Four Ways to Avoid Sitting at Work

New research has recently surfaced that suggests sitting for long periods of time may be as bad for you as smoking. Sitting for extended periods of time, raises the risk of disability, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, not to mention obesity. Being too sedentary and spending too much time on our behinds is a real threat to our health.

To top it off, this new research shows that even if you hit the gym or goes for a run outside every day; it may not be enough to counteract the effects of sitting too long. If you’re like the rest of the working world, you’re stuck sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day and oftentimes find yourself relaxing at home on the couch when you get home. Here are some tips to help get you out of the sitting rut and up and standing or moving throughout the day.

Four Ways to Avoid Sitting at Work

1. Workout at your desk (or on the couch)

Whether it’s doing a few squats or lunges every hour at your desk or getting up and walking around during commercial breaks, those little exercises help. Set a goal of doing some desk pushups, standing squats and chair dips every hour just to increase the blood flow in your body. If you like to watch TV at night, try doing 5 squats, 5 pushups and 5 sit ups at every commercial break. Any form of exercise will help break the sitting habit.

Desk pushups
Do a few push-ups at your desk!

 

2. Get up and walk around

Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator or simply take the long route to the restroom. Any little bit of extra walking throughout the day can help you focus more and release some built up energy. Try going for a walk after lunch and dinner to help your food digest instead of just sitting down directly after a large meal.

3. Sit on a stability ball

This may seem strange to some people, but sitting on a stability ball and not wobbling around actually engages your core muscles. It can also improve your posture and help decrease some risk for injuries from sitting down in a chair.

4. Take a stand

If sitting all day is a problem, try working and standing for part of the day. If you don’t have access to standing desk, just try standing for a few minutes every hour. Next time you have a phone meeting, try standing or walking around while talking or try standing while answering emails.

Use these ideas to counteract the negative effects of too much time on your behind. You should set a goal of standing up at least once an hour, if not every half hour, and moving around.

 

Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach

Five Healthy Ancient Whole Grains to Try

Numerous studies have shown that eating whole grains instead of refined grains can lower your risk for certain chronic diseases. Ancient grains like quinoa and amaranth are making a comeback and therefore easier to find in your local grocery store. Start rethinking your carbohydrates and try out some new healthy whole grain options!

ancient-grains

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is the original super grain, even though it’s actually a seed. Unlike many whole grains, quinoa is considered a complete protein source because it contains 9 essential amino acids. It has a slightly nutty taste and can be easily swapped for rice or other grains in recipes.

[ HOW TO COOK IT ]
It cooks much like rice, for every one cup quinoa add two cups broth or water. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until soft. The seeds will “spiral” once they’re cooked.

[ RECIPE TO TRY ]
Vegetarian Quinoa Chili from Two Peas and Their Pod

 

 

2. Amaranth

Move over quinoa, amaranth is the new ancient super grain. Much like quinoa, it is considered a complete protein because it contains 9 essential amino acids. Amaranth has an earthy taste and while it softens when cooked, it retains its texture and has a little crunch.

[ HOW TO COOK IT ]
Amaranth requires a higher water to grain ratio than other grains. For one cup of amaranth, you’ll add between 2 ½ – 3 cups water. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add an additional ½ cup water if you want a more porridge like consistency. You can also pop amaranth in a hot skillet like you would corn.

[ RECIPE TO TRY ]
Honeyed Grapefruit and Yogurt Parfait with Popped Amaranth by The Kitchn

 

3. Teff

Teff is one of the smallest grains in the world. Although small in size, it packs a nutritious punch with lots of calcium, protein and fiber. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which isn’t commonly found in grains. Teff has a mild, toasty flavor and has the consistency of polenta.

[ HOW TO COOK IT ]
To cook teff, add three cups of water per one cup of teff. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Some recipes recommend dry toasting teff in a skillet for a few minutes beforehand to enhance the toasty flavor.

[ RECIPE TO TRY ]
Banana Almond Teff Porridge from Eating Bird Food

 

4. Millet

Like most other whole grains, millet is high in fiber, iron and B vitamins. It’s also highly alkaline, making it easy to digest and soothing to the stomach. It has a nutty, corn-like flavor.

[ HOW TO COOK IT ] 
For one cup of millet, add two cups water. Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Take it off the heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes covered for a light, fluffy consistency. For a creamier, mashed potato like texture, add three cups of water instead of two.

[ RECIPE TO TRY ]
Vegetarian Millet Stir Fry by Cookie and Kate

 

 

5. Wheatberries

Wheat berries are another nutritious whole grain option filled with fiber and vitamins. Wheat berries have a sweet, nutty flavor and a chewier consistency. They do take a while (50 minutes) to cook, so to save time make a big batch and refrigerate or freeze the extras.

[ HOW TO COOK IT ]
Bring three cups water and one cup wheat berries to a boil, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes until soft.

[ RECIPE TO TRY ]
Roasted Beet and Wheatberry Salad by Bon Appétit

 

Written by: Jillian Tongate, Weigh and Win Marketing Manager

Celebrate National Peach Month

DCF 1.0

August is National Peach Month and peak season for delicious, local Palisade peaches. A large peach only has about 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. Peaches are also a good source of vitamin A and C and are the second highest protein fruit with about 2 grams of protein per peach.

To pick the best peach, the flesh should have a slight give (use your whole hand, not just your fingertips to avoid bruising) and should have an even coloring. Don’t forget to smell it! A ripe peach should be fragrant.

Five Healthy and Tasty Ways to Eat Peaches:

1. Add Peaches to Your Salad

2. Blend it into a Smoothie

3. Make a Salsa

4. Cool Off with a Soup

5. Cure your Sweet Tooth with a Healthy Dessert

 

Written by: Jillian Tongate, Marketing Manager

How Weigh and Win Helps Create Healthier Communities

Weigh and Win focuses on helping people develop healthier habits. More importantly, we want to help create healthier communities. Getting an entire community involved and working toward the same goal of creating a healthier place to live and work is the ultimate goal. Brush, Colorado is a perfect example of a community that used Weigh and Win to help create a healthier community. Seven months into the program, the community has already lost more than 850 pounds.

Their success can also be illustrated in their accolades. As a community, Brush was named as a top 10 All-America City, the smallest community in the U.S. to receive this designation this year. As a part of their bid for the award they showcased the Weigh and Win program.

“The crux of the competition is a 10-minute presentation showcasing programs described in a community’s application. With the focus this year on healthy living, Brush’s presentation highlighted its “can do” approach to the hospital expansion, the Colorado Mission of Mercy program, the Weigh and Win program and youth programs,” said Lisa Jager, Brush News-Tribune staff writer.

 

Why Was Brush Successful?

Here are just a few of the ways Brush worked together to implement healthy change in their community using Weigh and Win.

Collaborative Atmosphere

Before Weigh and Win even came to town; the community was collaborating on multiple levels.

“My conversations as a City Council person with Andrea the City Clerk, led to her conversations with Linda, the CEO of East Morgan County Hospital. It took all of us to make this happen,” shared Vicki Quinlin, Brush City Council member.

Worked with Local Businesses

On average, most people spent about a third of your life at work. It’s important for businesses to create a culture of health in the workplace. Weigh and Win received support from many local businesses, focusing on worksite wellness and creating healthier workplaces. Local businesses and organizations utilized the Employee Group Portal, which allows small companies to use the program as a worksite wellness platform, giving them access to communications materials and aggregate data reporting on employees’ health progress.

Celebrating Success

The local newspaper, The Brush News-Tribune, was involved from the beginning and instrumental in spreading the word about the free health program to the community. More importantly, the newspaper reported on the health progress of the community and celebrated the community’s success along the way.

Interested in bringing Weigh and Win into your community? Give us a call at 303-694-8012.

 

 Written By: Jillian Tongate, Weigh and Win Marketing Manager

July HEALTHpoints Winners & August Prizes

Stock up on fitness gear with a $50 REI gift card! To win one, earn 300+ HEALTHpoints in August and you will be entered into the drawing for (1) of (6) $50 REI gift cards!

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Congratulations to the July winners of Colorado State Parks Passes!

  • Roger – Boulder
  • Barbara – Castle Rock
  • Susan – Colorado Springs
  • Chelsey – Thornton
  • Amy – Longmont

HEALTHpoints are earned by Weigh and Win participants for participating in the program. You can earn HEALTHpoints by opening emails, taking quizzes, weighing-in and more! For more information, visit our FAQ page.

‘Fit For Fall’ Team Challenge

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Did you know people who participate in team challenges lose more weight? Get Fit For Fall with the Weigh and Win Team Challenge! Compete against other teams across the state from August 1 – October 31, 2014 for a chance to improve your health AND win great prizes!

Join or create teams of 4 – 8 people and compete against others across Colorado in two categories: most average weight improvement (%) or most average HEALTHpoints. To join the challenge, log in to your Weigh and Win account and click on the ‘Team Challenge’ icon. Teams can form starting August 1 or any time after. Remember, each team member must weigh-in twice during the challenge duration in order to be eligible for prizes.

PRIZES

Individuals from the top three teams in each category receive prizes AND each winning team gets to make a $1,000 donation to an approved charity. A list of the approved charities can be found on the team challenge page.

Weight Improvement Team Challenge Prizes

  • 1st: Naturebox 6-Month Subscription ($100 value) 
    Healthy snacks delivered monthly. naturebox.com
  • 2nd: Fitbit Zip ($60)
    Get healthy by moving more and tracking your steps. fitbit.com
  • 3rd: iPod Shuffle ($50) 
    Reinvigorate your workouts with new tunes. apple.com

HEALTHpoints Team Challenge Prizes

Questions about the Team Challenge? Call or email us at 303-694-8007 or personal.trainer@weighandwin.com.