Cyberbullying in the Workplace

With the use of social media on the rise, it is necessary for employers to be proactive in relation to cyberbullying in the workplace. There is numerous stories which have been reported to the media in relation to cyberbullying recently. Therefore, employers need to keep up with the pace that technology and social medias are developing and take preventative and remedial action.

The following is a 10-point plan to prevent and deal with cyberbullying in the workplace.

  1. Employers and managers should promote a work culture where all bullying is not tolerated. They may do this by promoting team/colleague bonding activities.
  2. The company/firm should establish a clear written and well communicated policy regarding cyberbullying and the acceptable use of technology. This policy should be emailed or posted to each employee and should also be stuck up in the workplace where it can be seen. This is to ensure that each employees are aware of the policy of the company and the approach the company will take to the misuse of social media both in and outside the workplace. The company should treat social-media misconduct in the same way as any other form of misconduct. Employees being aware of this policy can avoid any breaches of this policy. Employers may also require employees to sign this policy to show understanding.
  3. Employers may provide training for staff and management in how to deal with cyberbullying in the workplace. If employees and management have the necessary training, potential bullying may cease, or any bullying may be resolved before it becomes very serious. The right training will also ensure that the bullying is dealt with in the correct way. Employees many also insist on refresher courses on bullying in the workplace once a year to ensure new employees are also receiving the correct training. The employer may make this training may become compulsory and form part of the employee’s contract when joining the company.
  4. It is necessary to remind staff that whatever they post on the internet is out of their control and is potentially there forever. Employers should not disregard an employee’s conduct just because it happened outside the workplace. Employers are vicariously liable for acts by their employees which occur in the course of their employment. Even though what the employee is saying on social media may be outside the workplace, it may still be in breach of the company’s policy. It is also necessary to remind employees that before they send email, to review it and consider the reaction of the receiver. It may just take a few moments of reflection to avoid conflict. It is also important to remind employees and management that if problems do occur to not continue disagreement over email. A face-to-face conversation may remove the emotional ambiguity of the email.
  5. The employer may monitor if there are a lot of people leaving a certain department. This may be caused due to cyberbullying and/or harassment.
  6. If, however, an employee reports instances of cyberbullying, remedial action may be taken. An employer may check emails and social media sites. They may also monitor these sites, but only with the full knowledge of the employees being watched.
  7. The employer cannot turn a blind eye to a report of cyberbullying. The employer must show that bullies are not rewarded, but the opposite. Understandably, many employers find it difficult to accept that they could be liable for statements made by their employees outside of work and on personal computers/devices. However, if the conduct is sufficiently connected with the employment relationship, it is likely that, based on current common law principles, the courts in Ireland will have no difficulty in finding the employer vicariously liable. In order to defend these claims, it is imperative that an employer can show that it has procedures in place to prevent, detect and address cyber-bullying.
  8. If the employee who is in question of cyber bullying proves guilty, then the employer must discipline them justly. The fair procedures must be carried out and the sanction implied is proportionate. Sometimes a dismissal may be found unfair on the grounds of the sanction being disproportionate, the comments or actions taken by the cyberbully will still deserve disciplinary action.
  9. As with all disciplinary processes, it is important to give the correct label to the employee’s wrongdoing, and the reason for their dismissal (for example, do not rely on damage to the company’s reputation unless this has occurred or is likely); otherwise, the employer may run the risk that the dismissal will be unfair.
  10. After the issue has been dealt with and corrective action has been taken, it may be necessary for the employee to revise the cyberbullying policy and conduct a refresher course for all employees.

2 Good Websites, 2 Bad Websites and A Beautiful Video

Good Website 1 – My first good website is Netflix. I think it’s a good website because it is well designed. It is really easy to navigate, meaning anyone can use it. All the movies and TV programmes are in 2 categories – movies and programmes. These are then sub divided in to different genres. When you first sign up with Netflix, they give you a survey on what kind of stuff you like to watch and have recommendations based on this. Netflix also remembers what you have watched and then suggests other movies/TV programmes based on this. I think the best thing about Netflix is that if you are halfway through a movie or programme or even a certain episode in a series and you have to leave, the next time you log in it will take you back to where you left off. https://www.netflix.com/ie/

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Good Website 2 –  My second website which I think is good is Business Insider. For me, it is a really good website as it has really interesting news articles on business, technology and careers that would not always be on other websites. When I go on this website I always end up spending a significant amount of on it reading interesting reports. It also keeps up with the news happening up to the minute but I find there are more articles related to my interests and things you may not have known.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/?r=US business-insider-select

Bad Website 1 – Not that its bad, I just personally didn’t like it. I found that it wasn’t that straight forward to use. It took me a long time to get used to it. My site and reader tabs didn’t do that much. The profile tab just took me in to edit my profile instead of being able to see all my blog posts on it.

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Bad Website 2 – I think Ryanair is a bad website because it is not user/customer friendly. There are some hidden extras that are unclear to untick them. This can lead to be over-charged for extras you may not want. This can be misleading for customers. http://www.ryanair.com/ download

A Beautiful Video I think this video is beautiful because its inspiring and makes you want to go travelling. I like how its taken real experiences.

Facebook as a Social Media Phenomenon a Critique

Facebook has gone from social media to a social phenomenon in less than a decade. A website which was originally started to connect college students exclusively within Harvard University, now hosts 1.35 billion users as of the third quarter of 2014 (Statista, 2015). Mark Zuckerman and his friend, Eduardo Saverin created Facebook from their dorm room in Harvard University in 2004. As the word about Facebook spread, so did it. It soon expanded to the Ivy League, regional universities, and further universities, before opening for people over the age of 13 (The Social Network, 2010).

The social media giant has been described as the backbone of social networking, having paved the way for social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. However, none have come close to how big Facebook is. Facebook is the number one social media site in the world, which was worth $200billion at the end of 2014 (Monica). It has had a significant impact on the way work is done, the way we communicate and our society. From posting on ‘walls’ to video conferencing, users can interact freely. However, the non-stop use of Facebook is becoming an increasing issue among our society. Checking Facebook has now become part of daily lives, with 890 million users (Smith), out of the 1.35 billion members doing so on a daily basis. This piece examines how Facebook has become a social addiction and how it has impacted on our society and young people.

The popularity of the site and its ability to deliver just about anything to a group or a person is connected to has become a daily, if not hourly, procedure for people of all ages. And those who proficient at technology practically use the platform for everything from shopping to discussing the latest place or location they have visited. With the use of internet being a necessity, so is the access to social media, such as Facebook. This need to share information and obtain it from others about personal life is a unique trend started in the 2000s and continues with each young generation that has a strong understanding of technology. In today’s society, it is impossible to go anywhere without seeing people on their smartphones, laptops or other electronic devices. Users of Facebook spend staggering amounts of time on the website, with some using it up to fifty hours per week (Adler, 2014). While other social media sites do not have the same usage – Instagram (13.5 hours), Twitter (7.4 hours), Snapchat (6.6 hours) and WhatsApp (4.6 hours) (Adler). So the most important question is why is Facebook so popular? According to Nir Eyal (2014), ‘What Facebook wants to create an association with is every time you’re bored, every time you have a few minutes. We know that, psychologically speaking, boredom is painful. Whenever you’re feeling bored, whenever you have a few extra minutes, this is a salve for that itch’ (Baer, 2014). Therefore, Facebook wants its users to associate it with something you have to do when you have nothing to do. They can disregard their boredom by just scrolling through their news feed on Facebook. Overtime, this forms in to a habit. There then becomes a need and a want to check what has been happening among friends and the internet. People are often wondering ‘What photos do people post? What are the comments going to say? How many likes do people get?’ With lots of variability of what a person might find, this becomes a huge attraction to Facebook. The social giant keeps bringing their users back by loading the next trigger. If a person posts a photo, Facebook uses this. If someone else likes the photo, Facebook sends you an external trigger or also known as a notification telling the person of this interaction. Hence, bringing the person back to see who it was (Eyal, 2014). This is clever on Facebooks behalf, as it website is not spamming the user. The notifications are merely based upon their interactions with Facebook. This need to know what is happening on Facebook all the time can also surface as an addiction. Unfortunately, the addiction is also changing how people behave, how they see the world around them, and most importantly, how they see themselves.

Considering the above information, it is important to examine the possible affects of the over use of Facebook has on society. Excessive Facebook use may be linked with a lower general self-esteem (Kalpidou, Costin, & Morris, 2011). Lower self-esteem may be resulted in low contact with friends on Facebook, or a feeling of exclusion for social gatherings. As Facebook allows users to see the profiles and the lives of friends and indeed, of complete strangers, this may lead to a feeling of jealousy towards these people. For example, a person with less friends on Facebook, may be envious towards how many people post birthday wishes on a more sociable peers Facebook wall. One of the most frequent reasons people give for jealousy on Facebook is seeing other people holidays and leisure activities (wordcrunch.com). People may feel envious of this as they feel other people are living better lives and having better experiences. This along with the affects on people’s self-esteem, can also lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. The most common cause of this feeling of frustration from Facebook came from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes and general feedback compared to friends (Sifferlin, 2015). It seems that people are under pressure to portray themselves in a certain manner to their peers on Facebook, while also trying to be the most ‘popular’. Women and young girls are more likely to stress over their physical appearance (Sifferlin). It seems that the need for social acceptance and popularity has become something that Facebook has excelled in a negative way.

In conclusion, Facebook may no longer be a fun way of staying connected with friends, but could become just another source of stress for people. It has become a place where friends have become almost in a silent competition with each other. There appears to be a constant battle to have the best profile picture with the most likes. There are also whole age groups now who see nothing wrong with posting their entire life online every day and expecting the same from others. The results can be life-changing, influencing a person’s career, how they interact with others, and their mental state and self-image. Considering the fact that Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon and envy, loneliness and depression are universal feelings, a lot of people are subject to these painful consequences. Facebook may have been a great idea, but it has revealed a few things human behaviour. A connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant connection is not something that leads to happier life. Solitude was once a place for reflection and self-reinvention, but now society doesn’t have that. People are constantly surrounded by a virtual society which leaves people wondering who they are all the time. Facebook revokes people the pleasure, whose sophistication we had underestimated (Marche, 2012). Facebook denies people the chance to forget about the world for a while, a chance to disconnect.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Adler, Emily. ‘Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks’. Business Insider. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

Baer, Drake. ‘The Science Behind Why Facebook Is So Addictive’. Business Insider. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

Eyal, Nir. The Science Behind Why Facebook Is So Addictive. 2014. online.

Kalpidou, Maria, Dan Costin, and Jessica Morris. ‘The Relationship Between Facebook And The Well-Being Of Undergraduate College Students’. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 14.4 (2011): 183-189. Web.

Marche, Stephen. ‘Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?’. The Atlantic. N.p., 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Monica, Paul. ‘Facebook Now Worth $200 Billion’. CNNMoney. N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

ScienceDaily,. ‘Does Facebook Affect Our Self-Esteem, Sense Of Belonging?’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.

Sifferlin, Alexandra. ‘Why Facebook Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself | TIME.Com’. TIME.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Smith, Craig. ‘200+ Amazing Facebook User Statistics (January 2015)’. DMR – Digital Marketing Ramblings. N.p., 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.

Statista, (2015). Facebook: figures of monthly active users 2014 | Statistic. [online] Available at: http://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/ [Accessed 5 Mar. 2015].

The Social Network. (2010) David Fincher [DVD]. New York: Columbia Productions

worldcrunch.com,. ‘Social Envy – Study Finds Facebook Causes Depression And Isolation’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Anorexia and Social Media

Welcome back followers!!

On a recent night out, I met a girl who was had similar friends to myself and my boyfriend. Although I had never met her before, I had heard of her and knew who she was. Anyway, we got chatting and it came up that she had been away in Cork for 9 months to deal with anorexia. This struck me really hard. Firstly, I had only met her about 10 minutes ago and she was sharing something so personal. And the fact that she was so open about it. I thought this was so brave and honest.

I got thinking about anorexia after that, and I realised I didn’t know that much about it or even anyone who had had this disorder. Or did I?

What struck me again is that you would never had suspected this girl had suffered from an eating disorder. She is beautiful, has friends, a degree, a boyfriend and looked happy. I got wondering then how many people may suffer from eating disorders that we know, and we don’t even realise?

As I looked in to anorexia I came across some startling facts. According to bodywhys.ie –

‘The Department of Health estimates that:

  • Up to 200,000 people in Ireland may be affected by eating disorders.
  • An estimated 400 new cases emerge each year, representing 80 deaths annually.’

In 2013, ‘92% of all admissions were female’ – bodywhys.ie

In 2012, according to the Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAMHS) –

  • ‘Children aged 15 years were the most likely to be attending community CAMHS, followed by the 16/17 year old age group and children in the 10 to 14 year age group.
  • Eating disorders accounted for 12% of all admissions to Irish child and adolescent units.
  • Females accounted for 85% of all admissions with eating disorders.
  • Eating disorders increased with age, accounted for 4.5% of the primary presentations of the 15 years and older age group.
  • Concerning primary presentation by gender – eating disorders/problems: including pre-school eating problems, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa: 17.4% were male and 82.6% female.’ – bodywhys.ie

I think these facts and statistics are startling.

I think what is really significant and scary is that there are children in the 10 to 14 year age group.

Children as young as 10 are being admitted for having an eating disorder.

This is just so saddening and terrifying. How do children at 10 years of age know and become anorexic to this degree? When I was 10, I don’t think I knew what anorexic or being anorexic meant.

So how are children nowadays being exposed to this? I think the answer is pretty simple.

Children are being overexposed to what is on the internet.

Every type of social media has pictures of skinny girls with ‘perfect bodies’. My last blog dealt with some aspects of ‘thinspiration’ and ‘fitspiration’. These terms, along with the pictures, come with diets and rules, which are not healthy. Young girls then follow these as if they are the Commandments.

The ‘rules’ can look like these:

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200 calories a day? This just makes me want to cry.

When I was 10, I was literally obsessed with horses. Me and my friends lived for Saturdays when we went for our lesson and then spent the rest of the day shoveling horse shit. We absolutely loved it and it was all we talked about at school. I would never have imagined sitting around the computer discussing with my friends how many calories I ate that day.

This was only 11 years ago, when Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest didn’t exist.

I was always conscious of my weight (I was a chubby kid), but I can’t imagine what I would have been like, had my 10 year old self seen the type of images and rules children and teens are now exposed to.

Social media can be good thing, but when it comes to things like this, it’s really hard to argue that it is. It’s basically brain-washing children and young teenagers in to eating disorders.

Although I know it is not the sole reason for people going through eating disorders, there are many. But I do think this over-exposure to body image and being perfect is happening at such an influential age.

It’s crazy to think what it may be like in another 10 years.

Until next time followers,

Victoria

Is ‘Fitspiration’ really better than ‘Thinspiration’?

Welcome back folllowers!

If you are on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, you have probably came across the words ‘thinspiration’ and ‘fitspiration’ They are usually accompanied by images of thin women, helping to ‘inspire’ others to get thin or/and get fit.

Thinspiration

Thinspiration or ‘thinspo’ is images of skinny women, which are used to motivate oneself in to losing weight. This term is associated with eating disorders and specifically with groups who promote eating disorders. One of the best known groups is ‘Pro Ana’. The images usually have thigh gaps and visible collar bones and hip bones.

These are some images which came up when I googled ‘thinspiration’:

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Some of these images are very striking. Especially the one with the quote ‘skip dinner, wake up thinner’. What if an impressionable 14 year old girl came across this?

These images are usually accompanied with diet plans which have a certain amount of calories per day.

It’s clear to see that this term and everything that goes with it promotes an unhealthy lifestyle and mental state in the hope to be thin or skinny. It is scary and saddening society of girls and women who are joining together to get thin at any cost.

Tumblr is the home of these thinspo blogs, societies and images which promote this lifestyle. However, it has announced a policy change banning any site that advocates self harming behaviors in general and eating disorders in particular.

Pinterest agreed to remove images that actively promote harm, although I don’t know the specifics of their criteria for removing an image.

When I searched Pinterest for “thinspo”, I got a warning at the top of my search page, telling me, “Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening,” and referring me to treatment and support options.

I think it is extremely positive that there are policies and companies out there acknowledging the damage they do.

Fitspiration

On the other hand, fitness has become increasingly popular in recent times. The slogan which generally goes with ‘fitspiration’, ‘Fit is the new skinny’ is apparently to highlight that thinness isn’t the goal.

‘Fitspiration’ or ‘fitspo’ is images of skinny women which are used to motivate oneself in to getting fit. These images usually have women in workout gear, visible abs, muscles, sweat and motivational quotes.

These are some of the images I got when i googles ‘fitspiration’:

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Is this just thinspo in a sports bra?

Although fitspiration praises healthy eating and exercising, it just trades one obsession for another.

Fitspo promotes a realistically unattainable body image, while masking it as strength, unless you are a dedicated athlete/fitness pro. If you want to have defined legs? Spend hours on the treadmill. If you want to feel “sexy”? Don’t even think about having that brownie.

Your body is not a machine. It needs a rest days from exercise. Your muscles will fail when they run out of lactic acid. Your body is so well designed, it tells you when enough is enough. Or, even if you just don’t feel like exercising, thats OK too.

These images of bodies which are seen in the media as the ‘ideal body’ can have an as deadly impact on our self esteem and body image mentality as thinspo images. It’s important to take a step back from these and be realistic.

Exercise should make you proud of what you can do and not ashamed of what you are. Just because our culture associates being healthy with eating a salad, doesn’t mean it is.

Your body is yours. Not an image on Tumblr or Pinterest.

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Thanks for reading!!

Until next time, Victoria

Celebrity Fitness DVDs – Are they worth the hype?

Hey followers!!

Today I’m discussing Celebrity fitness DVDs and do they actually work.

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It’s not hard to see why people fall for celebrity fitness DVDs. Not only are they well marketed, eye catching,  happy faces and of course, abs on display, they’re the ultimate in instant gratification – their promises of results with minimum effort, and the happy faces and toned bums of those involved make us think “I can look like that’.

However, in the fitness industry, they don’t have a great reputation, with many professionals writing them off as fads or quick fixes.

Personally, I find these celeb fitness wannabes really annoying.

Now no one needs to be a genius to figure out that putting a celebrity’s face on a the box is marketing. Naturally, they aren’t fitness experts, and  the real work of devising the routines is done by a fitness professional behind the scenes. So it seems rather false for the DVD to be promoted as if the ‘star’ is responsible for it. Wouldn’t it be more honest to have ‘The [trainer’s name] workout, presented by [celeb’s name] on the box?

This may seem harsh, but these DVDs are being made my ‘minor’ celebrities (soap stars and reality stars). You don’t see the likes of Cheryl Cole showing the world how she keeps her abs perfect on a DVD. Why? Because she is making millions doing her day job. So are these ‘celebrities’ cashing in while they are still in on their 15 minutes of fame? Are they possibly trying to extend it while still being slightly recognisable in the public eye?

Anyone remember Janice Battersby from Coronation Street?
Anyone remember Janice Battersby from Coronation Street?

The trendy thing these ‘celebrities’ appear to be doing is to pile on the pounds, get an unflattering picture running along the beach in a bikini and then six months later release a DVD with their size 8 figure flaunting on the front cover. This is one thing that stands to be recurring in these DVDs, the same cover photos. Realistically, you wouldn’t expect these DVDs to be promoted by someone fully dressed, but they always show 1. a badly lit, ‘unflattering’ before photo, and 2. a smiling, toned after photo (doubtlessly airbrushed).

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These DVDs are like snowballs gathering speed, once one soap actress or reality star makes one, they all make one. It’s almost predictable who will be next in line to make one .Then the shelves are full of smiling bikini-clad ‘stars’ showing their ‘stunning new figure’. The most recent are DVDs made by the starts of reality show, Geordie Shore, Vicky Pattinson and Charlotte Crosby, who often made their living drinking and galavanting for the MTV show. It’s clear that sort of lifestyle – vodka, tequila, kebabs, regrets – does not make for a fabulous figure.

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Charlotte Crosbys 3 Minute Belly Blitz – nobody could think a three-minute routine would result in losing four dress sizes – or would they? This seems just too good to be true, and a bit misleading. If it were really that simple we would all be walking around like Victoria Secret models. When you read the small print on Charlotte’s DVD, it’s reads that you start with three-minute routines, working up to being able to complete 12 different ones as your fitness improves. There’s also a 10-minute killer ab routine to complement the fat-burning, and a healthy eating guide.

She also has the added benefit of trainer Richard Callendar, who is from ITV’s, The Biggest Loser, who is there throughout the week ensuring she does the workouts and giving her the motivation to see it through. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have that luxury.

To me, these DVDs are selling dreams to people hoping for a quick fix. These quick fixes don’t last. So save your money, join a bootcamp or even just start walking/running (C25K is a great running app for beginners and its FREE!!) and see results that will last!!

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(And if you need some motivation to get back in to it, have a read here)

Until next time,

Victoria

This Girl Can.

Welcome back my lovely followers!

By now I am sure you are all well aware of the ‘This Girl Can‘ campaign which has been everywhere lately. This is a campaign which was started by Sport England and it aims to celebrate women being active no matter how they look or what others say.

This Girl Can celebrates the women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, what they look like or even how sweaty they get. They’re here to inspire us to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.

I am a huge fan of this campaign and if you are looking for some serious motivation, I urge you to watch the video above!

With a song as upbeat as Missy Elliotts ‘Get Ur Freak On’ it can only be good, right?

In the vain social media of today, it is so refreshing and encouraging to see real women going for it and enjoying exercise without fear of judgement. This isn’t an advert that is suppose to ‘look good’, its about being real. It shows something that every woman can relate to who sweated it out at the gym or adorned the dreaded Lycra. You can exercise and feel good no matter your size, age, or how much cellulite you have. A huge part of this is fear of what others might think or say, and of feeling like you’re not good enough. I completely relate to this mentality.

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Gyms and the likes can be very intimidating places where the physically gifted parade around with bodies carved by angels. From past experiences, these people can be the people who berate people for trying, and possibly put them off ever returning. Why do this to someone? Everyone was a beginner at some stage.

Social media has had a major influence on the ‘ideal body’ of the 21st century. From Facebook, to Tumblr to the famous Instagram glamazons, it is hard to not face the idea of ‘perfection’.

This is why I think this campaign is so important. It is a reminder that these ‘ideal bodies’ aren’t realistic representations of women’s bodies. This is especially important within younger girls, who are growing up surrounded by these images of technologically enhanced women.

Sport England have really hit the nail on the head with this campaign. It is one that everyone definitely needs to see.

So, at the end of the day, it is important to do what works for you. If that’s going to gym for an hour after college or work, doing an exercise DVD in your sitting room or just going for a walk around the block. Just go for it, and in the words of Kevin G: