Today, the TestOut Continuing Education team is preparing to saddle up and ride the high country. Well, sort of. It's the annual TestOut company bike ride, so the saddles are of the bicycle seat variety — and believe us, they will cause "saddle" sores for the TestOut-ers who only do this sort of thing a couple of times per year — and, well, it's all the high country here in Utah, even if you're just riding the paved trail on the banks of the Provo River.
It's a fun tradition for everyone who participates. The exercise is nice, the weather is gorgeous (especially given that this year's ride is largely shaded by tall trees), and there will be ice cream treats and ice-cold water for everyone at the end of the trail. Families participate, and the people who work at TestOut generally enjoy each other's company so much, that both the formal and informal get-togethers are eagerly anticipated.
The bike ride is also a reminder to all of us in IT of the importance of work-life balance. Especially when you sit at a desk all day and mostly work out only your fingers — if pressing keys can be deemed a legitimate workout — it's important to make time in your schedule for both regular exercise and and active participation in outdoor activities. Parents often closely monitor the amount of "screen time" their children are permitted, but how many adult working professionals essentially stare at a monitor for eight hours and then go home to see what's on Netflix?
Health professionals recommend consistent exposure to sunlight to recharge the body's supply of vitamin D, and it's been demonstrated repeatedly that natural light improves both emotional and mental well being. Outside air, increased exposure to physical stimuli, and elevated physical energy and activity levels are also important benefits of regularly going against from the modern tendency to be cooped up indoors at all times.
So today we're all going outside to ride our bikes, be together with friends, and enjoy a little overall lightness of being. Consider this a reminder to all of our friends in the IT world that each of you should do the same. Is there a bicycle in your garage? Instead of checking to see what's available from Amazon Prime or Hulu tonight, throw on a bike helmet and go push the pedals for a couple of hours. Your body will thank you.
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