NOW is a great time to engage in healthy, fun activities that support an active lifestyle. Salida Recreation has some exciting, motivating, and fun ideas for the 7th Annual Fitness Challenge. Our goal is to offer you education and guidance towards setting and achieving goals and feeling healthy! By participating in the many aspects of the Fitness Challenge, you will receive structure and information encompassing health, fitness, and nutrition to help you make changes that will last beyond the New Year.
Our fitness challenge will run through January and February. It’s up to you!! Try to participate in at least one of the following activities. There are some incentives to do so, but the BEST and most REWARDING incentive is to IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS!!!
Map My Run During the Salida Recreation 2017 Fitness Challenge, participants are invited to use the FREE MapMyRun app to show us some creative routes on the hiking trails, bike paths, or ski slopes! Submit a snapshot of your craziest route, best artwork or insane challenge to Twitter (@SalidaRec), Facebook, or Instagram for a chance to get featured on our pages. A prize will be awarded to the best submission at the end of the Challenge in February.
Office Workout Do you work in an office? Well this challenge is for you! During the Fitness Challenge, we want to inspire all those who have a desk job to say “yes” to staying fit. Throughout the challenge, check our web page every week for tips about staying fit, healthy snack ideas, and even fun and invigorating workouts you can do in your own office space. See Office Fitness Bulletins below…
Post your workout photos to our social media sites to motivate your friends, family and community #excercise #fitnesschallenge #salidarec #aquaticcenter
As part of our Fitness Challenge Salida Recreation is partnering with Bev Orrill, Health Educator with Chaffee County Public Health and Colorado Heart Healthy Solutions (CHHS)
CHHS is a FREE program that focuses on prevention and improvement of cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the #1 killer in Colorado and in the United States. However we know that 80% of CVD is preventable. Through CHHS, Bev’s goal is to screen people for CVD and offer the help they need to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke. The screenings take about 30 minutes, is just a finger prick and includes lifestyle coaching. The best part is that this service is completely FREE.
Kids Fitness Challenge 2017:
We all know how important it is to set goals for ourselves around the new year and keep working towards them. Let’s instill this idea and habits in our children too. Here are some ideas to get your kids up and moving in 2017….keep it going all year!
Run/Walk OR Volunteer at the New Year’s Day 5k ~ Eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every day ~ Try a NEW vegetable, fruit or grain you’ve never tried before ~ Try a new sport or physical activity ~ Find a healthy recipe and make it (or help your parents make it) ~ Walk or ride your bike to school ~ Limit your screen time! Spend 30 minutes or less in front of a screen ~ Go ski, run, bike, swim, dance, walk, hike ~ Go to the top of ‘S’ Mountain ~ Visit a playground ~ Drink 6 – 8 cups of water each day ~ Start your day off right and eat breakfast ~ Sleep at least 8 hours every night ~ Play with friends and family ~ Volunteer!
Office Fitness Bulletins:
During the Salida Recreation Fitness Challenge, we will be updating our website with clever and fun ways to be mindful about our fitness over the winter months- specifically those of us who work in an office! Maybe you go to work in the dark, and return from work in the dark. Maybe your job requires you to be at your desk, on the phone, or sitting in a meeting for hours at a time. Maybe you get up early to run, only to find 3 feet of snow blocking your door! Whatever the case, Salida Recreation wants to help.
Office Fitness Bulletin 1: Let’s start by rethinking the way we sit- or stand at our desk!
Studies have shown that replacing our desk chair with an exercise ball can be beneficial to our core muscles and balance. Sitting with proper posture on a ball requires small contractions of core, hip, and leg muscles; these can lead to improved balance and muscle tone. We don’t have to give up the chair entirely- it is important to alternate between the two to maintain good posture. A 55 cm ball is the proper height for most folks; 65 cm for those of us over 6 feet.
Sitting for too many hours a day is a killer- if we can swing a bit of extra money, a Standing Desk is a great way to get us up and out of our chairs while we work. Research has shown that alternating from sitting to standing in an office is beneficial to posture, weight loss, and overall longer life due to decreased risk of obesity and cancer. There are different options of standing desks- some simply lift up your monitor and keyboard on an already existing desk, while others lift the desk entirely. Check out: Smart Desk by Autonomous AI, VARIDESK Standing Desks.
Office Fitness Bulletin 2: Expanding on posture at the workplace
Some of us sit for close to 12 hours a day (or more), research says. When we factor in the time we spend at our desks, plus commuting to work, and then any time we spend on the couch at home- it’s easy to see how quickly 12 sitting hours can stack up. While some of aspect of sitting is unavoidable (at least I hope we don’t stand up to drive), having proper posture during these periods of sitting is not impossible. Proper computer desk posture can be described as:
- Sitting up straight, with your shoulders relaxed, and your arms bent at a 90 degree angle
- Feet flat on the floor, and legs bent comfortably, close to a 90 degree angle
- Chair adjusted so lower back is supported and not slouched
- Line of sight to computer monitor is perpendicular to your head and eyes
It is important that we are consistent with our good posture, but even more so that we are conscious of when our posture is poor! Don’t let a great amount of time pass by before you notice that slouch.
Bad posture is reversible. A few exercises we can do to relieve muscles and strengthen our backs (and yes, we can do these in our office) are:
- Chest Stretches: Do these by placing your hand on the corner of a wall, and then leaning forward until you feel the stretch in your shoulder and chest. Hold for 20 seconds, and switch hands and repeat. Sets of 3 are good
- Chest Compression: Use a tennis ball. Hold the ball with both hands, and press it against your chest while slowly rolling it around the top, bottom, and sides of your chest. You can compress harder in areas that feel tight and need loosening up.
Back Rolls: You’ll need a foam roller for this one, but it’s great for flexing the spine and correcting rounded shoulders. Lay the middle of your back on the roller, with your waist up, feet flat on the ground, legs bent, and hands behind your head. Slowly roll forward, until the roller is beneath your neck, and then reverse to your lower back.
Back Lift: Lay flat on the ground, belly down. From here, use your hands and arms to push your upper body off the ground, curving upward, and look at the ceiling. Hold position for a bit, gently return, and repeat. If you’re wanting a challenge, lift your torso off the ground in an upward curve without using your hands.
Office Fitness Bulletin 3: Breaks, walking, and playing
Breaks are super important; we need more breaks than just one lunch break in a day. Not to mention- only about 1 in 3 employees actually step away from their desk to eat lunch, studies show. Taking small breaks during the day is greatly beneficial to our health and mental status. By just stopping a few minutes every hour to stretch, walk around, or even check our Facebook, we reap the benefits of increased productivity, correction of physical discomfort, and reduced fatigue. As a rule of thumb- 6 out of every 80 minutes should be spent breaking, and, it is always more effective to take a break BEFORE it is needed.
We’re getting really specific about Salida now, as we talk about walking. Walking is fantastic for our health- weight loss, lower disease risk, lower dementia risk, heart and body strengthening, boost in attitude, energy, and Vitamin D are just a few named reasons to walk. Here, in Salida, we can walk just about anywhere! Walking to work, to the store, to dinner, or to events are all on the table for our small community. Still need motivation to walk? Adopt a dog!
Play (meaning anything you enjoy doing) is important for us adults- for all the same reasons it is for kids. We still require the need for joy, creativity, and relationships, and play is a form in which we facilitate these connections. Our advice here is easy: Just be sure to play. Every week; every day if we can.
A great anonymous quote that ties into the Fitness Challenge:
“Find three hobbies you love. One to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.”
Office Fitness Bulletin 4: Keeping track, and diet help
Weight loss. It’s in the back of our minds, especially during these winter months. It’s easy to know what good habits result in weight loss: Diet, and Exercise. But, staying successful while dieting requires a little extra work; join us as we consider the following.
Getting serious about weight loss means also getting serious about tracking. Good tracking leads to good behavior patterns when we change our eating and exercise habits. We should be logging our weight each time we weigh ourselves, keeping track of when and what we did for exercise in a calendar, and keeping a “food diary”- where we note what we ate throughout the day. Keeping a tangible list of these things is not only the basis for identifying what we need to change, but it provides focus towards what our goal is. Long term success is just that- long term. Tracking in the process is way of being accountable for our goal- much like clocking in for work. Research also shows that people who track their weight loss are less likely to stray from their plan, or fall off the wagon altogether.
Diets solve everything, right? Whatever the newest fad diet is, undoubtedly it is working for everybody- why is it not working for me? Well, the simple answer is, many diets fail because of extreme expectations. When starting a new diet plan, fad or no, it is important to plan realistically. Expecting rapid weight loss can often lead to discouragement and relapse into bad habits, just the same way choosing a diet that is impossible to manage with our lifestyle is a setup for failure. Multiple studies have shown that the simple truth is: there is no one diet that is best for everyone. In order to find what kind of diet best works for us, we need to ask “What diet can I stick to?” And, a simple rule of thumb for starting a diet should be “What did I do today, versus what did I eat today?” Just remember that patience is a virtue, and dedication will always yield results.
Office Fitness Bulletin 5 : Snacking at the workplace, and meal prep
We’ve heard it a hundred times: eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, avoid junk food, soda… etc. While it’s implausible to think we’ll never indulge on a candy bar again (it’s ok to treat oneself), there are simple ways to be healthy between meals. If we are wise about our snack selection, we gain nutrition and energy.
- Consider picking up snacks that won’t spoil easily. Granola, crackers, and dried fruit are great options for storing at the office; french fries are not.
- Snacks with high amounts of protein can keep us satiated longer. Add peanut butter to that cracker, or try eating nuts.
- If our snack is a fruit or vegetable, don’t peel the skin off. The skin is rich and fiber and can also make us feel fuller.
- Coffee is good, tea is great, but most of all, we need to drink water. Staying hydrated can curb hunger altogether, but is also important to maintain proper metabolism when we do eat.
Planning meals and snacks for the week has a surprising amount of benefits. By prepping ahead of time, we consciously make healthier choices, control portion sizes, regulate metabolism by not skipping eating, save time, and save money. Some tips to get into prepping are:
- Set aside time to do it. Even if it takes a couple of hours to do on a day off, we still save time throughout the week
- Make large batches of meals or snacks, and then portion out to be frozen. Then it’s as simple as grabbing-and-going each morning.
- Vary options. We don’t want to get bored eating the same thing over and over; there are plenty of sources out there for new ideas.
- Obtain good tupperware to be frequently reused, and cut down on plastic bag disposal.
- Plan the grocery list according to the meal week ahead. This prevents random spending, and also cuts down on waste.
Office Fitness Bulletin 6: Finding time
Making time to exercise can be single hardest thing about exercising at all. It seems like there’s never a drop in our day that isn’t committed to something else- we have jobs, pets, kids, meals to cook, soccer to coach, shows to watch, homework to do, events to plan, dates to go on, sleep to catch, appointments to meet. If it’s recommended that we do something healthy for at least an hour each day, where heck does it fit in? There are lots of different ways to get started finding time in each day to exercise. Let’s talk about three: prioritizing your to-do list, making changes in what we do socially, and starting out easy, but consistently.
Let’s take a look at our daily to-dos, and select which ones are most important. In our work life, it may be finishing a project, or making an important phone call. In our home life, it may be making sure all are fed, chores are done, and then watching a season premiere. In order to be successful, some tasks must be the priority. But, which ones can we cut back on to free up time to exercise? Can some emails wait, or tasks be delegated? Can we do the dishes today, and the laundry tomorrow instead of binging on chores? Could we catch up on our favorite show this weekend? By honoring our priorities in their space, we create valuable time to take care of our health.
Being social is an important part of our lives, and we take part in social activities every single day. By making small changes like adding exercise to these activities, we then also do something healthy every single day. Meeting for lunch? Bike there! It’s date night? Go to a Yoga class! Catching up over the phone? Walk while you talk! The possibilities are endless, and the benefits are vast. Doing something healthy with our friends and families leads to motivation, positivity, regularity, bonding, shared interest, accountability; the list goes on and on.
Finding time takes commitment. If committing isn’t easy, then we should start real easy. By taking only 5 minutes a day, just 5, committing them to doing something healthy, and then making sure we do it every, single, day, we’ve started something good. We feel better, we can see change, and we can stay motivated this way. 5 minutes can turn into 10. 10 can turn into 20. Before we know it, we could be doing something for an hour. Every. Single. Day. Start out easy, but be consistent. Good health is worth our time.
Office Fitness Bulletin 7: Finding Sources
On our avenue to health and fitness, there are endless sources available at our desk and fingertips to help enrich and support our cause. Finding sources brings in new ideas. It can mean finding motivation, or it can mean staying accountable. It can be fact checking, or myth busting. It can help find a starting point, provide how-tos, or tell us how to progress. We work in an office, have a computer at home, have smart phones; let’s use these to get informed! Included is just a small piece of the millions of resources there are out there for us to find.
- Blogs. You can look for and follow one’s about (you guessed it) health and fitness! Blogs are windows into other people’s stories- what helped them, what hindered them, where they started, and how they are maintaining. Look for blogs about fitness practices similar to your own. Even better, look for blogs that are dissimilar, and get new ideas!
- Youtube. Countless videos about exercise, health, food, really anything. Spend the same time you would be watching a cat video instead watching a helpful video about running. Scare yourself and watch a video about sitting in an office too much. See videos about easy and healthy meals you can cook. Here’s a great place to start, youtube.com/fitnessblender
- Facebook. Find pages about health and fitness, and follow them. These are great resources for updated tips, health apps, events, ideas, gear, and a great place to find support.
- Twitter. Many of the same above reasons apply. This resource is great for getting portals to articles, sites, and blogs. And, both are mobile friendly!
- Sites relative to office fitness. Maybe harder to track down, but usually made of communities who share similar traits when it comes to work and lifestyle. It’s nice to relate and know there are others who experience similar struggles and goals. A good example is nerdfitness.com- a site created by people who’ve spent a lot of time around computers and desk jobs.
- Social and community sharing sites. These are great for anything like new ideas, recipes, encouragement, tracking, calculators, logs, and asking questions. Try reddit.com/fitness
- Nifty websites. Something like DressMyRun.com, which tells you what the weather is currently like in your area, and what to wear for a run depending on how warm/cold you want to be.
- Google. Of course, the holy grail. Find endless information here, but check your source to make sure it’s good. If it is, check its bibliography for even more!
- The Library. Never out of style when the internet is down. Look for health books, or specifically “Scared Sitless”.
JOIN US IN IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF OUR COMMUNITY. LIVE.LIFE.HEALTHY.