The Well-Being Journal

It's No Vator November - We're in - Are you?

Jennifer Rudloff

Exercise isn’t a destination, its part of the journey. Just can’t get to the gym or make time in your schedule for even 30 minutes of activity? Take the stairs! And take the initiative to start the movement – literally – by inviting a few friends along. And put that commitment in writing – in an email – in a text – in a tweet…..saying it “out loud” makes it real – “for the month of November I am going to bypass the elevator and take the stairs – No Vator November!” Share your commitment with 5 or more of your friends and ask them to share it with their friends. That’s what happened here at Healthways…one person shared his commitment with friends and asked them to pass it on. The result? Hundreds of colleagues joined the movement and have taken to the stairs!

What difference can a few flights of stairs make? According to Dr. Alan Hedge at Cornell University, only 34 extra calories a day can be the tipping point. In looking at the rise of obesity in America over the last decade, Dr. Hedge found it really was that simple. Just 34 extra calories a day can add 5 or 6 pounds a year! Simple lifestyle changes – adding more movement to your day – can burn those 34 calories and more. Just two or three flights of stairs daily will offset those 34 calories, depending on your weight and the intensity of your stair climb. Ramping up to six flights of day could help you trim off pounds!

Your work environment is a great place to start the movement. You don’t need any special equipment or dedicated space. Little nudges like taking the stairs instead of the elevator to a meeting might get even the most exercise adverse employee moving. After all, do you want to be the only one heading to the elevator when the rest of the team is taking the stairs?

Optimizing the physical environment is key to supporting well-being in the workplace and creating a Culture of Health. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Thinking outside the box – or in this case – outside the elevator – is all it takes to start the movement in your workplace.

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Exercise Health Take the Stairs Stairs Dr. Alan Hedge Workplace Well-Being

Great Habits Make for Great Results!

Jennifer Rudloff

Woman eating healthyNow is the perfect time to reaffirm your commitment to your healthy diet and fitness goals.

Holiday festivities are just around the corner. This year, give yourself the gift of fitness! By planning ahead, you can avoid the weight gain, disappointment and (ever so common) Sprint & Fizzle of New Year's resolutions.

Sticking to an exercise & diet regime takes time, effort and commitment. Having support can make the difference between success and reverting back to old unhealthy habits. Finding a supportive friend, training partner, family member or online forum will go a long way towards helping you stay focused and motivated.

Staying fit is an ongoing lifestyle choice.

Here are some great suggestions that will lead to your success:

  • The simple act of READING about eating healthy and different ways to stay on track can make a big difference! You’ll subconsciously recall something you read and act upon even without realizing you are doing it.
  • The simple act of LOOKING at images that reflect your goals can make a big difference! Put a picture, article or motivational statement on your refrigerator door. Be sure it really inspires YOU. Look at it and think of what it means to you every time you think of opening the door or walk by.
  • Set realistic goals that can be met and maintained in the midst of day to day activities and responsibilities.
  • Let go of thinking in terms of ‘on’ or ‘off’ The Diet. Just be aware of what you eat & make good healthy, low calorie choices TODAY.
  • Limit portion size. 2 bowls taste the same as 2 bites. Pay attention to when you are ‘full’ and when you are eating it because it is there.
  • Limit soda and drink more water. Staying hydrated helps curb appetite.
  • Leave food on the stove. Fill your plate with less than you think you want and go sit down. You will be less likely to go back for more.
  • Balance your choices. Drop the ‘all or nothing’ thinking. If you treat yourself today, then make up for it by eating stricter and less calories tomorrow. Develop a healthy, guilt free relationship with food.
  • Don’t punish yourself or beat yourself up, but rather keep moving forward with your overall plan. The only way you will not get there is by standing still. Keep going!
  • Find ways to get exercise that you enjoy enough to do faithfully.
  • Do you 'stuff' your anger or eat to 'fill the void’ of boredom, loneliness or other emotions? Feel it, don’t eat it! Take action instead. Bored? Lonely? Go for a walk or call a friend.
  • Reward yourself! Every single day you are taking one step closer to your goal and practicing the habits that will help you maintain forever. Celebrate, acknowledge and enjoy!
  • Set yourself up to succeed! Maintain your desired weight and fitness level with an exercise and meal planning schedule that fits into your personal lifestyle.

By setting healthy lifestyle goals and reaching them, you will find joy, energy, self-confidence and new emotional coping tools that do not involve food.

Many people successfully attain and maintain their weight and fitness goals. You can, too!

Topics: Healthy Living Focus Exercise Motivation Habits Diet Social Well-Being

How to Make the Time for Exercise

Jennifer Rudloff

We all know that exercise is good for us and is something we should do. However, we often forget or play victim to the excuse, “I just don’t have enough time.” Perhaps we overlook all that exercise has to offer us. Exercise does much more than make us look in shape - it can improve our quality of life, personally and professionally, in many many ways. As stated in our previous post those who exercise regularly see substantial differences in all of the WBI domains and rake in the benefits of feeling well rested, less stressed and overall more satisfied with their jobs. With that being said, in 2010 only 51.1% of Americans exercised regularly according to the WBI. So, how do we improve that number and overcome the phrase “I just don’t have enough time.”

In today’s fast- paced world we know exercise often drops to the bottom of our lists. To make sure that does not happen, and that exercise becomes part of our daily routine, we have come up with a list of ways you can incorporate it into your daily lives. Whether it is big or small – every little bit will help!

  1. When you’ve finished your lunch, don’t just sit there for the remainder of the break. Get up and walk around for 15/20 minutes. You’ll feel refreshed and it will give you an excuse to enjoy the nice summer weather outside.
  2. We live in the age of DVR. Instead of spending that 30 minutes to an hour on the couch watching a must see show – tape it and go for a run/walk around the block. It will be there when you get back.
  3. If you drive to work, don’t waste your time trying to find the closest available parking spot. Park far away from your detestation to get in some walking time and always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Don’t have time to work on those abs or biceps? Make the most of your TV time andgrab that exercise ball or any other at home workout accessories and do yourcircuits in front of the TV.
  5. If you own a treadmill or exercise bike, place them in front of your TV.
  6. Wake up in the morning and can’t fall back asleep? Get up and go for a morning jog.
  7. Don’t put off your outside chores. Mow the lawn, or plant new flowers. Your body will truly benefit.
  8. Get your family to participate with you. Round up the family and go for a walk at the end of the day. This will be a perfect opportunity to catch up on everybody’s day while getting a workout.

What are you doing to help yourself incorporate exercise into your routine?

Topics: Healthy Living Exercise How To Stay Fit Fitness Health Wellness Well-Being