By Eniko DeLisle, Social Media Director, Sales-Link, Inc.
It’s May! And what a welcome month it is for all who have endured a harsh winter. Named after Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility, May is the month of flowers and rebirth. It is also Global Employee Health and Fitness Month and National Physical Fitness and Sport Month.
In recent years, as the correlation between fitness and good health have become better established, wellness programs seem to have gained momentum, but those of you who enjoy statistics might be shocked to hear that fewer than 5% of adults in the US participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and over 80% do not meet national guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities!
According to the US Department of Health& Human Services, “Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese.” Obesity-related medical costs already exceed $344 billion annually in our country, and the typical American diet is still pretty abominable. Statistics show that most Americans consume far more than the recommended amounts of sugars, solid fats, and refined grains, with a startling 90% eating unhealthy amounts of sodium in their diets.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that, “Regular physical activity can help to control your weight, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mental health and mood, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.” It can also help you live longer!
Health Line Health News reminds us that it is not necessary to join a gym to stay fit. In an interview with Tom Holland, MS, an exercise expert and physiologist, he said, “Getting started doesn’t require a large amount of space or investment,” suggesting that you can get fit, and stay fit, right from your home. Holland says that the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise doesn’t have to be all at once, if it’s easier for you to fit in three 10-minute sessions, do that. “Science tells us that no workout is too short, that every minute matters,” Holland said.
For those that are truly serious about physical fitness, High Intensity Interval Training is highly recommended, and appears to be the wave of the future. “People are trying to become more efficient in their workouts, but also the science behind high-intensity interval training shows you can get comparable results and sometimes even better results when your heart rate is surging versus long duration exercises,” recommends co-founder of Sanabul athletic gear, Imran Jawaid.
Whatever your fitness level, there is an app or a device out there that will help you reach your goals. Consumer Reports’ top-rated fitness tracker is only $170, with several available for even less. “Today’s models tend to be very accurate at counting steps and monitoring heart rate, according to our testers,” they report, and many have added features such as GPS and Music storage.
If you are not ready to invest in a fitness tracker, MakeUseOf.com lists 10 free pedometer apps to track your steps, some that will also track your route, and others that will reward you. Looking to shed some pounds? Noom’s weight loss program touts 190,000 five-star reviews! They offer a 2-week free trial, and their team of nutritionists and personal trainers promise to coach you to your ideal weight and fitness.
Many of us in the Pharma/Biotech and Sales Industries who work behind a desk for most of the day, and have busy lives after-hours, often complain about not having the time to walk or engage in other out-of-the office physical activity, but there is hope for us, as well. Google Chrome has several free extensions that will help you stay fit right in the office!
Fresh Air and Calm both lead you through simple breathing exercises as tools for more mindful web browsing. Desk Athlete offers over 40 short exercises that you can do right at your desk to improve mobility and fitness while you work. Poor posture while sitting at the computer, is one of the greatest physical issues that office workers encounter. Posture Minder has pop-up notifications to remind you to sit up straight at regular, programable intervals. Many of us also forget to get up every 20-30 minutes and stretch for the recommended 1-2 minutes at our desks. Chrome’s Stretch Reminder is a fully customizable tool that claims it will actually help you live longer!
Finally, if all of the Chrome extensions mentioned above appeal to you, Healthy Browsing will remind you to blink, stay hydrated, correct your posture, and stretch! While it’s completely customizable, you would do well by following these recommended guidelines:
· Drink reminder - 45 minutes
· Blink reminder - 20 minutes
· Stretch reminder - 90 minutes
· Posture reminder - 20 minutes
For more tools that will help you stay fit while you work, visit 11 Chrome Extensions That Help You Stay Healthy at a Desk Job. Also be sure to visit Dohrmann Consulting’s How to Sit at a Computer for some fantastic ergonomic advice on everything from keyboards and screen positioning to the perfect way to sit for a healthier you!
We hope you’ve enjoyed these health tips and that you take the month of May to jump start a fitness regiment that suits your lifestyle as well as your work environment, and that you continue those good wellness habits throughout the year.
And for added inspiration: