Team Challenge Drives Weight Loss Success

Become a healthier, stronger you in 2016 with the Weigh and Win Team Challenge! The team challenge starts in just a couple weeks. Do you know who you want on your team? Teams can begin forming February 1, 2016.

See how the team challenge helped motivate these Weigh and Win participants to be successful in achieving their health goals.

weight loss challenge stats

Healthy at Work: Easy Desk Exercises

Yoga in the workplace can help reduce joint pain and stiffness, can improve productivity, reduce workplace stress and increase your blood supply to give your mind and body more energy. Give the below stretches a try throughout your work day.

stretch for less stress-01

Tips for Proper Position

For seated poses, start by sitting squarely in your chair with your feet flat on the floor so you feel the connection to the ground. If possible, take your shoes off and stretch your toes. 
In all standing poses, start with your feet firmly planted to the ground and lift up through the center of your body to the crown of your head.

Always keep your chest open, draw your shoulders back, and move your shoulder blades downward, away from your neck. This is where good posture begins.

Hold each pose for 3-5 breaths, but never longer than you feel comfortable. When you release from each pose, you should feel that you’ve created some opening in your body, rather than pain or stress.

 

How to improve posture at work

We spend more than half of our waking hours at work. When thinking about ways to improve your health, the workplace is a great place to start.

Halfway through your workday do you find your neck or back sore? A large part of our day is spent at a desk and computer. Focusing on proper desk posture can help alleviate back pain and help improve your standing posture as well.

Posture-at-Desk-Infographic-01

HEALTH TIP: Set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to stand up, walk around or stretch.

What are some ways you stay healthy in the workplace?

Happier, Healthier Holiday Challenge Results

HH-2016-Email-Header

Thank you to everyone who participated in the ‘Happier, Healthier Holiday Challenge’ this year. We had more than 1,600 people participate this year. Out of those that completed both weigh-ins, 78 percent maintained their weight! The winners have been notified by email.

Congratulations to the grand prize winners of a $125 Sports Authority Gift Card:

  • Jennifer – Denver
  • Dyan – Elbert
  • Megan – Castle Rock
  • Michael – Parker
  • Jennifer – Castle Rock
  • Melissa – Greeley
  • Kevin – Broomfield
  • Jennifer – Commerce City
  • Cindy – Berthoud
  • Deb – Fort Collins

Congratulations to the runner-up prize winners of a $25 Sports Authority Gift Card:

  • Kit – Lakewood
  • Michelle – Colorado Springs
  • Michele – Agate
  • Jennifer – Denver
  • Jean – Denver
  • Stacy – Denver
  • Theresa – Castle Rock
  • Traba – Longmont
  • Katie – Lamar
  • John – Greeley

How to Use a Foam Roller

Maybe you’ve heard of using a foam roller before, or maybe you’ve even given it a try a time or two. Whether you’re a seasoned foam roller or a newbie to this technique, let this information guide you towards improved rolling and muscle healing!

What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique used by many to decrease the muscle soreness that often follows exercise sessions. Some of the benefits achieved through rolling include:

  • Reduced muscle imbalances
  • Improved muscle relaxation
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Faster and more effective muscle recovery

*Some evidence suggests that when combined with your body weight, a foam roller can be as effective as a post-workout massage.

A foam roller is simply a cylindrical piece of extruded hard-celled foam. They are generally available in one and three foot lengths and are available in soft and high density foam. Note: The denser the athlete, the more dense the roller should be.

Recommended Muscle Groups
  • Calves
  • Thighs (Inner & Outer)
  • Hamstrings & Glutes
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Lats & Back (Along the spine)

For those that have never tried foam rolling before, it may be awkward or a little painful at first. Just know that by focusing on proper positioning and consistency, you will become more comfortable—so stick with it!

How Does it Work?

The pressure you place on your muscles during the rolling technique aids in the release of fascia adhesions (connective tissue knots, which limit function and circulation of the muscles). Rolling will help to “untangle” these knots and stretch out the targeted muscles.

When to Foam Roll:

There is no definite timeframe on when to use, however, it is suggested to begin with using before and/or after a workout. Rolling before will aid in decreasing muscle density and promoting a better warm-up. Rolling after a workout may help the muscles to recover sooner and decrease soreness.

How to Foam Roll:

By slowly rolling onto the targeted area, you should be able to feel the most tender spot of the chosen muscle group. Using your arms for balance and support, hold on this spot while relaxing the targeted muscles for 30-90 seconds, while keeping your core stable. Relax your breathing to ensure your muscles are given your full attention. Once you feel the release of the connective tissue, slowly roll to a comfortable and neutral position, where you can safely stand or move onto the next muscle group as needed.

View post on imgur.com

 

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • Foam rolling is not appropriate for everyone—individuals with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, or any other organ failure, as well as, those with bleeding disorders, contagious skin conditions, severe physical injuries, should avoid this technique. If you are pregnant or nursing, please speak with your physician before foam rolling. If you have mobility issues and find it difficult to lie on the floor, please avoid this technique. If you have a medical issue, please seek the advice of your medical provider before engaging in foam rolling activities.
  • It is important to take your time to learn the proper techniques with foam rolling to prevent injury and to get the greatest benefit. Much like other physical activities, practice makes perfect and patience is key!
  • Fun fact: Similar to foam rolling, rolling a tennis ball under the ball and arch of your foot can help to ease foot pains!

 

Sources:

Clark, M. (n.d.). Self Myofascial Release Techniques. Retrieved from http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PBOnePieceView?storeId=10151&catalogId=10751&pagename=91

Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24343353

Kuhland, J. (n.d.). What Is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It, and Why Does It Hurt? Retrieved from http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/what-is-a-foam-roller-how-do-i-use-it-and-why-does-it-hurt

 

Want to Win a Fitbit?

HEALTHpoints-image-for-blogJan16

Get healthy in the New Year with a Fitbit Flex! Earn 300 or more HEALTHpoints in January and you will be entered into the drawing. For more information on HEALTHpoints log into your Weigh and Win account and click on the ‘HEALTHpoints & Prizes’ tab from the top menu.

Congratulations to the December HEALTHpoints winners. They are blending their way into the New Year with their new NutriBullet Blenders.

  • Rebecca – Parker
  • Melanie – Arvada
  • Heather – Lakewood

Tips for Setting and Achieving New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when the chill in the air, the smell of fresh pine, and the sounds of “Auld Lang Syne” remind us of the promise of a new and better year to come. Like many people, you’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution or two in the past. And like most, you’ve possibly felt discouraged at keeping these resolutions and have given up. Did you know that each year approximately 45% of American adults make at least one resolution? Sadly enough, nearly 25% of those resolutions fail within the first week, and almost half of the resolutions have been dropped after six months.

Whether you’ve vowed to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking, reduce stress, or any other goal, there are ways to overcome the frustrations of sticking with your resolutions and to help you become a healthier YOU!

Follow these tips for sticking with your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Set Realistic Goals

It’s easy for us to fall into resolution pitfall by setting unreachable goals. Telling yourself you’ll lose 75 pounds before your Hawaiian vacation in May is not as realistic as telling yourself that you want to strive for a healthy weight loss of one to two pounds per week. Setting goals that are specific and realistic means that you are able to make lifestyle changes in a more achievable and sustainable manner.

Examples:

  • “I will walk for at least 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week”
  • “I add at least one extra serving of dark leafy greens to my dinner at least three days per week”
  • “I will join my friend Suzie at a local yoga class at least two times per month”

2. Plan for Change

Habits and behaviors are not easy to change without first planning and assuming you can easily change these long-term habits often leads to failure. Simply telling yourself that you want to lose weight does not give you the opportunity you deserve for achieving this goal. Set a timeline of when you’d like to see this change and how you will achieve each step of your journey. If weight loss is your goal, plan for daily, weekly, and monthly targets and keep a journal handy for tracking these changes. Include a list of the tools and resources available for you to work towards each point on your timeline.

 Examples of Resources:
  • Daily text message reminders from Weigh and Win.
  • Friends or family members that hold you accountable.
  • Use the Weigh and Win journal for your daily motivation.
  • Sticky notes placed in highly visible locations around your home or office.
  • Daily motivation and self-affirmations written in a notebook or placed on the refrigerator or mirror.
  • Journal to track physical activity, meals, stress, and sleep. See below for a sample journal entry.

Journal-Ex

3. Expect Setbacks

Be patient with yourself when you feel you’ve hit a plateau or if you feel as though you weren’t as successful at working towards your health goals as you’d like. An occasional slip isn’t worth giving up your ultimate resolutions, although they should be acknowledged and learned from. If you eat too many calories or do not make the time to make it to the gym, forgive yourself and get right back to it the next day with a little extra motivation in mind. These setbacks are not worth the overarching success you’ll achieve. Acknowledging them as a part of the process and accepting yourself is part of you becoming the healthiest you can be.

4. Listen to Your Body

You are going to have days that are more stressful or that require a little extra motivation to keep you on track. Listen to the cues from your body, adapt, and stay engaged in your healthy resolutions as much as possible. If you are feeling under the weather, rest. If you feel that you cannot push as hard at the gym, slow down. Just by becoming more mindful of what your body needs, you are already creating an opportunity for managing your lifestyle changes. Take note of these days in your journal and learn how to better adapt for future setbacks. This takes time, but is well worth it.

5. Reward Yourself

Give yourself credit for all your hard work. It’s easy for us to be hard on ourselves when we fail at something and difficult to celebrate our successes. Celebrate your achievements, regardless of how large or small. Give yourself permission to reap the rewards of sticking with your resolutions and do so in a meaningful way. If losing weight is your New Year’s resolution, use your Weigh and Win reward to celebrate your weight loss achievements. Have you been eyeing a new wardrobe? Perhaps a romantic getaway? What about dining at a fancy new restaurant in town? Regardless of what inspires you, allow this to motivate you to stick with your goals!

 Tip: Try placing a dollar in a “Reward Jar” for each day of success. If you have a set-back day, remove a dollar. Use this reward to treat yourself to that something special.

Source:
Auld Lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers, by John C. Norcross, Marci S. Mrykalo, Matthew D. Blagys , University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 4 (2002).