Stepping Out of the Gym: Be The Example

Everyone we meet in our lives has an impact on us. Everyone we interact with teaches us something; about ourselves, about the world, about life… But even more importantly is that everyone we interact learns something from us.

Every time we meet someone they take something away from our interaction just as we do. We are constantly making an impression on someone and forming what they believe about us and about whatever it is we represent. So what about when those someones are very little someones?


This week on the “Stepping Out of the Gym” series I spoke with Jill Ciganek of … When I reached out about profession and fitness she was all over it! She talked about her current career as a full time nanny and why being active and being healthy and in shape is so extremely important. But what I loved about Jill’s reasoning was that her fitness and health did not just impact her and her life. It impacted others.

Throughout this series so far, speaking about how our fitness and health levels impact our careers has led us to speak on how they impact us directly and impact our lives. What about when our careers themselves are based on the impact we have on others?

For years my mom has also worked as a full time nanny. In the recent years as she went through her own health and weightloss journey, I was able to see first hand how much it helped her in her career; giving her the energy and stamina and confidence to keep up better with the kids and to feel better and more comfortable in herself. I have also seen how strong of an impact she has had on the families she has worked for. The children she has helped to raise love her dearly, as though she is a part of the family. This means that throughout their young lives, they were following her example and using her as a role model.

Sometimes our fitness and health is not JUST about us. Sometimes it is also about making sure that those little impressionable eyes and ears and brains and hearts are taking in POSITIVE role models and learning the importance of a healthy lifestyle from the start.


So, now that I am done rambling….

Why do you believe your current health and fitness level impact (positively or negatively) your career? Why is it important to your career to remain healthy and fit?
As I nanny, I have a VERY active job!  I should let you know that before I became a full time nanny (2 years ago), I worked a desk job, which was drastically different. Back then I would work out after work to counteract all the sitting I did all day.  I also used to take walks at lunch.  But now, even though I get plenty of movement on the job, it’s important I stay as healthy and fit as possible to keep up with the kids! I honestly could not imagine doing this job if I were inactive and unhealthy.  Our days consist of long walks, running around outside and inside, trips to the park and the pool and lots of up and down on the floor and steps all day!  Really the only time I sit down is during naptime.  Working out also keeps my immune system healthy and helps me fight off the constant colds and kiddie germs 🙂  Seeing me active, fit and healthy also sets a good example for the kiddos I work with.

What is your exercise of choice? If you have a specific favorite workout what is it? What is a go to quick workout for a busy day?
Running has forever been my favorite exercise and that’s always my go-to, but I actually like so many other types of workout activities too. I love biking, especially outdoors in nice weather.  I love lifting and getting strong.  I like to take group exercise classes at the gym, especially on days I’m feeling a bit unmotivated!  My favorites are BodyPump and BodyCombat.  I also really love HIIT and bodyweight exercises which you can find all over the internet.  I pin a lot of these quick at-home workouts and then reference them on days when I get home from work really late, or the weather’s not ideal for running outside.  There are so many great workouts you can do at home in around 20 mins!

What is your favorite go-to on the job fit snack?
There are 3 things I always have in my bag/bring to work:  Fruit of some kind, seasonal (apple, orange, peach, plum, grapes, etc); protein bar (my current faves are Luna, Larabar, and Raw Revolution); and nuts (usually raw almonds).  The nature of my job often does not allow me a sit-down lunch so I bring lots of foods that can be eaten on the go.

What advice would you give to someone in a similar profession who is trying to schedule their own gym/fitness/workout routine into a busy schedule?
I think for anyone that works with kids (teachers, childcare workers, nannies, etc), they know how exhausting the days can be.  Kids wear you out!  But it’s important to take time to take care of yourself and your health after devoting the entire day to caring for someone else.  Self care and self help are key to a strong body and mind!  I think exercising outside is a great way to clear your mind and get your body moving.  A run or walk after work is so stress relieving.  If you can’t get outside or don’t have much time, search Pinterest or the web for workouts you can do from home. Or go to a group exercise class if you feel like you need the comradery or motivation of others.  I think the most important thing is to find something you like to do so you’ll stick with it.  Your health is just as important as the health of the children in your care!

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