Exercising with the pros - Aarbakke AS
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Exercising with the pros

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå will be inspiring employees of Aarbakke to get into better shape by exercising. This is a motivating challenge for the Olympic champion.

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå has been making her mark on national and international mountain biking for 19 years, with several world championships and an Olympic gold medal. This year, she is working with Aarbakke.

Every month, she and her husband and trainer Kenneth Flesjå are taking part in gatherings at Bryne. The first was on Sunday 27 January.

Dream sponsor
– We want people to get up off the sofa and start exercising. Aarbakke is a dream sponsor and we are very much looking forward to working together. This company already does a great deal to get employees to be active and exercise, and I hope we can make our contribution to their efforts, she says.

Throughout 2013, Flesjå will be offering exercise tips, sharing experience and giving employees input in how they can get into better shape through exercise. The first goal is the Nordsjørittet.

– We hope to use these gatherings to motivate and inspire people to activity, and meeting exercisers of all classes also gives us energy for our efforts. We have had a lot of pleasure from exercise over the years and that is why we are so happy to be able to share some of this, she says.

Exciting collaboration
Managing Director Inge Brigt Aarbakke thinks this new collaboration with Gunn-Rita and Kenneth is very exciting. About 50 Aarbakke employees joined the first gathering.

– It is important for us as a company to motivate and facilitate exercise. People in good shape have better health, better well-being and less sick leave. What we as a company invest in exercise, we get back many times over in higher work activity and less sick leave, says Aarbakke.

The company currently has no more than two per cent sick leave.

50 per cent in Nordsjørittet
Aarbakke has 280 employees, and the hope is that between 100 and 150 will take part in the Nordsjørittet event this summer. Up to now, more office workers than production employees have been active in the exercise.

– Those who work in production have three shifts, which can make structured training difficult, says Aarbakke.

Gunn Rita agrees. Structure was one of the points she stressed as being important to get the right exercise over time.

– We must find out what motivates us. Is the social side more important? Or is it improvement and mastering a challenge? Motivation is important, to be able to plan and prioritise exercise. We can then find a structure and quantity that suits our motivation and goals, says Gunn-Rita.

This Sunday was the beginning of the focus on the Nordsjørittet. Besides Gunn-Rita and Kenneth, nutritional physiologist Helene Lerbrekke of Livskraft was also there.

Not just cycling
The next gatherings will include practical cycling tuition, exercise tips and training sessions. As we head towards summer, cycling is the priority and the goal is the Nordsjørittet. The couple will be there with us, cycling for Aarbakke. But when summer is over, the Flesjås will be taking on other activities.

– Exercise is good for the body, but it is also good mentally. People who are in good shape have more energy and are better equipped to face each day. We hope we can get as many people in the company as possible to exercise, says the cycling professional.

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