12 Alternate Ways to Get Your Steps In

12 Alternate Ways to Get Your Steps In

1. Participate in a charity walk or fundraiser. You’ll benefit your own health while helping to benefit someone else, a community goal or other worthy cause. Numerous websites provide information about local walks and search features. Fitness Magazine provides a list of charity organizations that host walk/runs benefitting causes like curing Alzheimer’s Disease, breast cancer and ending domestic violence.

2. Go antiquing. Take a stroll through time and marvel at the things people used in the past. Many towns and cities have “antique districts.” Often, you’ll find shop after shop after shop all within walking distance.

3. Visit the zoo, an aquarium or play mini golf. You’d be surprised at how many steps accumulate as you stroll along, observe or participate.

4. Go to a museum or an art gallery. Check with your city and see if there are any new exhibits in town. Who knows? You may find a new interest you didn’t know you had!

5. Become a volunteer dog walker. We all know the majority of us aren’t getting enough steps in. This probably also means that dog owners aren’t out walking their dogs as much as would be optimal. Chances are, you know a few dog owners who love their dogs and would love for their furry friends to get out and enjoy a walk. You’ll get your steps in and make a dog’s day.

6. Visit a craft fair, farmer’s market or other outdoor show. Many towns and cities have something going on every weekend and often during the week as well, depending on the theme. Do an online search for local events or farmers’ markets in your area.

7. Attend a music fest, rodeo or other festival. Some of these types of events last for days. Austin, Texas’ popular SXSW festival usually runs for about 10 days. Attendees can purchase passes by the day or buy a pass for the entire event. Run a search for music fests in your area. Websites like Music Festival Wizard keep track of events nationally. Rodeos in large cities cover huge areas with booths, events and concerts. Lots of steps to get in at these events! Visit Everfest online to locate rodeos near you.

8. Go window shopping or visit an outlet mall. Make a promise you’ll walk the whole thing before stopping more than a few seconds and only then will you go back to browse in the store where you saw that ONE thing you needed! Visiting a new city and not sure where the malls are? Visit Outlet Bound to discover outlet malls near you.

9. Find a botanical garden, a hiking trail or local nature trail. Does your community offer a walk along a river that runs through town? Do you have a nature center in the area? What about a wildflower or Christmas tree farm that allows visitors to stroll through? The American Public Gardens Association offers a search feature to help you locate a variety of public gardens in your area.

10. Offer to visit people in the nursing home who are in wheelchairs. Seek permission to take the elderly out for a walk and offer to push wheelchairs.

11. Play a game like Pokemon Go with your kids and see how far you can walk while locating monsters like Pickachu.

12. Visit a local fort, mission or other landmark that requires you to walk around and observe it both inside and out. Offer to pick up litter at these or other historical places. Helping to keep your community and its landmark’s in great shape and looking clean not only helps your community and the environment but also gives you a sense of purpose while getting your steps in – further improving your own wellbeing!

*Our 12 steps were based on and adapted from the suggestions in 10,000 Steps a Day to Your  Optimal Health by celebrity fitness trainer, Greg Isaacs.

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9 Foods that Boost Metabolism Naturally

Your metabolism is (unfortunately) partly ruled by genetics. If you inherited your mom’s slow-mo metabolism, there are ways to give it a little boost. Rev it up naturally by eating right. Fill up on the following nine foods to increase your body’s fat-burning power.

Egg whites

Rich in branched-chain amino acids, which keep your metabolism stoked, says Chicago nutritionist David Grotto. Eggs are also loaded with protein and vitamin D.

Lean meat

Lean meat is full of iron; deficiencies in the mineral can slow metabolism. Eat three to four servings of iron-rich foods, such as chicken or fortified cereal, a day.

Water

If you’re even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down, says Dr. Scott Isaacs, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Tip: drink water cold, which your body to use more calories to warm it up.

Chili peppers

Capsaicin is a chemical compound that can kick metabolism into higher gear – and chili peppers contain it. Isaacs suggests adding a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers to a meal once a day. They’re also an unexpected source of vitamin C.

Coffee

A study published in Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16% higher than that of those who drank decaf.

Green tea

The brew contains a plant compound called EGCG, which promotes fat-burning, research suggests.

Milk

Studies conducted by Michael Zemel, former director of The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee, suggest that consuming calcium may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently.

Whole grains

Whole grains help your body burn more fat because they take extra effort to break down than processed grains, like white bread and pasta. Whole foods that are rich in fiber, like brown rice and oatmeal are your best bets.

Lentils

About 20% of women are iron deficient — which is bad news for your waistline since your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it’s missing what it needs to work properly. One cup of lentils provides 35% of your daily iron needs.

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Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

All over the country, people are suddenly exercising, going for walks, hikes and (gasp!) breaking out into a sweat. All of this, in search of Pokemon.

For those who are not familiar with this phenomenon, a Google search for Pokemon Go will tell you all you ever (and never) wanted to know but here’s a quick online explanation.

When it comes to reality games, there’s been research and data showing that players can become so involved they lose track of time and even of what’s going on around them. While this can be dangerous, (like the person who crashed his SUV into a cop car while playing Pokemon Go this past week), it can also have fitness benefits.

Health and Exercise Benefits of Pokemon Go

  1. You ‘Forget’ that You Hate to Exercise.  If exercise isn’t really your thing, it helps when you can focus on something besides discomfort and exercise boredom. Instead, you’re excited about an activity that interests you.
  2. Bragging Rights. Participating in a walking challenge with your friends or through your employer? Don’t be surprised if you end up as the “Top Walker” on days that you are out hunting Pokemon.
  3. Social Interaction. Instead of staying inside watching tv, playing on the Xbox, your interest in the game causes you to get go outside, get fresh air and possibly run into others who are also playing Pokemon Go. Short conversations sharing a common interest can occur. You never know: you might make a new friend.
  4. Time Flies, More Steps. When you lose yourself in a reality game, you lose track of time and forget to keep checking how low you’ve been walking or how many steps you’ve taken.
  5. You Burn Calories. You can get so immersed in the game, you don’t notice you’re sweating, tired and more active than normal. More movement = more calories burned. Pokemon Go may seem like “just a fun game” but don’t forget, you can also use it as a fitness tool. If you practice good Pokemon Go safety habits, this can be a great way to get your steps in and be more active while using a Fitbit, Garmin or other activity tracker. If you are involved in a walking program or step challenge, Pokemon Go could be just the inspiration you need to get moving.With countless social media updates about preventing sore feet, tired legs and players burning more calories than normal, it’s easy to see why many people are claiming to walk more than they ever have before.

Want to incorporate Pokemon Go into a walking routine? Walkingspree clients have the option of setting up a Pokemon Go themed walking challenge. If your company isn’t a Walkingspree client yet, visit the Walkingspree website to learn more about how we use wearable tech, mobile apps and more to help employees be more active or share this article with your HR manager.

Written by Krissy Gillaspia for Walkingspree

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Pokemon Go Safety Tips

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

The Pokémon Go craze doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Reports of people being robbed, falling off of cliffs and tales of landing in the ER while playing Pokémon Go are all over the media. One teenager found a dead body floating in a river while playing the game. Police have also reported a car accident where one driver exited a moving vehicle in order to catch a “monster.”

It’s no wonder police departments across the country are warning players in order to protect their safety.

Pokémon Go is now the biggest mobile game in U.S. History.  The game features an “augmented reality” experience where players find and catch Pokémon characters using their phone’s cameras. It looks like they are “hunting” in the real world.  Some players are letting their excitement outweigh their common sense when it comes to catching the “pocket monsters.”  In some cases, they are endangering their physical well-being and possibly their lives.

Pokémon Go related accidents and injuries have become so prevalent that law enforcement, other authorities and the National Parks Association have released practical cautions and warnings across the nation.

At Walkingspree, we believe that Pokémon Go can be a healthy way to get your steps in and be more active. The game may just be what it takes for some people to get up and get moving and that’s a good thing! We’ve seen that it inspires exercise; helping you to get up and go catch monsters. You’ll be getting sunshine and fresh air and if you are like many, you’ll be interacting with other people, possibly improving your social life. These are all encouraged healthy behaviors.  However, we also want everyone to be safe, take wise precautions and use common sense. Here are a few tips to help ensure a safe, fun experience with Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Safety Tips

Stay alert ALWAYS. Look around. Be aware of who and what is around you.

Don’t play alone. Play with a partner or in a group. If after dark, stay in well-lit areas.

Parents should caution their children not to leave the house or go “hunting monsters” without telling them first. Warnings about not going off alone in unsafe or unfamiliar areas are also advised. Be aware that some young children might be tempted to hunt after dark or bedtime if not warned.

Don’t drive your car, motorcycle, bike, skateboard, hover board or even roller skate while you are playing the game. Be smart, you can’t safely do both at the same time.

No trespassing! Respect private property and don’t visit areas you wouldn’t normally (legally/safely) visit otherwise.

Remember: Don’t get so involved in catching a “monster” that you find yourself “lured” into a harmful situation.  There have been reports of people being lured to a PokeStop in order to rob them.

Wear comfortable walking shoes if you plan to be out for awhile.

Wear sunscreen. In the United States, it can get pretty hot outside. Don’t get a painful sunburn.

Stay hydrated. Bring water or plan to stop accordingly to quench your thirst.

Last, but not least, HAVE FUN and enjoy yourself. Pokémon Go is a fun game and can be a healthy way to get your exercise in for the day.

Written by Krissy Gillaspia for Walkingspree

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Eat Smart! Build a Healthy Meal Infographic

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