It’s a balancing act

Tiina Hoffman

Tiina HoffmanExercise Physiologist & Master Trainer, Firstbeat@Tiinafbt

Stress & Recovery

In the aftermath of our annual international seminar in London – Getting the balance right – here’s once again some reflection on the topic of balance. The London seminar’s title referred to several things: the overall balance between stress and recovery – how to balance our time between work, exercise, family, own time, and all the life’s duties and responsibilities – without getting off-balance! More literally, we wanted to balance the seminar between the topics of regular people’s well-being and health versus the special needs of elite sports and athletes – and of course, both of these worlds require a lot of intricate balancing to bring out the best performance of individuals, work groups, teams and athletes.The video behind the following link illustrates this further; a gymnast is working towards the perfect balance in her balance beam routine… not so different from the constant balancing that we have to face, at least figuratively, in our everyday lives.

Like many others, I too have been working on work balance lately, between answering e-mails from around the world (with questions, problems, suggestions, ideas…), getting all my other work done and remembering (at least sometimes!) to do what we preach: take a deep breath, maybe stretch, walk away from the desk for a break. It’s not always easy – trying to do the right thing versus keeping everyone happy and getting things done, is it? You easily feel pulled in many directions and coping with this is definitely a balancing act that puts our life management skills to test time and again!

And how did I succeed this week? A few emails remain to be answered. The to-do list is shorter, but not nearly all checked off. This morning at 8 am I made the decision to join my colleagues for a group run, despite my internal pressure to “be sensible” and start working on my to-do list… Going running didn’t shorten the to-do list, but I’m pretty sure it was good for my overall balance. Nothing like sunshine, running steep stairs (with some balancing involved!), lactic acid and getting out of breath to start off the day right! Maybe not too often for me, but it’s these little choices that we have to weigh and make to keep our lives in balance mentally and physically. Wishing a nicely balanced weekend to all!

Tiina Hoffman

Tiina Hoffman Exercise Physiologist & Master Trainer, Firstbeat @Tiinafbt

Tiina is an Exercise Physiologist who works at Firstbeat as a Wellness Specialist. Growing up as a skier, Tiina spent 4 years cross-country ski racing and later 4 year coaching at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. After moving back to Finland, she found her way to Firstbeat after several years in overtraining and heart rate variability field studies at the Research Institute for Olympic Sports and the University of Jyväskylä. To maintain a good balance in her own life, she enjoys the outdoors – kayaking, hiking, xc-skiing and escaping to her cabin in the woods.

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