Physical Wellness

Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine checkups, balance diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

challengeYou know that exercise is important, but there are plenty of times you may not feel up to it. Here are eight ways to stay motivated to stick with your exercise program. Try at least one of these tips today. You’ll be glad you did!

  1. Choose activities you enjoy. Hate running? Don’t do it! Maybe you prefer walking around your neighborhood in the evening or taking an exercise class at the gym after work. If you enjoy the activity, you’re more likely to stick with it.
  2. Get others to join you. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or coworker, you can encourage each other to get out there and exercise even on days when you don’t feel like it.
  3. Do 10 minutes at a time. If fitting 30 minutes of exercise into your day feels too daunting, aim for two or three 10- to 15-minute bouts of activity.
  4. Plug it into your calendar. Schedule exercise sessions just like you would any other important event in your week.
  5. Focus on how you’ll feel afterward. Think about how much better you’ll feel, how much more energy you’ll have, and how glad you’ll be that you did it.
  6. Set goals. Do you want to lose weight? Run your first 5K? Get clear about your goal and create a plan for achieving it. Thinking about your goal can encourage you to exercise even when the couch is calling your name.
  7. Track your progress. Once you identify your goals, keep track of your achievements along the way. Seeing your progress can inspire you to keep going.
  8. Celebrate your success. Plan a reward for achieving milestones in your fitness journey. Choose non-food-related prizes, such as a new item of clothing, a pedicure, a night out with friends, or concert tickets.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Get energized in the morning today!

Sure, an endless pot of delicious hot coffee can give you a morning jolt. But there are other ways to wake up raring to go. Try one for a more energized start to your day:

  • Say no to the snooze button. Those five extra minutes of sleep aren’t going to be restorative ones. Set your alarm for the time you actually need to get up.
  • Let the light in. Open your curtains or turn on the lights as soon as you awake. It’ll signal your body to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.
  • Put your sneakers on. Physical activity gets your blood flowing and ups your endorphins for a morning mood boost. Take the dog for a stroll, do an exercise DVD, or walk your kids to school.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. You won’t be dragging after a fruit-and-Greek-yogurt smoothie, a vegetable omelet, or wheat toast topped with peanut butter and banana.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

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Visit the Kress Events Center!

KressGymDid you know that you can use the Kress Events Center for free as a UW-Green Bay faculty/staff (ongoing and 50% FTE or higher)? This includes the fitness center, group fitness classes, pool, racquetball courts, gyms, locker room, and more! During Fall/Spring semesters it’s free Monday to Thursday from open to 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm to close. On Friday to Sunday and during breaks/holidays it’s free from open to close.

If you wish to have unlimited access to the Kress Events Center you can purchase a membership for a highly discounted price. Payroll deduction is available for these memberships. If you wish to sign up for a membership or payroll deduction please visit the Kress Events Center front desk and fill out a form. For more information please see University Recreation Faculty/Staff Membership Program or visit our website at uwgb.edu/urec.

Beat stress eating today!

TrailMixCloseup-850x400When you’re stressed, your first reaction may be to reach for a pint of ice cream or a bag of potato chips. While indulging in comfort foods feels good in the moment, it doesn’t do much to tackle stress. And foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can become an unhealthy crutch, making you feel worse in the long-run.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid food altogether when you’re stressed. Food is a natural reward that keeps your brain and body going. You can snack when you’re stressed—you just have to pick the right foods.

 

What gives some foods their stress-busting powers? Pick healthy comfort foods high in these nutrients:

  • Vitamin C: In blood pressure patients, eating vitamin C on a regular basis was linked with lower blood pressure. What to eat: Reach for fruits packed with vitamin C like oranges and berries. Add some lemon to your water for an extra dose of the stress-fighting nutrient.
  • Vitamin B-6: Vitamin B-6 can lift you mood, reduce stress, and protect the immune and nervous systems. What to eat: Avocados are a great source of this vitamin. As a bonus, they’re also rich in potassium, which supports lower blood pressure.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent stress-related conditions, like depression and anxiety, from developing. What to eat: If you’re feeling stressed, make it a sushi night. Load up on fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
  • Tryptophan: While tryptophan is known for its sleepy effects, the amino acid helps release serotonin. Serotonin helps you regulate moods, and when you don’t have enough, you’re at a greater risk of developing depression. What to eat: Turkey is packed with tryptophan, but if it’s not your favorite, try a handful of pumpkin seeds or a glass of milk.

You don’t have to completely swear off sweets when you’re stressed—dark chocolate may do the trick. The treat was shown to increase blood flow among heart disease patients.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

How To Build a Healthy Trail Mix

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 cups

Ingredients

For the customizable version:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw nuts i.e. almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts etc..
  • 1 cup raw seeds i.e. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc…
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unsulphured dried fruit
  • Fun stuff (amounts vary) i.e. 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate, 1 cup popped popcorn, 1 cup pretzels etc..
  • Spice i.e. 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg (optional)

My Go-To Trail Mix Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup raw pecans (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (I toast mine in the oven for 10 mins at 350 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured cherries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unsulfured raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped 82% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in a ziploc bag or mason jar.
  3. Will keep for up to 1 month.

Source: https://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/how-to-build-a-healthy-trail-mix.html

Try out a Humidifier

Do you wake up to a scratchy throat and dry, tight sinuses? It may mean your home is too dry. Fortunately, there may be a solution—place a humidifier at your bedside. There are many stylish, personal-sized humidifiers on the market. A side benefit: The gentle “white noise” the units give off can help lull you into slumber.

Be sure to use your humidifier correctly. Follow the instructions that come with it, and keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Use distilled water or demineralize tap water with cartridges, cassettes, or filters.
  • Change the water in portable units daily.Humidifier
  • Clean a portable unit every third day. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning console and furnace-mounted humidifiers.
  • Avoid exceeding 50 percent humidity. Room air that’s too moist encourages the growth of molds and dust mites, which can trigger allergies and asthma. To measure humidity, use your humidifier’s humidistat. Another sign of high humidity is when water condenses on windows, walls, or pictures.
  • If surrounding areas become damp or wet, turn the humidifier down.

Today, consider getting a humidifier to help you get a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Reach the Core of Fitness

You probably don’t think much about your home’s foundation. Wall colors, window treatments, landscaping, and other more superficial details get more frequent attention.

The same is true of your body. If you exercise to build strength, you probably focus on your arms and legs and ignore the muscular foundation of all movement: the core.

Many people think of the core strictly in terms of abdominal muscles, specifically the ones that form a “six pack.” But there is so much more to the core. Your core includes muscles in the back, stomach and pelvis, all of which support your spine and transfer power throughout your body.

Here are a couple of exercises you can do at home to work on your core strength. Try them today!

Curl-Ups: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With hands lightly touching behind your head, elbows pointing to either side, slowly BirdDogPoseraise your shoulders and upper back off the floor to the count of two. Your mid-back should remain in contact with the floor. It’s not a full sit-up. Pause and then lower your shoulders back down to the count of two. Exhale as you rise up and inhale as you lower down. Repeat 10 times or until you cannot maintain proper form. Make sure you don’t pull your head with your hands. Keep your chin pointed toward the ceiling.

Bird-Dog: Begin on your hands and knees on a comfortable surface such as an exercise mat or carpet. Without flexing your back, lift your right hand and left knee off the floor at the same time. Your hand should be extended out in front of you and your foot should be straight back behind you until arm and leg are parallel to the floor. Bring your knee and hand back down. Now lift your left hand and right knee. Repeat 10 times.

Your core muscles do much of their essential work without you even being aware of them. But give them a little attention in the form of these exercises and you’ll experience the benefits of keeping your body’s foundation strong.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Write out Your Gratitude Today

Man writing in a journal.Mom was right—don’t forget to count your blessings. When you focus on the good things in your life, your upbeat attitude helps fight stress and depression. Research shows that practicing gratitude may also improve your social life and enhance your physical health.

One way to do it? Keeping a gratitude journal. Start tonight. You could try it every day for a month, or jot down an entry once a week—whatever’s easiest to maintain. Simply write a list of several things for which you’re grateful. In studies, when people made such lists on a regular basis, they tended to feel happier. Some were also less bothered by illness symptoms.

Article from the StayWell Company, LLC

Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair held on October 9th

Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair on Tuesday, October 9th!  About 44 vendors were on hand to help with our questions and provide information and hand outs, and over 200 employees and retirees attended.

AuroraBooth WEAbooth DeanBooth VSPbooth DeltaDentalBooth ChartwellsBooth AHAboothRobinBooth

Of the 32 drawing entries at the Wellness table, we randomly selected 5 winners to pick out a wellness prize:

  • Laura Delikowski
  • Jennifer Schwahn
  • Laura Sinclair
  • Mary Valitchka
  • Amanda Wildenberg

Also, Kimberly Vlies won the VSP drawing prize, and Jana Fogaca won the Garden to Doorstep Organics box of fruits and vegetables!

Well Wisconsin Webinar – Managing Time, Managing Stress

What better season to talk about stress and time management than around the holidays? Stop feeling excess pressure, anxiety, and stress, and be in control of your life with ideas you can implement now. It’s about you this holiday season.

Learn about:ThanksgivingBusy

  • The effects of long term stress on our health
  • Stress and time management techniques
  • How to manage holiday stress

Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Time: 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Wellness Webinars to register.

All webinars are recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the StayWell wellness portal after the event date.

To access the StayWell wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or spouse enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Programs.