• 15Oct

    Today’s post was contributed by Alissa Palladino, RD, LD.

    fall into fitness header

    With the cooler weather and leaves starting to change color, the fall is a great time to be active outdoors. Walking, biking, jogging and hiking are all great ways to enjoy the outdoors and improve your fitness.

    Here is one important question to ask yourself honestly:
    Are you (a) getting in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week OR (b) getting in 25 minutes of strenuous exercise three days a week?

    Moderate exercise is akin to pushing a stroller, biking 5 miles in 30 minutes, shooting baskets, playing touch football, raking leaves, or vigorous social dancing.
    Heart-pumping strenuous exercise is more along the lines of swimming laps, jogging/running, jumping rope, shoveling snow, or climbing stairs.

    Fitness is a life-long habit to start forming today, and regular aerobic exercise has many health benefits from protecting your heart, boosting your mood, raising your energy levels and even improving cognitive function!

    Whether you’re an early riser or prefer evening workouts, stay safe when exercising in the dark by sticking to well-lit areas and wearing reflective clothing or a headband flashlight.
    Remember to stay hydrated! Even though you’ll sweat less when working out in the cooler weather, it is still important to drink water before and after exercise, and definitely bring along a water bottle on longer bouts of exercise.

    jog with dogFinally, have fun! Working out does not have to be painful – in fact, it shouldn’t be! Take your dog out hiking with you, experiment with new activities, and explore new trails and parks to prevent boredom.

    If motivation is lacking, try signing up for a race  a few weeks/months ahead or making exercise plans with friends. Include your family in your workout routine, whether it’s jogging with a stroller, taking a walk together in the evenings or organizing a family bike ride on the weekends. You won’t have to sacrifice family time or your health, and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids.

    family fall bike ride

    By making exercise a regular and enjoyable part of your life this fall, it will become a healthy (and helpful) habit by the time holiday season strikes.

    So – what’s your favorite way to exercise outdoors?

  • 22May

    Today’s Blog Post in the “What is Your Favorite Warm-Weather Form of Exercise” Series was contributed by GMM Business Development Representative, David Rogers.

    My favorite warm-weather exercise is either outdoor walking or bike riding. I grew up doing these activities with my parents and siblings after dinner to help us after our meals to promote good health, family time and better sleep.

    photo 2_2These days, I am very fortunate to live in a great walking and biking neighborhood. The rolling landscape of my route provides not only moderate resistance for raising my heart rate, but also a visually beautiful area to help reduce stress. Plus, it’s always nice to catch the smell of the flowers just before you need a burst of energy to stride up a hill (and build some muscle!).

    It’s also just nice to be able to chat with and catch up with any of the neighbors that might be out along the way, and to even bring my dog along for the walk. Having a community network is proven to be a key to good health and happiness, so taking a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood and speaking with the neighbors checks two health-promoting boxes at once!

    photo 1To mix things up, my town has also created a 5-mile trail system that has pedestrian- and bike-friendly lanes. I often step out of my usual routine and even enlist my friends and family to join me for a 30-45 minute trek along these trails. Most communities offer a similar set-up or have local parks nearby with wellness challenge stations to help improve your strength, flexibility, and stamina, so I usually look for these for an added challenge along the way.

    For me, exercising during the warm summer months is all about having the right shoes, bringing along proper hydration, and most importantly having good company to encourage me to get outside to keep promoting my good health and reduce my stress.

  • 14May

    Today’s Blog Post in the “What is Your Favorite Warm-Weather Form of Exercise” Series was contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Callie O’Steen.

    callieosteenIs it just me, or did we just get hit with summertime here in Atlanta?? Warm weather days are definitely upon us! Bring on the sunshine (no sunscreen, because this pale girl needs a tan!) — alright, alright, maybe I will compromise and put on SPF 15 so my dermatologist doesn’t hate me.

    I don’t know about you, but warm weather motivates me to be healthier. I run more, go on longer bike rides, (eat more ice cream), and I eat fresher, too!

    But one of my favorite warm-weather activities is walking. You get in some good physical activity, and you don’t come away completely drenched in sweat. Walking is also a great way to start exercising if it’s been a while since that gym card’s been swiped - and walking definitely isn’t as intimidating as that hot yoga-pilates-spin-boot camp class they offer at the gym.

    Convinced yet? If not….

    Did you know that walking can help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and depression?! Whoa now – time to lace up those tennis shoes!!

    If you like to walk (yay!) and talk (yay!) about nutrition (DOUBLE YAY!) come join us for our “Walks and Talks with an RD on the Beltline!” Our registered dietitians (RDs) host weekly walks along the beautiful Atlanta Beltline, and we discuss any questions or topics that may be on your mind. So come out and ask us questions, we love chatting!

    Here are some meeting locations where you can find us on a weekly basis. We hope to see you at a Walk soon!

    Piedmont Park (Park Tavern parking lot), 1014 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30306: Wednesdays at 5:30pm with RD Callie

    Washington Park (Tennis Center), 1125 Lena St., Atlanta, GA, 30314: Thursdays at 7:30am with RD Jamie

    Eastside Trail Extension (H. Haper Station), 904 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA, 30316: Thursdays at 5:30pm with RD Kristi

    Callie O'Steen, left, leads a crew on a Beltline "Walk and Talk with an RD."

    Callie O’Steen, left, leads a crew on a Beltline “Walk and Talk with an RD.”

  • 16Sep

    Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of providing education for a group of amazing women who are training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. The talk took place at the New Balance store in East Cobb. Did you know that this event includes walking a total of 60 miles over 3 days? That’s like walking the distance between Atlanta and Athens! Knowing how to eat for the duration of this event is very important for the participants to understand. We talked about how eating properly for exercise (especially prolonged exercise) helps to enhance stamina, endurance, strength and most importantly enjoyment.

    The 3 topics that we focused on were (click on each hyperlink below to learn more):

    1) What to eat BEFORE exercise – Eating before training and before walking on each day of the event will help to give the participants the energy they need to perform at their best and ensure that they enjoy themselves! The pre-exercise snack/mini meal works by preventing low blood sugar, settling your stomach by absorbing gastric juices, decreasing hunger and fueling muscles.

    2) What to eat DURING exercise- Eating while walking 20 miles each day will be very important for many reasons. Participants should focus on balancing enough fluid and enough carbohydrate during the walk to keep well hydrated and provide energy to maintain a normal blood sugar level.

    3) What to eat AFTER exercise- At the end of each day of walking participants will need to eat properly to help their bodies refuel for the next day of walking. The recovery meal will help to minimize stiffness, muscle soreness and fatigue. Hydrating properly after walking will help participants to restore the fluids and electrolytes lost in their sweat.

    I feel confident that these women are now well on their way to a successful and fun walking experience!

    Have you walked the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure before? Share your stories with us!

    Would you like one of our registered dietitians to provide group education? We are available to speak on a wide variety of health and wellness topics. Let us know!

  • 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!

  • 04Jun

    It’s the 4th day of the Challenge and I am right on track!  I have dropped one pound and seen a difference mostly in my energy level!  It is funny how making healthy changes positively influence other aspects of your life!

    So I found my pedometer this morning which sparked the idea for this blog entry.  A pedometer is the fancy term for a step counter.  It clips onto your waistband and counts the number of steps a person takes by detecting the motion of the hips.  The more pricy versions will even record the distance your walked (number of steps x step length) and measure calories burned.  There are many versions of pedometers out there and honestly, there is a difference in quality.  While any pedometer will work as a motivator, not all are accurate.  If you purchase a pedometer, do a test first and count out 100 steps and see what it records.  The best pedometers will be within ± 5% error.

    We obviously use pedometers to count our steps, but what number are we trying to achieve? The US Surgeon General recommends that a daily target of 10,000 steps, as this is the necessary amount to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.  For an adult this is equivalent to about 5 miles, but obviously children should accrue more steps per day.

    So I will be wearing my pedometer each day and making sure that I am reaching the 10,000 step mark.  I figure if make small daily goals, they will make my big goal of 13 pounds much easier to achieve!  On the nutrition front, I am sticking with my 1200 calorie plan from Good Measure Meals(Delicious Golden Harvest Whole Grain Pineapple & Carrot Breakfast Bread this morning! mmm).  Between my planned nutritional intake and increased physical activity, I am making positive “strides” in the right direction.  My apologies, I just had to throw in the cheesy play on words!

    So grab your walking shoes, your Good Measure Meals, and a pedometer and let’s get this challenge moving!

  • 13May

    We are all about health and wellness here, so Good Measure Meals and Open Hand staff took the opportunity to participate in Make a Movement Day! A Texas nonprofit created the day-long initiative encouraging the public to create and share their “Moments” of physical activity (Move), healthy eating (Fuel), and personal and environmental health (Honor) to promote healthy, ACTIVE lifestyles.

    Open Hand and Good Measure Meals™   jumped on board and participated by creating a “moment” of our very own! Last Wednesday, we all met during our lunch break for a “walk-around-the-block” and some healthy snacks provided by our staff!

    We departed from the Armour Building at 12:15pm and complete the 1 mile loop around Armour/Ottley and then all gathered to enjoy some healthy snacks in the Armour Break Room. 

    I really think that everyone saw the beneficial effects of getting outside for some fresh air and movement during the afternoon. I know I personally felt happier, more focused and productive during the late afternoon when I normally lack energy. The weather was beautiful and we all got the opportunity to enjoy the company of each other. It shouldn’t take a special day like this to get us moving, but sometimes it helps!

    For more motivation check out these great articles from The Mayo Clinic:

    As a result of Make a Movement Day our staff has committed to a “walk-around-the-block” as a group every Wednesday at 10am. How are you going to get active today? Share your stories by leaving a comment.