Wellness at Work: Get Moving!

Did you guys know that February is American Heart Month?  My group at work (full-time job, not the Y) has pushed out weekly information on our Intranet to raise company awareness on heart health as part of our work site wellness initiatives.  Our goal has been to educate staff members on how they can greatly reduce their risk of developing heart disease through lifestyle changes such as making healthy food choices, quitting smoking, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, keeping active, and managing stress.

heart health month

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Each week in February we’ve featured a different topic.  Week 1 was an overview of what Heart Health month is, along with a fun “test your heart health IQ” quiz.  Week 2 was an announcement about a cardiovascular lecture series that one of our customers is offering locally and for free.  Last week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we did a fun feature on the health benefits of dark chocolate.  However, this week’s is my favorite so far – all about easy ways to fit more fitness into your 9-5 workday!  I figured this would be a fun one to “re-purpose” for F&F and share with you.

Get Moving At Work

One of the most important things you can do to stay heart healthy is to simply move more!  By exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.  Even three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness levels as one 30-minute session.  However, even if you exercise regularly, research shows that prolonged sitting at work raises the risk of cardiac and metabolic disease.  In fact, studies show that for every hour of walking, you can actually increase your life expectancy by two hours!  Since work takes up a significant part of the day, it’s important to find small ways to reduce time spent sitting.  Here are some ways you can increase physical activity during the workday:

Park further away
Instead of circling for a parking spot closest to your building entrance, park further away on purpose.  Sacrificing a little convenience will burn more calories.

Hold walking meetings
Brainstorm project ideas, discuss issues, or prep for meetings by taking a walk around the building with your co-workers instead of booking a conference room.

walking meetings

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Take the stairs
Use the stairs instead of the elevator.  You’ll get your blood flowing and burn an extra 50 to 100 calories a day.  If taking the stairs all the way up seems like an intimidating place to start, get off the elevator a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.

Take the long route
Put your lunch in the kitchenette on the other side of the building, print to a printer downstairs, and take the long way to the bathroom. Every extra step adds up!

Do exercises at your desk
Sneak in some exercises while being chair bound.  Bring in a stability ball to use as a desk chair, tap your feet in place to simulate a football run, do leg extensions, even pushups on the hour!

exercises at your desk

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Create more face-to-face time
Walk down the hall to speak with a colleague rather than emailing or using the telephone.  You’ll be healthier and build better workplace relationships.

Stand while talking on the phone 
Standing is better for your back than sitting, it improves balance, strengthens leg muscles, burns more calories, and gets the blood flowing.  It can also help you feel more alert and energetic so you perform your best.

Standing on the phone
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Add walking to your lunch menu
Keep a pair of sneakers at your desk, and take a walking break in the middle of the day for lunch.  You could even start a walking club with your co-workers to help motivate you!

What are your tips for ways to move more during the workday?  I’d love to hear them!

P.S.  The winner of my Brookside Chocolates Tasting Kit giveaway is Rachel!  Rachel said that she finds balance with healthy living by eating healthy and working out, but not restricting herself from having sweets too.  Rachel, please contact me at akaralekas@gmail.com to claim your (awesome) prize!

Things I’m Loving Lately: September 2012 Edition

Time for my September edition of my “Things I’m Loving Lately” series!

Moving Coupons
It’s no secret that I love coupons.  I don’t love coupons to the extent that I could be on the show Extreme Couponing, or that I go to a store JUST because I have a coupon; however my excitement level when I get a good coupon is borderline embarrassing.  Now imagine getting this pile of coupons as part of my “Hey you moved” welcome package from the U.S. Post Office.

#inmyglory

Greek Frozen Yogurt
I know it’s getting cooler outside, so maybe this particular one should have been a favorite thing of mine during a summer month, but I tried Greek frozen yogurt (Stop & Shop brand) last week and HOLY YUM.  Black raspberry all the way.  Tim likes blueberry pomegranate.

Lunch Time Walks / Walking Meetings
This doesn’t happen everyday, but my new group at work takes these!  And I am so cool that I brought in a pair of old sneakers / multiple pairs of socks to leave under/in my desk so I don’t have to walk in my nicer shoes.  And let me tell you, I look pretty sweet when I’m wearing a pencil skirt with sneakers.  What of it?

Reverse Planks
Ever since I did this exercise as part of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp program, I’ve been doing them more often on my own.  Fun way to change up your regular ole everyday planks.  Try it out by following my Move of the Week Guide here.

The Spirited Gourmet
I wrote about The Spirited Gourmet last week — it’s the gourmet wine, cheese, liquor and CHOCOLATE shop down the street from our new apartment.  I have admittedly gone in there three times in a little over a week.  Last week to see what it was about and left with the blueberry beers for Tim & I, last week again for some treats to put in my Foodie Penpal‘s package this month, and again this weekend to bring some treats over to our friends’ apartment.  I love it in there!

What things have you been loving lately?

Hope everyone’s weekend winds down nicely and you feel refreshed and relaxed for the week ahead.