The Barcliff Group (TBG) blog covers various topics on healthcare quality; to include how to create a culture of quality within a healthcare organization. Essential to building a quality culture is supporting the quality of life of the individual or employee. For the August 2018 blog, TBG focused on workplace wellness and how this impacts the individual as well as the organization.
TBG is excited to share the interview with Ashley Clarke, owner of Your Health Matters, LLC!
A: I spent the bulk of my adolescent years struggling with my weight and was diagnosed with hypertension at the age of 18. Many health professionals attributed the disease to my family history because it was so prevalent on both sides of my family. However, I was determined not to spend the rest of my life on medications if I could help it. I started to get serious about exercising around my senior year of college but was still eating anything and everything. I realized in order to really make a change, I had to focus on all areas of my health. I started eating better, doing yoga and exercising. I lost the weight and along the way, wellness became a passion. I had so many people asking for my guidance that it seemed selfish to keep what I knew all to myself, thus my goal has been to help as many people as I can break the cycle of poor health habits and understand why their health matters.
Q: How would you describe quality of life and what does that look like in “real-life,” day-to-day scenario?
A: Quality of life is when you have a healthy blend of all things that bring you happiness and joy. This can look different for anyone, but for me it’s when I feel fulfilled in the work that I do, have time for regular self-care, am giving my body what it needs in terms of nutrition and physical fitness, and have time to spend with the people I love.
Q: Do you believe workplace wellness contributes to the quality culture of a corporation? If so, how?
A: Absolutely! A company that invests in workplace wellness initiatives is showing its employees that they are more than just a “butt in a seat” and they value their wellbeing. I find that companies that have great wellness offerings have happier employees, even if all of the employees don’t participate in everything. It just gives a greater energy around the workplace, and it’s refreshing.
Q: What are some things a corporation could do to support workplace wellness and employee quality of life?
A: There are several ways corporations could support workplace wellness:
Evaluate on-site food options and be sure that many dietary needs are factored in. This includes vegetarian/vegan options, minimal fried foods and sweets, and an overall variety of options.
Offer recommendations for catering companies with nutritious menus that employees can reference for any meetings that will include food.
Contract dietitians/trainers/therapists to provide on-site services for employees on a regular basis.
Create office “fitness challenges” to help get employees excited to get active while also acknowledging the competitive spirit and comradery these challenges can bring.
Subsidize registration fees for running/fitness events that employees register for.
Employee Assistance Programs for support with mental health concerns
Flexible working arrangements (i.e. working from home, outdoor workspaces)
Q: After reaching a higher level of wellness, how would you suggest someone stay on course and maintain that wellness?
A: The best way to stay the course and maintain is to remember your WHY. We all have something that sparked our journey to wellness. When you’re feeling like going back to old habits or can’t find the energy to keep going, focus on why you started and let that guide you.
Q: It is said that our habits are key to our success, personally & professionally. What is a sneak peek into your personal routine and habits that have contributed to the successes of your wellness journey?
A: I’ve created a pretty solid routine mainly because I’m extremely focused when it’s something that I’m committed to. Most of what sets me up for success in my journey is how I start my week and my day.
To be sure that each day I’m setting myself up for success, I have begun to take some time to be still and start with meditation. I then ease into the morning with a cup of tea and breakfast. After that, I’m out the door to go workout. I make sure to get my workouts done in the morning so that if anything throws me off during the day, I’ll already have gotten that out of the way.
The rest of the day and what I choose to do throughout can vary, but those habits on Sundays and each morning keep me on track for the most part.
Q: It’s never too late for someone to grab the reigns to their wellness. Tell us about your next event and how our readers can participate.
A: So glad you asked! Coming up on Labor Day, September 3rd, I’ll be hosting the next Beats, Burpees & Brunch event along with my partner, Keeli Brown. We started this idea a little over a year ago, and we’ve been blessed to keep it going.
We start out with a HIIT-style workout to music by some of the best DJs in Atlanta. After the workout, you’ll earn your brunch by running (literally) with us to the restaurant of our choice for the day. From there we fellowship and have a great time enjoying delicious food and drinks. Many feel that in order to lead a healthy lifestyle you have to give up the things you enjoy, but we don’t subscribe to that mindset at all. It’s all about balance, and we highlight that with events like this. This event will also be a special one as 50% of the proceeds will go towards the Alzheimer’s Association. This year marks 20 years since my grandfather passed away from the disease and I hope with support of us all, we’ll be able to one day find a cure. So, go check us out at beatsburpeesbrunch.com and get signed up! We would love to have you!
Thank you for spending time with us and sharing, Ashley!
If you’re in the Metro-Atlanta area, be sure to check out Beats, Burpees, and Brunch – this could be your first step towards a better quality of life.