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These simple concepts can make staying on track feel much easier. Here are the key components not only to lose weight, but also to keep it off long term. 

 

  • Fuel up.  Like your car needs the right gas to run optimally, what you put in your body affects how you feel. Eat whole, non-processed foods, being sure to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into what you eat each day.  Keep eating patterns consistent and include breakfast daily to help lose weight and maintain that loss over time
  • Watch portions.  Monitoring how much you eat is key to weight management.  To help control portions, fill your plate with mostly non-starchy vegetables, use a smaller size plate, and avoid eating out of packages.  Occasionally measuring portions or using our handy portion guide can also be a helpful reminder to keep portions in check.
  • Plan ahead.  Having a well-stocked pantry and freezer can make choosing healthy foods easier.  Create a meal plan and bring a shopping list to the grocery store.  Keep healthy snacks nearby when you’re on the go. And when eating out, make your choice ahead of time, if possible.
  •  Feel satisfied.  Managing weight doesn’t have to mean feeling hungry.  To feel more satisfied, limit distractions while eating and slow down to really savor your food.  Also include high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to help feel fuller longer
  • Stay active.  Reducing calorie intake alone won’t provide the same results.  Research shows that people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.  Remember, this doesn’t have to be done all at once.  Aim for a minimum of at least 150 minutes per week, or about 20 to 30 minutes a day. Once you’ve reached that, you can choose to aim even higher.
  • Get quality sleep.  Keep a regular sleep schedule and aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  Have trouble sleeping?  Limit screen time before bed, avoid strenuous exercise, and include relaxing activities such as a warm bath or soft music
  • Get support.  Having a solid support system can help you stay the course and keep motivation strong.  Remember, support can be from friends, family, your environment, and even yourself by practicing self-compassion.

 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/keepingitoff.html 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/healthy-living-8-steps-to-take-today#1

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by Shannon Spence

Your social network is one of THE BEST tools for dealing with the stressors of life. Several studies have shown that leaning on your social support network contributes to psychological well-being.1 Not only can you benefit from a sense of belonging, increased self-worth and feelings of security, your friends and peers can also help hold you accountable with your health and well-being goals. People who build a support system are more likely to succeed at goals like getting more active.2 From working with a coach or workout buddy to participating in online communities, the variety of options is as diverse as personalities are unique. So, what type of social connection is right for you?

Virtual

Achieving your health goals sometimes requires a little help from our friends, and that includes the virtual ones. The influence of our social networks can be a powerful motivator to encourage us to stay active, eat right and just be happy.

Go365 offers quite a few options when it comes to finding motivation to exercise or eat healthy within a community of like-minded people. Through the website or Go365 App, you can start or join a step or weight loss challenge with friends and family, and compete against other teams at your company. And soon, you will have the ability to message, heckle and high-five one another through our challenges platform. Look for more information to come on these exciting new features!

If you need help clarifying your goals and priorities, connect to a health coach through the Go365 program at no additional cost to you – it’s part of the program! This trained professional can help you create a personalized plan, help find your hidden motivation, and provide you with the support and accountability you need. Sessions are held online, via phone or a combination of the two.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and our exclusive Go365 Community.

Live and in-person

If your style is more face-to-face, schedule workout dates with a friend and stick to them. While you may not be experts, the point is that you get out there and get active together. There are a variety of options through Go365 that can help you connect with others and even support a good cause while you’re at it, including:

  • Joining a sports league 
  • Participating in a 5K walk and getting friends and family to join 
  • Finding a colleague and developing a fitness habit together, such as taking walking breaks or using the stairs more often. Just make sure to set up your new habit in the Go365 App to earn Points.

There’s no right way to achieve your health goals. What matters is that you’re taking steps to get there. And get there you will!

Sources
1 “Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress,” Mayo Clinic, accessed January 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445  
2 Gina Demillo, “Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies,” experiencelife.com, accessed November 2016. https://experiencelife.com/article/strength-in-numbers-the-importance-of-fitness-buddies/ 

Go365 is not an insurance product. This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. Consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.

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One key to staying active is to get as much movement throughout the day as possible. In our sedentary world, that can be a tall order. If watching TV or sitting in front of the computer is your daily routine after eating dinner, try to replace it with a 15-minute walk.

Benefits include proper digestion, burning more calories, and better control of blood sugar levels and triglycerides in the body.

The process of digestion is initiated soon after you eat. If you walk after eating dinner, the process of gastric emptying of the meal is accelerated leading to better digestion. In turn, this prevents various stomach complications such as acidity or indigestion that people may experience after eating their meals.

Walking not only improves the blood circulation in the body, but also relieves stress. Even 100 steps after dinner may lead to a better night’s sleep.[1]

Walking after dinner stimulates the muscles to move food along faster, reducing stress on the stomach, and increasing overall blood flow, which prevents or relieves digestive distress like heartburn and Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The immediate metabolic benefit is that when you perform any moderate activity like walking, your body converts food stores into energy to fuel the increased level of activity. Walking after a meal stimulates your body to boost your metabolic rate, which will utilize more calories from your meal as opposed to converting them into glucose or fat storage. More importantly, the metabolic benefits can be amplified if that activity happens on a regular basis.

As you walk more regularly, your body begins to adjust your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is your caloric burn rate when at rest or the minimum calories you need to function, in order to maintain a base rate that is primed for the higher level of activity. Over time, even small increases in activity can increase your BMR.

A 3mph (average pace) walk for 15 minutes after dinner may “only” burn around 40 calories, but those 40 calories add up.

While a brisk 60-minute walk is much better than a 15-minute leisurely walk, any walk is better than no walk at all. The idea is to habituate a moderate, post-meal walk into your daily life first, and then work on increasing duration and intensity.

 


[1] Sharma, Ashish, Vishal Madaan, and Frederick D. Petty. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 8.2 (2006): 106. Print.

 

References

Anahad O’Connor, “Really? The Claim: Taking a Walk After a Meal Aids Digestion”, well.blogs.nytimes.com, accessed December 2016. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/really-the-claim-taking-a-walk-after-a-meal-aids-digestion/?_r=0

Matthew J. Edlund, “When to Walk? Try After Meals”, psychologytoday.com, accessed December 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-rest/201307/when-walk-try-after-meals

Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti, “Surprising benefits of walking a 100 steps after dinner”, healthsite.com, accessed December 2016. http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/surprising-benefits-of-walking-a-100-steps-after-dinner/

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates. 

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law 

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. 

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711). 

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).  

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Your quads, the big muscles in the front of your thighs, are a powerhouse muscle. While having strong, powerful muscles is a good thing, balancing muscles is important to keeping your stride healthy. Here are some ideas to keep your quads lean and flexible. 

  • Kneeling quad/hip flexor stretch
    • Get in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Your right knee should be directly over your ankle and your left leg should be extended behind you with your toes curled under on the floor.
    • Allow your left knee to drop to the floor, keeping the toes tucked.
    • Press your hips forward toward the front of the room, while keeping your right knee directly over your right ankle.
    • If you can, reach back and grab the toes of your left foot, raising them towards your butt. It will look like this: http://www.yogaclass.ie/images/lunge-quad-stretch.jpg
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  • Standing quad stretch
    • Standing on your left leg, raise your right leg toward your butt by bending your knee and lifting your toes off of the floor
    • Grab the top of your right foot with your right hand.
    • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
    • Repeat on the other side
  • Foam roller quad release
    • Place your roller on the ground horizontally.
    • Position the middle of the front of your thighs on the roller. You will be facing the floor and will need to place your weight on your forearms to support yourself. Engage your abs to keep your back from collapsing.
    • Roll forward up to the knee and back down toward the top of your thigh.
    • Repeat this movement 10 times, holding for 30 seconds on any muscle knots you may find.

These three stretch/release techniques will help to keep your quads limber. Perform the stretches only after you run to ensure you get the most power out of your workout, the foam roller exercise can be completed any time. You will also want to make sure you are performing hamstring strength training exercises to balance out the strength in the front and back of your thighs. By keeping your whole leg strong and flexible, you’ll be on the best path to maintaining your resilient running stride.

 

 

References

Zohra Ashpari, “Running Tips: 3 Essential Quad Stretches,” Healthline, accessed November 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-tips-quad-stretches

Jenny Sugar, “5 Move to Stretch Out Your Quads,” Popsugar, accessed November 2016. http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Best-Quad-Stretches-3060365#photo-3060365

Julian Goater and Don Melvin, “Stretching your quadriceps, hip flexors, and adductors,” Human Kinetics, accessed November 2016. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/stretching-your-quadriceps-hip-flexors-and-adductors

Lara Rosenbaum, “Foam Rolling for Runners,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/health/foam-rolling-for-runners

Sarah Scholl, “Owner’s Manual: Strong Hamstrings,” Runner’s World, accessed November 2016. http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/owners-manual-strong-hamstrings

Richelle Wescott, NASM CPT, M.S. Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Balanced Body Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, accessed January 2018 at https://www.linkedin.com/in/richellewescott/

 

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates.

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).