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When you’re physically active on a regular basis, your body gets more efficient so what was once challenging is now easier. The upside – you’re stronger and healthier. The flip side – your body is now burning fewer calories.

To keep up the calorie burn, follow the exercise guidelines of the FITT principle. FITT stands for: 

 

·         Frequency - How often you’re active

·         Intensity - How hard you’re working

·         Time - How long you’re active

·         Type - The kind of activity

 

Changing just one of these areas at a time helps you get better results, minimize boredom, and avoid weight loss plateaus.  For example, if you’ve been walking the same 30 minute route three days a week for the past few months, instead you might add an extra day of walking, walk longer, walk faster or even add a few short bursts of jogging into your walk, or switch up your routine altogether by adding a Zumba class or 30 minutes of swimming.

 

Only increase one area of the FITT principle at a time, not all at the same time, to avoid overuse and injury. As always, see your doctor for guidelines and recommendations specific to your current physical condition.

 

References:

 

https://coaching.humana.com/Default.aspx?tabid=5383&lid=1025471&reflid=0&cid=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d9d2b0370c8e4&cpid=50001&ctid=50002&cgtid=10000&cvtid=1&coachmgr=1&conly=1&nolog=1&cpidv8=50001&id=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d-9d2b0370c8e4&rwndrnd=0.4568419243863251

http://teams.humana.com/sites/Coach2Coach/SiteAssets/Coaching%20Resources/Coaching%20Resource%20on%20Fitness.pdf

Is being excessively competitive or too self-critical stopping you from reaching your goals?

 

Recent research shows that self-criticism actually makes us less resilient and less likely to learn important lessons from failure. Instead, in the face of adversity, self-criticism can make us more anxious and defensive, and can lead to isolation or unhealthy competition. The better alternative to self-criticism is self-compassion.

 

We’re learning that self-compassion is a way to improve your emotional well-being and help you achieve your goals. Self-compassion involves being as kind to yourself as you would to a friend or loved one, understanding that mistakes are a normal part of everyday life, and not getting stuck in the downward spiral of negative emotions that can come along with failure.

 

What if self-compassion does not come naturally to you? You’re not alone and you can learn it! The first step is to recognize how you respond to life’s challenges and failures. For example, how do you respond when you’ve overindulged at a special event?

 

Instead of beating yourself up, acknowledge your mistakes and any feelings of self-doubt or failure. Then let it all go. Recognize that any failures or perceived weaknesses from overindulging do not reflect your worth as a person, but are just a moment in time to be overcome. Ask yourself what you would tell a friend in your situation. Perhaps you’d tell her we all have those moments. Maybe you’d help him figure out what he’d do differently in the future. You’d let your friend know that one night of overeating does not make him or her a failure.

 

With self-compassion, you reach just as high for your goals. And, in the face of adversity, you’re better able to stay focused and work toward your goals. Be your own best friend.

 

Not sure how to practice self-compassion in your life? Your coach is always there for you.  

 

 

Reference

http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/the-scientific-benefits-of-self-compassion-infographic/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/self-compassion-fosters-mental-health/

communitymanager

Time for a reset?

Posted by communitymanager Mar 10, 2020

Despite our best intentions, we all get off track sometimes, right? When working on weight management, the most important step is to “hit the reset button” and keep moving forward. Here are the steps you can take to help you get back on track.

  • Don’t dwell. Remember, self-acceptance and self-kindness are key to moving forward. Think about what you can do in the future instead of what happened in the past.  Remember you are only one meal – or workout – away from getting back on track.
  • Ask yourself what you learned. Reflect on the situation. Is there something you’d do differently next time? Maybe it’s a new strategy such as scheduling physical activity into your calendar or putting sticky notes on your fridge to remind you to eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Add a little structure. A little additional self-monitoring will help ensure successful “reset” efforts. Try using a food log or measuring cups for a couple of days, weighing yourself regularly, or incorporating an activity tracker into your physical activity.
  •  Remember why you started. Reflect a bit on your motivation. Ask yourself how you can help keep your motivation front and center.  

 

In need of a reset? Try these suggestions out!

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/top-10-ways-to-get-back-on-track#1

If you’re not taking advantage of savings programs offered by your employer, you may be leaving money on the table. Plus, the earlier you participate, the more time your money has to grow before you need it for college tuition, healthcare expenses or retirement.

 

It’s always a great time to learn more about the financial programs offered by your employer, which might include:

 

  • 401(k) and 403(b) plans – One of the most popular employer programs, these retirement-based programs help build up a retirement fund at any stage in your career. In 2020, you can contribute up to $19,500, before taxes, through a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (for non-profit companies). Your employer can match up to six percent of your contribution – think of it as “free” money. Your savings grow tax-free until you start taking distributions. 
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) – If you’re paying for daycare, preschool, summer camps or adult care for a dependent, a DCFSA allows a tax-free reimbursement for eligible expenses. Experts predict this could save an average of 30 percent in taxes every year. Ask your employer if they offer DCFSAs and when you can enroll.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – This is another great way to save money. With an FSA, you set aside funds to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs during your plan’s program year. You are not required to pay taxes on the funds in your FSA account. In addition, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. If your employer offers FSA accounts, they will be happy to provide details about their FSA program, including timing of when funds must be used.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – With an HSA, you can save money to pay for medical expenses and reduce your taxable income. You must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan to open an HSA. Like an FSA, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. Otherwise, for 2020 individuals can contribute up to $3,350, while families can contribute up to $7,100 annually. Plus, you never lose HSA funds – it’s a savings account that stays with employees with contributions being invested over time.

 

If you think you’re missing out on “free” money or tax breaks, ask your employer how to participate in these programs to optimize your savings.

 

Living your best financial life starts with understanding how to maximize savings opportunities. The earlier you start, the longer your wealth has time to increase.

 

Sources:

Julia Kagan, “401K Plans: The complete guide,” Investopedia, accessed January 2020. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/401kplan.asp

“Dependent Care FSA,” FSA Feds, accessed January 2020. https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/dcfsa

“12 things you didn’t know about the Dependent Care FSA,” Employee Benefits Corporation, accessed January 2020. https://www.ebcflex.com/Education/NewsCenter/tabid/1142/ArticleID/413/12-Things-You-Didn’t-Know-About-the-Dependent-Care-FSA.aspx

“Using a Flexible Spending account (FSA),” HealthCare.gov, accessed January 2020. https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

Liz Davidson, “Considering a financial wellness program for your employees: Make sure you ask these questions first,” Forbes, accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2019/03/03/considering-a-financial-wellness-program-for-your-employees-make-sure-you-ask-these-questions-first/#5e3094602f3b

Brianna McGurran, “How to build financial literacy–and why,” Experian, accessed January 2020. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-financial-literacy-and-why-is-it-important/