By, Cristina Moreno
*Runs to the computer* Hi everyone, I am back and out of breath! This month, to continue Sulzer’s summer wellness challenge series, we turned up the heat. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. So, our challenge was to complete just that! When divided across five days, the challenge called for about 30 minutes of exercise per day from Monday to Friday. Totally feasible!
To hold participants accountable, we created a chart to track your daily minutes of exercise completed each day. We set one rule to make sure it was fair: workouts had to be completed outside of work hours – we were encouraged to practice exercising at home in hopes it would create a new routine!
While I do not consider myself a fitness guru, I generally exercise a few times a week. For this challenge, I promised myself to at least get a little exercise every day. Did I achieve my goal?
Day #1: It’s Monday- I’m tired, but I wanted to start this challenge off on the right foot (literally). I quickly got ready for work and took my puppy, Molly, out for a brisk morning walk around our block. Since it is early in the morning, the weather is perfect and I have time to enjoy a cup of coffee. I enjoy taking morning walks whenever I can because it helps me wake up and get the blood flowing. After work, I went home and quickly changed into workout clothes. Before doing anything else, I went to my mini-home gym and completed minutes on my Stairmaster. I believe that it is important to get my workout in before getting too comfortable at home because once I sit on the couch or begin household chores, forget about exercise!
Daily exercise: 45 minutes
Day #2: Tuesday- and for me it was more like Doomsday. I took Molly out for another walk and decided to take a different route resulting in 25 minutes of exercise and it is only 8am! When I got to the office to log my minutes for Monday, I couldn’t help but notice that some people completed upwards of an hour on Day 1. Refusing to get discouraged, I reminded myself to never compare! After work, I went home and tried a time under tension class on the Daily Burn . I have been a member for over 3 years and I love being able to take a class from anywhere using the app. The class for today was so INTENSE that I found myself unable to walk up the stairs for a good 10 minutes.
Daily exercise: 60 minutes
Day #3: Wednesday- So now I am sore from Tuesday’s workout and I am not a happy camper. I still went for a walk in the morning with Molly before work. Feeling a little unmotivated, I stopped by Marshall’s after work and got some fun fitness gear. I would be lying if I said athleisure was not one of my favorite fashion trends of all time. How do I justify owning so many leggings and sneakers? By reminding myself that I can wear it to both work out and hang out. Also, cute sportswear motivates me to work out.
Daily exercise: 20 minutes
Day #4: Thursday- and I am still sore… why? Two days out from Tuesday’s intense workout and I can barely get out of bed. I took 15 minutes this morning to stretch and try to release my muscles- I guess that means I had a good workout! After work, I decided to go outdoors for a jog. I live near a track so I walked over, jogged a mile, and walked a mile. As I cooled down and walked home, I treated myself to an ice cream.
Daily exercise: 45 minutes
Day #5: Fri-YAY! Good news is that I am less sore thanks to Thursday’s jog. I was able to make it through the work day without falling out of my seat. Fridays during the summer, we have 1.5 hours of free time to relax and bond as a team. I took advantage of the nice weather and played a little frisbee. Having completed the 150 Minutes challenge, I could have easily gone home and binge watched The Office. Instead, I kept the momentum going when I got home and completed 20 minutes on the Stairmaster to start my weekend.
Daily exercise: 35 minutes
Committing to five straight days of exercise with my schedule was not as easy as I thought, but I surpassed the minimum amount and worked out for a total of 205 minutes! It wasn’t easily achieved, however. Three reasons why I struggled: things happen last minute, life gets busy, or I am just plain tired. I will also throw in, “the weather is gross” as a valid excuse. I did, however; learn that endorphins are like magic and that simple fact kept me going. Getting to the Stairmaster was tough on occasions, but I never once regretted it when I was done.
This fitness challenge was there to push me out of my comfort zone (which typically consisted of sitting on the couch) and showed me how much better it feels to get up and move. Moving forward, whenever I feel lazy, I need to remind myself of how great I will feel after a workout. Now that I’ve completed this challenge, I have learned that I am capable of exercising more frequently and I just need to stop with the excuses!
Super excited for our next challenge!
By, Cristina Moreno
Ever heard of the 8×8 rule for drinking a healthy amount of water daily? 8 glasses of 8 ounces everyday. Easy to remember, and realistic to achieve. Or so we thought…
Last month, we embarked on an office-wide activity as part of our summer challenge series. The task: drink the recommended 8 cups of water per day for an entire work week. That’s 320 ounces between Monday and Friday! Many were excited for some friendly competition, and I was all game. To keep track of our water intake, we had a chart by our water cooler that we would mark every time we finished a glass – we relied on the honor system.
Before the challenge, I thought I was pretty good at consistently drinking water throughout the day, and thought this would be a breeze! But when I factored in how busy my workday sometimes gets, I realized that some days I would forget to drink any water at all – not acceptable! I changed my mindset and dedicated myself to this challenge, and here’s how my week of intense hydration went:
Day #1: Easy as Pie: I came into work ready to tackle the challenge. First, I filled my handy Sulzer branded S’well bottle which holds 17oz of water. While I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I took advantage and drank some water. Off to a great start! I successfully finished Monday’s water intake without thinking twice.
Day #2: Chug-a-Thon: I think I came into Tuesday a little too confident. By lunch-time I didn’t even finish my first bottle of water. Many team members finished their water for the day and I was really behind. At 4pm, I challenged a colleague of mine to a power hour of sorts. Determined to complete the challenge, I drank 34oz in one hour. Granted, I may have not felt so great after.
Day #3: Time to Strategize: Disappointed with Tuesday’s results, I promised myself to be more mindful for the remainder of the week. I made sure to drink an entire 16oz water bottle before even touching my coffee mug. It felt great to walk into the office and mark the water chart before anyone else did. In the afternoon, I grabbed a sparkling flavored water as a pick-me-up that also allowed me to mark the chart.
Day #4: No Cutting the Bathroom Line: Things got real at the office as the water challenge was in full effect…there was an actual bathroom line! Throughout the day I like to drink coffee, mostly because it warms me up. On Thursday, I decided to swap my coffee for some tea, which allowed me to continue the streak even as I got home.
Day #5: Feeling Fine on a Friday: I woke up feeling energized! Could it be all the water I was drinking? Determined to finish strong, I scoured the internet for an app that would help me track my water. The search led me to WaterMinder, an app that syncs with my phone and iWatch. I used WaterMinder to set reminders for myself during the day and it worked great! By early afternoon, I had completed the water challenge. #HYDRATIONMOTIVATION
In the end, this challenge really proved that I was not drinking enough water, or any on some days! Thinking back before the challenge, I was quick to grab a coffee, soda, or juice often, which didn’t help.
Now, I wake up craving water before anything else! I find myself feeling more energized and even sleeping better through the night. I feel fully committed to drinking water more in general, and feel confident I can do so with ease. It’s amazing how 5 days launched me towards a healthier me, and I’d like to thank some friendly office competition for it.
First summer challenge down… I‘m ready for what’s next.
From your favorite HR team
People born in July tend to have a more optimistic outlook than those born in colder months, according to Business Insider, so this month, we are celebrating our sun-loving birthdays!
Whether we’re celebrating a birthday, a milestone, or an accomplishment, we believe office celebrations are more than just eating cake and signing a card. They’re about being appreciated and recognized for hard work, coming together as a team, and feeling motivated to work even harder.Employees can gain these intangible benefits from any company event – during work hours or after! Here at Sulzer, we celebrate everyone’s birthday, holidays, and completions of major projects, because we believe in celebrating life’s big and small moments!
Birthday gatherings are for much more than celebrating just the person born on that day. When you get a team together, it provides a sense of a support system that goes beyond saying “Happy Birthday!” It says, “We appreciate you and want to be a part of your special day.” Before you light candles and surprise an employee with a song and treats on their birthday, think about all the other great reasons to celebrate, not just for that one person, but for all the benefits you’ll see from it within your entire team!
Celebrations, no matter the size, allow employees to be recognized for their accomplishments both in the office and in their personal lives. When employees are recognized for their accomplishments, they feel valued and can see that their employers are taking a personal interest in their lives. Most people appreciate being recognized either for birthdays, retirement, or just a job well done!
Since celebrations often have a relaxed atmosphere, employees can unwind a bit and enjoy being with their team in a more care-free setting. Celebrations provide a short break from their work which allows them to reset and return to work fresh and clear. What better way to bring the team together than in an environment where they step away from their work for a moment, tell some stories, and eat some cake?!
Oftentimes when employees are recognized for their accomplishments, morale and motivation increases. Seeing others get recognized will boost their own work ethic in hopes of receiving the same appraisal. It’s an endless, positive cycle: Recognize accomplishment, boost morale, improve motivation, recognize more accomplishments!
Here at Sulzer, we look forward to any celebration that involves good food and great people!
Happy birthday to our upcoming July celebrants!
We believe in doing activities outside of the office for the opportunity to bond with our teammates, and we love taking pictures to remember these great times! In our kitchen, we have a bulletin board full of these memories, and as we add more valued employees and participate in more activities, the less room we have on the board! Here are a few photos from our 2017 Holiday Party, a Spartan Race, rock climbing, and more!
We’ve kicked off our summer events with a night of bowling! On Friday night, a handful of Sulzerites got together at the local bowling alley. Throughout the summer, we’re setting up activities for the team to get together and bond outside of work. Stay tuned for future posts to find out what we’re up to next!
What’s the best way to test your skills? Be challenged. Compete! That’s what four of our developers did a few months ago at the GM “Makers Hustle Harder” Hackathon in Boston. With access to GM’s Infotainment SDK (software developer kit) and using cloud-based speech recognition, Julian (President), Elliot (Front End), Reed (Backend), and Stephen (Backend) created a restaurant search app that would be tested on a GM vehicle onsite. They called it “Food Finder,” the voice-activated, hands-free food ordering system. Brilliant! How often are you driving home from work and need to call in an order for pickup, or want to find a local restaurant as you’re traveling through a new town? This infotainment add-on would help with those requests using just your voice.
Food Finder competed against five other projects, and while they did not come in first place, the team left feeling accomplished in what they did. It also acted as a great team building exercise for these Sulzerites. Challenges included issues decoding and not getting enough sleep! Their biggest accomplishment was completing the end-to-end solution in just three days. Impressive!
The team created a Spring Boot Java backend that utilized Maven as the dependency manager, MongoDB as the database, Google Cloud for speech-to-text transcription, and IBM Watson for natural language processing and sentiment analysis. For the UI, they were limited to use the React framework with Redux for state management. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was used to deploy and host the project.
Check out what the test screen looked like and read more about the Hackathon at https://devpost.com/software/food-finder-bh1ldv.
We may not have warm, spring weather yet, but that’s not stopping us from getting active with some rock climbing; Indoor rock climbing, that is! Just minutes from the office, The Gravity Vault is a great place for teams to get in some bonding after work hours. With about four people to every one instructor, the groups were small enough that everybody got ample climb time and big enough that there was always a cheering squad rooting for you at the bottom. We had great instructors who were at the other end of our harnessed ropes also cheering us on and suggesting the next move to get to the top.
Imagine this: The climb starts off easy. Left arm and left leg up, right arm and right leg up. Then you realize you’re halfway up the wall, heart racing, and don’t know your next move. You hold on tighter and try to reach your foot up to your hip’s level. Sounds hard! But rock climbing is more than just a physical challenge; it’s a mental one, too. When you think you don’t have the energy to pull yourself up to the next handhold, your eagerness to succeed and make it to the top kicks in and you power through!
And if you think this is just an individual activity, you are sorely mistaken (emphasis on sore. It’s quite the workout!). A few of us participated in what I like to call, “Blind Rock Racing.” Two climbers were blindfolded and went toe to toe, climbing up walls with comparable skill levels while others on the floor guided him or her on where their next move should be. Our team is growing and it’s more important than ever to find team building opportunities in so many things we do!
Our Sulzerites don’t just work hard, they play hard, too! On the West Coast, we have a small team based in California made up of Lukas & Christian. When fellow colleague, Martin, was there, the three of them took a visit to the 60th Annual San Francisco International Auto Show to experience new cars and features that the show had to offer.
Martin (left), Lukas (center), and Christian (right)
They went directly from the office to give themselves plenty of time to explore. So much time, in fact, that Martin sat in almost every car available! They also had the opportunity to test drive new KIA models and a hybrid car around the block. Lukas says that was his favorite part! Martin and Christian enjoyed being able to build their own Volkswagen model and digitally paint it. The red was a nice choice!
The SF Auto Show gives visitors a chance to see the latest automotive innovations from the world’s major manufacturers. They get the chance to sit in, feel, and daydream about what it would be like to own one, which is the what the show is all about! We hope our team can visit again next time it’s in town!