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14
Sep . 2017

But I just can't find the time to exercise ... why not try H.I.I.T.?

  • by Julie Ferguson
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  • with 0 Comment
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  • in Uncategorized

H.I.I.T. exercise -people spinning on fitness bikes

It’s something our wellness coaches hear all the time: “I’d like to get fit, but I just don’t have enough time to go to the gym” or “there’s just not enough time in my work week to get my weekly exercise in.” The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, which breaks down to an average of 5 half hour sessions a week, or about 22 minutes per day. You can also meet your requirements in 2.5 one-hour increments, or a series of 5 and 10 minute intervals throughout the day.

If you don’t have a lot of time, high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) might be just the ticket. The New York Times has an excellent overview of what H.I.I.T. is and offers an illustrated guide to suggested routines in the feature Really, Really Short Workouts. (The New York Times is a subscription-base publication, but you can get up to 10 articles free each month.)

This is how they describe H.I.I.T.:

High-intensity interval training — referred to as H.I.I.T. — is based on the idea that short bursts of strenuous exercise can have a big impact on the body. If moderate exercise — like a 20-minute jog — is good for your heart, lungs and metabolism, H.I.I.T. packs the benefits of that workout and more into a few minutes. It may sound too good to be true, but learning this exercise technique and adapting it to your life can mean saving hours at the gym. If you think you don’t have time to exercise, H.I.I.T. may be the workout for you.

You can try it with any aerobic activity you like. The principles of H.I.I.T. can be applied to running, biking, stair climbing, swimming, jumping rope, rowing, even hopping or skipping. (Yes, skipping!)

The downside? Even though H.I.I.T. lasts only minutes, the workouts are tough, requiring you to push your body near its limit.

Their H.I.I.T. feature covers suggested workouts in 4-minute, 7 minute, 10 minute and 10-20-30 minute increments. It also offers tips for getting started, mixing things up and keeping it interesting. It’s really a good feature – check it out. By the way, the New York Times Well Blog is one of our favorite reads, you might check it out.

Here are some other resources on H.I.I.T.

23
Aug . 2017

Back To School Tips For Parents: Starting The School Year Off Right

  • by Julie Ferguson
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  • with 0 Comment
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  • in stress

Feeling the stress of a new school year? Your kids might be stressed, too. Here are back to school tips for parents to ease both and your kids into a new routine.

back to school tips for parents: Dad walking little girl to school

Back to school can be a time that’s fraught with stress for parents: transitioning to new schedules, arranging daycare or after school care options, juggling new demands on time and budget, and supporting your children in many day-to-day ways from lunch prep and laundry to homework help and teacher meetings. The airlines always say to put your own oxygen mask on first so that you can help your kids. Good advice here, too. If you are anxious and stressed about back-to-school, your kids will pick up on the signals you send.

Of course, your kids may experience stress all on on their own, from change in routine and facing new learning challenges to the social pressures of interacting with other kids.

Here are some tips to help you minimize stress for both yourself and for your kids.

Back to school tips for parents

Don’t shortchange sleep, for you or for your kids. Try to set an established schedule of times for turning in at night and getting up in the morning.

Stick to a budget. Plan in advance for kids’ clothes, school supplies, extracurricular activities and lunches. Develop a simple tracking system, and try to stick with your budget. Debt adds more stress.

Plan in advance. Having a plan and a schedule to follow can help you and your kids fall into a routine and result in fewer surprises. Do whatever preparation you can a month, a week or day in advance, rather than at the last minute.

Focus on healthy eating. Your food intake is tied to your mood. Eat regular meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables; try to avoid processed foods and limit sugar, which can cause mood and hunger spikes.

Get exercise. Plan time to walk, run, bike, play a sport, go to the gym a few times a week. Exercise is a great stress buster. And for an added benefit, involve your kids in your biking or walking sessions so you can spend fun time together talking about your child’s day while getting in some exercises.

Practice relaxation exercises. Try yoga, meditation or reading. Build in a little “you” time each day, even if it’s just a few minutes of quiet time when you first wake up, before bed or during lunch.

Back to school tips for For your kids:

Your children’s stress issues may vary based on age and circumstance. For example, young children may face separation anxiety, while older kids face more peer pressure and bullying. Be particularly aware if they are facing a new school or learning challenges.

Sleep: Childhood experts recommend that young children get 10-12 hours sleep a night and teens should get 8-10 hours. Don’t let them take phones or laptops to bed!

Diet: Plan nutritious, appealing lunches and snacks, avoiding sugary options as much as possible. Sugary foods can cause energy peaks and valley and can also increase anxiety.

Plan ahead: Involve your children in planning ahead. For young children, that might be a day in advance, for older kids or teens, that might be planing a week in advance. At a young age, get kids in the habit of planning clothes choices, lunches, homework, schedules and supplies for the next day. Help them to plan for holidays and special school events a week or two in advance.

Communicate: Find the time each day to ask about school, what they did, what they liked, what they didn’t like, if they have any concerns or worries, who their friends are, etc. Meal times are a great opportunity to do this, or as suggested above, during shared walks, biking or other activities.

Support: Assist with homework and help kids think through and learn to resolve their problems. If necessary, seek help from teachers, counselors or doctors to resolve any ongoing problems.

A toolkit of helpful resources for dealing with back-to-school stress

18
Aug . 2017

How To Be More Productive Through Wellness

  • by Julie Ferguson
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  • with 0 Comment
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  • in Fitness, Mental Health, Nutrition and Diet

Looking for tips on how to be more productive at work? A focus on wellness can boost your performance and help you to work smarter, not harder. Most of us have heard the old adage about....Read More

11
Aug . 2017

How To Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle in the Workplace

  • by Julie Ferguson
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  • with 0 Comment
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  • in Nutrition and Diet

Want to encourage a healthy lifestyle in your workplace? Be the change you want to see. Leadership is key. Here are wellness management tips to foster success. If you want to encourage a healthy lifestyle in....Read More

10
Aug . 2017

7 Reasons You Should Shop Local Farmers Markets During Growing Season

  • by Julie Ferguson
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  • with 0 Comment
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  • in Nutrition and Diet

Shopping at local farmers markets can offer a healthy nutrition boost to your diet while also supporting your local community. Plus, they are fun! There are few joys in summer greater than snacking on just-picked berries....Read More

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