Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Jackie Geib

Recent Posts by Jackie Geib:

How to Move More at Work and During the Day

GettyImages-905323392 (1)Let’s face it, daily life can be very busy and sometimes overwhelming to many of us. Trying to fit in exercise every day can seem like a chore and many times gets put at the bottom of the “to-do” list even though we all know it should be near the top. Just because you can’t fit in a trip to the gym or attend your favorite exercise class doesn’t mean that you can’t get exercise or at least some movement time throughout your day. Your body can even benefit from little bits of movement at a time if that is all you have time for, so there really should not be any excuses not to get some movement or exercise in your day.

Exercise at Lunch

Lunch breaks are a great time to fit in exercise. Bring your tennis shoes to work and take a walk. It can be around the building inside or outside, through a neighborhood nearby, or on a treadmill if that is available to you. Walk for as much time as your schedule allows. If you don’t have time for a shower afterward, just don’t push yourself quite as hard. Walking is great for your body!

Getting in Extra Steps During the Workday

You can fit in exercise in your office! Take the stairs between floors—skip that elevator! Park far away on purpose so you get a 5- or 10-minute walk in and out of your office. That could potentially add up to 20 minutes of movement or exercise depending on how fast you walk. Here are a few other tips for getting more exercise at work.

Move While You’re Waiting on the Kids

If you are a parent, chances are your kids are or will be involved in activities. So many times parents just drop their child off and sit in their cars to wait, or just leave to do something else. Your child is getting their exercise, why not get yours as well? You can take a walk, run, or ride your bike around the area they are practicing in so as to maximize your time. For those days when there are games, the kids usually need to be there early to warm up, so you can use that warmup time to move your body as well instead of sitting in your chair or car for that extra 30 to 60 minutes.

Work Out at the Park

If you frequently take your kids to parks, work out at the park while they play! Park benches are great for pushups, dips, lunges, squats, and step-ups. Monkey bars work well for pull-ups, and running up the steps and sliding down the slides is a little cardiovascular work—not to mention fun! Don’t forget, you can use your kids as little (or big) weights and resistance machines, too!

Plan Active Gatherings

Plan family and friend time as active gatherings. Take walks, go on bike rides, or go swimming (or sledding, ice skating, or skiing in winter) together. You can still talk while doing many of those activities. Join a gym with a friend so your social time also becomes your exercise time.

There is no rule that says all exercise has to be at a gym or that you have to set aside 30 to 60 minutes every single day to purposely do one set workout. You should find an activity that you enjoy doing and incorporate that into your daily life. Everyone has different goals and will have different needs for exercise, but with a few modifications in your daily routine you should be able to start moving more and sitting less throughout the day.

Interested in how you can add exercise to your wellness program?  Check out our whitepaper for tips to be successful.

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Topics: exercise at work staying active counting steps exercises I can do with my kids movement

Healthy Gut for Life: Healthy Habits for Whole-body Health

GettyImages-962782170 (1)I keep finding more and more news stories, magazine articles, social media ads, and even store displays that contain the words “Gut Health.” 10 years or more ago, you never heard that phrase anywhere, but now it’s all the rage. So, why all the buzz? Well, it turns out that research has linked gut health to a variety of functions in your body.

Let’s Dig Deeper

Gut Health is basically a generic term referring to a diversity of issues that can occur in the GI tract or digestive system. The GI tract includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The digestive system includes the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. That’s a large variety of issues and organs for such a small term. “Gut microbiome” is another phrase that goes hand in hand with gut health and refers to the community of bacteria that makes up your digestive system. There are billions of bacteria in your gut microbiome, and much of that bacteria is very beneficial. However, when there is bad bacteria or damage to your microbiome or gut, your body reacts in a negative way.

The Unhealthy Gut

Some signs of an unhealthy gut include upset stomach (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn), unintentional weight changes, lack of sleep or sleep disturbances, skin conditions or irritations (eczema), autoimmune conditions, or food intolerances. Researchers and physicians are finding more and more conditions that are directly linked to gut health.

Now comes the big question: what do you do? Fortunately there are a lot of ways you can change your gut health. It definitely takes time, but you will notice a difference in how you feel.

The Healthy Gut

Here are some things to do to prevent bad bacteria from forming in your microbiome, and boost those healthy bacteria levels to increase your gut health. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms mentioned above, these are good practices to keep your whole-body health in check:

  • Lower your stress level. Easier said than done, of course! Exercise, meditation, socializing with friends and family, and even having a pet are all ways to reduce stress.
  • SLEEP! You truly do need that uninterrupted 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Believe me when I tell you that sleep really matters! My gut health tells me when I am not sleeping well. I can’t digest any food properly and I feel groggy, bloated, and ill half of my day. As soon as I have several days of good sleep in a row, my body thanks me and responds appropriately.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food. Your food will digest better, and it helps decrease any bloating, gas, constipation, etc.
  • Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps the mucosal lining of the intestines and promotes digestion.
  • Take prebiotics (food) or probiotics. This is something you should discuss with your physician or healthcare provider because probiotics are not for everyone. Prebiotics are in foods and help generate good bacteria. Some examples are bananas, apples, oats, garlic, and onions. Probiotics are actual living bacteria and can be taken in a supplement form or in foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. Too many probiotics can cause bacterial overgrowth, so be sure to discuss it with your physician.
  • Check for food intolerances. If you notice consistent gas, constipation, bloating, rash, nausea, fatigue, or abdominal pain after eating certain foods, you may have a food intolerance. Your healthcare provider can help you test for these. Once you identify trigger foods and eliminate them, your digestive system and how you feel may improve.
  • Change your eating habits. Eliminating processed foods, trans and hydrogenated fats, refined oils and sugars, conventional meats, and even pasteurized dairy products could lead to better gut health and a healthier microbiome. These foods have been shown to cause inflammation in the body, which can contribute to an unhealthy gut.

It’s Your Turn

This is a lot of information, and may even sound overwhelming! However, this is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Much of your body functions based on your gut health. The healthier your gut, the healthier you are in general. I am speaking from experience when I tell you that making the small changes listed above can truly help you feel better and be healthier.

You can read more about gut health here.

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Topics: hydration sleep stress relief gut health digestion