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The Boomer Bulletin - 2015
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Improve Health and Morale with these April Tools

Posted By Deanna Perkins, Thursday, April 16, 2015

Click on photo to see Deanna Perkins's bio

During the first quarter our Culture Club challenged our team to share the tools that they utilized to maintain or improve their health.  We called it our “April Tools Day” challenge and we wanted it to include anything that would help a person become healthier physically, mentally or emotionally.  In this article I want to describe some of the practical, unique and surprising tools and activities that our team found useful and encouraging.

Use technology to monitor your progress

New wearable technology devices like Fitbit help you monitor your activity level by simply clipping it onto your clothing or wearing on your wrist.  Their biggest advantage is that they automate tracking to help you monitor your activity level!  Fitbit keeps track of your steps, how many miles you’ve traveled, how many stairs you’ve climbed, how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day, as well as how many hours of sleep you get each night.

Sandra Wiley utilized her Fitbit to keep her eye on her steps each day; she was hoping to hit 10,000 steps each day for 5 days each week. While she wasn’t able to completely hit that goal, her tool really kept her mindful of how much she was moving each day and how often she needed to become more active.

While there are several devices similar to Fitbit on the market, this is one of the more accurate ones I’ve come across. I think it’s a great technology and worth the investment of your money and time in order to continue improving your overall health.

Use a running plan to prep for an upcoming race

Erin Cheever used the Women’sHealth Beginner 10-K Plan to help her prepare for the St. Patty’s Day Road Race in Manhattan, KS.  She did an amazing job of sticking to this plan on a daily basis and keeping track of her exercises through her MapMyRun account. Not only was she following a set plan, but she was also holding herself accountable by tracking those runs with a tool that sent out live updates on her social networking sites.

This 10K beginner plan is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, of plans that are available to you through the Internet. Whether you are training for a race or wanting to improve on your push-up techniques, there are plans out there for you to utilize.  I’d encourage you to search for the specific goals that you have in mind.   I think you’ll be surprised by the amazing plans and challenges that are out there for your use.

Start an early morning exercise routine

Dustin Hostetler challenged himself to do a regular morning routine to try to create a habit of working out on a daily basis, even if it was just for 15 minutes. His hope was to have that habit stick with him heading into the time of year that he does the most traveling. Dustin’s routine was to do 3 sets of 10 push-ups, 15 sit-ups and some jumping jacks mixed in between the exercises. Whether you use Dustin’s routine or try something else, I’d challenge everyone to give an early morning routine a try. You’d be amazed at how refreshed you feel afterwards.

Here’s a “Fitness At Home” a routine that I really enjoy:

  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 5 Pushups
  • 25 High Knees
  • 7 Burpees
  • 10 Crunches
  • 7 Squats
  • 5 Pushups
  • 10 Crunches
  • 5 Pushups
  • 7 Squats
  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 1 Minute Wall Sit
  • 5 Pushups
  • 25 High Knees
  • Repeat 3-5 times for maximum results

Tools for improved hydration

Everyone should have a go-to cup or bottle. This is the one cup or bottle that makes you think about drinking more water.  If you do a lot of running around I’d highly suggest a water bottle since they are easier to travel with. Jon Hubbard keeps his Nalgene bottle on hand and as long as it’s on his desk, he remembers to fill it up on a regular basis. Dustin Hostetler had a 12 oz. glass that he would consistently fill up throughout the day and it also helped him cut down his coffee drinking!

Another tool I’d highly recommend are flavor packets! They have low to zero calories and offer a variety of flavors to make drinking water much more enjoyable. Extra hint: for an average to low activity level, set your consumption level to around 64 ounces per day.

Set specific time goals for eating and drinking

My tool was to set a time goal; not eating or drinking anything but water after 7:00 pm.  I found that I slept better, felt less bloated and had more energy throughout the day.  However, you don’t have to stop at just setting a cut-off for eating each day.  You can also come up with a time line for eating your meals and snacks.

There are several benefits that come from setting specific time goals for your eating and drinking:

  • You tend to plan healthier options for your meals and snacks
  • You lessen the urge to sneak eat or overeat since you always know when you’ll be eating next
  • You boost your metabolism by keeping it working throughout the day

I highly encourage everyone to give this a try, even if it’s just focusing on cutting yourself off from food after a certain time at night.  I think you’re be pleasantly surprised at how much better you will feel overall.

Mixing art with exercise

As usual, Eric Benson did his awesome job of coming up with a unique and surprising tool. He chose to work on drawing every day while sitting or squatting on the floor.  His reasoning had two parts: first, it helped him think more clearly, and second, the squatting or sitting position helped his hips and knees feel relief.

Eric achieved his goal daily and he reports that he is feeling “clearer” and that his joints no longer hurt.  He has also continued his daily habit of drawing after an absence of several years.

I’d suggest giving drawing or journaling a shot if you need to decompress. Both of these activities help clear your mind and think through various situations you are encountering both personally and professionally.

Photography as a reminder to be thankful for what we have

Arianna Campbell also chose a unique challenge; taking a picture of her family every day. Her purpose was to be intentional about appreciating the moments that she is blessed with, especially in light of the transitions as her family makes a move from one state to another.

She stuck to her goal and was able to share these special moments with her husband throughout the challenge period.  This also gave her the opportunity to look back at the pictures to be reminded of all the things for which she is thankful.  I think this is a wonderful way to keep things in perspective and to help recover as the small day-to-day things start weighing us down.

I hope that you have received some value from the fun tools that our team has shared.  My biggest suggestion is to find one goal and stick to it.  Trying to challenge yourself with too many things at once can be overwhelming.  Always start small and build from there.

Tags:  2015  Blog  culture  Deanna Perkins  Health  leadership  Talent 

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