Part 1: Upper Body Exercises
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!
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!
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!
Open Hand, the nonprofit to which all Good Measure Meals™ proceeds go to, seriously has the most creative ways to raise money to support educating and feeding the community. Currently, we are working on the Empty Bowl Project, which raises awareness about hunger in Atlanta.
How fun is this…. People interested in participating in this fundraiser get to play or eat! Seriously! Between Friday, October 1 – Sunday, November 14 those wanting to contribute to the cause simply have to swing by Wired and Fired (994 Virginia Avenue/ 404.885.1024) pick out a bowl ($12) and let their creativity soar! There are so many glazes to choose from and the purpose is to create a fun and colorful bowl that will then be donated. All the donated bowls will then be put on display, Wednesday November 17th from 11am to 5 pm at Murphy’s (404.872.0904) in Virginia Highlands.
This is where the second round of fun happens. You can purchase any of the donated bowls and have it filled with a delicious dish from a special bowl menu prepared by Executive chef Tom Harvey for $20! All proceed benefit Open Hand!
Can you think of a better way to raise money for a great cause? Get your family or friends together and paint those bowls, or schedule your lunch at Murphy’s on the 17th and enjoy a delicious dish and a new bowl created with love! So many ways to participate and enjoy philanthropy!
Check out the pictures below of the GMM/Open Hand Staff painting our very own bowls! What fun! You can bet that we’ll be there on the 17th to enjoy Chef Harvey’s soup in the very bowls we decorated!
When analyzing your body composition there are two numbers that we pay most attention to: Body Fat & and Fat Free Mass. I figured that for you to gain a better understanding of why these numbers are so important, I should take a few moments to explain what each one is and how we can strive to improve them!
Body Fat Percentage:
This is the percentage of your body that is comprised of fat. Because fat plays an important role in daily body functions, you need a certain amount of fat in order to live to your fullest. Fat is responsible for cushioning joints, protecting organs, regulating body temperature and storing vitamins. While you need a certain amount of fat, too much fat has adverse effects on the body and is associated with health risks such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, thyroid disorder, arthritis, sleep apnea, and many more. A healthy/desirable Body Fat % range based on your particular age and gender is located on the scale below:
Fat Free Mass:
This is your fat free mass, which is basically everything that is not fat: muscle, water, bone, connective tissue, etc. By increasing this mass you lower your body fat percentage, so look to improve this number by gaining muscle mass or improving bone strength(through impact exercises).
Ultimately, our goal is to have the optimal amount of body fat for maximal efficiency. We lower our health risks by staying in the healthy range, so eating healthy foods low in trans fats and saturated fats partnered with regular exercise are an essential part of your health plan. You can also increase your Fat Free Mass by engaging your muscles in regular resistance training. The more muscle your body has, the more efficiently it burns calories, so you lower body fat % from two angles!
How are you working towards the healthy body fat range? Please share some of the things you do to stay lean and healthy!
Want to know your numbers? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your Body Comp Analysis!
With the spotlight shifting to preventative measures in health and wellness, it is no wonder that we are looking to new technology and resources to help us determine exactly what our health status is and set goals that will direct us to our optimal state of well-being. Yesterday I had the opportunity to unveil one of Good Measure Meals’™ tools on live TV! Check out Good Measure’s demo of the Tanita SC-331s Body Composition Analyzer on Atlanta & Company!
I had a blast on the show and we had a great response from callers looking to understand their measurements and get help setting wellness goals. Our Tanita Scale is the latest addition to the Tanita Family and increases the amount of information that we are able to provide clients. The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis to accurately read a client’s body composition within a minute’s time. Each client receives a printout including:
Our team reviews all of the measurements and assists in setting healthy goals to attain optimal weight, energy intake and state of health. This tool can be used for individuals up to 600lbs and is portable and can be reserved for use at health fairs, biometric screenings, or other health and wellness events.
Pricing: Individuals $30
Group $10/person (minimum 10) or $100/hour or $500/Day(8 Hours)
Feel Free to contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in getting tested or want us to come to your company’s health fair!
Do you know what the above measurements mean and why they are important for wellness professionals to gauge your current state of well-being? Check back in as I go through some of the most important measurements and how you can improve your numbers!
What on earth is corporate wellness?
I will go ahead and apologize for my “on-camera” skills, but I thought I would share with you all a little about what I do here at Good Measure Meals™. Check out the video short below on GMM Corporate Wellness.
Corporate Wellness is one of those vague terms that are thrown around without much knowledge about what it actually comprises. I figured I could post this week’s blog about Corporate Wellness and what I actually do to help people understand why so much focus is being placed on employee health. Good Measure Meals™ hired me this past January to develop a Comprehensive Wellness Program that we could implement in the corporate environment. The thought is that GMM provides nutrition to our community, but so much can be done to expand on wellness through education and program implementation that will motivate and inspire working populations to invest in their health.
Think about the amount of time you spend at work. We’ll average 8 hours, which is ½ of your day that you spend awake, assuming you are getting the recommended amount of sleep. That means that half of your time Monday –Friday is spent at work, probably sitting at a computer, or performing tasks that have minimal physical activity requirements. Partner the sedentary workplace environment with a lunch rush that leaves you foregoing a balanced diet and also increasing stress from deadlines and bosses and we have a the elements of a perfect storm. So why does your company care? Well, there are many reasons that the modern company takes a vested interest in their employee’s health. The biggest reason is insurance costs. About $2.3 trillion is spent annually treating preventable conditions brought on by unhealthy living. The corporate community has realized that by investing on the front end of wellness, a great deal of money can be saved by preventing chronic diseases. While saving on insurance costs is reason enough to invest in employee health, employers also noticed that Corporate Wellness Programs we increasing productivity, employee morale, retention, and decreasing absenteeism. The benefits of preventative measures paid off big, and now most companies large and small and finding ways to implement wellness programs into their workplace culture.
At GMM, we are all about educating and assisting our community in adopting a healthy lifestyle, so this partnership is quite intuitive. In the last 9 months, GMM has worked extensively with the corporate community to offer educational Lunch and Learns about Wellness in the Workplace, Nutrition and Behavior Modification, as well as create programming and initiatives to get people on the right track towards optimal health and wellness. From city employees and teachers to lawyers and consultants, GMM has worked to develop site specific programs that engage and educate employees about investing in their health and seen great results. An 8-week Biggest Loser competition allowed one municipality to collectively lose over 250 pounds collectively, and a series of lunch and learns at another Atlanta company sparked a companywide initiative to start accruing steps and counting calories.
Is your company in the need of some health and wellness programing? Click on the GMM link below to see what all we have to offer and/or email me, Jess Parsons, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can get your company on board or to invite GMM to your Health, Wellness, & Benefits Fair!
Does your company currently do any wellness programing for their employees?
Thursday, September 9th, I had the pleasure of attending Party in the Kitchen, A Benefit for Open Hand. If you ever have the opportunity to join in on this annual event, it is an experience of a lifetime and a culinary masterpiece. In short, the fundraiser hosts Atlanta’s best chefs from the finest restaurants around the city. Each chef prepares a signature sampling and, as you can imagine, you simply cannot pass up any of the stations. The food was amazing and the entertainment kept the 400+ crowd on their toes. There was a silent auction (Which yours truly took home a haircut and facial from Urban Body! Yay!) and a live auction that boasted a dinner for 12, prepared by chefs Kevin Rathburn, Gerry Klaskala, Shane Touhy, Peter Kaiser and Kevin Maxey at the bidders home! It was so much fun to see the crowd dressed to the nines in their bright whites enjoying the music and food- I really had a blast! That being said I wanted to share my favorite dish of the evening. I mean it was all about the food!
With so many to choose from, the competition was fierce, but there was one in particular that stood out in my world. I have to admit that my weakness is in the sweeter foods, so finding an appetizer that managed to incorporate the sweet and savory into a delectable bite, simply did the trick! Being the health conscious wellness professional that I am, I often limit myself to true decadence to once or twice per week- and boy howdy am I glad I saved room for it on Thursday night. Executive Chef Shane Touhy of Dogwood restaurant (www.dogwoodrestaurant.com) concocted a Foie Gras Custard with Cornmeal Johnny Cake, Georgia Peach Compote, and Moscato Syrup. Please understand that simply adding Moscato to any dish will win you major points in my world, but the use of the southern staples like peach and cornmeal brought a southern elegance that was as playful as it was sophisticated. I wish I was better with words to adequately describe the dish to you, but alas, I am a Tech grad, and verbiage was never my forte! For those of you who are visual, take a gander at the dish below!
Ashley and I did manage to snap a shot with Chef Touhy, himself and are looking forward to visiting him at Dogwood to try out his other creations.
So all-in-all, it was a phenomenal evening and Open Hand raised a significant amount of money to support our Comprehensive Nutrition Care™ which helps people around Georgia prevent or better manage chronic disease through home delivered meals and nutrition education. Remember that your support of Good Measure Meals™ also supports this mission, so if you were unable to attend Party in the Kitchen, you are still doing your part!