We’ve all heard too much sitting is bad for us, and research proves optimal health requires you to move more. It’s a pretty easy concept that can have a significant impact on your well-being and life expectancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week — which is at least 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity like walking, along with muscle-strengthening activities like situps and pushups.
Rev up your heart
The connection between moving and feeling good is undeniable. As you move, the act of revving up your heart rate has important benefits, including decreasing your risk of cancer and heart disease.
By exercising at or near your target heart rate, you burn off calories and your muscles call on your heart to deliver more oxygen, says Bob Karch, American University chairman and professor of the department of health and fitness. Over time, our bodies learn to move more with less effort.
To determine your target heart rate, first subtract your age from 220, which is your maximum heart rate. Then multiply this number by 70 percent (0.70) to get your target. You also can use online target heart rate calculators.
People who aren’t used to exercising at all need as little as 72 minutes a week to improve their fitness, Bob says.
However, you should discuss your exercise routine with your doctor to determine what’s best for you, and before you begin a new exercise regimen.
Six reasons why exercise makes you happy
- Releases dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical that makes you feel happy.
- Makes you less stressed out. When you engage in low-level stress by raising your heart rate, you get better at handling other life stressors.
- Energizes you. No matter how tired you are before, you’ll feel more energized after.
- Boosts your confidence. You feel better about how you look in addition to feeling stronger, independent and confident.
- Eases anxiety. The mood boost provides long-term relief similar to meditation.
- Fights insomnia. Improves quality of your sleep and gives you pep to get out of bed each morning.
Calories burned when engaging in popular activities for 30 minutes*
|Weight Lifting, 112||Bowling, 112|
|Low-impact aerobics, 205||Fast Dancing, 223|
|High-impact aerobics, 260||Volleyball, 112|
|Water aerobics, 149||Golf (with a cart), 130|
|Yoga, 149||Walking (4 mph)|
|Stationary bicycling, 260||Horseback riding, 149|
|Outdoor activities||Hiking cross country, 223|
|Gardening, 167||Swimming, 223|
|Mowing lawn, 167||Running (6 mph), 372|
* Based on a 155-pound person
Walking, running or hitting the gym — no matter what type of exercise you’re about to start, don’t forget to warm up and stretch before — and after.
Before stretching, spend five to 10 minutes warming up, as stretching cold muscles may increase your chances for injury. A simple warm up can be easy walking while swinging your arms in a wide circle.
The general recommendation for people starting an exercise program is to perform gentle dynamic stretches before exercising and static stretches afterward.
Dynamic stretches involve controlled movements that closely mimic the exercise. Hip swings, leg kicks, knee-high jogs and walking lunges are all great dynamic stretches for runners. The goal of dynamic stretching is to prepare the muscles for the activity at hand.
Static stretches are movements held for longer periods of time, without challenging the muscle group or joints. Relaxation and increased flexibility are the focus of static stretches.
When performing a static stretch
- take a deep breath and slowly exhale as you gently stretch the muscle to a point of tension
- hold the stretch for 15 -– 30 seconds and
- relax and then repeat the stretch two -– four more times.
Avoid these stretching mistakes
- Don’t bounce a stretch. Holding a stretch is more effective and less likely to result in injury.
- Don’t stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
- Don’t strain or push a muscle too far. If a stretch hurts, ease up.
- Don’t hold your breath during the stretch. Continue to breathe normally.
- Don’t forget to stretch after you’re done exercising. Post-workout stretching has been found to increase flexibility and improve the range of motion of your joints.
For more information on stretching, check out www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle and click the Fitness healthy lifestyle topic.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Sources: www.publix.com, www.mayoclinic.org
Stepping out for better health
One of the easiest ways to get active is to walk. But do you know the number of steps you walk on a daily basis?
Most sources recommend 10,000 steps per day. In fact, if you buy a pedometer or activity-tracking device, it comes pre-set with 10,000 steps as your daily goal. Since it takes around 2,000 steps to walk 1 mile, you’ll travel about 5 miles every time you hit your goal.
But counting your steps is more about increasing your physical activity than it is about reaching a specific number.
Walking is free and doesn’t require special equipment — other than good walking shoes. So strap an activity tracker on your wrist or clip a pedometer on your waistband, and make walking part of your daily routine.
Track how many steps you’re walking each day. If you’re under 10,000 steps, set a step goal like adding 500 extra steps every few days until you work your way up. Also consider that more steps may be required if you’re trying to lose weight or a portion of your daily steps may need to be done faster if you’re looking to build aerobic fitness. Be sure to talk with your doctor first before beginning a new exercise routine.
Tracking your steps can help you see your progress over time. Plus, you’ll enjoy the feeling of walking along a path toward improved wellness.
Sources: www.cdc.gov, www.mayoclinic.org
Our Publix family…living Life. Inspired.
From marathons to in-store competitions, our associates are finding ways to inspire each other — and themselves — to make lifestyle changes that have lifelong results.
Assistant Customer Service Manager Ramona Masi, #1335, Largo, Florida
“I enjoy all kinds of activities, from working out with a personal trainer, Zumba, spinning, to various types of races. I like running different length races, triathlons and mud races, not to mention doing challenges with my co-workers. It makes me feel happy!”
Business Analysis and Reporting Senior Manager Frank Maggio
“As a Boy Scout leader over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the boys on their Cycling Merit Badge. I have cycled close to 200 miles, helping two of my sons, Patrick and Stephen, and other scouts earn this badge, which requires two 10-mile, two 15-mile, two 25-mile rides and one 50-mile ride. Cycling is invigorating and gives me more energy to keep up with my wife and five kids.”
Store Manager Doug Hill, #742, Altamonte Springs, Florida
“There’s something special about competing and enjoying time with people interested in these same types of activities. This ‘good’ feeling about exercise and community gets exponentially better when it involves my Publix family. I have been organizing a group run of Publix associates for four years — with the help of Paul Schetzle [Customer Service Manager, #1488, Winter Park, Florida] and Katie Magee [Jacksonville Field Marketing Coordinator]. This event is a way for associates to get together outside of their normal work environment, and it builds the Publix culture.”
Scan Price Clerk Darlene Armitage #786, Newnan, Georgia
“When I stay more active, I feel better. I have more energy. I feel happier, and I find it easier to stay positive. I was 39 years old when I ran my first 5K race, and I was immediately hooked! My advice is to find something you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, cycling, hiking or spin classes at your local gym — just be active! Find a friend to join you so you can motivate and challenge each other. Don’t worry about how fast or how far someone else can go. Try pushing yourself to go just a little farther each time. Celebrate your smallest accomplishments!”
Pharmacy Operations Buyer Karl Diethrick
“I enjoy cardio. Running is great when I’m short on time, but cycling is my favorite. I’ve been a cyclist my entire life, riding in the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania as a kid. I didn’t try road riding until I moved to Florida, and now I’ve become an all-out ‘roadie.’ Exercise relieves my stress and offsets the physical inactivity of my office work. My mood and productivity correlates directly with the number of miles I put in each week on the bike.”
Transportation Systems Manager Elbert Haynes
“In 2015, I weighed 275 lbs. and was taking blood pressure and diabetes medications. Insulin injections were next. I found a couch-to-5K app that guided me through an eight-week program. I started following it and adjusted my diet. I was determined to make it work. I ultimately lost 100 lbs. and no longer require medication. Since then, I’ve completed 11 5K races, a 15K and two half-marathons. I plan to run two additional half-marathons in 2016 and my first full marathon in January 2017.”
Assistant Store Manager Cheryl Stubblefield, #695, West Melbourne, Florida
“My journey started by simply walking to and from the gas station every day and around my neighborhood every night after dinner. l have lost 50 pounds, and I feel stronger and healthier than I ever have in my life. Exercising helps to not only train my body but my mind as well.”
Assistant Store Manager Robert Bakey, #424, Palm Bay, Florida
“District Manager Del Cragin challenged me to lead an effort for associates to focus on wellness with weight loss, and I am so proud of all the associates who participated. It’s amazing for one Publix leader to be able to reach over 300 associates. In just one month, we lost over 400 pounds as a district. Plus, we had the added bonus of six associates who also quit smoking during our competition!”
And remember, it’s always smart to discuss an exercise routine with your doctor to determine what’s best for you before you start.
Choose to move for your health
Often times people struggle with fitting exercise into their daily routines. Between work, family and other obligations, it can be a real challenge. But making physical activity a priority is one of the best things you can do for yourself — and your family.
Good habits are hard to form and easy to break. Make a conscious effort to include physical activity as part of your regular routine. For some, that may mean getting up 30 minutes early to exercise before work. For other associates, like stock clerks or decorators, who start work at 5 a.m. or earlier, exercising after work might make more sense. Regardless of the time, setting the routine and forming the habit is crucial.
Try not to think of exercise as a chore or something that needs to be done to lose weight. There are simple and convenient ways to increase your physical activity, get moving and have fun. Simple things like taking your dog on a long walk, riding bikes with your kids to a nearby park or cleaning your home gets you moving and burns calories.
We all lead busy lives, but there’s no better time than today to form new habits and improve our health — now and in the years to come.
Check out the “Let’s Move” campaign at www.letsmove.gov with online resources and ideas for some fun physical activity!
Start your engines! But first, fuel up with these training tips…
Whether you’re training for your first 5K or you’re an experienced runner, it’s important to consider that what you eat and drink has an impact on your success. Both walkers and runners alike can benefit from these tips to help you cross the finish line.
Tip 1: Start your day with breakfast
A hearty breakfast sets the stage for a high-energy day. Even though you may think you don’t have time for breakfast, this meal is important to enhance your workouts and provide ongoing energy. Make this Fruit and Nut Muesli recipe ahead of time and have it on hand for a quick and easy meal.
Tip 2: Snack smart
When you hit that mid-day slump, it’s time for a boost of energy. Rather than heading for a drive-through or vending machine for sugar and caffeine, fuel up with a balanced snack. It not only provides energy, but it can also help prevent low blood sugar during workouts to boost performance. Try these portable No-Bake Blueberry Bites made with whole grains, fruit and nuts.
Tip 3: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Yep, that’s right. Whether you’re a regular exerciser or a recreational runner, it’s important to make sure you drink fluids before, during and after exercise. Hydration not only provides your body with enough fluids to function during exercise, but also helps prevent injuries and illnesses. You don’t have to drink plain water to hydrate. Fruits, vegetables and beverages like milk provide fluids as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Try this Peach-Mango Protein Smoothie recipe to hydrate your body and help you recover after a workout.
Tip 4: Fuel for success
Eating right every day provides the energy you need to fuel your day-to-day activities— as well as your workouts. It’s not enough to eat well three days before your race or on the morning of the race. Good nutrition provides a balance of nutrients to fuel your workouts as well as helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Try our Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Bowl for a balanced meal providing whole grains, vegetables and protein.
Ways to help you stay fit — for less!
Are you considering a gym membership? Want discounts on new running shoes? How about special savings on fitness equipment? As a Publix associate, you can save on these and many more wellness-related products and services. It’s a special perk for simply being a part of Publix.
Publix’s Personal Plans Discount Program
Get gym memberships, and fitness equipment and products for less with Publix’s Personal Plans Discount Program. Simply visit www.publix.org > Apparel and Merchandise > Personal Plans Discount Program today.
Publix associates and their family members enrolled in Publix’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield PPO Plan have access to a free program called Blue365. This program offers deals on health-related products, exclusive savings on health and fitness clubs, weight-loss programs, health-related travel experiences and more. Register at www.blue365deals.com today.
Publix does not endorse and is not responsible for any products or services offered to, or purchased by, associates through the Personal Plans Discount Program or Blue365. The programs are offered as benefits to Publix associates through Beneplace Inc. and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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