Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Molly Mitchell

Molly Mitchell

Recent Posts by Molly Mitchell:

Making healthy goals to create healthy habits

GettyImages-1256537538Have you wanted to create a healthier lifestyle, but don’t quite know how to get there? Maybe you have tried before, but haven’t been able to stick to your goals? Or life has thrown you a curveball (hello COVID-19 lockdowns) and you got knocked off track. It can be hard to keep yourself motivated to make good decisions every single day. Instead of relying on self-discipline to make these changes, studies have found that taking those healthy goals and turning them into habits might be the most efficient way to enact the changes you want to see! Do you have any habits you want to add to your routine?

  • First things first, start slowly! No matter how good your goal is, no matter how much you want to achieve it, working slowly helps ensure your new habit will stick. All behavior change comes with its highs and lows but working slowly helps keep you from losing your focus when things get hard. Embrace each level of success when developing a new healthy habit!
  • Be sure your goal is clearly defined. Did you lose your exercise routine during the COVID-19 pandemic and now want to exercise more? Exercising more is a vague goal. You’re more likely to make progress towards your goal if you have a clear goal post. Think about how often and what kind of exercising you want to do.
  • Break goals into smaller, more actionable steps. Creating a new habit can be intimidating. See if there is way to reduce your goal into smaller pieces. Maybe exercising more means you need to start with staying hydrated. Start carrying a water bottle around with you, so you’re reminded to drink water throughout the day. I like to make a pitcher of fruit infused water and leave it in my fridge, so I always have a refreshing drink at hand! As you adjust to these new, small habits, you can move on to the next step towards your goal.
  • Try to make it easy for yourself! Decrease the barriers that slow you down, so good habits can become automatic. Do you find it hard to get up and go to a morning exercise class? Try lying out your workout clothes before you go to sleep. When you wake up, you know you’ve already committed to going to your exercise class, so it’s easier to get up and go.
  • Give yourself cues to remind you of your new healthy behavior. Are you trying to add lateral exercises to your daily routine? Habit stacking is a great way to incorporate new behaviors. If you make coffee every morning, you can stand at the counter and take lateral steps back and forth while your coffee brews. That way you are working towards your larger goal of exercising more without even having to think about it.
  • Get a friend on it with you. Having a partner to help encourage you to reach your goals can help them become that much easier to reach.

New habits are hard to form; that’s a part of life. Keep going and set yourself up for success. Healthy behaviors don’t have to be about will power. Take the effort out of healthy living and make healthy lifestyle decisions into habits. What new healthy choices are you working towards making a habit?

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Topics: goal setting healthy habits healthy aging

The Weather is Warming Up and So Should You!

GettyImages-1188764106Y’all, spring is HERE! This means sunshine, beautiful weather, and outdoor activities! Whether you plan on exercising outdoors, playing games with the family, or maintaining the yard, please don’t forget to warm up first. Warming up helps get your body ready to move and helps reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury.

Don’t forget these few tips about exercising outdoors! Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day and start exercising now, so you’ll be better adjusted to the heat before summer gets here. Hats and sunscreen are a must! Also, be sure to bring water to stay adequately hydrated. If you are concerned about altering your exercise routine, be sure and speak to your doctor.

Warming up your body immediately before exercising helps you get the most out of an exercise routine, not to mention helping you prevent injuries. Try to warm up for at least 5 minutes before starting to exercise. You can know that you have completed a good warm up when you’ve started to sweat, have used most of your large muscle groups, and you’ve performed dynamic movements similar to what you will perform in your exercise routine. Starting to sweat means that you have increased your body temperature and your muscles and joints are ready to go!

So, what might a warmup look like?

Before exercising, try a five-minute walk or bike ride!

Or you could try this routine. Make sure you have something sturdy nearby to hold onto for balance and try to maintain your good posture while warming up!

  • Walk in place for 30 seconds.
  • Walk a little forward and backwards for 30 seconds.
  • Step side to side for 30 seconds.
  • March with high knees for 30 seconds.
  • Kick your foot up behind you (be sure and keep your knee pointing to the ground!) Alternate legs for 30 seconds.
  • Hold onto something for balance, shift your weight onto one foot, and lift the other. Roll the lifted foot around in a circle 10 times one direction then the other. Repeat on other foot. This exercise also works well seated!
  • Keep your feet planted on the ground and your hips facing forward, then twist your torso side to side 10 times.
  • Pull your hands back behind you, then swing your arms forward and give yourself a hug. Repeat 10 times.
  • Let your arms hang down by your sides, then swing one up and over your head. Alternate your arms and windmill them for 30 seconds.
  • Turn your head side to side, as far as is comfortable, while keeping your back straight and your chest facing forward. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
  • Try this warm up before exercising or completing strenuous activities or use it as your break during long, stationary activities. Personally, I add these exercises into my weekend yard work, as a way to keep limber while weeding my flower beds! Now it’s your turn! Be sure and comment your favorite warmup exercises!
Topics: exercise and wellness exercise and aging

A Well Rounded Self-Care Routine

With extra time at home, are you looking for ways to enrich your day to day life? Practicing self-care allows you to use this time in social isolation to take care of yourself and help reduce stress you might have over our current situation.

Self-Care is the practice of taking deliberate action to encourage growth or maintain one’s own health. This can be your physical, mental, or emotional health, or any combination thereof! Some basic categories to use in practicing your self-care are eating, sleeping, socializing, exercising, and stimulating your mind. All of these are important to your health, but there are many ways of addressing them.

Practicing self-care by focusing on eating can look like these:

  • consulting a Registered Dietician to make sure that your specific food needs are being met while you’re at home
  • taking the time to make your favorite meal or trying out a new healthy smoothie recipe
  • personally, I like to make sure I drink enough water every day by slicing fruit and having flavored water whenever I want

Focusing on sleep can mean:

  • creating a consistent bedtime routine
  • try a face mask and a calming cup of tea to relax before bed
  • simply prioritize getting enough sleep each night, roughly 8 hours is a good goal

GettyImages-1137196547 (1)Socializing might look different now than it used to, but you can still enjoy time with others!

  • Our phones and computers allow us to text, call, and even video chat with people around the world.
  • Try sending cards and letters in the mail. Do you have beautiful stationery and cards that have been sitting around? Now is the time to send them to someone and spread joy!

We all know exercise is important for more than just your physical health.

  • if you enjoy spending time outside, try taking a walk!
  • try yoga outdoors or in your own home
  • look for online exercise options like written workouts or classes that you can follow along with

Mental stimulation can look very different for everyone.

  • meditation, journaling, and painting are all great options
  • you can enjoy reading books or maybe try joining an online book club
  • brain teasers, crossword puzzles, and online trivia competitions are great options
  • include meditation or a daily Bible study in your routine

Many self-care options cover more than one of these categories. Drawing a nice bath with scented candles after exercising can help you relax before bed and wrap up a hard workout. Baking a treat and delivering it to a neighbor provides you mental stimulation and some socialization while giving your neighbor a nice surprise! Make today special by focusing on yourself and practicing self-care to preserve and promote your health in a way that works for you.

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Topics: senior wellness programs senior living communities