A Healthy Approach to Meetings

The majority of us spend half of our waking hours at work, and sadly, often many of those hours are spent sitting in meetings.  While meetings, events and conferences are a necessary part of today’s work world, if not properly planned, the fact is they’re doing our bodies harm. 

Our bodies were designed for regular movement. Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Combine inactivity with the usual dose of sugar-laden chocolate chip cookies, high calorie drinks and high fat meals, and it’s no wonder we’re often left drained and exhausted after a full day of doing nothing but sitting on our derrieres.

Here at Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre, health and wellness is at our core. Tucked in the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest on the edge of Loon Lake, we’re surrounded by nature and all of its bounty. Beyond being a healthy and inspiring meeting location, our chef works individually with each group to create healthy, customized menus that help contribute to increased productivity, positive employee morale and overall well-being.

To help with your corporate or group meeting and event planning, here are some tips for a healthy and productive meeting:

1. Schedule Movement Breaks – A Movement Break is a 3-5 minute fun, low-impact activity set to music that gets you moving your arms and legs. Guaranteed to get your group smiling, energized and ready to give your full attention, movement breaks are an entertaining way to break up your meeting.

2. Feature vegetables and fruit - Packed with nutrition vegetables and fruit are a good choice for food choices. Opt for: 

 > Washed and ready-to-eat fresh vegetables and fruit either on their own or with a low-fat dip or yogurt 

> Use fruit in salads or kabobs (fruit kabobs make a great snack or dessert), or for toppings on cereal at a breakfast meeting 

> Order a vegetable soup or salad for lunch or as the start to a hot meal, and at least one vegetable as a side dish with a hot meal. 

3. Emphasize healthy carbohydrates - Some carbohydrates – such as white breads, rice and pastas, cookies and cakes – can make us feel tired and unable to concentrate soon after we eat them. Other carbohydrates – such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains and low-fat dairy products provide our bodies with the long-lasting fuel we need to function properly throughout the day. Emphasize healthy carbohydrates at your meetings by choosing wholegrain cereals, brown rice and wholegrain pastas for hot meals or cold salads and wholegrain bread or wraps for sandwiches 

4. Get active! Schedule Activity Breaks - It is important to include physical activity breaks during meetings; especially during meetings that last longer than an hour. Including physical activity helps the group stay focused and involved, and it also demonstrates how easy it is to be active on a regular basis. Physical activity breaks allow for meeting participants to get part of their recommended daily dose 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity. At Loon Lake, taking an Activity Break is as easy as opening the door. The Loon Lake Discovery Trail easy is enough for everyone to take part, and it takes your group on a beautiful walk through a fir and cedar filled forest.  Our friends at Wake Up Sup offer terrific retreats options that get people moving on the lake.

5. Keep Hydrated - Our bodies are around 60% water and our brains are strongly influenced by our level of hydration. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. A recent study showed that fluid loss of only 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue. To help keep your group hydrated, ensure that fresh water is available at all times.

{photo credit: Wake Up Sup}