Skip navigation
All Places > Healthy Living > Blog

These simple concepts can make staying on track feel much easier. Here are the key components not only to lose weight, but also to keep it off long term. 

 

  • Fuel up.  Like your car needs the right gas to run optimally, what you put in your body affects how you feel. Eat whole, non-processed foods, being sure to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into what you eat each day.  Keep eating patterns consistent and include breakfast daily to help lose weight and maintain that loss over time
  • Watch portions.  Monitoring how much you eat is key to weight management.  To help control portions, fill your plate with mostly non-starchy vegetables, use a smaller size plate, and avoid eating out of packages.  Occasionally measuring portions or using our handy portion guide can also be a helpful reminder to keep portions in check.
  • Plan ahead.  Having a well-stocked pantry and freezer can make choosing healthy foods easier.  Create a meal plan and bring a shopping list to the grocery store.  Keep healthy snacks nearby when you’re on the go. And when eating out, make your choice ahead of time, if possible.
  •  Feel satisfied.  Managing weight doesn’t have to mean feeling hungry.  To feel more satisfied, limit distractions while eating and slow down to really savor your food.  Also include high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to help feel fuller longer
  • Stay active.  Reducing calorie intake alone won’t provide the same results.  Research shows that people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.  Remember, this doesn’t have to be done all at once.  Aim for a minimum of at least 150 minutes per week, or about 20 to 30 minutes a day. Once you’ve reached that, you can choose to aim even higher.
  • Get quality sleep.  Keep a regular sleep schedule and aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  Have trouble sleeping?  Limit screen time before bed, avoid strenuous exercise, and include relaxing activities such as a warm bath or soft music
  • Get support.  Having a solid support system can help you stay the course and keep motivation strong.  Remember, support can be from friends, family, your environment, and even yourself by practicing self-compassion.

 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/keepingitoff.html 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/healthy-living-8-steps-to-take-today#1

image

by Shannon Spence

Your social network is one of THE BEST tools for dealing with the stressors of life. Several studies have shown that leaning on your social support network contributes to psychological well-being.1 Not only can you benefit from a sense of belonging, increased self-worth and feelings of security, your friends and peers can also help hold you accountable with your health and well-being goals. People who build a support system are more likely to succeed at goals like getting more active.2 From working with a coach or workout buddy to participating in online communities, the variety of options is as diverse as personalities are unique. So, what type of social connection is right for you?

Virtual

Achieving your health goals sometimes requires a little help from our friends, and that includes the virtual ones. The influence of our social networks can be a powerful motivator to encourage us to stay active, eat right and just be happy.

Go365 offers quite a few options when it comes to finding motivation to exercise or eat healthy within a community of like-minded people. Through the website or Go365 App, you can start or join a step or weight loss challenge with friends and family, and compete against other teams at your company. And soon, you will have the ability to message, heckle and high-five one another through our challenges platform. Look for more information to come on these exciting new features!

If you need help clarifying your goals and priorities, connect to a health coach through the Go365 program at no additional cost to you – it’s part of the program! This trained professional can help you create a personalized plan, help find your hidden motivation, and provide you with the support and accountability you need. Sessions are held online, via phone or a combination of the two.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and our exclusive Go365 Community.

Live and in-person

If your style is more face-to-face, schedule workout dates with a friend and stick to them. While you may not be experts, the point is that you get out there and get active together. There are a variety of options through Go365 that can help you connect with others and even support a good cause while you’re at it, including:

  • Joining a sports league 
  • Participating in a 5K walk and getting friends and family to join 
  • Finding a colleague and developing a fitness habit together, such as taking walking breaks or using the stairs more often. Just make sure to set up your new habit in the Go365 App to earn Points.

There’s no right way to achieve your health goals. What matters is that you’re taking steps to get there. And get there you will!

Sources
1 “Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress,” Mayo Clinic, accessed January 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445  
2 Gina Demillo, “Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies,” experiencelife.com, accessed November 2016. https://experiencelife.com/article/strength-in-numbers-the-importance-of-fitness-buddies/ 

Go365 is not an insurance product. This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. Consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.

image

One key to staying active is to get as much movement throughout the day as possible. In our sedentary world, that can be a tall order. If watching TV or sitting in front of the computer is your daily routine after eating dinner, try to replace it with a 15-minute walk.

Benefits include proper digestion, burning more calories, and better control of blood sugar levels and triglycerides in the body.

The process of digestion is initiated soon after you eat. If you walk after eating dinner, the process of gastric emptying of the meal is accelerated leading to better digestion. In turn, this prevents various stomach complications such as acidity or indigestion that people may experience after eating their meals.

Walking not only improves the blood circulation in the body, but also relieves stress. Even 100 steps after dinner may lead to a better night’s sleep.[1]

Walking after dinner stimulates the muscles to move food along faster, reducing stress on the stomach, and increasing overall blood flow, which prevents or relieves digestive distress like heartburn and Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The immediate metabolic benefit is that when you perform any moderate activity like walking, your body converts food stores into energy to fuel the increased level of activity. Walking after a meal stimulates your body to boost your metabolic rate, which will utilize more calories from your meal as opposed to converting them into glucose or fat storage. More importantly, the metabolic benefits can be amplified if that activity happens on a regular basis.

As you walk more regularly, your body begins to adjust your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is your caloric burn rate when at rest or the minimum calories you need to function, in order to maintain a base rate that is primed for the higher level of activity. Over time, even small increases in activity can increase your BMR.

A 3mph (average pace) walk for 15 minutes after dinner may “only” burn around 40 calories, but those 40 calories add up.

While a brisk 60-minute walk is much better than a 15-minute leisurely walk, any walk is better than no walk at all. The idea is to habituate a moderate, post-meal walk into your daily life first, and then work on increasing duration and intensity.

 


[1] Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D. Petty. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 8.2 (2006): 106. Print.

 

References

Anahad O’Connor, “Really? The Claim: Taking a Walk After a Meal Aids Digestion”, well.blogs.nytimes.com, accessed December 2016. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/really-the-claim-taking-a-walk-after-a-meal-aids-digestion/?_r=0

Matthew J. Edlund, “When to Walk? Try After Meals”, psychologytoday.com, accessed December 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201307/when-walk-try-after-meals

Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti, “Surprising benefits of walking a 100 steps after dinner”, healthsite.com, accessed December 2016. http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/surprising-benefits-of-walking-a-100-steps-after-dinner/

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates. 

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law 

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. 

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).  

GCHJVWLEN_0118

image

 

Your quads, the big muscles in the front of your thighs, are a powerhouse muscle. While having strong, powerful muscles is a good thing, balancing muscles is important to keeping your stride healthy. Here are some ideas to keep your quads lean and flexible. 

  • Kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch
    • Get in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Your right knee should be directly over your ankle and your left leg should be extended behind you with your toes curled under on the floor.
    • Allow your left knee to drop to the floor, keeping the toes tucked.
    • Press your hips forward toward the front of the room, while keeping your right knee directly over your right ankle.
    • If you can, reach back and grab the toes of your left foot, raising them towards your ****. It will look like this: http://www.yogaclass.ie/images/lunge-quad-stretch.jpg
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  • Standing quad stretch
    • Standing on your left leg, raise your right leg toward your **** by bending your knee and lifting your toes off of the floor
    • Grab the top of your right foot with your right hand.
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
    • Repeat on the other side
  • Foam roller quad release
    • Place your roller on the ground horizontally.
    • Position the middle of the front of your thighs on the roller. You will be facing the floor and will need to place your weight on your forearms to support yourself. Engage your abs to keep your back from collapsing.
    • Roll forward up to the knee and back down toward the top of your thigh.
    • Repeat this movement 10 times, holding for 30 seconds on any muscle knots you may find.

These three stretch/release techniques will help to keep your quads limber. Perform the stretches only after you run to ensure you get the most power out of your workout, the foam roller exercise can be completed any time. You will also want to make sure you are performing hamstring strength training exercises to balance out the strength in the front and back of your thighs. By keeping your whole leg strong and flexible, you’ll be on the best path to maintaining your resilient running stride.

 

 

References

Zohra Ashpari, “Running Tips: 3 Essential Quad Stretches,” Healthline, accessed November 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-tips-quad-stretches

Jenny Sugar, “5 Move to Stretch Out Your Quads,” Popsugar, accessed November 2016. http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Best-Quad-Stretches-3060365#photo-3060365

Julian Goater and Don Melvin, “Stretching your quadriceps, hip flexors, and adductors,” Human Kinetics, accessed November 2016. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/stretching-your-quadriceps-hip-flexors-and-adductors

Lara Rosenbaum, “Foam Rolling for Runners,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/health/foam-rolling-for-runners

Sarah Scholl, “Owner’s Manual: Strong Hamstrings,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/owners-manual-strong-hamstrings

Richelle Wescott, NASM CPT, M.S. Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, accessed January 2018 at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richellewescott/

 

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates.

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

communitymanager

Make it satisfying

Posted by communitymanager Moderator Dec 30, 2019

For many of us, physical activity is a chore we’d rather avoid at all costs. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Finding fun, satisfying ways to incorporate activity into our daily lives is the key to long-term weight management success. Need inspiration? Check out the ideas below.

 

·         Keep it interesting by listening to your favorite music or podcasts while on the go – you can take them with you anywhere! If at home or the gym, put the treadmill on a favorite TV station.

·         Keep it social by finding a work-out buddy to walk, swim, or jog with you. Alternatively, connect with others or bring a friend to a regularly scheduled dance, boot camp, or yoga class.

·         Make it challenging by using a timer for exercise routines or laps. Other ideas include adding more reps or distance to workouts, and incorporating short bursts of different exercises such as lunges or push-ups into a walk or run. Track your progress using a fitness app!

·         Make it meaningful by getting active for a cause.  A 5k walk or run for a cause benefits you and others! Or keep a reminder of your motivation for exercising nearby and pull it out just before getting started – extra motivation goes a long way!

·         Make it fun. Focus on physical activities you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, martial arts, or yoga. Or bring out the kid in you by jumping rope, playing tag or Frisbee, or getting moving on the playground (think monkey bars and swing sets).  

No matter your interests or your lifestyle, getting active can be satisfying in and of itself. Try it and let your coach know what you learn!  

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/family-fitness-ideas#1

http://fit.webmd.com/kids/move/article/exercise-you-love

Creating the right environment for a healthy lifestyle is vital to your success. Check out our tips below for making healthy choices easy whether you’re at home, work, or out and about.

 

At home

  • Replace sugary or diet drinks with a pitcher of fruit-infused water or herbal tea. And keep a large glass on the kitchen counter always ready to fill.
  • Do a pantry make-over. Rid the house of all the chips, desserts, and other foods that may tempt you into an unplanned indulgence. If you are craving chocolate at 9 p.m. and don’t have it at home, chances are you won’t head out to get any. And keep fruit or veggie slices readily available instead.
  • Keep exercise equipment next to the TV. Watching TV is a perfect time to stretch, lift weights, or work on your core.  Place dumbbells,     exercise bands, and yoga mats in a handy location along with the routines written out so you don’t have to think about what to do next – you can just do it!
  • Place post-it notes around the house as reminders to take medicine or get active.  Then put others with motivational quotes and reminders of your “why” in other locations.
  • Lay out your exercise gear the night before so it’s sitting right there in     front of you the next day, a friendly reminder to get active.
  • Set the table for the next meal after eating. The more you eat at a table, the more you’ll appreciate each bite of food and notice sensations of fullness.

 

At work

  • Like  at home, keep healthy liquids handy. Carry a water bottle everywhere you go and refill it regularly. During cold weather, herbal tea is a great     alternative.
  • Schedule regular activity breaks. If you’re sitting all day, put “move sessions” on your calendar, whether they are walking meetings or walking breaks. If your job keeps you on your feet, schedule times for regular stretching or weight bearing exercises you can do in a chair.
  • Stay motivated with an inspiring screensaver, such as inspirational images or motivational quotes. Mix it up regularly for extra interest and meaning.
  • Donuts in the breakroom again?  Avoid tempting areas altogether if possible. Keep healthy snacks at your desk so you will have another option.
  • Pack a lunch. Mornings can be crazy so prep and pack your healthy foods the night before.  In the morning, you’ll have everything you need to keep your belt and your budget tight!

 

Out and about

  • Keep a healthy snack in your car or bag.  When you need some nutrition, you’ll have it handy instead of needing to stop for less healthy options.
  • Keep a gym bag with walking shoes and even workout clothes in your car. Having all your gear with you makes it that much easier to hit the gym or a park on the way home from work. Or even go for a short, impromptu walk!

 

 Reference

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm

1J. Perm, “Nutritional Updates for Physicians: Plant-based Diets,” The Permanente Journal, NIH, accessed September 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

image

It’s a pretty well-known fact that following through with New Year’s resolutions can be difficult. Losing weight and other health-related goals are frequently the most popular resolutions from year to year, but many individuals end up quitting after a few weeks or months.

Common pitfalls with resolutions

Sometimes, we’re not able to complete our resolutions because we make them too vague. For example, if you say, “I want to lose weight,” it will be more challenging to know whether you are successful without attaching a specific weight or timeframe.

We can also lose track of our progress if we make the goal too unrealistic and then we become quickly discouraged, or we don’t have a way to measure our progress along the way. If you want to ultimately achieve a big goal, it would be easier to track if you create milestones for the entire journey. For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, so I should try to lose 5 pounds within 3 months’ time.”

You can see why the most important step to ensuring success is the first one: creating the goal itself. Using the “SMART” system of goal setting is one way to focus and plan what you want to achieve.

What is SMART?

What does SMART stand for? SMART goals typically have these five following characteristics:

Specific: Avoid making your goal too general or vague.

Measurable: Set it up so that you’ll know whether or not you’re making progress.

Achievable: Create a goal that you can actually attain.

Relevant: The goal should be related to your values and other goals in life. That way, the goal would be more meaningful to you, and you will feel more motivated.

Time bound: Set a timeframe around your goal, to better measure your progress and evaluate your level of success.

By making sure your goal is SMART, you will be thinking through the what, when, where, how, and why behind your objective. In other words, you’ll be more strategic and prepared to meet your goals – whether they’re tied to New Year’s resolutions or not!

Whatever your goals may be, whether they’re related to health, finances, career, personal growth, etc., make sure that they’re SMART.

 

Sources

https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/health/how-to-avoid-new-years-resolution-traps-at-the-gym/275-504271332

https://www.today.com/health/5-new-year-s-resolutions-you-ll-break-how-change-t106474

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm

https://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/smart-goals/

image

Resilience is your ability to adapt to adversity or unexpected changes that occur in your life. Contrary to what many believe, resilience is not an inborn personality trait that some people naturally have and others lack. It’s a learned skill. And that’s good news because being resilient is one of the best ways to protect against the effects of stress. 

Since we can’t completely avoid stress, the goal of effective stress management is two-fold: exercise good decision-making over the things you can control in order to minimize self-imposed stress, while being resilient toward the stressors you can’t control, such as sickness, accidents, and losses.

 

Here are three ways you can begin to build resilience to the stressful life events you might encounter. 

 

Seek out supportive relationships

One of best ways to adapt to life’s challenges is to build and maintain positive and loving relationships. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this type of support. When you’re feeling stressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed, turning to trusted people in your life can give you a renewed sense of strength and cut through any distorted thoughts you might have about your situation. 

 

Practice good self-care

Your ability to be resilient under stress requires you to have emotional and physical reserves to draw upon. One of the most important ways to build these reserves is by practicing good self-care. Start by getting an adequate amount of sleep, eating nutritious food, making time for recreation and investing energy into people and activities that are in line with your values. 

 

Be proactive

You strengthen your resiliency when you are proactive but you weaken it when you become passive and reactionary. When you set goals for the future it helps propel you toward more action. It may take some time to recover from a setback or loss, but your situation will improve if you continue to deliberately work at it.  
Even though no one likes the fact that hardship, trauma, sorrow, and pain are part of our lives, the question isn’t whether we will experience adversity but how we will manage it. If you learn to bend, become flexible and adapt to the new challenges that emerge, you know that you have learned resilience.

 

 

 

References

Gary Gilles, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates.

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services. </p>

Discrimination is Against the Law
Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. 
ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 
Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 
繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

GCHJUBMEN_1612

communitymanager

Support yourself!

Posted by communitymanager Moderator Dec 3, 2019

Everyone appreciates being recognized for his or her accomplishments.  Why not recognize and celebrate your own?  Acknowledging achievements, even in a small way, increases positive emotions, self-esteem, and confidence.  And more positivity and self-confidence help you reach your health goals.

 

Try it out! Pick one thing you’ve accomplished in the past week, no matter how small.  Maybe you took a walk during your lunch break, chose a side salad instead of fries, or made sure to get eight hours of sleep last night. Then try one of the strategies below to celebrate your success.

 

  • Appreciate the choice. Think about what it took to make that positive choice. Which of your strengths did you use to make it happen?  Was it hard or easy to make? Either way, it was an achievement for you to celebrate! 
  • Savor it.  How are you feeling about your accomplishment – pride, joy, satisfaction?  Close your eyes and savor your emotions.  Appreciate how good it feels.  Take time to really enjoy these positive feelings that come from success. Journaling about it can help enhance the good feelings.  

 

  • Reward yourself. Decide how you will pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished. Offer yourself kind words, share your success with friends, or reward yourself with a favorite activity.

 

References

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-matters-most/201409/the-many-benefits-showing-appreciation

Healthy living advice usually contains the phrase “Everything in moderation,” but what does it really mean? It sounds simple, but it can actually be very difficult to follow and implement in your everyday life. Moderation is relative. What moderation means to you may be completely different to someone else.

 

The key to moderation is to not become fixated on one part of life. Look at your life in a big-picture view so that you can find a balance of your priorities instead of depriving yourself of something or going overboard. A single indulgence may not matter in a month or a year, so having a moderate perspective would allow for special occasion desserts, taking a break from your regular routine or having a drink with a friend.

 

How do you know what to moderate from? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

 

• What behavior do I want to change?
• What am I doing that is affecting me negatively? Positively?
• Is there something I am doing too much? Not enough?
• Where do I want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?

 

Changing behaviors or habits that aren’t serving you well is a good start to moderation. Decide what you want to change, respect your own limitations and understand your goals. Start with small changes and work up to bigger changes. Moderation comes with unique challenges, but also presents unique opportunities for wellness.


An appetite for moderation


A preoccupation or obsessiveness about the food you eat can cause more harm than good if you’re not careful. What you eat and drink is not completely dependent on your overall health and everyone’s body has different needs. Exercise, lifestyle habits, stress, sleep and family history are equally as important as what you eat every day. A varied diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and even a sweet treat once in a while will provide you with the energy you need while also allowing yourself to eat what you want. Restrictive diets can cause junk-food cravings to soar, ultimately resulting in an over-indulgence of sugary or salty foods to curb the hankering. Find the level of moderation that works best for you and your body, and don’t be afraid to have an extra cookie sometimes.


How to achieve balance


How long we’re on the clock, the number of projects and the number of emails received daily can put a huge amount of stress on anyone with a career. Creating a balance of work and life will help ease everyday stress and help increase overall productivity. Building flexibility and leisure time into your schedule can help you boost your productivity. Eat lunch away from your desk. Take a coffee break. Write in a journal before bed. Walk outside of the office for a few minutes. Even when you have mountains of work to do, it is important to take mental breaks from work to focus on yourself. You can still get the job done while giving yourself a few minutes to pause and refresh.


The habit of moderation


Changing bad habits into good habits takes planning and requires effort. There are ways to change your habits without completely depriving yourself of something. If you feel like you’re on your devices too much, leave them at home when you go out with friends. Have carbs like rice, bread or pasta with dinner once or twice a week instead of every day. Limit yourself to an hour or two of television instead of binge-watching all night. Remember that everyone’s definition of moderation is different, so what works for you may not work for someone else. Find the definition of “moderation” that works best for you, your lifestyle and your goals.


Here are some daily reminders you can use as motivation:

 

• Take one small dose at a time. Instead of an entire carton of ice cream, take one scoop.
• Challenge yourself! If your usual workout is 20 minutes, try bumping it to 30 minutes.
• Reach for your goals. Small steps everyday will help you get even closer to your goals.
• Celebrate small victories. Small victories lead to big achievements!
• Don’t get discouraged. Moderation means taking things little by little, so you don’t need to finish a goal right away.

 

Move forward and continue to reach for your goals.

 

Living moderately requires constant adjustment. Recognizing small steps in your wellness journey will help keep you inspired and motivated to continue to reach for your goals.

 

 

Sources

Carlin Flora, “Moderation is the key to life,” Psychology Today. Accessed September 2019.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201707/moderation-is-the-key-life

Toby Amidor, “What does ‘Eating in moderation’ really mean?” U.S.News. Accessed September 2019. https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/09/21/what-does-eating-in-moderation-really-mean

Hilary Achauer, “What is moderation? How to define it for yourself,” Whole Life Challenge. Accessed September 2019. https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/what-is-moderation-how-to-define-it-for-yourself/

Tamara Lechner, “All things in moderation: When to moderate and when to abstain?” The Chopra Center. Accessed September 2019. https://chopra.com/articles/all-things-in-moderation-when-to-moderate-and-when-to-abstain

We know that to manage your weight, you need to balance the calories you eat with the amount of physical activity you exert. News flash – the quality of your eating and exercise habits matter too.

 

Eating habits. Healthy weight management for life means a diet focused on whole foods, mostly plants. What are whole foods? They include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains such as oatmeal or brown rice, and most any food that doesn’t come in a package.  Focus your whole food diet on plants, cutting back on meat and other foods high in sugar or unhealthy fats such as fried foods, desserts, and high-fat snacks such as chips.

 

Change doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s OK to start small. For an afternoon snack, swap out chips or a candy bar for some plain Greek yogurt topped with fruit, or apple slices with unsweetened peanut butter. Strawberries or pineapple make a delicious dessert.  And start out the day right with an egg and some melon or oatmeal sweetened with berries instead of boxed cereal or an over-sized bagel.

 

Exercise. Regular exercise not only helps you get to your goal weight, it helps you stay there too.  Guidelines suggest that to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, people should do 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity weekly. Additionally, muscle burns more calories than fat, so building up your muscles will allow you to eat more while maintaining your weight.

 

If you are not currently physically active, now is a great time to get started. Take a 10-minute walk and add more time as that becomes too easy. Walk up stairs instead of taking an elevator. Best of all, head out for a workout with a buddy. Or want to go solo? Try catching up on a podcast or listening to your favorite music. Whatever you choose, make sure you talk with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.

 

You’ll find all these little changes add up to a new you. 

 

References:

2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/guidelines/default.aspx
Accessed January 20, 2016.

Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion website. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Updated December 2015. Accessed April 11, 2017.

Diets for weight loss. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed…. Updated February 7, 2017. Accessed April 11, 2017

A good night’s sleep doesn’t begin when you get in bed. Follow this countdown to bedtime in order to rest your best.

 

Hours before bed:

 

  • Six:        End the caffeine
  • Three:   Wrap up dinner and stop alcohol intake
  • Two:      No more exercise, except for maybe some gentle stretching
  • One:      Stop working and turn off electronics

 

 

Make the hour before bed calming and relaxing by trying one of these. Listen to soothing music. Take a warm bath or shower. Meditate and breathe. Read a book (not an electronic reader). Use soothing essential oils such as lavender.

And a few last tips:

  • Stay on a schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time each day.
  • Stomach grumbling before bed? Try a cup of herbal tea or, if you’re truly hungry, perhaps some turkey roll ups, nut butter on toast, or a slice of cheese.
  • Keep it cool. Ideal bedroom temperatures are between 65 and 72 degrees.
  • Darker rooms will help you sleep better. Try blackout curtains or a sleep mask.

 

When you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes, perhaps you are not ready for sleep. Switch to another relaxing activity for a while, then try again.

 

Try it out – make over your sleep routine! Feel overwhelmed by all the tips? Talk to your coach about one or two things to change right now and gradually shift your sleep routine.

 

References

https://sleep.org/tag/bedtime-routine/

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/follow-sleep-routine

Monitoring the intensity of your activity is important for several reasons, but most importantly because it lets you know whether you are working too hard or not hard enough. Working too hard can lead to over-training resulting in injuries, decline in performance, lack of sleep and even mood changes. Not working hard enough, on the other hand, makes it harder for you to improve your fitness and achieve your health goals.

 

  
   
    
     

How do you measure intensity? There are several ways, including the talk test, rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale, and heart rate monitoring. While all can be useful, today we’re focusing on the RPE scale which is a free, easy, and effective way to measure your intensity.

     

 

     

The RPE scale asks you to rate how hard you’re working, on a scale from 0 to 10, using the categories below.

     

 

     

RPE

     

 

     

Perceived Exertion

     

10:  Max Effort: Feels almost  impossible to keep going. Completely out of breath and unable to talk. Cannot  maintain for more than a very short time.

     

9: Very Hard Effort: Very  difficult to maintain exercise intensity. Can barely breath and speak only a  few words

     

7-8: Vigorous Effort:  Borderline uncomfortable. Short of breath, can speak a sentence.

     

4-6: Moderate Effort: Breathing  heavily but can hold a short conversation. Still somewhat comfortable but  becoming noticeably more challenging.

     

2-3: Light Effort: Feels like  you can continue for hours. Easy to breathe and carry on a conversation

     

1: Very Light Effort: Hardly any  exertion, but more than sleeping, watching TV, etc.

     

 

     

By becoming familiar with the RPE scale, you can continually assess your exercise intensity and find a level of exertion that is comfortable for you.  For most people staying around 4-6 on the scale (moderate effort) is a safe and effective zone. During high intensity workouts such as interval training, short bursts of very hard or vigorous effort can be interspersed with light effort.

     

 

     

In short, the benefits of using the RPE scale are that it’s free and easier than wearing a heart rate monitor.  You can even assess RPE without stopping to check your heart rate. Yet it still gives you an accurate representation of the intensity of your activity.

     

 

     

Still have questions about intensity, or want to learn more about other methods of measuring the intensity of activity? 

     

 

     

References:

     

https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/60/6351/exercises-to-improve-your-basketball-game/>

     

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/-/scassets/files/org/heart/hard-activity-chart.ashx?la=en

    
   
  

Successful weight management is about creating a lifestyle with healthy habits that last a lifetime.  The goal then is to find ways to include healthy choices into your daily routines to help establish long-lasting habits for long-term success.

 

What does a healthy lifestyle look like?

  • Eat Smart.  Substitute healthy choices for unhealthy ones. Choose whole, non-processed foods the majority of the time.  Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, choosing all colors of the rainbow.
  • It’s not deprivation.  Having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean your favorite foods are completely off limits.  You can still occasionally enjoy a slice of chocolate cake in moderation.  The key is to limit the frequency and portion sizes.   
  • Move more.  Schedule time for physical activity most days so you’re getting at least 150 minutes of activity a week. In addition, look for ways to make physical activity a part of your day. Park farther away, use the stairs rather than the elevator, walk around the building during your breaks, do some jumping jacks, or stretch while watching TV. 
  • Do what’s fun!  Find ways to keep your routine fun and engaging.  Maybe you’re ready to try a new workout class, challenge yourself to increase your walking speed, or include a workout buddy. We’re more likely to keep doing things we enjoy, so be sure to mix it up! 
  • Get enough sleep.  Sleep is essential for the body to function well, including regulating our hunger hormones.  Experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. 
  • Practice acceptance. Accept each day – or even each moment of each day – as it is. Remember that no person or situation is perfect and respond with kindness and understanding. Letting go of judgment and focusing on the good in you and others is the path to well-being and fulfillment.

Remember, it takes time to establish new habits.  Stay consistent and these new habits will start to become a regular part of your life. 

 

References

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/tc/healthy-weight-what-affects-your-weight#1

2019 is shaping up to be a big year for virtual visits, also known as Telemedicine, and Humana’s behavioral health services through Doctor On Demand® are a major part of that—so be ready!

 

Beginning January 1, 2019, Doctor On Demand will be in network for Humana members to help treat non-emergent behavioral health issues like stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, and more. Members can securely video chat with board-certified psychiatrists and psychologists from wherever they feel most comfortable, and they can schedule appointments for one-time issues or ongoing treatment where they can choose to see the same clinician every time.