Tag Archives: corporate wellness

Try This Healthier Work-At-Home Fitness Routine

work-at-home

Congratulations! You have finally escaped the cube farm and negotiated a work-from-home schedule. You imagine sleeping in a little later, trading high heels and skirts for sneakers and sweats, and saving a ton of money skipping your morning latte run in favor of your own Keurig creation.

Working from home can help work/life balance and put some money back in your bank account, but there are also drawbacks. According to a 2012 US Bureau of Labor Statistics study, telecommuting may actually cause your boss to have higher expectations about your ability to work more hours, including nights and weekends.

Your own expectations about what you can do with this new-found freedom may also be slightly askew. If your job required hours of sitting before, don’t expect that to change because the treadmill is now in the next room. You may find yourself moving less because your co-workers aren’t stopping by your desk to ask you out for lunch or you don’t get to climb a few flights of stairs on your way to your next meeting.

Working from home requires setting some clear boundaries about not only your office hours, but also meal and exercise breaks. Use these tips to help you create a new “work at home” fitness routine. (more…)

The Hottest Fitness Trends to Rock Your Body in 2015

fitness-trends

Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys its membership of fitness professionals (myself included) to identify the top trends in fitness. The 2015 list was recently published with, in my opinion, only a few surprises.

What did surprise me on this list? Outdoor activities are #12! I see and hear a lot about running in fitness circles, but not much else. Most popular classes and activities take place in some sort of gym, be it a commercial one or the budget home gym you created in the spare bedroom. I would love to see more people get off the spin bike and on the bike path. Hiking is a new love of mine and, unlike the treadmill, it does wonders for your body and soul. Boot camps are last on the ACSM list at #20. They are still very popular in the Midwest so I am curious what group fitness trend will be taking their place. What are you seeing where you live?

Agree or disagree, here are five “big” fitness trends you can look forward to in the coming year.

1. Body weight training and High Intensity Interval Training came in #1 and #2, respectively, on the ACSM list. This worries me for two reasons. One, the high rate of injury that goes along with beginners starting at too high of intensity as well as over-training, and two, the level of burnout that often follows. I think body weight exercises are great. They can be some of the most challenging exercises you can do, but if proper form isn’t developed before adding the explosive intensity of popular programs like Insanity or P90X you may be asking for trouble.

Trend tip: Perfect your form on squats, push-ups and other body weight exercises slowly before adding weight or plyometrics. 
 (more…)

Leaning In to Get Lean: Meet the Rare Female CEOs in the Diet Industry

female-CEO

By Shae Blevins

The 2014 Fortune 500 List included 24 female CEOs – the most in history – and the United States elected a record-setting 100 women to the 113th Congress. Women are making their move!

But a lack of female leadership is still evident in the industry that targets American women most: Wellness. That’s the $20 billion industry that encompasses diet, fitness, and weight loss. It’s an industry where 85% of the consumers are women, and the grand majority of executive leadership — from CEOs to boards — are male. That’s right, there are dudes perched at the brands that prominently lead the industry – from the girl-powered Jillian Michaels to the all-inclusive Weight Watchers.

Fortunately, there are a few brands breaking the industry norm with female CEOs. It’s been two years since industry giant Nutrisystem appointed its first female CEO, and the brand is seemingly better for it. And most recently, Retrofit replaced its CEO with a woman. One feather in this hat was lost last December, when Dana Fiser left her two-year reign as CEO at Jenny Craig.

Meet the three shining female stars blazing trails in wellness: (more…)

7 Fool Proof, No Excuse Ways to Move More Every Single Day

move more

Thousands of years ago, humans were always on the go: gathering berries, hunting prey, running from predators. Our metabolisms are still essentially the same as these humans and yet we are lucky if we can get in more than just the walk from our car to our desk and back again. With the rise of desk jobs comes the rise of ultra-sedentary lifestyles, even increased diabetes risk for women who sit too long.

This is not your fault! Plus…You are busy! You work hard! You get home at the end of the day exhausted, and your only remaining energy gets allocated to helping your kids, then maybe watching a quick TV show before your own well-deserved bedtime. And while this movement is no longer built into our survival like our early ancestors, we still need activity for our body to thrive.

Here are 7 Fool-Proof Ways to Move More in Your Day.

Not only does your body deserves this, it needs it. (more…)

FitBit Data May Help Insurance Companies Reduce Your Premiums

fitbit-flex

It’s all about perspective.

Ten percent can be a large or small amount, depending on the context of what it represents. If we’re talking about unemployment, 10% is unacceptable. If we’re talking about income tax, paying only 10% would be a blessing.

For today, we’re avoiding politics and the economy and instead, talking about the 10% of Americans who use wearable tech fitness trackers to monitor and track their daily activity, food intake, sleep, and exercise. This 10% of Americans make up a group of people that health insurance companies are examining closely to determine more accurate ways of calculating insurance premiums. On average, your premiums fluctuate once each year, which usually means added cost. That added cost doesn’t always have anything to do with you, and is often part of a re-rating of the group pool you’re a part of, like the company you work for.

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

What if your premium was calculated based on how you, as an individual, actually live? What if your premium fluctuated because of choices you make regarding your individual health and not because of others in your insurance pool dragging you down? (more…)

5 Snacks Disguised as Meals: Stay Full on the Go for Less than 500 Calories

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, Best Life lead nutritionist

What to eat when you’re stuck in a junk-food-infested office park, stretch of highway, or other nutrition wasteland? Try one of these five meals, all of which contain foods you can keep in your purse, desk drawer, or office fridge, or can be found at a coffee shop. They range from 370 to 480 calories.

trail mix recipe

Oatmeal topped with dried fruit and/or nuts and a 12-ounce nonfat or 1 percent latte

Approximate calories:  370

Nutrition highlights: This dish is rich in calcium and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (from the oats), plus it offers phytonutrients from the coffee, dried nuts and fruits. It’s my go-to at Starbucks and other coffee shops.

Trail mix (2/3 cup)

Approximate calories: 450

Nutrition highlights: Nuts, seeds and dried fruit offer vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients and healthy fats. Make your own to control the ingredients and avoid a sugar rush. Try our Sweet & Nutty Trail Mix. (more…)

Health Focused Startup CEOs are a Health Trend Worth Adopting

When you hear that a guy is techy, a computer geek, or the like, you probably picture some frumpy Mountain Dew-chugging, finger-stained Cheetos eater. It’s an unfortunate stereotype, and like those tend to be, it can be true. It can also be terribly untrue. And that’s the case for some of the biggest names in tech.

The start-up and tech community is bustling; it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that is generating the biggest ideas, products, and innovations of our time. The best part? Its leaders aren’t weighed down. Not only is it ultra cool for these start-up companies to have offices that resemble something closer to playtime at a kid’s after-school program than a Fortune 500 boardroom (which is a mark of pride, mind you), but they try to out-kitchen each other. From Google’s globally infamous healthified free-to-employees cafeteria to the fresh apples and KIND bars that are staples in Greatist’s kitchenette, health is a mark of pride.

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And what these brilliant CEOs are eating is as interesting as what hip hop moguls have parked in their garages – we want to know! From what we can tell, taking care of yourself isn’t just for the ladies. In an industry dominated by dudes, it’s nice to know they’re choosing fit over frump.

So how do these titans of tech, these moguls of mobile “diet,” per se? Better than most of their consumers, that’s for sure.

MARK ZUCKERBERG — Facebook

He’s an on-again off-again meat eater. He spent 2011 “basically” as a vegetarian, after committing to only eat meat he killed himself. He says the experience was good, and that it lead him to healthier foods, even learning more about sustainable farming and raising of animals. Fast forward to last summer and he was posting pictures of steaks, thanks to his iGrill app, he certainly didn’t kill himself. (more…)

Retrofit Finds That Tech Gadgets Make Weight Loss More Manageable

Weight loss is rarely a walk in the park, and some plans are so complex they can be downright intimidating. The strict dietary limitations and harsh fitness regimens of a new weight loss plan can conjure feelings of anxiety and can cramp the process entirely. A study involving the weight loss company Retrofit has revealed that their state of the art data tracking technology limits stress and confusion while producing positive weight loss results.

fitbit

Retrofit uses a 3D motion sensor called a Fitbit to track steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns to be analyzed by their team of weight loss experts. Retrofit employs a wi-fi Withings scale that calculates BMI and body-fat percentage. The data can be viewed online via software on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In a 12-month study, lead by Retrofit, those using the technology lost an average of 19 pounds, while zealous clients who weighed themselves everyday lost an average of 26 pounds.

Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman claims the program is effective for individuals as well as corporations looking to lower health care costs. “This statistical data proves that in personal wellness, you can manage what you can measure,” said Hyman. “In order for employers to reduce health care costs due to obesity and its related diseases, companies simply must have a weight loss program that seamlessly collects and monitors employee data.” (more…)

Obesity Makes Career Success Difficult, Particularly for Women

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed he underwent Lap-Band surgery last month, it instantly fueled speculation that it was at least in part about his 2016 presidential aspirations. True or not, there are valid reasons to consider that weight loss as a powerful tool in helping him to the highest office in the land.woman

All you have to do is look at the people who hold the highest positions in private companies. According to a 2009 study, just five percent of CEOs in the U.S. were obese (with a BMI over 30).

If you drop down to the overweight classification (a BMI between 25 and 29), there is a dramatic difference, but only for male CEOs. The 2009 study estimated between 45 and 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight. Only five percent of overweight CEOs are women.

What would account for such a major gender gap? Women already fight an unfair uphill battle for wage equality, so one can probably safely assume a significant double standard in how men and women with weight issues are perceived.

“It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said study co-author Mark Roehling, Michigan State University associate professor of human resource management. (more…)

Obamacare is Coming for Your Corporate Wellness Program in 2014 – What it Means for You

The Affordable Care Act, first disparagingly referred to as Obamacare and now adopted as its accepted moniker, is the most sweeping and dramatic health care legislation since Medicare. It’s also one of the more divisive.health care

Proponents say it will bring health care costs down through wider preventative care; opponents say it is intrusive and sets us up for a new bloated federal bureaucracy.

One of the most important tasks in preventative care and health care cost-reduction is addressing the obesity epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the direct and indirect medical care costs of obesity in the U.S. in 2008 was $147 billion. While obesity rates have leveled in recent years, long-term projections are still grim, with the possibility of nearly half of all Americans being obese by 2030. One report projects the majority of states will be over the 50 percent level.

While there are many myths about Obamacare, one of the better known facts about the legislation is that it will eliminate insurance companies’ ability to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. But it’s not the utopian “health care for all” scenario some critics may think. Companies are able to more aggressively reward employees for achieving preset wellness goals, and conversely, saddling those who don’t make an effort to improve their health with higher premiums. (more…)