Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Morgan Gipson

Recent Posts by Morgan Gipson:

NIFS Nutrition News: For the Love of Peanut Butter

Who finds themselves able to eat peanut butter by the spoonfuls and straight from the jar? Have you ever thought about taking a peek at the nutrition label or does that scare you out of your wits, so you just continue to enjoy your delicious creamy peanut butter? You’d be surprised at what you might see, whether you notice the crazy amount of fat per little bitty serving size or the calories. Go ahead, find your nearest jar of delicious creamy peanut butter, but hold that spoon and checkout those facts. See them? Are you shocked? Are you still conscious, breathing, and maybe in slight panic thinking you have to give up your love for peanut butter? Just wait, I want to share my all time favorite substitution with you!

While there are several substitutions available and eating regular peanut butter does have healthy fat and is okay to eat in moderation, I find myself enjoying a newer product called PB2. It’s a powdered peanut butter, with 85% less fat calories than traditional peanut butter. Interested in the secret? PB2 states that their superior quality peanuts are first slow roasted then pressed to remove 85% of the fat and oil. It’s still deliciously rich in taste and wonderfully healthy. Let’s take a minute and compare the PB2 with the traditional peanut butter using the serving size of 2 tablespoons:

Traditional Peanut Butterpeanut_butter

Calories 190

Calories from fat 144

Total Fat 16g

Sodium 140mg

Total Carb. 8g

Sugars 3g

Protein 7g

Bell Plantation PB2

Calories 45

Calories from fat 13

Total Fat 1.5g

Sodium 94mg

Total Carb. 5g

Sugars 1g

Protein 5g

After seeing the comparison, you can see which is the better option of the two. PB2 is all-natural with no additives. Coming from a peanut butter lover myself, I found the switch to be easy and I actually enjoy it more without the feeling of guilt afterwards. Yes, there is one more step to turning the powdered peanut butter into creamy peanut butter and that is mixing 2 Tbsp of the powder with 1 Tbsp of water then simply put on your veggies or sandwich. You can always add more water to reach your preference. Curious where to find such a thing? A single jar of PB2 can be found at GNC, select Target stores, Wal-Mart, or Kroger. To order in bulk, you can order it from Amazon or the Bell Plantation website. If this doesn’t suit your fancy, feel free to learn about other substitution options through the NIFS by contacting Angie Scheetz for a nutrition consult.

NIFS: Exercise for Charity

smart phoneAre you looking to give back to the community or help others? Did you know that you could do this while exercising too? If you have a SmartPhone or access to the Internet, there are several free apps you can download or sign-up through. Each application has a different organization or fund that you have the option of helping! I researched and found the top rated opportunity, along with a few others I have heard great things about.

Charity Miles is a free app for the iPhone and Android. The smartphone application allows for you to earn corporate sponsorships for charity while walking, running, or biking. If you choose to walk or run, you will earn 25 cents per mile and 10 cents per mile while biking. There are 28 different charities to choose from and you can earn up to their initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool. Download the app, turn it on, choose a charity, your exercise, and press start. So easy!

WhoIRun4 is a non-profit organization that pairs a runner with one special needs child or adult. The purpose of this organization is to provide the runner with motivation while sharing who they are running 4 and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types. By visiting WhoIRun4 a runner can just sign up and find someone to be matched with. There are guidelines to this program, which can also be found on this website. Dedicate your workouts in a variety of ways such as making signs, t-shirts, or uploading pictures and tagging the individual or child’s parent on the organization’s Facebook group! Get creative and give your workout a whole new motivation!

The two organizations described above are my two favorites. Other popular opportunities include Erndit, Plus3Network, Upwave, and Charity Bets. Through these apps, you can log your activities and earn rewards to help your chosen charity. By visiting their links, you can learn more about the programs how you can sign-up to help.  

These opportunities are a great way to get inspired. Why not get healthy with friends or family?! You have the ability to set goals, work towards them, create a positive camaraderie, and have fun while doing it! The adrenaline rush one can get by exercising to help a charity is all the more motivation to work harder! If you are having trouble finding an activity to log, stop by the fitness center and pick up a group fitness schedule or ask about the fitness center incentive programs. They are a great way to meet new people and spread the word about one of these charitable opportunities! 

Comment and share your favorite apps for fitness.  Have you utilized one of these apps to raise money for a charity?

Topics: exercise nifs fitness management apps smart phone charity

NIFS: Wake up Feet; Why do your feet fall asleep when exercising?

woman tying shoeAre you new to running or have you been a runner for some time now? Either way you may be experiencing the typical aches and pains, such as muscle soreness or blisters, but have you experienced the numbness and tingling in your feet while running? It feels as though you have pins and needles in your feet or like they seem to have ‘fallen asleep’ from this weight-bearing activity. If so, don’t get your shorts in a bunch. You may reconsider a trip to the doctor, but it will be okay. Promise!

This strange and annoying sensation is common, but does seem to cause worry. This feeling is usually caused from pounding the pavement or treadmill, cramming the your foot into a narrow shoe, or crowding the foot by the gradual, but hardly noticeable swelling. What you are feeling is a compressed nerve often causes this feeling. The numbness can progress along the top or bottom of the foot and sometimes into the ankle. The specific site on the foot that is feeling numb is usually where there is a compressed nerve. The most common area affected is outside of the third toe and inside the fourth toe. This sensation is known as Morton’s neuroma. Through time, the nerve will slowly develop a thickened coat of scar tissue.

You can try a few simple actions to reduce the pressure in your foot. These actions include choosing a shoe with plenty of toe space, using a pad in the shoe, placed under the ball of your foot, allowing the spread of the bones apart. If this does not work, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to provide some relief. If this does not describe the numbness in your foot, continue reading! 

Compression of the nerves passing through the front of the ankle or top of the foot causes numbness on top of your foot. This is usually caused by over tightening the shoelaces. People with high arches are more susceptible to this issue. This can be resolved by loosening the shoelaces, using a modified lacing method, or applying padding under the shoe tongue may help reduce these symptoms.

Other options to consider include a period of rest or orthotic shoe inserts. If the numbness persists and is not relieved by any of these methods, it may indicate a medical condition and require you to seek your physician. Before scheduling an appointment with your physician you can always talk to a staff member in your corporate fitness center that may have helpful suggestions!

Check out this blog from one of our health coaches about her experience with finding the right shoe!

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Topics: exercise shoes employee health and wellness foot health

NIFS: How Happy is your Heart?

heart healthIt's mid-February and you started the year out strong, but have all of your resolutions already departed? Every year, the same two resolutions are shared amongst everyone – exercising and losing weight. Those who exercise regularly prior to New Year’s seem to stick with their same routine, while those who want to start to exercising come January 1st seem to have fallen off the wagon by February. February is month to be aware of your heart health, so I have provided you with some tips to help you stay on track as we enter into spring!

  1. Think: Why is your resolution not working? Do you want it bad enough? What’s your excuse? Is it a realistic resolution?
  2. Create SMART goals: Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. By using the SMART method you can are set for success.
  3. Exercise: The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or 150 minutes. Another option is 25 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity 3 days per week. The first excuse is not having enough time. Have you found yourself with 10 minutes to spare in the day? Do something to get your heart rate up! That something is better than nothing and can improve your quality of life.
  4. Diet: You can start by eating and drinking the necessary calories to maintain your weight. This is based on your age and physical activity. Be sure to not consume more calories you can burn off for that day. It is beneficial to eat a variety of nutritious foods from the all of the food groups. Your body requires specific nutrients to stay healthy. Limit the foods and beverages that are high in calories and low in nutrients, while also limiting your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Be aware of your portion sizes and follow the American Heart Association’s recommendations.
  5. Control Your Stress: You can start by setting goals that are attainable. You could also try to positive self-talk or turning your negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Always look at the bright side of things. Other ways to cope with stress are relaxation and deep breathing exercises, engaging in physical activity, or doing something you enjoy.
  6. Motivation: Try and workout with a friend. You can hold each other accountable, as well as push each other through your workouts. It can also make it fun!

If you’re looking for help or motivation, reach out to your corporate wellness staff. Your overall wellness should be a priority, so what’s stopping you from getting back on track to make your heart happy and healthy?!

Topics: corporate wellness active aging heart health month heart healthy