Welcome to the PEEHIP Choose Well, Live Well Blog!

Your team of dedicated Health Promotion Specialists are working together to bring you the latest on current trends in the field of health and wellness. Log in to your account at https://peehip.sharecare.com to find additional information on health and wellness topics through the Discover tab.

Exercise? I Don’t Have Time!

Exercise? I don’t have time!

It’s one of the most commonly stated obstacles in the book. If you think about some of the activities you do in a day, you may be able to shorten or eliminate some less important tasks just a few days a week. If not, that’s okay too! Check out our tips for incorporating exercise:

  • Squeeze in short walks (a walk does not have to be all at once, you can go for a brisk walk multiple times a day if this fits your schedule best)
  • Earlier rise (if you have not found time at any point in the day to squeeze in physical activity, wake up just 30 minutes earlier a few times a week, your body will thank you)
  • Make new routines (if you have something you like to do each week, such as spending time with your spouse, kids, friends, etc. use this time to be active together. Go for a walk, bike ride, play tennis! The possibilities are endless. Just have fun!)

The benefits of physical activity are potentially lifesaving. It is too important of a task to put on the back burner. Make it a priority, because your health is a priority!

Don’t forget to track your physical activity on the Sharecare Platform, and look out for challenges coming for you!

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20045099

Eating Healthy for Fitness

Overcoming Barriers Quick Tip:

Exercising regularly may not be enough for you to reach your health goals. It’s important to also eat healthy. One simple step to take today is to cover half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, like asparagus, brussels sprout, or broccoli.

Don’t forget that you can track the quality of your meals on the Sharecare platform!

Source: https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/non-starchy-vegetables

Tips to Get Motivated to Exercise

No matter how long you have been exercising for, we all have days where we need an extra push to exercise. Give the tips listed below a shot to get motivated to exercise.

  1. Set a time to exercise, best time is right after waking up in the morning
  2. Having an exercise buddy or exercising in a group for accountability
  3. Exercise in front of a mirror
  4. Play workout music while exercising
  5. Be consistent with your workout schedule. Do not skip exercise for more than 2 days
  6. Track on Sharecare app to monitor progress

I’m with the Band

Safe Ways to Train with Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are the ideal way to incorporate physical activity in your routine for many reasons:

  • They travel well. Bands weigh less than a pound and can easily transported to the office or even on vacation in your suitcase.
  • They’re inexpensive. Bands can be purchased at almost any sporting goods store or large retail store and cost anywhere from $6.00-$20.00.
  • They come in difference resistance levels. Bands come in different resistance levels—suitable for beginners all the way to the most experienced exerciser—so, no excuses!
  • They increase coordination. Unlike weighted equipment, resistance bands have continuous tension throughout the entire exercise. This tension forces the body to stabilize and activate more muscle groups at one time.

If workout equipment intimidates you, resistance bands can be a great alternative. Although resistance bands may not seem like a workout when you compare them to your usual exercise routine, they are enough to keep you moving, active, happy and guilt-free.

Check out these resistance band exercises.

(*always consult with your physician or healthcare provider when beginning a new workout program to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you)

Biceps, Triceps, Upper Back
Starting position: Hold onto the handles of the resistance band and step onto the center of the band with your right foot, placing the left foot behind you. From this position, perform the following three exercises, doing one repetition of each move, and complete the entire sequence 10 times through.

  • Biceps Curl: With palms facing forward, bend the elbow and lift the palms toward your shoulders and return to the starting position.
  • Pull Back: With the palms turned back, press the arms straight back behind the hips and return to starting position.
  • Upright Row: Continuing with the palms facing the back, lead with the elbows and pull the hands right to a point beneath the chin.

Starting position: Hold onto the handles of the resistance band and place both feet, shoulder-width apart, on the center of the band. Anchor your hands to your hips. For added resistance, anchor the band up toward the shoulders. Perform 16-20 reps of each exercise.

  • Squats: Bend the knees and lower the hips as if you were going to sit in a chair, then return to standing.
  • Side Stepping: Take a large step to the right and close in the left leg, but don’t lose tension in the band; next, repeat by taking a step to the left and closing in the right leg.

Total-body: Legs, Shoulders, Back
Starting position: Hold onto the handles of the resistance band and step onto the center of the band with your right foot, placing the left foot behind you. From this position, perform 10 repetitions of each the following three exercises and then switch to the left foot.

  • Lunge + Shoulder Overhead Press: Bring the band to your shoulders; the band should be positioned behind the arm. Lower into a lunge and then press to standing while simultaneously pressing the arms overhead.
  • Lunge + Back Rowing: Choke up on the band so the band is tight. Lower into a lunge and then press to standing while simultaneously pulling the arms back, keeping the elbows toward the hips.



Training with Weights: How and Why?

Cardio is not the only beneficial way to exercise. If you are looking for ways to increase your strength, muscle tone, improve bone density, and lose fat, look no further than strength training. If you are new to strength training, when possible, work with a fitness specialist or trainer to learn proper technique to avoid injury risk.

The key to general strength training is to fatigue the muscle. There are many versions of strength training, such as high weight/low repetition, low weight/high repetition, and others. To begin, start in the middle, and find what you love. This means, choose a weight or resistance that is heavy enough to fatigue the muscle after completing 12-15 repetitions.

Assure that your muscles have time to recover! Rest one full day between exercising a specific muscle group, and work another group, or complete aerobic activity on this day. Recommendations are to strength train, hitting all major muscle groups (chest, back, core, arms, and legs ((remembering quads and hamstrings))), at least 2 times a week, with 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity included.

For more information about strength training, search for this topic in the Discover tab on the Sharecare platform.

Strength Training: Body Weight

Don’t have a set of weights?  Don’t let that stop you from the powerful benefits of strength training.  Not only does added muscle boost your metabolism, it increases your bone density, and improves balance and coordination.  Using your own body weight is a great place to start.  Think squats, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups.  There’s nothing fancy about these basic moves, but they pack a punch.  Pay close attention to your form while performing these exercises, and always check with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine.

Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/5463/7-benefits-of-heavy-resistance-training/


Heart Healthy Cardio

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. While there are some risk factors for cardiovascular disease that are non-modifiable, there are still many others that are modifiable, and are very important. These include high blood pressure, blood sugar concerns, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, high fat/calorie diets and stress. Another behavior that is modifiable that has vast therapeutic implications is inactivity. AHA recommendations state that individuals should spend at least 30 minutes a day gaining some soft of physical activity. This has substantial health benefits that can improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease among many other health conditions.

There are so many benefits in physical activity, it becomes a no brainer for those able to get out there and exercise! Only 1 in 3 Americans meet the MINIMAL recommendations given by the CDC for activity. Healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. It is an easy, inexpensive and effective was to reduce the risk of CVD and so many other conditions.

Here are some exercise ideas for the family:

  • Play an active game (Soccer, tag, football, tennis)
  • Take a walk or hike (brisk walking also)
  • Bike rides
  • Dance
  • Swim

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396114/


Pick Something You Love

Pick an activity that you enjoy and make that part of your exercise routine.  Explore the answer to this question: what activity did your younger self love to do?  For me is was playing tennis.  I don’t play competitively anymore, but I do have a backyard badminton net.  It is so much fun and great exercise that my whole family can enjoy.  Think outside the box when it comes to your cardio: horseback riding, gardening, dancing.  You’ll be surprised by what activities get your heart pumping.

Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6659/making-time-for-exercise-is-easy/

Tips for Starting Cardio

Adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity or a combination of these per week. The goal of any activity is to stick to it for a minimum of 10 minutes and increase your heartrate.

Examples of cardio exercise include brisk walking, yard work, ballroom dancing, actively playing with children.

Below are tips to help you get started, if you don’t regularly exercise,

  • Find activity which you can commit to for at least 10 minutes
  • Build up your exercise time in increments of 5 minutes
  • Start slowly with basic activities that you enjoy
  • Make it challenging and fun
  • Track on the Sharecare platform to maintain consistency

Source:  Sharecare approved wellness presentation: Find Your Fitness

10 Benefits of Stretching

Flexibility is one of the five components of fitness, so stretching should be an integral part of every workout program. But stretching is helpful all on it’s own even if you aren’t prepping for a workout. Here are 10 reasons for why you should always take the time to stretch:

1. Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion, which may also slow the degeneration of your joints.

2. May reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured if you have to make a sudden move. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you can decrease the resistance on your body’s muscles during various activities.

3. Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching your muscles helps keep them loose and lessens the shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.

4. Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest helps keep your back in better alignment and improves your posture.

5. Helps reduce or manage stress. Well-stretched muscles hold less tension and, therefore, can help you feel less stressed.

6. Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation.  Chronically tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation, resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. Stretching allows your muscles to relax.

7. Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Because a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.

8. Prepares the body for the stress of exercise. Stretching prior to exercise allows your muscles to loosen up and become better able to withstand the impact of the activity you choose to do.

9. Promotes circulation. Stretching increases blood supply to your muscles and joints, which allows for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through your entire body.

10. Decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine, which in turn reduces your risk of low-back pain.



(source is pre-approved from Sharecare source library)