Melissa Haskin is a freelance writer based in Oregon. Her byline has appeared in national and regional publications such as Architectural Digest, Cooking Light, and Men’s Health.
5 Gadgets to Improve Your Well-Being
Most agents invest in business technology, but these inexpensive tools aim to help you keep your health on track—which can also boost your productivity at work.
May 7, 2018
You always put your clients first. But in order to maintain an expert level of customer service, there’s someone else you need to take care of: yourself.
You may think of your health and business separately; perhaps you get in a quick workout before shifting focus to your job, or vice versa. But the truth is they are fused, and the success of one relies on that of the other, says Amy Spampinato, a broker with RE/MAX Prodigy in Duluth, Minn. In her thirteen years in the real estate business, she has learned that simple things such as posture can affect an agent’s energy levels when speaking to a client—and, thus, impact sales. One easy way to get your health in line with your business is to invest in gadgets that improve your well-being. Here are some suggestions for tools that can help you feel in tip-top shape for work.
3 Stretches to Make You Feel Great
Stuck at your desk or in the car and need to just check in with your body? Pelle offers three quick exercises you can fit into your day.
- Toe touch: Lock your knees and bend over, reaching for your toes. Avoid bouncing and just relax. You may feel tense at first, but “this stretch should start to feel good after the muscles relax,” Pelle says. This exercise benefits your lower back, spine, and hamstrings, Pelle adds, which are important areas of strength for pros who stand all day at open houses.
- Backward bends: This is like the standing version of yoga’s upward facing dog. Place your hands on your hips, and slowly bend backwards. Avoid bouncing. This exercise engages your core, stretching your abdominal and back muscles, Pelle says.
- Floor stretch: Find a place to lay down on your stomach. Raise your torso by pushing up with your arms until your elbows lock. In this position, keep your knees, toes, and pelvis touching the floor. This exercise helps to extend your spine, Pelle says. “This stretch, combined with toe touching, are two quick exercises that will keep the core and hamstrings stretched and will help in achieving a more balanced posture.”
Sense-U Clip for better posture: Most of us have heard it a million times: “Sit up straight.” Unless you bring your chiropractor to the office, you probably find yourself hunched over paperwork, emails, and phone calls at your desk. Correct posture reduces not only back and shoulder pain but also fatigue, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The best position when sitting is for a person’s head to be directly over his or her hips, says Dominic W. Pelle of the Center for Spine Health at Cleveland Clinic. With poor posture, “our muscles in our back work overtime to try to keep us upright,” he explains. “Over time, this can lead to strain in the back.”
The third-generation Sense-U Posture Trainer, which tracks your posture, can help nudge you into sitting in the right position. The device vibrates when you slouch, reminding you to straighten up. It’s like having a chiropractor at your side all day, monitoring your posture—but without the thousands of dollars it would cost for professional correction. Available at Amazon.com for $75.99.
TRX HOME2 for exercise on the go: This lightweight workout device is portable and can be used almost anywhere—from the park to the office—making it easy to get your heart rate up between appointments with clients. The suspension created by the gear is perfect for strength and core exercises, such as push-ups, lunges, and squats. Focus on strength or balance with short exercises, or use it to build a home or office gym for a full workout.
Oscar Andalon, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Condition Association, says the TRX system is versatile and lightweight. “My mother happens to be a real estate agent, and I know they do a lot of sitting, whether at the office, driving in the car while showing houses, or traveling,” Andalon says. “Performing TRX exercises can counteract many of the daily damaging effects, such as those caused by sitting for long periods of time, which many real estate agents have to deal with.” Available at TRXTraining.com for $169.95.
hOmeLabs sunrise alarm clock for a better rest: Sunrise alarms, which gradually wake you with increasing light, mimicking the sun, are becoming popular for good reason. Being jolted out of bed by a loud alarm can increase your adrenaline and cortisol levels—both of which can have negative effects on your health over time, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The sunrise clock from hOmeLabs not only wakes you up gently in the morning but also works in reverse, decreasing light in the evening as you get ready for bed. The clock also is bright enough to work as a lamp. Just make sure you place it in the direction you sleep, says Michael A. Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona. “These types of alarm clocks can be an excellent way to wake up if you are sensitive enough to the light. The key is that the light has to be bright enough and it has to hit your eyes.” Available at Amazon.com for $23.75.
Levoit air purifier for better breathing: Remove pollen, dust, and mold particles with this portable air purifier that can easily fit into a corner of your office. While you work, it filters out particles that are often the cause of sneezing, coughing, and irritation. The Levoit LV-H132 model contains a high-efficiency HEPA filter to remove the smallest particles. Available at Amazon.com for $74.69.
Wacaco portable mini espresso maker for a healthy start: A cup of coffee has been linked to health benefits, such reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, studies show. This portable espresso maker lets you make java anywhere. The Wacaco dispenses a single shot of espresso with a few pumps of your hand. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond for $59.99.