• 17Jul

    Today’s post in the series “What Are Your Tips for Staying Hydrated?” was contributed by Jess Parsons-White, GMM Senior VP.

    The summer heat is sweltering and without proper hydration you might find yourself feeling lethargic, cramping, or even dizzy. For some, it is an easy solution of drinking more water, but for those on the move or who may not enjoy guzzling a gallon of cool refreshing water, staying hydrated in the heat can be a challenge.

    Luckily, our Open Hand Wellness Committee has put together a quick fact sheet for staying hydrated on go, as well as a few suggestions for how to “rethink your drink” by adding flavorful infusions to your water bottle.

    Tip one: Invest in a good water bottle! Look for a BPA-free container that is easy to fill and to drink out of while driving or exercising. The easier it is to use the more you’ll drink!

    Tip two: Before hitting the road fill your water bottle up with cold water, and when it’s empty, make it a priority to find a water fountain or rest stop where you can safely replenish. Our own Good Measure Meals drivers struggled getting their daily dose of H2O; but recognizing the need, our Wellness Committee partnered with Kaiser to distribute new water bottles to all the drivers. Now there is a line at the filtered water dispenser every morning!

    Joe HydrationDonny Hydration

    Tip three: Don’t be afraid to add unique flavor combinations to your pitcher or glass. Fresh Herbs and fruits can be combined to add an exciting twist to your drink! Just throw a handful of each into a pitcher and them strain out after an hour.
    • Looking for a calming classic? Try Cucumber Mint.
    • For a zesty combo, try Pineapple Parsley.
    • Maybe you’re into a sweeter treat? Strawberry Basil is a personal favorite.
    • Not convinced yet? Start with a few slices of Lemons, Limes, and Oranges for a classic citrus zing!

    **Now check out a quick demonstration for how to infuse water by our Spring Dietetic Intern, Frances Ennis! And for even MORE info, check out Jess’ previous post about the benefits of good hydration.**

  • 13Jun
    Feeling antsy in the office? Want to be in better shape after you leave your 9-to-5 than when you started your workday?
    Last week, VP Jess Parsons introduced the GMM staff to a series she titled “Desk-ercise.” Her 30-minute lunch session detailed many simple moves geared toward toning your upper body, lower body, core, and even increasing your cardio capacity.
    And all in a day’s work!

    Part 1: Upper Body Exercises

    What you’ll need: Swivel Desk Chair, Desk, Water Bottle, Resistance Band
    Bicep Curls: biceps
    Sitting in your chair, hold a water bottle in your right hand, and, with abs in and spine straight, curl bottle towards shoulder for 16 reps. Repeat with your left hand. Do 2-3 sets.

    Harmony deskercises with bicep curls.

    Chair Dips: triceps, chest and deltoids
    Make sure chair is stable and place hands next to hips or on arm rests. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the body until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 16 reps. Complete 2 sets.

    A tip (in hindsight): Secure rolling chairs against a wall before trying this exercise.

    Front Raise to Triceps Press: triceps & shoulders
    Sit tall with the abs in and hold a full water bottle in the left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause, and then continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contracting the triceps. Straighten the arm and lower down, repeating for 12 reps on each arm for 2 sets.

    Water: not just for drinking.

    Desk/Wall Press: chest, shoulders, arms & back
    Stand about three feet from a wall, and place your hands flush against the wall, about shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the wall by flexing your elbows. When your elbows are aligned with your torso, push back up. Do 10 repetitions.

    Philip and Harmony team up for some Wall Presses

    Single Arm Row with Band: biceps, shoulders, & back
    Have a seat in your chair. Tie one end of the resistance band on a door knob, or handle of a locked drawer. Make sure that the secure end is level or lower than chest level. Take the other end of the band and wrap once around your right hand. Without Moving your torso, pull the band towards your abs so that your fist is touching your side with elbow bent. Pause, then slowly extend arm back to starting position. Do 2 sets of 16 reps with each arm.

    Philip was not harmed in the shooting of this Seated Arm Row.

    Stay tuned in the next few days/weeks for more installments of the Desk-ercise series!

  • 29Dec

    As we head into the new year, many of us strive to make resolutions in an effort to treat our mind and bodies right.  Unfortunately, after the initial push to live the healthy life, many of us fall victim to the mid-January slouch, when we realize that the weather outside is still frightful and our motivation has started to dwindle; until alas, we are back to our old habits.  How do we avoid this seemingly inevitable trend?  I am so glad you asked! J

    The first step is to develop accountability.  It seems so easy and intuitive, yet many people never think to create a system that keeps them in check.  Whether it’s teaming up with someone in the office to discuss your goals or simply writing down your resolutions and revisiting them daily, it is important that you make a conscious effort to keep your resolutions top of mind and .  One tool I have developed for clients is a self-contract for goals.  When coming up with your New Year’s Resolutions (or Goals) you really need to write them down, using the SMART formula.

    Make sure that your goals have the following characteristics:

    S: Are the Specific? While I can easily say that I would like to eat better this new year, it is hard to determine what that really means on a daily basis and if I am really achieving that goal.  Instead, make goals as specific as possible, such as: Eat 3-4 Fruits and Vegetables a day and cut down on sweets to 1 dessert per week.  When our goals are clear and specific it is much easier for our brains to know how to be successful!

    M: Are they Measurable?  Quantify your goals!  You don’t just want to lose weight, you want to lose 10 pounds or fit into a size 8.  By having numbers you can measure progress which helps facilitate motivation and long term success.

    A: Are they Attainable? While goals are a great way to spark change, setting goals that are unattainable are self-sabotaging and often lead to relapses or negative behaviors.  Keep in mind when setting goals that they should be achievable.  Increasing my cardio fitness to the level of Lance Armstrong is highly unlikely, so why set myself up for failure.  Instead set a goal like completing so many minutes of cardio per week in order to increase cardio fitness.  Much easier to track and I’ll still be striving for the same result.

    R: Are they Realistic? Remember that we are human, and the occasional slip is not something to fret about.  When setting goals, avoid using terms like NEVER, EVERY or ALWAYS.  These phrases are not realistic since life is unpredictable, and is it best to remain flexible.  Saying that you will hit the gym every day is great in theory, but what if you get sick, injured or have a social obligation.  The goal is health and you may need to take a day off. Then you skip and the guilt sets in.  Setting realistic goals allows us to maintain flexibility and stay focused on what really matters.

    T: Are they Time-Oriented? Always have an end date.  This allows us to track progress and avoid procrastination.  We all like a healthy dose of competition and it a great kick start to achieve any goal as we see that date approaching.  Remember it takes 4 weeks to make a habit and 8 weeks to see a change, so give yourself enough time to see success, but avoid a long term date that hinders motivation to keep the changes going.

    Once you have your goals set, make the commitment to change by signing a contract to yourself.  Feel free to print off the goal setting worksheet and contract below to help get the results you were looking for.  It’s a New Year, so here’s to the New You!

    Use this tool to help create your goals for the coming year!

  • 16Nov

    As the Georgia weather becomes more and more tolerable into the autumn days, I find myself wanting to spend every moment I can outdoors. As a wellness professional, I am constantly looking for ways to stay fit and have fun, utilizing the resources we have right here in our community. This last weekend, myself and GMM Culinary Dietitian Ashley Ritchie decided that we were in need of some physical activity and fresh air, so we decided to turn our fitness focus to Stone Mountain Park.

    There are so many ways to be active at the park, from hiking up the mountain(a 1.3 mile trek to the top!), completing the sky ropes course(for the adventurous visitor) to biking, running the 5 mile loop around the mountain, or going on a pedal boat ride through the lake. There are even 15 miles of hiking trails throughout the park! That being said, Ashley and I decided that we’d take a scenic trail to the base of the mountain and then make the hike straight up, which starts out at a pretty gradual slope and manages to become incredibly steep near the top! Check out the pics from the hike up!

    On the way back down, we were discussing how amazing it was to see so many active folks climbing up and running around the park. Being in the wellness industry, we were both impressed and excited to see all the activity around us and decided we should make a habit of hiking around the park with friends and family. No sooner than this fleeting thought left our conversation, did we stumble upon two of our favorite coworkers and their wives, making their trek up the massive hill! Great fun seeing friends out being active!

    Fitness fanatics from GMM and Open Hand!

    At the end of the hike we had taken over 9000 steps (thanks to the trusty pedometer I wore to track our trek!) and thoroughly enjoyed the great outdoors! We even stopped at the Farmer’s Market on the way home to scout out some ideas for the next GMM menu cycle! What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon embracing health and wellness!

    Almost a days worth!

  • 20Jul

    Get Your Co-workers Active!

    It’s that time of year again!  Get your co-workers active and be a part of the “MOVE”ment!  The KP Corporate Run/Walk exists to promote health, wellness and fitness among Metro Atlanta companies and their employees.  If you don’t have a job, don’t worry!  You can sign up as an individual or with a group of friends!  The event takes place on September 16th, but the best part of signing up is the information and training that are provided to help you achieve your goals.  It’s a 5k event, so whether you walk or run with your friends and coworkers, you will have a blast seeing the city streets filled with the “movers” and shakers!

    Running expert (and U.S. Olympian!) Jeff Galloway has put together an 8-week training program for both walkers and runners, as well as collected a plethora of resources on health and fitness through Kaiser and other community organizations.  You even get a free month of gym membership just to help you train!  As one of the sponsors of the event, Good Measure Meals™ has taken it a step further and put together weekly e-blasts with wellness and nutrition tips, Jeff’s Training Program and weekly wellness challenges.  If you think this might help you and your coworkers prepare for the Run/Walk email me your name, company and captain’s info at jparsons@goodmeasuremeals.com.  We provide the education and support; now all you have to do is invest in your health!

    To find out more about the event, please visit http://www.kpcorporaterunwalk.com/index.html . If you are already signed up or have done the event in the past, let me know!  I love to hear success stories!  If you have any questions about starting a Corporate Wellness Program at work, please contact me at work and I will get you started!  It’s never too late to get started!

    The best part is: The Run/Walk benefits the Braves Foundation and the Atlanta Community Food Bank!  You can get healthy while being socially responsible and supporting the health of others in our community!

  • 21Jun

    So the Triathlon that my best friend researched and decided on was an All Women’s Sprint up in Acworth, GA.  This race benefits Ovarian Cycles, Inc., a charity that promotes ovarian cancer research.  I tend to gravitate towards activities that support the health of our community, as this is my passion(Just like Good Measure Meals Supports Open Hand!)!  The Acworth Triathlon is good start for beginners.  The distances are shorter and limiting the gender makes the race a little less intimidating to me.  It starts off with a ¼ mile swim, which is equivalent to 8 laps (there and back) in a Junior Olympic Pool.  Sounds doable, but after my first few swim sessions, I am realizing that this challenge is going to give me a run for my money and I have a new found respect for Olympic Swimmers!  After the swim, we have a 13 mile bike ride.  Although I haven’t really ridden a bike in years, I am confident that this will come back to me fairly easily.  I live near the Silver Comet Trail, so I have a built in training route in my backyard-so no excuses for me!  Once the bike ride is completed, we have to run a 5K.  Now on any normal day, I would think a 5K would be the extent of my exercise, and while challenging, I know I can complete it without too much problem.  The trick here is having the energy left after a tough swim and long bike ride to get my legs moving.  I hear that it can be a difficult transition from the bike to the run because your legs still want to move in a cyclical motion… that will be a funny sight!  I have to make sure that I am consuming enough calories and water before and during the race to supply the energy that will get me through the day.  For training, I have opted to increase my daily intake to the 1700 calorie plan, due to all the training I am doing.  This still gives me a calorie deficit to lose weight, but ensures that I am not starving my body while participating in intense training!  It is always a good idea to meet with a dietitian when wanting to change your eating behaviors to understand what your optimal intake is to reach your goals.  Luckily for me, I share an office with 5 Registered Dietitians that help answer my questions about staying healthy while taking my fitness to the next level.  If you are looking for a consultation, check out the Dietitian Consultation page on the Good Measure Meals site.

    The Triathlon is August 8th, so I am really starting to ramp up the training with the help of my friends, but would love advice from anyone out there that has completed one before, especially tips on the swimming! 

    If you are interested in participating in a triathlon, check out:  http://www.trifind.com/ga.html They have all the triathlons in GA posted so that you can find one that fits your experience level.

    If you are a true beginner like myself, there is a site specifically for us: http://www.trinewbies.com/ that gives tips on starting your training!

    Click on this image to find more great Triathlon Training Tips!

    My advice?  Find something that motivates you to become physically active over a set duration of time.  By registering for a race, exercise class or sports league- you commit yourself to continual training and possibly an end goal.  This is a great way to build a habit!