5 Tips for a Happy, Successful Team Challenge

The team challenge is a great way to achieve your health goals. In fact, people who participate in the team challenge are MORE successful. Successful Weigh and Win participants lose an average of 17.7 pounds, team challenge members lose 20.5 pounds and team captains lose 22.3 pounds which is 26% more than an average participant!

To help make the team challenge a positive and successful experience, here are a few tips from previous challenge winners.

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1 | Encouragement

“We would often weighed-in together and celebrate any loss, even if it was only 0.2 pounds. It was really encouraging to do it that way.” – Jennifer, Team Captain ‘The Bod Squad’

TAKEAWAY: We all have ups and downs, so remember to encourage your teammates and celebrate even the small successes.

2 | Work Together

“We made meals with each other. We would grocery shop together. We started working out together and if we couldn’t work-out we would meet up and walk at lunch. We also all signed up for a 5k and all did that as a team.”
– Desiree, Teammate ‘The Freedom Fat Fighters’

TAKEAWAY: Remember, the point of the team challenge is to HELP one another be successful in achieving your health goals. Try working out, eating healthy and setting goals together.

3 | Communicate

 “A couple times a week a few of us would touch base and discuss our workouts, new foods we had tried and how we did on the scale. About halfway through the contest our team captain would send an email letting everyone know where we were on the leaderboard to keep up the momentum. Communication and interacting with one another was key for us!”
– Cindy, Teammate ‘Weight Loss Wolverines’

TAKEAWAY: Openly communicate with your team and talk about your successes, barriers, and motivation. Try sending out a bi-weekly email to your teammates with words of encouragement and an update on your team’s progress.

4 | Accountability

“My co-worker and I would bring each other lunches and healthy snacks to work, because that was a big downfall for us. There was always a lot of junk around.”
– Krystle, Team Captain ‘The Freedom Fat Fighters’

TAKEAWAY: Accountability is key to success. Help your teammates by keeping each other accountable on achieving your healthy eating and active living goals.

5 |  Motivation

“Our team was wonderful!  We all motivated each other with words of encouragement and cheered each other on.  It is so helpful to have several people working towards the same goal.”
– Cindy, Teammate ‘Weight Loss Wolverines’

TAKEAWAY: Remember to stay positive and continue to encourage your teammates in a helpful and positive way.

Cycling to Good Health

Recently Weigh and Win participant Juana Martinez not only lost her brother, her health was also suffering. After months of not feeling well, she made an appointment with her doctor.

“I have a family history of diabetes and have seen first-hand the trouble my family members have experienced as a result of their diabetes. So when my doctor told me I was borderline diabetic, it was the wakeup call I needed,” said Juana.

Juana immediately changed her eating habits and made physical activity a priority by beginning to bike to work every day.

“I love the way I feel riding to and from work. It clears my mind and I get my exercise in for the day. Plus, I’m saving money on parking and a bus pass.”

Cycling has also helped Juana strengthen the muscles in her legs, reducing the pain in her hips and knees.

“I’m able to do challenging hikes now. I even climbed my first 14er.”

In addition to biking, Juana joined Weigh and Win, a free Colorado program that provides technology-based health coaching, progress tracking and cash rewards for weight improvement.

“Every day I read through my coaching email from Weigh and Win. Whether it’s learning about heart rate or portion control – it gets me engaged in my health. The photographed weigh-ins are really beneficial. As I’m toning up and getting stronger, I can go back and compare what I look like now to the old me. It motivates me because I don’t want to be the person I was before.”

Two years later, Juana is twenty three pounds lighter and feels healthier and stronger than ever before.

“I love the way I feel after a long bike ride. I’m always sharing what I’m doing with friends and family, and encouraging them to get outside and get healthier, too.”

Three Quick Morning Workouts

Most people wake up in the morning dreading the heavy workload they may have. Whether it’s getting the kids out the door for school, a big deadline that’s due, or the everyday tasks that cause us stress, we tend to wake up stressed. That can all change when you wake up and start your day with a quick workout. These mini workouts will get your blood flowing to help wake you up, feel more energized throughout the day and make you feel like you’ve already accomplished something before the day even begins.

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15, 15, 15

Perform three sets of 15 of each of the following three exercises: air squats, push-ups and sit ups. Each of these exercises works a large muscle group and gives you a full body workout. Make sure to focus on your form and perform each exercise and repetition correctly. It’s better to perform the exercises the right way instead of fast and risk causing an injury.

Jog or Walk Around the Block

Nothing wakes your senses up better than getting outside. Pick a path that’s conveniently located around your home and just walk or run for 10 minutes. You will get vitamin D from being outside and also get to unplug and enjoy the outdoors before being locked down to technology all day. Unplugging for an hour a day helps you to focus more and helps you to appreciate the finer things in life such as the beauty of nature. Aim for a mile and you’ll have a good start towards reaching your 10,000 steps a day goal.

Bike to Work

Change up your routine every once in a while and try biking to work. Getting out of traffic can relieve stress and biking is a great cardiovascular workout. Plan accordingly when biking into work. Make sure you wear the right clothing and map out your route. Plan to leave your work clothes and lunch at the office the day before so you have fewer things to carry on your ride. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water too!

5 Ways to Get Involved in Parks & Recreation Month

July is heating up and now is the time for enjoying all that summer has to offer!  July is also National Park and Recreation Month and is a great time to show appreciation for all the many benefits our parks have to offer. Whether at a city, state, or national level, parks play a vital role in the health of any community. Not only can they be the perfect backdrop for beautiful scenery and for providing ample green space, they are great for managing stress, preventing crime, and for providing a safe haven for wildlife. Looking for some ideas of how to enjoy your local parks this month?

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Tip #1: Find an All-Inclusive Park

Looking for some scenic trails? Or maybe just some peace and quiet is on your agenda. Maybe you’d like to enjoy some paddle boating or cycling. Whatever you have in mind, seek out a park that offers a variety of activities for the whole family. Many parks offer a large open space that’s great for Frisbee throwing or running about with your favorite furry friend. If playing sports is on your list, look for a park that has a number of sports fields available so that kicking a soccer ball or running in for that touchdown is that much more fun! Finding a park with a BBQ grill is not always easy, but can be such a great way to entertain everyone.  Opting for a park with so much to offer ensures all of your family and friends will have plenty to do—leaving you with plenty of smiles and wonderful memories.

Tip #2:  Plan Ahead

Whether you opt for a quaint local destination or plan to stay for the weekend at a National Park, plan ahead. Many parks require a fee for using their facilities and require you schedule an appointment in advance. And if you plan to be gone for an extended period of time, make sure to include plenty of healthy snacks and beverages. Try:

  • Water
  • Iced tea
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cut veggies
  • Turkey or chicken wraps
  • Casseroles

Tip #3: Wait for Free Days

Many parks, particularly state and national parks will offer free park admission days. Check with your local park’s service to learn more about which days will get you in for a deal. These listings can generally be found on the park’s website. If you’d prefer to call and learn of these days, you can generally reach a representative who can assist you.

To learn more about the parks in your area, visit the National Recreation and Park Association website at www.nrpa.org

Tip #4: Look for Special Events and Festivals

It seems as though there are always activities happening at local parks. Look online for local festivities and mark your calendar so you can be reminded of these events. Some things to consider are cultural fairs, food festivals (opt for the healthier choices, of course!), children-specific events, family picnics, movies or music in the parks, sporting events, and more! Sometimes there is a fee associated with these, however, many are free. This can be an easy way to entertain your family or spend time with your friends, so be daring and try something new!

Tip #5: Get Active!

Regardless of what you choose to do at the park, just know the possibilities are endless. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind the next time you are planning for your park getaway:

  • Go mountain biking
  • Enjoy an easy (or difficult) hike
  • Try kayaking
  • Rent a paddleboard
  • Camp (or try “Glamping” if you’d prefer a little bit more luxury in your outdoor experience)
  • Go birdwatching
  • Visit a historic site
  • Try rafting, canoeing, or tubing for some water fun!
  • Visit an adventure park or obstacle course
  • Go fishing
  • Join a sports team
  • Play on the playground (even if you’re only a kid at heart)
  • Get together some friends for outdoor yoga
  • Walk, run, skate, or ride the trails

According to a recent study by the National Park and Recreation Association, approximately 1,000 American adults were surveyed about their favorite outdoor summertime activities. The top 5 faves were:

  1. Having a picnic/barbeque (55%)
  2. Going for a walk/hike (49%)
  3. Going to the beach (40%)
  4. Exploring nature (36%)
  5. Attending festivals (30%)

What’s your favorite outdoor summertime activity?

 

Source: http://www.nrpa.org/blog/how-americans-will-spend-their-time-outside-this-summer/