The Five Changes We Made To Get Our Office Healthier

There was a study released last year, that prompted our company to make some changes. The results of the study showed, if we rearranged our schedules and got up every hour we would not have less circulation problems – the study revealed that we would have none. The information from the Indiana University Study was empowering, so we dove right in. After that dive, I learned a few things I would suggest implementing before starting a Corporate Wellness Program.

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BEFORE STARTING – Make sure there is water in the pool!
1. Keep it simple. Try not to feel overwhelmed, or be overwhelming.  A few small changes at a time can be a positive way to not appear overwhelming . A corporation trying to change an individual mind set, may not be appreciated, so try presenting it as a new option your company is offering. Do not overwhelm the company with a lot of new expenses. Make a budget and decide what the company will invest in employee health.

2. Assign a project manager to be in charge of the program.
As the owner or upper management, actively participate in your wellness program. This one shift of responsibility had a very positive impact in our office.

3. Set your goal, and map out your direction. For instance, our goal was to see if wellness could help our office have more productivity and less sick days. Our direction started with information and positive thinking, building on that foundation with the values of exercise, rest and nutrition. We found ourselves a year later in a much healthier place than when we began.

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FIVE CHANGES WE MADE AT OUR OFFICE AT THE
BEGINNING OF OUR WELLNESS JOURNEY
1. POSITIVE THINKING: We started with positive thinking, because science keeps releasing more studies showing how much power our thoughts have over our physical body. One of these years we are going to stop being surprised by the research findings and say something like,
“I knew the mind could do that.” Meanwhile, share the studies that surprise people with how much power they have. Keep the sharing simple and relevant.

2. EXERCISE: As a walking company we would go Balance Walking after work, or even have walk meetings during work, but we were still sitting for hours at a time. An enlightening piece of research was released on September 8, 2014 from Indiana University stating if the body stays in a seated position for 60 minutes it results in half the circulation to the legs being cut-off. “The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same.”(1)

If this is not enough information to scare you straight
out of your chair add a “90% drop in a circulating
blood enzyme called lipase, that is responsible for
breaking down fat. In addition, electrical activity in
our leg muscles radically decrease the longer we sit.”(2)
The empowering part of the article reports, that if you
get up before the clock strikes twelve this impairment
does not happen. The report also made it quite clear
that exercising after work does not affect these results.
The way we chose to incorporate this fact into our office life is that we decreased lunch breaks to half an hour and walk breaks every hour for 5 -15 minutes. By adding poles to the walk we can double the walk benefits in half the time.

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3. REST: We did some research and found that the most productive people work for 52 minutes at t a time, then break. Working in bursts with purpose made sense, so we gave it a try. We had a staggered start daily, with everyone being on a different schedule it did not work for us to have the program manager announce 52 minutes. What worked for us was to have each employee come up with their own system. A few associates use a fit bit, one found a solar alarm clock, most employees use their phone. Keep it a simple and flexible reminder to move.

4. NUTRITION: We replaced the soda in the machine with water bottles. It is very important to avoid purified or distilled water, to hydrate properly supply bottles of natural spring water. We have found it to be a good investment to supply a free bowl of nuts for employees to snack on. The protein is a good snacking option, and appetites satiate quickly when they have to do the cracking themselves. We believe the cost of nuts to be offset by people not having to think of a snack. There is a positive impact just knowing the bowl is there. We can grow in the area of nutrition, the office does share healthy food tips, but eating is so personal that currently we just pass along reading suggestions for them to look up after work.
5. BALANCE: In order to start sitting less, we have to start standing more. We must support our foundation. Did you know 90% of all people wear improperly fitted shoes? The right shoes or custom inserts can align the body. This is especially valuable information for corporations that have associates standing for hours at a time. We found Foot Solutions have  an expert certified staff that performs the best foot and gait analysis using the most advanced state-of-the-art technology. Call 1-888-FIT-FOOT to see if there is a store near you.

Whatever your office situation is, we at Balance Walking would be happy to help you get a wellness program started.  Our program manager said the hardest part was the first week, and she is willing to give free consultations to get people through it. Now that we are up and running, our office is more receptive about new information, which was not the case when we first started. We gave ourselves a pat on the back when a report on RSI (eye strain)came out, telling people who work on computers to focus on something at least 20 feet away every hour to save their eyes. We have been doing that for a year on our walks, before the study was even released.

Our walk meetings have been wildly successful, and adding poles have proven valuable for walk meetings because people are able to look directly at the person they are conversing with. There are many benefits of adding poles during a walk, just one is that they free people from having to look at the ground in front of their feet allowing them to look around and relax the hard working neck and shoulder area. If you have any questions about starting your Corporate Wellness Program, or would like to purchase Balance Walking Poles in bulk for your office, contact information is below. If you would like to save 50% on an order just type ‘halfoff’ in the discount box. Order Poles

This is your brain...on a chair and This is your brain...off a chair.
(3).This is your brain…on a chair and This is your brain…off a chair.Get Started Balance Walking

References: 1. Indiana University study released on Sept. 8, 2014 “Short walk breaks found to reverse negative effects of  sitting”        2. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2012/02/22          3. The University of Illinois.

Get more information: kpatrie@balancewalking.com

Neuropathy and Walking

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If you avoid walking, because each step is painful due to foot neuropathy, learn more now. Balance Walking is a safe, easy, low-impact exercise that you can perform with your doctor’s approval.

Reasons to add poles to your walk:
– improves blood circulation and oxygen levels
-helps to reduce stress up to 30% on joints and there are 33 joints in each foot.
-reduces cramps and rigidity caused by contracted muscles
-strengthens weak muscles and improves range of motion
-if you have trouble balancing, this is like walking with four points of contact instead of two.

Balance Walking Poles often enable those suffering from Neuropathy to walk more confidently, longer, with reduced pain and reduced or even corrected foot drag.

WARNING: Avoid harmful repetitive weight-bearing exercises and do not exercise for prolonged periods of time, instead try walking for about ten minutes every hour. This is important because “damaged nerves can regenerate as long as the cells that make them up are still alive. By performing regular exercise you can facilitate this process, minimize the adverse impact of foot neuropathy and regain a better quality of life.”1

This hour mark is of additional importance, because if the body stays in a seated position for 60 minutes it results in half the circulation to the legs being cut-off. Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up after 50 minutes, because a study from Indiana University shows if you get up your circulation will not be impaired at all. “The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour
of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same.”2

If this is not enough information to scare you straight out of your chair add a “90% drop in a circulating blood enzyme called lipase, that is responsible for breaking down fat. In addition, electrical activity in our leg muscles radically decrease the longer we sit.”3 When transitioning the body from sitting to standing, take a minute to point and flex your feet to get the blood flowing all the way down. Increasing circulation to the feet is a beneficial thing to do in the morning, before getting out of bed. Start your day on the right foot.

References: 1. Livestrong.com “Does Exercise help Neuropathy of the Feet
2. Indiana University study released on Sept. 8, 2014 “Short walk breaks
found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting”
3. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2012/02/22
Order at BalanceWalking.com
Get more information: kpatrie@balancewalking.com

What’s the Point of a Walking Pole?

I think there are still a few people that don’t know what Balance Walking is, I realized this when a man walked by and said, “the snow has melted – why the poles?” So I am writing a post about the simple value of adding a set of poles to your walk.

#1. It is simple to get started doing something new and fun and easy. You have been walking for decades –  YOU GOT THIS.
#2. It fits in your busy schedule, just keep a set of poles in your car and grab them when you have a few minutes to burn.
#3. Burns up to twice the calories in half the time, now that is using your time wisely.
#4. A wise use of money, with gym memberships you have a monthly fee and poles are a one time cost of    $49.95
The concept of adding poles to walking started in Europe, where this form of exercise is very popular. I read an article in a German publication that said “if someone is out walking briskly Europeans look at them and wonder why they don’t have their poles.?”They understand the added value is so beneficial for the body, that just walking is not as productive.
BENEFITNESS For the Body
Engages 90% of the muscles, including the core.
Eases stress on joints up to 30%, and enhances cardiovascular performance up to 22%.
Adding poles to the walk increase the heart rate without increasing the perceived rate of exertion – basically you can walk farther, and get more out of it in half the time. Just the simple act of holding the poles promotes good posture, which improves body alignment.
Because it lowers the exertion rate, it also lowers the metabolic cost, which is the factor that determines how much your body will benefit from the exercise.
 
The many benefits added to the body are obvious, but there are also a benefits for the mind.
BENEFITNESS For the Mind
A lower metabolic cost, gets more oxygen rich blood delivered to your brain,
which causes a variety of benefits from increased cognitive functioning to a better mood.
The poles take away the need to look at your feet or the ground in front of you. Balance Walking free’s you to be able to look around and enjoy the view. This simple act allows your heavy brain to balance on the spine, which gives your neck a break.
Balance Walking is just fun, lets face it walking can feel monotonous, but adding poles to your walk adds a fresh, new experience.
CTA: Click link below to receive a free PDF flow chart and a 50% OFF coupon

25th Annual Walk/Race for the Cure

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Balance Walking is proud to support the Susan G. Komen-Atlanta mission to enable women to detect and survive breast cancer. Balance Walking is donating $20 to Komen-Atlanta for every set of poles sold- just type “donate” in the message box  found on this link  http://balance-walking.myshopify.com/collections/balance-walking-poles

Come join us and help support research to prevent and cure breast cancer. Together we can make the end of breast cancer a reality. We are offering free training sessions every Wednesday at noon, from now until May 9th – Race Day. Let’s get ready together, to make the one mile or five mile walk. Just come by Balance Walkings Corporate office before 12 on Wednesdays at 104 Interstate North Parkway East, Atlanta, 30339, or join our group.

Start Your Group Today
Join Our Group Today – Contact kpatrie@balancewalking.com

Adding poles to a walk is beneficial for everyone, because it engages almost all the muscles in the body including the core. Balance Walking has the increased benefit, for Breast Cancer Survivors, of rebuilding the muscles in the chest that can decrease after surgery. Survivors who added poles to their walk, increased their upper body strength up to 47%. The poles increase the good in the body like cardiovascular performance, calorie burn, alignment and good posture. The poles decrease the negatives like the perceived level of exertion, stress on joints, while alleviating tension in neck and shoulders.

Try to walk and move every hour or two. This keeps the oxygen levels high, which will keep your energy levels up. If you are able to walk in an area with trees – hiking is ideal.

Balance Walking poles are a tangible reminder to get up and move your body.

Remember to Walk

If you have a desk job, you could be sitting 12 hours a day. Add it up for yourself, you sit on your way to work, you sit at your computer, you sit at lunch and sit some more on the drive home.  Once you are home do you sit and watch television, or work on your home computer? It could be OVER 12 hours a day.

“Of course, health studies conclude that people should sit less, and get up and move around. After one hour of sitting, “the production of enzymes that burn fat declines by as much as 90 percent.” Extended sitting slows the body’s metabolism affecting things like (good cholesterol) HDL levels in our bodies. Research shows that this lack of physical activity is directly tied to six percent of the impact for heart diseases, seven percent for type 2 diabetes, and 10 percent for breast cancer, or colon cancer. You might already know that the death rate associated with obesity in the United States is now 35 million. But do you know what it is in relationship to Tobacco? Just 3.5 million. The New York Times reported on another study, published last year in the journal Circulation that looked at nearly 9,000 Australians and found that for each additional hour of television a person sat and watched per day, the risk of dying rose by 11 percent. In that article, a doctor is quoted as saying that excessive sitting, which he defines as nine hours a day, is a lethal activity.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nilofer-merchant/sitting-is-the-smoking-of-our-generation_b_2506748.html

Reports are now saying that an hour or two in the gym does not compensate the body, in fact a hard work out may cause more stress on the body. What are the best things you can do for yourself? Take a walk every 2 hours, drink plenty of good quality water from a natural spring and eat whole foods.

All of us want to do something healthy during our day, even if its just to taking a walk. The greatest find for 1000s of new Balance Walkers is that by adding Poles, we have discovered the facts are you can achieve much more in less time than regular walking. There are countless Walking Poles studies on the Web showing the positive influence of the poles medically and physically. With the Balance Walking Book as a guide to the other Wellness Pillars we know that the small healthy changes over time will last a life time. Change your health ONE step and ONE bite at a time.

We know walking is good for us, but sometimes we forget to do it. Balance Walking poles are a tangible reminder to move your body. A set of poles by your computer, or leaning against the television, will remind you to take a walk.

Great parks to grab your poles and go

Healthy Habits Made in 3 Weeks

It takes only 21 days to create a habit. After that amount of time, your body will do the habit daily on auto-pilot, it will be a part of your working profile. Walk 7 days a week for 3 weeks and you will consider yourself a walker. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/form-a-habit1.htm

Our bodies work so hard for us…how about lending a helping hand. Give your body what it needs and it will give you the energy level you desire. I have seen and felt what walking every day can do for me, start a new habit for yourself today. When you have walked for 21 days send me a note on Facebook and let me know the differences you see and feel. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Balance-Walking-Poles/245630542289129

Enjoy Every Step

These shoes are made for walking

Ill-fitting shoes can cause your feet problems, so find a fit expert to help you find the right shoe for your foot, and the correct fitting left shoe for your other foot. Everyone has two different size feet, and Foot Solutions has experience accommodating both feet.

Shoes for Walking

Wear properly fitted athletic shoes when you go for a walk. Shoes that are too tight are not only uncomfortable, but they can damage your feet. Foot Solutions carries a variety of good running shoes, that can prevent heel pain and other foot problems.