The CEO of a healthy aging company shares how biking to work and scuba diving vacations help her excel on the job
Today’s CEOs are facing innumerable challenges: a global pandemic and a sea change in how and where employees want to show up for work, just to name a few. For leaders, the pressure has never been higher. How do they mitigate it? In our new series, we ask executives about their day-to-day wellness habits to gain insight into the tactics they use to minimize stress and maintain their well-being.
Katie Reed is the co-founder and CEO of Balanced, the digital fitness platform for healthy aging. Prior to Balanced, Katie was an engineering manager at Ro, software engineer at Namely, and consulted with non-profits and think tanks on product development strategy.
Coffee or tea? And what do you put in it?
I enjoy both—but I’m a daily coffee drinker. I take my coffee black because I enjoy the taste of high quality grounds, and frankly, I drink too much coffee to sustain the habit if I added any extra calories like milk or sugar.
What is your go-to breakfast?
Coffee. I typically skip breakfast and opt for an early lunch, but if I’m going on a long run in the morning, then I’ll pick up an everything bagel, toasted with cream cheese.
Tell us about your workout routine.
I used to have a programmatic approach to fitness, but now as long as I’m prioritizing an active lifestyle, it’s considered a win. That can be a run in the morning before work to train for the New York City Marathon, walking or biking instead of taking a car to commute, or going on a weekend hike with my partner and dog. We also have a company culture of taking our own Balanced classes for feedback on the product experience which can range from cardio, strength training, to stretching.
How many hours do you sleep on a typical night?
On average, I get around 8 hours of sleep. My sleep quality is great, but this didn’t used to be the case when I was younger. Prioritizing physical activity and not watching movies or working in bed has helped a ton.
How do you de-stress?
Having a special community of friends—from laughter to loyal support for each other throughout the years brings me a ton of joy and energy. My dog is a refreshing reminder to step outside of the serious day to day. And if I ever feel overwhelmed in the moment, nothing helps more than lacing up some running shoes and stepping outside for a run to either clear my head or get my thoughts in order.
According to your phone, what’s your daily average screen time from last week?
6 hours, 23 minutes.
What app do you use the most?
When’s the last time you took a day off? What did you do?
A few weeks ago I took time off to get scuba certified in Menorca, Spain. I love all things ocean related and felt like I was missing out on the entire scuba experience. It was fantastic. I’m already dreaming and planning for the next scuba adventure.
What’s one thing your company is doing to prioritize employee wellness?
Our philosophy is simple: our employees know themselves best when it comes to wellness. We offer an ongoing incentive of $100 per month (or $1200 a year) to be used towards products or services in the health/wellness/fitness space that bridge the gap between personal development and R&D.
What’s your favorite treat?
Petee’s Pie. All of the pies. I own one of their sweatshirts.
Show us a photo of your happy place.
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