This post was authored by Bhavya Mittal, a Consulting Engineer intern on the Customer Experience (CX) Team.

Person holding up a green sign that reads, "Meditation."

You know how we always talk about having a work-life balance to be able to focus on our health along with our work? People spend so many years trying to find a workplace that takes care of their mental and physical health. I never thought I would be lucky enough to experience corporate culture for the first time at a place that not only pushes me to reach greater heights in my career but also encourages me to keep myself healthy.

If you had put me in a room full of people a few months ago, I probably would have been the only person to never have visited a gym. To rephrase it, I can confidently say I was against working out — I found it boring. And then, my Cisco internship happened.

One day, the LifeConnections Fitness Center at the Cisco Bangalore campus launched a 21-day fitness challenge, where we were supposed to attend their classes, ranging from very intense HIIT sessions to super calming yoga sessions. Now, I definitely was not a fitness enthusiast, but I am competitive. I, along with a couple of my friends, decided to take up the challenge. Attending fitness classes would earn us points for the possibility of winning amazing goodies that would come in handy, like mugs, bags, and other sports merchandise!

Three people standing together with medals hanging from their necks.What started as a race to get the highest number of points suddenly became my favorite thing to do after work. There was not a single day that I missed attending those classes because they were so much fun! The trainers are amazing and motivating, and something I realized I needed to push myself to work out. Being together in a group of people added to the fun. Also, the classes are a great place to meet new people and network with them. I began to realize how much my body needed to work out and how much more my mind needed to calm down. I feel better, I’m happier, and I even noticed a good increase in my appetite, which I really needed.

Well, the twist to the story is that while I may not have won the 21-day challenge, I most definitely won in finding work-life balance and a new, healthy lifestyle. It has been more than a month since the challenge ended, and I still wait for the clock to turn to 4:00 p.m. every day because … it’s gym time!

Even if something goes wrong during my day, or I have challenges at work, at the end of the day, or as we like to say, by EOD, everything is made better by a workout at my workplace!

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