Government Connections - Winter 2014 - (Page 12)

F E AT U R E FitnessBody and Mind Breaks Recharge the KIM BERCOVITZ, PH.D. PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXERCISE OFFICER, EXERCISE BYTES INC. A ttendees at educational events commonly experience sitting fatigue and learning fatigue. Inactivity at a typical conference or full-day meeting puts brains and bodies in a state of sluggishness. Muscles stiffen, posture becomes slouched, and energy and alertness levels plummet as the day wears on. Energy boosters that recharge the body and mind, as well as enhance concentration and information retention, are needed. Traditionally, many meeting professionals use coffee breaks as "energy boosters." Coffee and soft drinks are often accompanied by high carbohydrate and sugary snacks, such 12 as cookies and pastries. They don't offer the lasting "pick-me-up" needed mid-morning and mid-afternoon. While coffee and snacks may be energizing for a short while, people end up feeling more fatigued once the caffeine and sugar high wear off. Coffee break induced fatigue can be counterproductive to learning. Light exercise, on the other hand, increases blood flow, pumping oxygen to the brain, which keeps attendees awake and alert for extended periods of time. Fitness breaks (delivered in-person or by video) at conferences are a novel concept. While initially met with intrigue and surprise, they are very well received, particularly when they are brief, sweat-free and able to be done in business attire and at participants' GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | WINTER 2014 seats. A room full of people talking, laughing, smiling, building camaraderie, stretching together and applauding at the end of the breaks is a typical response. Participants espouse fitness breaks as a "needed break" and social icebreaker, and they feel great afterwards. Here are some tips for successfully integrating fitness breaks in your meetings and conferences: Introduce Exercising with Enthusiasm Moderators or session chairs need to introduce the fitness break professionally and enthusiastically to put participants in the right frame of mind to exercise. The energy exhibited by the session chair when introducing the fitness break will motivate

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Winter 2014

President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Plan Green
Fitness Breaks Recharge the Body and Mind
Per Diem – Familiar but Sometimes Misunderstood
Costs of the Fy2014 Funding Squeeze
Six Technology Solutions to Help Your Meeting Run Smoother
Supplier Strategy
Meet a Member
Cgmp Corner
Question for Our Members
National Updates
Sgmp Nation
Advertisers’ Index

Government Connections - Winter 2014