7 Tips for a Healthy Fourth of July

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As you gear up for a fun Fourth of July celebration, keep these tips in mind and make your holiday a happy and healthy one.

  1. Stay Hydrated 

    Oftentimes thirst and hunger are confused, so stay well-hydrated especially in the hot July heat. Avoid high calorie drinks like soda and try to limit your alcoholic intake. Try drinking water infused with lemons, limes, strawberries or cucumbers or unsweetened ice tea with lemon.

  1. Use A Smaller Plate 

    Studies have shown people serve up food in proportion to their plate, not their hunger. Something as simple as choosing a smaller plate at the BBQ will help prevent overfilling your plate and stomach with extra food. As always, make sure you have a balanced plate with one quarter lean protein, one quarter quality carbohydrate and the rest with vegetables.

  1. Don’t Skip Meals

    Eat regular, healthy meals throughout the day. If you have a well-balanced breakfast, you won’t arrive at the BBQ later starving and find yourself over-eating.

  1. Grill Leaner 

    Choose healthier options for the grill. Make grilled turkey burgers instead of hamburger, grill chicken breasts instead of wings or try fish like salmon and mahi mahi. Add more vegetables to your cookout with kabobs.

  1. Healthier Sides 

    The calories and fat content in sides can add up quick. Swap mayo-based potato or pasta salad for oil and vinegar or greek yogurt versions. Ditch the salty potato chips and dip for baked tortilla chips and guacamole or hummus.

  1. Stay Active 

    Start a healthy tradition by making time for a Fourth of July hike or post dinner walk. Play yard games or touch football. Head to the pool and splash around.  Go for a bike ride. Just get moving!

  1. Fruit-Filled Desserts 

    Cure your sweet tooth with sweet, in season fruit. Make a fresh berry cobbler with granola and greek yogurt or throw a slice of watermelon or pineapple on the grill for a post dinner treat!

 

 Written by: Jillian Tongate, Marketing Manager

 

Bike to Work Day

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Pump your tires and grease your chains, Bike to Work Day is just around the corner! Each year Colorado’s Bike to Work Day falls on the fourth Wednesday in June. This year, Bike to Work day is June 25th. This event is designed to encourage bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation. So, why ditch the comfort and convenience of your car? More than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace. In addition,Colorado is known for its 300 days of beautiful sunshine each year which makes biking a very feasible way for Coloradans to commute. Biking five miles will only take you about a half hour.

Along with the environmental benefits of taking cars off the road, biking to work will also aid your personal health! Biking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and by combining your cardio workout with your work commute you are free to relax when you get home with no guilt.

What’s that you say? You live too far away from the office to make the entire commute on two wheels? Well, make it just one leg of your commute! Pack your bike in your car and drive to a nearby park or take the bus and plan to get off a couple stops before the office and bike the rest of the way in. You can even plan to meet up with some co-workers and ride the rest of the way in together!

It’s not too late to be a part of Colorado’s 2014 Bike to Work Day. To sign up and to learn more about Bike to Work Day 2014, visit: http://biketowork2014.org/. See you on the bike path!

Celebrate National Eat Your Vegetables Day

June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day and right in the middle of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. Who doesn’t need more vegetbales added into their everyday life? I know what you are thinking, who wants to eat more broccoli or spinach for a day and what’s the point? Vegetables have so many additional benefits. The latest dietary guidelines call for 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day or 2½ to 6½ cups, depending on one’s caloric intake. Here are some simple ways you can celebrate this healthy holiday this year!

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According to a study, American only consume an average of 1.8 cups of fruits and vegetables. That’s far from the recommended 5 cups!

 

Head to Your Local Farmers Market

Besides all of the fresh, nutritious and delicious offerings farmers markets have to offer, they are also easy to find and a great way to show support for your local community! You can try something new that you maybe haven’t seen in a grocery store and can personally talk to the vendors about exactly how it was grown and where the produce came from. Best of all, the food typically seen at farmers markets are usually in the peak of its season and therefore packed with even more nutrition! Check out http://denverbargains.com/denver-farmers-market-schedules/ for a list of local farmers markets and schedules for the upcoming 2014 summer season.

 

Eat From Each Color of the Rainbow

Every color category has an added benefit to it such as:

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Instead of trying to count the number of daily servings or helpings, aim for eating something out of each color group. This is a fun way to engage kids as well as a twist on the traditional way of thinking about eating more vegetables.

Try Something New

Salads and smoothies are not the only way to add more vegetables into your diet. Whether you are just experiementing to see what you like or trying a healthier take on a not so healthy recipe, your tastebuds are constantly contstantly changing and ready for something new. Try grilling vegetables such as cabbage or zuccini or making an avocado, corn and tomato salad instead of the traditional heavier potato salad side dish. The possibilities are endless with vegetables!

Plant a Garden

What says summer more than getting the chance to grow and eat something you grew with your own hands! Planting a garden can not only provide tasty produce, but it can also improve your health, save money and even boost your mood. Try growing some tomatoes, carrots or even some fresh herbs to help spice up the flavor in your foods.

Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach

Enter the Healthy Summer Goals Contest

Do you like winning prizes? Enter our ‘Healthy Summer Goals’ Facebook Photo Contest!

Summer is the perfect time to commit to healthier behaviors. A great way to get and stay healthy is to set goals. Share a photo and tell us YOUR healthy summer goal. The photo with the most votes will win a Heart Rate Monitor. Three runner-ups will be chosen at random to receive a Weigh and Win Athletic Shirt. Here’s to a healthy summer!

To enter, use the contest app widget below or via our Facebook page.

Don’t have Facebook? Share a photo to your Instagram orTwitter account with the hashtag #WAWHealthySummerGoals or email jtongate@weighandwin.com your photo with “Healthy Summer Goals Contest” in the subject line and we can manually upload it.

Three Tips for Healthy and Safe Running

There are so many different levels of runners in the Weigh and Win community! Regardless of your running level, you should always be making sure you are taking good care of your body so you can run injury free for years to come.

With all this “no pain, no gain” runner talk, it is easy to ignore negative feedback from your body and mentally push through to finish up your miles.  I used to think pushing your body to a painful point was a sign of determination and strength.  However, after many injuries from continuous over-training, I realized the main goal is to get fit without getting hurt so that you can be active for the rest of your life! The next three suggestions really helped my running and hopefully it is helpful for you.

1. PERFECT FORM 

The most common mistake in running is heel striking. In heel striking, the collision of the heel with the ground produces a large impact to the skeletal system. In forefoot striking, the connection between the forefoot and the ground produces a very small impact. Runners who are heel-striking should be advised to shorten their stride and connect to the ground with their forefoot. Have you ever watched a baby run? Humans are born with perfect running form and usually always strike the ground the forefoot. If you are interested in learning more about natural running, visit chirunning.com or newtonrunning.com.

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Image from: newtonrunning.com

 

2. THE RIGHT SHOES

Buy supportive running shoes that are made to fit you. Make sure you have new running shoes every 300-500 miles for adequate support. You also want to make sure you are buying the right type and style of shoe for your feet.

Runners with flat feet normally over-pronate, so they do well in a motion-control shoe that controls the foot rolling inward. Runners with high arches tend to supinate, so they run best in a neutral-cushioned shoe that for more natural foot motion. At specialty running stores, such as the Boulder Running Company, specialists use multi-angled cameras and treadmills to carefully analyze your feet and fit you with a shoe that will help you run efficiently and safely.

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3. A BALANCED PLAN

Develop a balanced training plan that works with your schedule. Select a running program that best suits your fitness level, experience and goals. If you only have time or only want to run twice a week, then don’t try to follow another regimen that wants you to run four days of the week. Running when you are exhausted can be dangerous because you aren’t able to focus on your posture and form. Also, create balance in your training and incorporate cross training days with activities like yoga or resistance training. By taking time to stretch and also build lean muscle, you will only be a stronger and healthier runner. If you want a free training program, then you can visit www.jennyhadfield.com or halhigdon.com.

 

Just to clarify, soreness is normal and pushing yourself past your comfort level in a safe way is where improvements happen. But, if you are experiencing serious pain then you might want to consider making a change in what you are currently doing or simply resting a little longer before your next run.

You are always more than welcome to email your Health Coaches if you have specific questions at personal.trainer@weighandwin.com.

 

Written by: Mallory McCormick, Weigh and Win Health Coach

June HEALTHpoints & May Winners

Want to win a bicycle? Earn 300+ HEALTHpoints in June and you could win (1) of (3) bicycles we’re giving away. What better way to enjoy the summer and stay active than on a bicycle!

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Congratulations to the (12) May HEALTHpoints winner. Hopefully the Fruit Infuser Water Pitcher keeps you healthy and hydrated this summer:

  • Tonnie – Yoder
  • Tamara – Wheat Ridge
  • Leonor – Denver
  • Lisa – Lafayette
  • Dana – Denver
  • Linda – Aurora
  • Janet – Aurora
  • Rosemary – Denver
  • Bertha – Aurora
  • Carissa – Denver
  • Bob – Thornton
  • Kandi – Colorado Springs

Healthy Summer Goals

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Summer is a great time to commit to healthy behaviors. The weather is nice and fresh fruit and vegetables are in-season. Let’s all commit to being the healthiest versions of ourselves this summer. A great way to get and stay healthy is to set goals. Together, let’s set four healthy summer goals.

Four Healthy Summer Goals to Set:

  1. Get Outside & Move More 

    Soak up every minute of the nice weather by getting outside and moving more. Fit in outdoor workouts like riding bike, jogging or swimming laps in the neighborhood outdoor pool. Also, try adding more activity into your daily routine: go for a walk at lunch, park farther away in the parking lot or mow your lawn.

  2. Set a Personal Goal Outside Your Comfort Zone 

    The key to lifelong fitness is to continue to push yourself and try new things. Set a goal outside your comfort zone: join a running group, hike a 14er, bike commute, try a new exercise class like kickboxing or yoga, train for a 5k or half-marathon, complete the Manitou Incline, try five new Colorado hikes, go for a walk after dinner every day– the options are endless! Just pick a goal and push yourself to achieve it.

  3. Green Grilling 

    Summer and grilling go hand-in-hand. Think outside the box this year and add more vegetables to your summer cook-outs. Ditch unhealthy potato salads and chips and try grilled vegetable kabobs, grilled portabella mushrooms, grilled zucchini spears and more!

  4. Make Time for Relaxation 

    Chronic stress can cause a multitude of health issues like overeating, headaches, digestive problems, increased heart risk and more. Don’t let work and busy summer schedules stress you out. Commit to taking time to relax this summer. Run around outside with the kids, read a book in the shade of a tree, or dine al fresco with friends.

Have your own healthy summer goal in mind? Stay tuned! We will be offering a Healthy Summer Goals Photo Contest on Facebook starting June 9, 2014.

Written by: Jillian Tongate, Marketing Manager