The Well-Being Journal

Walking Together for Longer, Healthier Life

Jennifer Rudloff

walking togetherWith all of our modern technology, connecting quickly has become easier. But there’s something to be said for trading some high-tech time with real, face-to-face quality time every once in a while. When we do this by going for a walk with friends, for example, it can do wonders for our physical and emotional health.

Successful Strides

Four years after becoming the first Blue Zones Project city, Albert Lea, Minn., continues to be a living, breathing example of this. A recent news article reported the city has 30 moais, or groups who continue to get together twice a week for an hour-long walk, bike ride or dancing. This Midwestern city has shown how a healthy habit can become a life-changing lifestyle.

Those who’ve participated in the Blue Zones program and adopted its principles—like regular activity and healthy eating—have experienced numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improved physical and emotional health
  • Elimination of medication for certain health conditions
  • An increased lifespan of 2.9 years on average

In summary, walking with others can make it easier to adopt healthy choices, which can grow into a lifestyle, which can lead to well-being improvement beyond measure.

Some Pep for Your Step

When was the last time you met up with a group of friends, colleagues or neighbors and went for a walk? Whether you have a health-related goal or would like to reconnect on a deeper level, consider making contact and find a time that would work. You could even consider organizing a "walking school bus" in your neighborhood, like described in this YouTube video. One step is all you need to get started. And if you want to use a little high-tech to initiate the conversation, a quick text probably wouldn't hurt.

Topics: Healthy Living In the News Exercise Physical Health Health Emotional Health Social Well-Being Success Stories Blue Zones Project

6 Culprits Hurting Well-Being at Work

Jennifer Rudloff

Reposted from the Well-Being Wire by MeYou Health

For as much time as we spending working, it seems so easy to lose track of the impact our worklife can have on our overall well-being. So here are six of the common culprits that take a swipe at our well-being at work, along with a few simple ideas for the small actions we can take to tackle them—

Multitasking

Many people multitask in search of great productivity, but oftentimes this kind of distracted behavior actually makes us less productive. Multitaskers are typically less focused and experience higher levels of stress, and multitasking can even strain personal relationships and lead to accidents (think texting while driving). Instead, try tackling just one task at a time and giving it 100%. Start with a single activity and focus on it for ten minutes straight. Occasional interruptions are expected during the workday, but being fully present and avoiding the many temptations in our day can lead to much better results.

Active listening means making eye contact and repeating what someone has just said.

Poor Communication

When talking to co-workers, it’s all too easy to half-listen while you think about your own response or what’s for lunch. To avoid a potentially damaging discord, the next time you speak to a colleague, try practicing active listening techniques. While the other person is speaking, focus your full attention on what he or she is saying. Look at the person in the eyes, and when it’s your turn, repeat back what he or she has said. Tuning in fully promotes openness between people, helps avoid misunderstandings because you have to confirm what the other person actually said.

Avoidance

Building relationships at work is one of the keys to a successful career, but many people find themselves in routines that keep them away from people they don’t know. Choose someone at work who is new to you or whom you rarely interact with. When you see him or her today, make the effort to say hello, and follow it up with a friendly smile. Breaking out of this rut can help you learn more about your workplace and your colleagues, and will give you a reputation for being warm and engaging, not cool or unapproachable.

Procrastination

There’s nothing worse than having something you’re not looking forward to doing in the back of your mind all day. Maybe it’s making an unpleasant phone call or addressing an issue with a co-worker. Why not try to identify the toughest task you have on your plate, and take steps to address that task first rather than putting it off until later in the day? Get it done first, and then the rest of your day will feel like a breeze. It also gives you a lift because you’ll feel proud that you were able to get it done so early.

Cluttered workspaces can lead to stress and lost time when it comes to finding things.

Clutter


Whether it’s papers piled high on your desk, or digital files strewn everywhere on your hard drive, disorganization can lead to distress! Clutter makes it harder to find things and this can cost you time and cause unnecessary stress. Try recycling or throwing away things that you don’t need and make a small stack (or folder) of items that really do need your attention. Return other objects to their rightful places in your work area, and banish that frustrating feeling of not being able to find the things you’re looking for. Cleaned-up workspace, clear-thinking mind!

Overdoing It

Sometime it feels like the work will never stop coming, and more than ever, our many gadgets and gizmos keep us tethered to our workday tasks. Try making a conscious decision to create a boundary between work and home by turning off the technology that keeps you connected to the office. After you get home tonight, do not check your work email, voicemail, or texts, and turn off your smartphone. Take it a step further and limit yourself to 30 minutes of work talk once you’re off the clock today. This may help you unwind, but it also leaves more time for the many other important aspects of life, like family and friends.

Topics: Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Stress Productivity