New year, new hobby? We here at DiRAD think having a hobby is more important than ever in a time that feels like people are surrounded by stress. Hobbies are more than just a way to pass time; they offer many different life enriching benefits, like stress relief, increased happiness, skill development, or even physical fitness. They offer an outlet outside of work and personal relationships to provide personal growth and discovery.

This is why we encourage all of our employees at DiRAD to find the hobby they’re passionate about. This month’s Company Spotlight is focused on fitness enthusiasts of DiRAD! People who love being active and moving their bodies.

Tell us a little about your favorite type of fitness. Why do you love it?

Madison J: I enjoy weightlifting. I work out in a group fitness class every morning before work; I love the high intensity and energy of the room. I also run, as I enjoy the mental toughness of it! 

Samantha B: My favorite type of fitness is hiking. The feeling of standing on top of a mountain after finishing a trail that you spent days researching and planning for and the satisfaction of pushing yourself to your limit by not only using your body, but your mind to navigate the path to reach your goal can’t be beaten by anything. Hiking is very versatile; it can be as simple as walking through your local park to as complex as mapping a new trail through the mountains. So, if you are interested in an adventure, get out there and start hiking!

Matthew W: Weight lifting. I started taking it seriously in college when I stopped playing Ice Hockey.

Kathy C: My favorite type of fitness is weightlifting.  I love it because it brings strength.  It brings an understanding of how the body functions.  It reduces stress.

Kirsten B: I love cardio; I love spin classes; the Stairmaster is my absolute favorite. I love the rush I get after completing a solid workout. After a solid workout, I love following up with yoga. I love being able to put headphones in and get lost in what I’m doing.

Brandon M: My favorite fitness would have to be cardio and weight training. I love it because it not only is a stress reliever but it also helps me focus more in my everyday life.

What got you interested in it?

MJ: As a former college athlete, I missed the feeling of competition. I have that thrill back again and love every second of it! 

SB: I became interested in hiking after I started going on walks with my boyfriend, and now we both love hiking and we get lost in the woods together all the time.

MW: When I stopped playing Ice Hockey in college.  I needed something to keep me busy, then I found the gym.

KC: I didn’t like the way I looked or how I felt.

KB: I needed an escape from work, something that got me out of the house around my (at the time) hectic work schedule. The local gym was open 24 hours, which fit my schedule perfectly. I started going, and before I knew it, I was going with other coworkers after work. I got interested in yoga as a way of stress management, something I could do when feeling overwhelmed that didn’t always require me to break a sweat.

BM: I think what got me interested was just wanting a change and healthier life style. It makes me feel refreshed after a good workout.

Do you have any goals associated with your favorite type of fitness? Creating healthy habits, climbing a certain mountain, new bench PR, etc.

MJ: My next goal is to break 2 hours in the half marathon. 

SB: To be honest, I don’t have goals for hiking. I would much rather enjoy the experience of it, literally one step at a time.

MW: Early on it was more of a hobby, then I started competing, and then became a Personal Trainer.

KC: My goal is to be healthy and fit, and to have that well into my later years.

KB: My main goal is always creating healthy habits, especially since having my daughter. I want to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle that will become part of her growth. I also want to be able to keep up with her when she starts running wild. Always working out has done wonders in terms of stress management for me; it’s created an outlet and a safe place when I am feeling overwhelmed.

BM: I guess my goals would be to maintain the routine and be healthy. I have changed a lot of my daily diet around including more veggies/fruits and cutting back on sugary drinks/soda etc.

What misconceptions do you think exist around it that keep people from participating?

MJ: Not having enough time. If it’s valuable to you, there are ways to incorporate movement into your daily life! For example, taking a walk at lunch or waking up earlier in the morning to get some movement in. 

SB: Good question, I think people have the misconceptions that hiking equipment can be expensive, but that is incorrect. You can find affordable options on Facebook Market Place and keep an eye out for sales on Amazon. And when you are starting out, all you need is a good pair of sneakers and a local park!

MW: What you eat is WAY more important than spending hours at the gym.

KC: Not knowing where/how to start.  I’ve heard many say they didn’t want to look ridiculous by either asking or doing an exercise incorrectly.

KB: The fear of making a lifestyle change, the fear of not seeing the results you are aiming for so quickly, or I don’t have time to work out. There are so many alternatives to working out that you can do from home.

BM: The most common misconception is that you have to be a certain weight and age to start “working out”. A lot of people just need to rip the bandaid off and set their own starting point.

What advice do you have for someone interested in starting themselves?

 MJ: Just start! Make it a part of your daily life, and it will seem strange not to do it!

SB: My advice for someone interested in starting to hike is to get yourself a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots and be prepared to check yourself for ticks lol. And be prepared to see some beautiful sights and interesting animals along the way!

MW: Take your time, enjoy the journey- results don’t happen overnight 🙂

KC: Jump in.  Unlike many years ago (and no internet), there is so much help out there.  I believe most gyms offer instruction or you can hire a trainer to gain some basic knowledge.  If weightlifting isn’t for you, find something that moves your body.  Your future self with be most grateful.

KB: Explore your options, find something you like to do and build a routine. If you’re nervous, find a buddy.

BM: My advice would be to start at a slow pace for yourself. There is no deadline unless you set it for yourself.

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