Leading By Example

Date: 20 September 2023   Author: Energise Me

To celebrate National Fitness Day 2023, we got up and active in our workplace, setting an example by taking part in a daily 10k walking challenge, dancing in the office, and sharing what inspires us to be active.

Indian Dancing in Winchester

Marketing and Communications Officer, Akshayaa, taught the team some signature Indian Dance moves during our team meeting this week. We managed almost a full thirty seconds of coordination with the music!

A group of people in an office dancing.

Diving Into The Wild

As most of my friends, family, and co-workers probably know, I’m a big fan of wild swimming. Though my own journey with physical activity has not always been a smooth one. I was a very active child, but during my teens and twenties grew less and less so. Thankfully, in my thirties, I found a few activities that I enjoyed, and new motivation to be active. I’ve realised it doesn’t matter if I’m ‘good’ at something, as long as I’m having fun.

A few years ago, I could barely swim at all. After trying wild swimming, I fell in love and now I swim two or three times a week. I swim in my local river and in the sea when I can get to the coast, but really, I’ll swim anywhere! (And I will talk about it to anyone that is willing to listen). I enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by nature, watching the seasons change or seeing the full moon rise.

A woman smiling in the sea.

I love the feeling of freedom that comes with being in the water. And I get so much joy out of it! How often can we say, as adults, that we play outdoors?! Most of my fellow swimmers are women, and it’s been interesting to see how we have all gradually, and in our own ways, become more comfortable in our bodies. I’m never going to be a size six, and I no longer really care about that. But my body allows me to swim in 5-degree water all year round, and that’s pretty cool!

Emma Dovener, Grants Manager

Making It Manageable

As a busy working parent, it can feel hard to find time and motivation to be active. Though I always aim to reach my weekly activity goal of 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) to help me maintain good health. Knowing this goal, I break it down into manageable chunks which can look different each week. Sometimes I walk to work or cycle to the shops and play a game of tennis with the children. The flexibility to move when and how I want enables me to meet my active goals.

Emily Khural, Health Manager

The team was focused on playing football for fun, which is incredibly lucky because we weren’t very good at all!

Love-Hate Affair With Football

My favourite physical activity is football. I started to play at a very young age, I’d guess around 4 or 5. I can’t remember not playing! When I was probably around 6 or 7 my dad started up a kid’s team, which I played for all the way until adulthood (I still play for the adult version of that team now!).

The team was focused on playing football for fun, which is incredibly lucky because we weren’t very good at all! I played in goal until secondary school but didn’t really grow very tall during that time, so quickly moved to play outfield as the goals got bigger but I didn’t. Once I was college age, I started to play back in goal when I was playing around with my friends playing football. I’d had a growth spurt by then and was more than tall enough to play in full-size nets. I enjoyed playing in goal a lot more than outfield, and eventually made the move over for my team to play in goal.

A man on a field with a football.

Since then, I have stayed in goal and could not see myself playing any other position! I have quite a weird relationship with football, as I am extremely critical of myself and so I typically do not enjoy playing it too much when I am playing. However, when I have a few weeks off football (over the summer when the seasons are over, or over Christmas time, etc.) I do miss playing it. I would very much describe this as a love-hate relationship!

Jake Hitchcock, Finance and Administration Officer


I feel as if I have had a full body and mind work out.

Balancing Work Time and Me Time

On an office day or when I’m working from home, I often feel stiff and can get headaches from too much screen time. That is when I go for a walk, cycle, or swim to stay healthy and better able to get through the day.

I love doing Zumba on Friday mornings. The leader of the class I attend is endlessly sunny and up-beat, she asks us for our song suggestions and always includes a lot of variety in the dance routines she teaches. From traditional Latin songs to Hip Hop and Bhangra dance tunes, we use every muscle in our bodies. But also crucially, we must use our brains to pick up contemporary dance routines, so I feel as if I have had a full body and mind work out. For me, it is the love of dancing and music that gets me moved and I am grateful for it.

Jacqui Ibbotson, Programme Director for Culture in Common

Let us know what you got up to on National Fitness Day via our website.

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Walking group


Walking is a great way to move, make friends or enjoy me time.

People of all ages outdoors litter picking

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