished” with the series.
In what sounds as if Smith is reading an excerpt from Will’s completed draft, he says: “What you have come to understand as ‘Will Smith,’ the alien-annihilating emcee, the bigger-than-life movie star, is largely a construction, a carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself, to hide myself from the world, to hide the coward.”
Last summer, Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith joked through tears about their “bad marriage for life” on a very unusual episode of Red Table Talk.
Will Smith: The Best Shape Of My Life debuts on YouTube on November 8 with six episodes.
The phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
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The Grand Forks-based health care company has expanded hybrid work schedules to departments across the company. Jennifer Berg, director of Total Rewards at Altru, said now that employees know they can be just as productive from home, companies are adjusting.
“People were dealing with so much,” Berg said of work schedules during the height of the pandemic. “Some had kids at home, so it was a way that they were able to work while still taking care of their home needs.”
In the past, Altru exclusively employed people who lived nearby, particularly in North Dakota and Minnesota. Now, it remotely employs about 250 workers in 11 states who work in various departments, such as I.T., human resources and finance.
Berg said the flexibility of hybrid work weeks has aided hiring efforts during a time when qualified applicants are hard to come by. It “really opens up the labor market,” she said.
“We know now that we can do it with virtual work and remote work, and we have processes in place that would support that,” Berg said. “So we’re able to hire certain positions where it makes sense from other states or anywhere.”
It’s a trend emerging nationwide. A recent study by Gallup – and a subsequent article published on Gallup’s website – declares “Remote work persisting and trending permanent.”
A September Gallup poll showed that 45% of full-time U.S. employees worked from home either all or part of the time. The data was unchanged from earlier months.
Revealed in the Gallup study:
- Approximately nine out of 10 U.S. workers who are at least partially remote hope they can continue to work some hours from home after the pandemic subsides.
- “Hybrid work is most preferred,” the study declares. Overall, about half of those who work remotely at least some of the time say they would ideally like to split their time between working at home and in the office.
- “Hybrid looks like the way of the remote future.” Three-quarters of remote workers report that they likely will be allowed to work remotely at least some in the future.
- And tellingly, “Employers are at risk of losing talent if they do not allow remote work,” according to the study. “Three in 10 employees working remotely say they are extremely likely to seek another job if their company eliminates remote work.”
Grand Forks businesses faced hiring issues before the pandemic began, but the pandemic has left a lasting effect on how businesses attract new employees.
When employees at many businesses were sent home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, working from home – or hybrid work weeks – became an accepted practice for many employers. And as a labor shortage continues in the region, some companies are choosing to stick with various perks that before didn’t exist, including work-from-home opportunities, signing bonuses and the like.
In the Grand Forks area, some businesses have been using sign-on bonuses as an attention-grabbing recruiting tool. Marvin, a regional door and window manufacturer, was offering $2,500 to $5,000 as sign-on bonuses for production associates. Altru Health System was offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for an athletic trainer, as well as relocation expenses; it’s the same amount it was offering for a speech language pathologist. Valley Senior Living earlier this year was offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus for certain technical positions.
However, for the businesses that can do it, allowing employees freedom to work from home costs less than signing bonuses.
Dustin Hillebrand, Grand Forks workforce center manager at North Dakota Job Service, said sign-on bonuses have become popular with many companies, but he doubts Grand Forks businesses are universally on board with it.
After recent discussions with local businesses, “the majority that I talked to weren’t doing sign-on bonuses, but a few of them were thinking about it.”
“There are some companies that are and have had success with (bonuses),” Hillebrand said. “But really, I think it’s going to go back to even more what the balance is that they’re looking for.”
Part of that balance likely will be finding the right ratio of in-person and remote work.
“For instance, some companies are looking at going to different types of shifts for folks,” Hillebrand said. “You have folks who are working from home for some companies, you have some companies that are doing hybrid (schedules), where it’s three days in the office and two days at home, or some variation of that. Some companies are doing a four-day work week with 10-hour days.”
Hillebrand said businesses in Grand Forks could start by simply letting employees manage their own hybrid schedules.
“It might be giving employees the opportunity to change their hours during the day,” he said. “For instance, with COVID, it might mean you’ve got parents who are possibly home with students right now and letting them work later in the day while their student is going to school.”
At Altru, Berg said it’s important to listen to employees going forward and continue to make adjustments to their needs.
“I think the biggest thing is that we’re going to need to continue to evolve,” Berg said. “I guess I don’t think that we’re going to see work just return to the way that it had been.
“But I think that’s a good thing, too.”
Hitting bombs isn’t just about working at the range. It’s putting in some time on your biceps, too. But a gym isn’t always available or feasible.
How do you handle that?
This week, our fitness guru Averee Dovsek is in Central Park in the heart of New York City, to show you a quick and easy exercise to strengthen your arms — and all it takes is a simple band. It’s easy enough to do anywhere but will net tremendous results.
Watch this episode of “Fitness with Averee” above and check here for previous episodes.
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