The Well-Being Journal

The Inner Truth about Weight Loss

Jennifer Rudloff

After a diet, between one-third and two-thirds of all dieters not only gain all their weight back, they actually gain more than they originally lost. That was the finding of a 2007 UCLA paper that sought to understand the outcomes of calorie restricting diets. It’s a sad story – the dieters have good intentions and impose discomfort upon themselves all in the name of making change happen; yet in the end they wind up disappointed and frustrated. That sure doesn’t do a lot to reinforce behavior change.

Unfortunately, many of these people will also go on to suffer significant health problems, all avoidable, because of excess weight. Most people simply do not succeed when undertaking a diet. They start fresh and enthusiastically, stutter along the way, and abandon the effort. Everybody knows that it is unhealthy to be overweight, and the key to success is strikingly easy to understand:

  • Eat less.
  • Move more.

So why has the prevalence of obesity grown so much over the past 25 years? It now afflicts 1 out of every 3 Americans. How can we stop it?

In reality, losing weight and keeping it off requires a complete lifestyle change - an approach that goes beyond a focus on calories consumed and calories burned. It requires an assessment of life values, clarification of goals, and support that creates a sense of accountability, in addition to eating less and moving more.

Losing weight shouldn’t be about ordering packaged food and counting every step and calorie – it’s bigger than that.

In recognition of the true drivers to weight loss – for example, the fundamental motivation and need for accountability – Healthways built its weight management program to emphasize how to make success a more likely outcome. And we’ve named it in accordance with that philosophy. Innergy™ acknowledges the inner strength and motivation, the inner confidence that dominates the success or failure at losing weight. If you’d like to learn more about this program, click here.

Topics: Healthy Living Obesity Weight Loss Innergy Prevention Healthways Johns Hopkins

It's never too late to start exercising

Jennifer Rudloff

Physical activity is important to people of all ages - it helps us control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, and promotes better sleep. It also helps to combat aging by improving strength, flexibility, balance and endurance which helps enable people to live happier, healthier, more independent lives. And when exercise becomes a social activity – it encourages new friendships, and adds an extra element of fun.

Well the seniors of Wheat Ridge have no shortage of friends to have fun with SilverSneakers® style. With more than 5,200 eligible Silver Sneakers members living within a five-mile radius, this community is invested in health. Learn more about this program, hear instructors talk about the program components, and get a sneak peak at some of the classes in action.

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Learn more about the benefits to exercise >>

Topics: Healthy Living Exercise Aging Fitness Seniors Prevention Silver Sneakers Healthways

A New Year, A New Approach to Well-Being

Jennifer Rudloff

Woman in Workout Wear Walking up the StairsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, Andy Williams would like you to believe so. But for many of us, the holiday season and the turn of the new year may instead feel like the most stressful time of year. Some of us spend this time reflecting upon past resolutions gone off track, wondering how we gained those extra 5 pounds, or reflecting upon what – or how – we’d like to change.

This year will be different. You can stay on track with you resolutions and make 2012 the year to improve your overall well-being. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Create a Plan.
What are you waiting for? Nobody said you had to wait until the new year to decide on a resolution. It’s important that you take advantage of your own motivation, whenever you feel it.

During the holiday season, most people are too preoccupied with having fun to focus on their New Year’s resolutions. But chances are, you already have an idea of what you want to work on. There may be a few goals you have in mind, but in order to really stay on track, you should pick one.

Once you’ve bought a journal – or created a journal online or through your own word processing/note taking software – write down your goal on the front page or at the top. This will help you keep your goal top of mind when reflecting upon your progress. In addition, choose amid-year goal so that you can assess your own six-month progress, and write this down with your full-year goal. Remember to try and be realistic when choosing your mid-year goal. This will allow you to remain more motivated as time goes on, knowing your objective is in reach.

2. Set Reminders.
We’re all busy; it’s easy to get wrapped up in other commitments that slowly derail the progress of your resolution. Because of this, it’s important to set reminders before you and your resolution fall off the wagon. When you determine your resolution, take a few minutes to also determine how often you will assess yourself. Every week? Every month? It’s up to you – as long as it’s consistent.

Perhaps these reminders would be most effective if communicated within your e-mail calendar, or perhaps you’re best reached via mobile phone alarms. Or, if this is a family effort, you can note when it’s time for a resolution check-in on the family calendar in the kitchen. The point is, you shouldn’t just resolve to achieve a goal; you should resolve to make this happen.

Think of these check-ins like appointments. During each scheduled check-in, think about your resolution progress, write these feelings down in your journal, and skim past entries to keep track of how you’re doing.

3. Get Real.
In order to stay motivated, it’s important that you don’t get frustrated after each slip. Some months will be easier than others and you’ll be able to see your own highs and lows as you keep track of your journal entries. Allow yourself some leeway in your six-month and full-year goals. Of course, don’t pad your progress too much – but feeling like you’re staying on track will help you stay motivated moving forward.

If you do experience a setback, write a mini-resolution in your journal about how you plan to fight back next week or next month. Staying resilient is half the battle of fulfilling a resolution.

4. Assess Yourself.
The reason for a six-month personal review is that oftentimes our resolutions require a bit of tweaking in order for us to attain them. Personal assessments allow us to recognize this, and if needed, extend our own deadlines. Perhaps your new year’s resolution becomes a two-year resolution.

However, when giving yourself an extension, take note: this should not take place more than once unless under very special circumstances. It’s okay to assess yourself and determine that you might need some outside support. For example, if you aim to completely quit smoking within the year, you might want to look into Blueprint to Quit, which provides expert advice and community guidance to help you along.

Of course, our personal Health Coaches are here to help you not only zero in on a prioritized goal, but also stick with it. We provide lots of services to help you and your employees stay on track with your overall well-being. To find out how we can work together, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. Happy New Year!

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Resolutions Tips to Keeping Resolutions Health Healthways New Years Resolution

The Science of Well-Being

Jennifer Rudloff

Why does Well-Being matter? Intrinsically, we all understand that higher well-being is better. That much is pretty straight forward. What you may not realize is the impact well-being has on key business metrics such as healthcare costs, productivity, performance, and employee engagement for your organization. In this white paper, The Science of Well-Being, we explore the evidence around why improving well-being is critical for elevating your businesses performance.

Key Points include:

  • Explanation and validation of the measures used in the Healthways Well-Being Assessment™ (WBA)
  • Discussion of the components included in the WBA and why they're important to business leaders
  • How our productivity measures can be used to diagnose areas of opportunity to improve performance
  • Examination of key findings regarding how well-being relates to:
    • Health care utilization and cost
    • Productivity (absenteeism and presenteeism)
    • Job performance
    • Employee engagement

White Paper: The Science of Well-Being

Topics: Basic Access Work Environment Physical Health Business Performance Health Emotional Health HRA Wellness Measure Wellness wellbeing assessment Life Evaluation Productivity Health Risk Assessment Well-Being Healthways Healthy Living Workplace Well-Being Well-Being Index