Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle at Work and Home: Easy Changes That Work for Four Busy Women
Featuring QVC’s Albany Irvin, Kerstin Lindquist, Kate Sheehan and Molly Wadyko
Shop ‘til you drop. It’s just not an option for the women who take you shopping all day on QVC. And when it comes to exercising at work and home, QVC Program Host Albany Irvin says many women aren’t giving themselves credit for what they already accomplish—“taking care of kids, working, running households and errands translates into a lot of energy use.”
Albany says the secret is to plan around your unique situation, and she offers three ways to do it:
1. Define your motivation. What do you want to focus on? Maybe it’s getting fit, eating healthier, losing weight, increasing your energy or overcoming a setback. Choose one or two goals. For Albany, it’s maintaining her energy and overall health and wellness.
2. Set yourself up for success. “One of the easiest ways to get sidetracked is to choose unhealthy foods,” says Albany. “My kids know that the bottom two drawers in the fridge are fair game for snacks. I keep it stocked with fresh veggies, yogurt and miniature peppers. On Sunday nights, I broil chicken and place bite-sized pieces in baggies for healthy grab-and-go snacks during the week. We use our Vitamix to make homemade hummus – kids will eat just about anything dipped in hummus!”
3. Combine family time with fitness time. “Rather than sitting around every day after dinner, my kids go to the park with me,” Albany says. “And together we enjoy discovering what we like doing. Whether we run, take a walk, bike, roller skate or kayak, it’s an adventure exploring what ‘our thing’ is.”
Kerstin Lindquist is another QVC working mom, and she loves to spend time with both of her four-year-old girls. “I love my job as a QVC Program Host, but I want to be a hands-on mom and wife, too, and that doesn’t leave the time I want to stay fit,” she explains. “I’m seeking balance.”
She recommends small bursts of fitness that work around a woman’s particular schedule and demands. She gets up by 6 a.m. for an hour of exercise, then wakes her girls, Kerstin says, “for some snuggle time, one of my favorite things before I’m off to work.”
After work, “the gym is no longer feasible, so I fit in half-hour, at-home workouts,” Kerstin adds. “I walk a lot, run, and am known for pushing my big orange jogging stroller.”
Kerstin’s favorite products for 30-minute bursts of exercise include:
- “Barre3” DVD, a sequence of movements and isometric holds that combine elements of dance, yoga and more
- Pilates reformer, an exercise machine that incorporates Pilates
- SitNcycle, which fits at a desk or in the living room. “I hop on during commercials, and it’s portable to wheel outside if my kids are playing,” Kerstin says.
- Bodyblade, a beam that flaps when you shake it and tones through vibration training. “I grab it at my desk for a few minutes. Great for the upper body, my weakest area.”
- Flex Belt, for toning abs. “Most days I strap it on for 30 to 40 minutes when I jump into the chair for hair and make-up at QVC.”
- Fitbit, a wireless activity tracker that’s a step up from a pedometer. “It can even be synced with an app to track what I eat.”
Kate Sheehan has an ever-changing work schedule in her job that focuses on QVC’s charitable giving and employee engagement. “We have a 24/7 business and as a part of that, we have employees on site all hours of the day, all days of the week,” she says. “We structure our programs to fit the needs of our employees and business model.”
One of Kate’s favorite programs is the QGarden, featuring food that employees plant and harvest themselves on site. Donations go to local food pantries, and employees gain a healthier outlook. “They become aware of healthy lifestyles and healthy eating,” she says. “And working in the garden before or after hours, or during lunchtime, helps relieve stress.”
Molly Wadyko, the mother of three young children, oversees health and wellness programs as part of the company’s employee benefits offerings. “Employers play an important role in the health of their employees,” says QVC’s Benefits Manager. “We make a lot of choices that impact our health during the course of a work day. When you’re surrounded by a supportive organization that makes the right choice an easy choice—that’s half the battle!”
Molly points to QVC’s annual “Know Your Numbers” campaign, which includes biometric screenings for BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. “On Wellness Wednesdays, we attempt to raise awareness about different aspects of personal wellness,” she says. QVC offers activities like yoga and walking clubs and has wellness advocates to help. “We even offer the opportunity to meet with a nutritionist on campus during the work day,” Molly adds.
Her advice: “Small changes to behavior, such as increasing physical activity and making smart eating choices, can make a positive difference. Wellness is a very personal journey toward bringing your best self to work and play every day.”