Over the next two months you will likely be inundated with social gatherings, celebrations, family get-togethers, work functions, and other situations that push you out of your regular routine and potentially over the (wellness) edge.
Albeit fun, many people, when consistently outside of their routine, struggle to stay on track and unfortunately end up gaining unwelcomed weight. An increase in calories (sweets, alcohol, and rich foods), a lack of exercise, not enough sleep, and too much stress are the typical culprits. Although easier said than done, you can avoid the weight gain and still enjoy your holidays.
Start by practicing mindfulness. This means being aware of your thoughts, actions, and surroundings. For instance, if you know you have a holiday work party tomorrow, start by being mindful today. Think how you will balance the extra calories and late night ahead of time. You could choose to add 15 minutes to your workout today and get to bed a bit earlier. You can pack a snack to take to work with you to have before you head to the party. This way you don’t arrive hungry. If you can be mindful you are way ahead of the game.
The next equally important task is to use your time wisely. If you can order a gift online rather than scourer the mall for it, why not? Still not on board with online shopping? The RivalHealth team suggests Amazon.com for gift buying. The site is user friendly, the selection is endless, and you can shop while on the treadmill! This could buy back a couple of hours of your day to grab a quick workout and a homemade meal. Another time saving tip is to stock up on last minute holiday gifts. Have a few bottles of wine or a couple Starbucks gift cards stashed at home for a white elephant gift you can grab and go!
Managing your stress is critical over the holidays. We often over commit ourselves and end up burned out. If you are practicing mindfulness and managing your time your stress will be limited. However, putting a couple of stress relieving techniques in your back pocket can never hurt. A few deep breaths, a 10 minutes walk, or a few drops of lavender essential oil can save you. Know what works for you and never be afraid to use it!
The morale of the story is to try to stay on your regular schedule as much as possible and when you can’t, have a plan. When in doubt, rely on the basics; eat breakfast, getting a little exercise is better than no exercise, limit sweet alcoholic beverages, choose the healthiest option available, use a small plate, balance your caloric intake with exercise, and by all means, have fun!
The RivalHealth team wishes you a very happy and healthy holiday season!
Discover Your Ideal Bodyweight
Along your personal journey to improve your wellness and LiveFit, you may find yourself wondering how to quantify your goals. Achieving an ideal bodyweight is a good starting point.
Still, you may find yourself struggling to understand what an “ideal” bodyweight is. Fortunately, there are many effective ways for you to define this goal for yourself. Let’s examine a few of them!
Fitness First: Okay, this one is a bit of a cop-out (and a total plug), but it’s also a fantastic way for you to discover your ideal bodyweight: focus on your fitness-level. Set your sights on achieving a RivalRating that you can be proud of (something above 100, perhaps). Once you’re able to consistently achieve that RivalRating, note your bodyweight. This is the bodyweight that allows you to move, live, and feel the way you want. This is your ideal bodyweight. After all, achieving your ideal bodyweight is only as desirable as it is empowering – and what is more empowering than feeling fit and capable?
Body Composition: If you’re looking for a more detailed definition of your ideal bodyweight, consider focusing on your body composition. Understanding your body composition will take more time and diligence than merely stepping on a scale every day, but it will provide you with a much more definitive goal to pursue. Calculating your body composition incorporates your weight, height, body circumference measurements, and skin-fold measurements. With this data, you can easily calculate your body-fat and lean muscle-mass percentages for each area of your body, or average them together for your overall body-fat and lean muscle-mass percentages. Bodybuilders, actors/actresses, and models commonly utilize this approach for achieving their ideal bodyweight – or rather ideal body image.
BMI: Calculating your body-mass index (BMI) is another effective way to define your ideal bodyweight. However, it is also the vaguest means of doing so. You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight (kg) by your height (m). Your resulting score will give you an indication of how your BMI compares to those qualified as either Under Weight, Normal Weight, Over Weight, Obesity, or Extreme Obesity by the National Institutes of Health. While this score does not incorporate how much of your weight is fat versus lean muscle-mass, it may provide you with a good indication of what your bodyweight should be for your height.
Whatever your means of defining your ideal bodyweight, please remember that your bodyweight will fluctuate over time naturally. Don’t use this as an excuse to allow yourself to lose control of your bodyweight, but do embrace the concept of pursuing your “ideal bodyweight” as an evolving goal. Lastly, achieving your ideal bodyweight should leave you feeling proud, happy, and healthy. If you can feel proud, happy, and healthy with your bodyweight, then you’re on the right track!
LiveFit with Coach Shelby
Account Manager Health Fitness Specialist
With winter approaching, warming up before exercise becomes even more important.
In cold weather your blood vessels narrow to conserve heat, which inversely causes your blood pressure and heart rate to increase because your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. Without a proper warm up, a sudden spike in your blood pressue or heart rate can lead to injury. Also, the restriction of blood flow to the muscles leads to cold, tight mucles which are more prone to injury. A proper warm up will increase blood flow, at a safe rate, and increase your flexilbity and range of motion. Imagine you are stretching a rubber band. At room temperature, you can easily stretch it to a certain point. Now imagine quickly stretching a rubber band after it has been sitting in the freezer. Due to decreased movement of molecules, the rubber band has lost elasticity causing it to snap. During the winter moths, increase your warm up to at least 10 minutes to prevent injury and get the most out of your workout. Don't underestimate the importance of a proper warm up!
Farro & Butternut Squash
1 Whole Butternut Squash 1 Cup Farro 1 Bag of Baby Spinach 1 Carton Sliced Mushrooms 1 Tbs. Maple Syrup 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper 3 Garlic Cloves Salt & Pepper to Taste
Cube butternut squash and line on a baking pan with extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Follow directions on the back of farro bag. Saute' garlic and mushrooms in a pan with olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Add spinach and cooked farro. Once butternut squash is done, add to mixture and serve.
RivalHealth is a fitness-based wellness platform that engages employees with daily exercise and nutrition activities and sustains engagement through social interaction, challenges, incentives and outcomes.