Shake Up Your Exercise with a HIIT Workout

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout that alternates brief periods of vigorous exercise with periods of moderate activity, or rest (recovery). For example, a person could run for 30 seconds and then walk for three minutes. The periods of vigorous exercise and periods of rest/recovery can vary, as can the intensity levels of both. This allows HIIT workouts to be very adaptable to each individual and their fitness levels. The popularity of HIIT has remained on the rise thanks to continued research supporting it as an efficient and effective way to get and stay fit. HIIT is an excellent way for you to improve your fitness level and health, but it does require pushing your body to a higher intensity, so take your level of fitness into account before starting. Consulting a doctor before beginning [...]

Wellness for the HR Professional: Emotional Health

This has been a tough year for HR professionals. You may have had to give bad news about wages or loss, or you may be struggling to hire reliable workers. You have certainly been dealing with a lot of stress! Stress takes energy, and when we are out of energy, we suffer. Stress is the reaction to a threat (real or imagined) to your well-being, which results in a series of physical and emotional responses. Everyone experiences different symptoms of stress. Some of us get depressed, others get angry, anxious, or feel hopeless or lonely. Try implementing some of the strategies below to help you manage your stress and take care of your mental and emotional health. Have an action plan. When we are faced with stress, our human instinct is to react by either fighting or running away (The [...]

Wellness for the HR Professional: Nutrition

  Most of us feel like we are in survival mode as we return to the workplace. We have also gained the “COVID-19 pounds”. Take the following steps to healthfully go back to work. Be kind to yourself and slowly integrate health behaviors (back) into your life. These 2 major steps are meant to help you thrive during this time and not add more stress. Eat mindfully. This means to increase your awareness of what influences your food choices. Consider the following: Why am I eating? Am I hungry or am I stressed? Is this physical hunger or an emotional response? Enjoy your food. Use all your senses to enjoy your food. This means you eat slowly, take small bites and chew thoroughly. No distractions. Take time to enjoy your food. Stop working for a period, turn off the screen [...]

Organic vs. Conventional Produce: What is the difference?

A frequent dilemma in the produce aisle: to choose organic or not to choose organic. Perhaps you pick up two apples: one organic and one conventionally grown. Both are round, firm, and red. Both are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So which should you choose? Let’s get the facts straight before heading off to the grocery store. What does “organic” mean? According the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the term “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and handle their crops. They must follow strict guidelines to be labeled with the USDA organic seal. Organic farming practices, established by the USDA, are designed to enhance water and soil quality, reduce overall pollution, and promote sustainability among the farming industry. In organic farming there are practices that are not permitted and are overseen by the USDA. Materials and processes NOT [...]

Mindfulness Meditation

  What is the first thing you think of when someone tells you to meditate? Perhaps you think of monks sitting cross-legged repeating “hum” in a Zen garden. This may be the truth for some, but the modern world has taken a different approach to meditation, combining the practice with a concept known as mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation has shown to have long-lasting benefits and can be easily done by anybody. What is Mindfulness Meditation? Mindfulness meditation is an approach to becoming aware of our breath and mindset. It involves examining each breath we take and noticing how our mind begins to wander during this task. As we continue to practice returning to our breath, we are able to build the muscles of attention and mindfulness. We increase our own ability to stay in the present as we guide ourselves to [...]

Exercise in the Great Outdoors Safely

Summer is just around the corner! The warmer weather can boost motivation for a consistent exercise routine. It’s the perfect time of year for a variety of outdoor activities. There are still some safety precautions to keep in mind. Use the tips below to keep your outdoor exercise safe and enjoyable. Safety First Safety is key when exercising outside. Choosing to exercise in daylight hours and paying attention to traffic will keep you alert on the road. If you’re in a rural or park setting, consider exercising with a buddy or letting someone know where you are ahead of time and when you plan to return. It’s a good practice to bring both your ID, a little cash, and your charged phone with you for any of those “just in case” scenarios. Also, don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses. Even on [...]

Air Fried Food: Healthy Fast Food?

Potato chips, fried chicken, and French fries overwhelmingly appeal to all the senses with their crispy crunch and flavor. Fried foods are a staple in the American diet because they are fast and convenient. However, these foods have health implications. Fried Food Health Concerns and Solutions: Fried foods are high in saturated fats and trans fats. We know these fats contribute to heart disease, obesity, and type II diabetes. It is important to limit these fats in the diet. Try to choose foods that have healthy fats like nuts, salmon, and skinless chicken. Cooking with oils that contain unsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are better than butter and lard. Think of using fats that are liquid at room temperature and not solid. Decrease the amount of fat used while cooking and switch to an unsaturated [...]

Iced Tea for Health

  What would your life be like without the 1904 World's Fair? Many of our fun food staples hit the American taste buds at the fair, including the hamburger, hot dog, peanut butter, ice cream cone, cotton candy, and iced tea. During that time, iced tea became a staple of American culture. Health Benefits Heart Health and Cancer Risk There are health protecting properties to plants called phytochemicals.  Research is constantly being done about how different phytochemicals correlate to health and wellness. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, usually called EGCG, is a phytochemical found in high amounts in green tea. EGCG has been linked to decreasing inflammation and better heart health . Researchers have also linked a decreased risk of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer with some of the properties in green tea. Nutrition Minerals such as manganese, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc vary [...]

5 Components of Exercise Recovery

  You just finished up a great workout…Congrats! But now what? Practicing recovery techniques after exercise is essential for getting the most out of your workout and lowering the risk of injury. Incorporate the components below into your routine for maximum recovery. Cool-Down The cool-down is a component of exercise that is frequently overlooked. Too often, we finish our workout and go right on with our day. However, wrapping up our workout with a cool-down is going to help our body recover quicker. Finish up your workout with 5-10 minutes of very low-intense activity. This will gradually lower your heart rate and bring your body back into a resting state. Finish up your cool-down with several minutes of full-body stretching. Stretching will allow your muscles to relax, which can ease soreness and cramping. Recover Complete an extra intense workout or [...]

Adaptogenic Mushrooms

  The largest living organism in the world is a fungus: the almighty mushroom. At the cell level, mushrooms have more in common with humans than any other plant. Maybe that is why they seem so helpful to human health? Adaptogens are a class of herb that are thought to help us cope with stress. Types of stress range from general inflammation to fight-or-flight response. The thought is that they aid in the ability of our bodies to cope and adapt to physical, biological, and chemical stress. Consuming adaptogenic herbs can possibly help reduce physical fatigue along with depression and anxiety, enhance mental performance and immunity, and generally help you thrive under pressure. Medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Eastern Medicine. The adaptogen class of these mushrooms have shown to reduce the effects of stress on [...]