The Twitterverse has gone crazy over Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s extreme wellness routines that include a near starvation diet and a standing desk with a near-infrared bulb.
We decided to ask a few Philadelphians about their philosophies and favorite go-to activities. Some of their answers surprised us.
Morning news anchor for NBC10 News Today, former NFL player
Wellness philosophy: To eat healthy, exercise and refrain from alcohol, coffee, tea or smoking.
Routines: Sikahema works out six days a week (between broadcasts) at the gym in the NBC office, focusing on core strength, cardio and lifting. He and his wife, Keala Sikahema, stay away from fatty foods and sugar, opting for such lean proteins as fish or chicken. “I go to great lengths to take care of myself,” he said.
Sikahema and his wife met at a dance in college. Their first dance was to Prince’s “1999,” the title track of the 1982 album of the same name. It remains the anthem of the Sikahema family, which now includes four children and six grandchildren. When Vai and Keala are home alone, they crank up the music and “dance like nobody is watching.”
As a former NFL player, Sikahema participates in a wellness management program to monitor for any signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition likely caused by repeated concussions, which he sustained during his career as a running back and kick returner for the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.
Every Wednesday afternoon, Vai and Keala, who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, meet at the temple at 17th and Vine Streets for worship. It is an hour they protect, he said.
Owner of Aux Petit Delices, a bakery in Wayne. A recently Food Network competitor.
Wellness philosophy: To successfully manage the stress and anxiety that comes with being the new owner of a small business.
Routines: On her day off from work Gesualdi, who recently competed on the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, just chills. She pushes all thoughts of work out of her mind, runs though some of her favorite mantras, enjoys the silence, and meditates.
Listening to audio books also helps with the stress and long commute from her Fishtown neighborhood to the Main Line. The books help distract her from the anxiety that tends to build up as she heads to work. The part of her brain that used to spend the commute worrying about her to-do list, is instead engrossed in stories she loves. Right now, she is bingeing on the Harry Potter series. “This is like my 100th time reading the Prisoner of Azkaban. It never gets old,” Gesualdi said.
Gesualdi and her fiancé, Bruce Solomon, enjoy walking and cooking together after work. Tacos and roasted vegetables are favorites. “It is nice to go home after a day of sugar and chocolate and not eat sweets,” she said.
Wellness philosophy: To find the time to do something for mental or physical wellness every day, even if it is for a short time.
Routines: Thiel’s job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. As commissioner of the largest fire department in the state with the busiest emergency services department in the country, Thiel never knows when he will be needed. On a slow day he will do hot yoga in the morning and then attend one of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Motivated Fitness classes, a job perk that includes workouts with certified personal trainers, all of whom are firefighters or paramedics. “I am much better when I make the time to focus on physical wellness,” Thiel said.
A former high school football and track team member, Thiel has always made working out a part of his routine. He does CrossFit when he can and finished the Ironman Florida triathlon in Panama City Beach a few years ago.
On busy days, Thiel tries to take 10 minutes for a short walk or push-ups, or to use a rowing machine. Even that little bit of movement, as opposed to doing nothing, makes a difference, he said.
Director of the advisory program in wealth management for Janney Montgomery Scott, a financial services firm in Philadelphia
Wellness philosophy: To celebrate the small achievements in life that give a sense of progress, accomplishment, joy and happiness.
Routines: As a teen growing up in India, Walde would set off on her own to hike in the Himalayas – sometimes for as long as two weeks. She still looks for hikes to try when she travels. On Sunday mornings, Walde loads up her favorite podcast – the Tim Ferriss Show – and heads out for a six-mile run in Ridley Creek State Park near her Media home. Along the way, she waves to fellow exercisers and enjoys the 2,600 acres of woodlands and meadows. “By the end of it, I have so many ideas in my mind that are fruitful, I have to sit down and write them down,” Walde said.
Walde and her husband keep their bedroom a media-free zone with no televisions or other screens. It is a place to relax and rest. Walde spends about 30 minutes winding down and reading a real book before she hits the pillow.
Stair climbing at work with colleagues helps keep Walde in shape. The group, which started by climbing five floors of stairs at the company’s 1717 Arch St. location during their afternoon break, now climbs 35 floors at a time. In addition, Walde attends different dance classes, including jazz and hip hop.
Director of the health design lab at Thomas Jefferson University
Wellness philosophy: To make room for creativity and engage in extreme sports.
Routines: Every week, Ku creates time in his busy schedule to engage his creative side. He doesn’t take calls or answer email. He spends the time writing or thinking about new ideas or concepts for his design lab, which looks for ways to solve problems such as health inequalities and teaches medical students how to use design to solve the challenges they face.
Surfing and skateboarding are two of Ku’s lifelong passions and give him energy. He has surfed all over the world and does it all year round. Even on those 20-degree days when no one else is in the cold waters at the Jersey Shore, you can find Ku riding the waves. “I enjoy that challenge of being connected to the elements and this almost treat of physical harm engages that part of who I am,” he said.
Lifting weights helps keep tension at bay while he concentrates on Olympic style squats and clean-and-presses. “I like to lift heavy weights and drop them,” Ku said.
Chef of Poi Dog Philly
Wellness philosophy: To balance mental wellness with physical well-being.
Routines: Aranita is a maker and keeper of lists. She starts her day listing what she wants to accomplish. It is a “whole ritual" that is done in cursive. With all the rushing that comes with her busy lifestyle, Aranita has even laminated lists of what she needs to take when she travels for conferences or to cook in another city. The most satisfying part of keeping the lists is crossing off completed tasks. “I would not be able to make these quick turnarounds without a packing list," she said.
Organization and cleanliness are priorities for Aranita, helping her to feel calm. Her bed is always made, her home clean with everything put where it belongs. She wipes her Chihuahua Coconut’s paws after a walk outside.
Gym machines are not for Aranita. She was a dancer as a child and still prefers to dance -- ballet is a favorite -- for exercise. When she does find time to work out it is usually early.
Defender for the Philadelphia Union
Wellness philosophy: To maintain healthy habits off the field in order to reach peak performance on the field.
Routines: Trusty is conscious of what he is eating and where his food comes from. He analyzes the ingredients in the products he buys. He likes to “stay away from additives and eats as clean as possible.” At work, he gets balanced team meals for breakfast and lunch.
Trusty has recently taken up meditation before training and games to “become calm and relaxed while zeroing in and become singularly focused on playing.” He likes to use visualization, especially before games as a “see it, conceptualize it, do it method,” he said.