Eating healthy in a tough economy

The economy has taken its toll on just about everybody and everything that you do. Many people are cutting back and doing the best they can do to survive in a tough economy. I have some ideas I would like to share with you about how to get the most for your buck when it comes to nutrition. Here are some of my favorite tips:

1. Compare food prices based on number of servings provided and nutritional contribution. Also, look at the unit price of food.

2. Take inventory of the food you have at home. Buy only what you need and what you plan to eat.

3. Plan your meals in advance. Try to make a menu for each week so you know what you plan on cooking.

4. Plan for leftovers.

5. Purchase produce that is in season.

6. Use sales and coupons.

7. Never shop on an empty stomach. Make sure you go shopping after a meal of snack.

Hopefully, these will help many WalkingSpree members. If you liked this post, look for my blog next week as I will share some more of these ideas with you.

Part 2 >>
Part 3 >>

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Micro Steps for Micro Media Challenge

I initiated this challenge to find creative ways to fit more steps into my day. I’m hoping you will step along with me. If you use a pedometer and use social media, this challenge is for you. For every tweet, facebook status update, blog comment, text message, friend feed activity or any other form of micro media that you participate in today, take at least 140 steps. If you participated in 10 micro media actions in the day, that’s 1400 more steps that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

This is an exercise to show you how small steps can add up over the day and make a positive benefit to your health. If you have time to write 140 characters in a tweet, you have time to take 140 steps.

Let me know how well you succeed on your micro steps challenge:)

10 stepping tips that we twittered previously;

1. Pacing the office during conference calls can be a great way to get in extra steps and improve oxygen to the brain.

2. Use the bathroom on the opposite floor that you are on in your home or in your work place.

3. Use a retractable leash when walking the dog. It will free your arms so you can pump more vigorously and burn more calories.

4. Keep a pair of walking/running shoes in your car or office so you can take advantage of any small period of time to walk.

5. Walk down the office hall to talk to co-workers instead of sending emails will increase your step count. This could mean 500 extra steps!

6. Sitting at your desk is a good time to do flexibility exercises like head rolls, shoulder shrugs and stretch your quads and hamstrings.

7. Setting targets is an important part of reaching goals. If your target is 6000 steps this week. Next week increase it by 20%.

8. Taking the stairs instead of elevators is an excellent way to add steps, strength train and improve cardo too.

9. To boost weight loss success, work up to 12,000 – 15,000 steps/day (add 2,000/week) and consume 500 fewer kcal/day.

10. Have kids? by walking around the field instead of sitting to watch your kids play sports, you can easily increase steps by 2000 steps/day.

On a side note, I’ve taken to keeping a jump rope in my office and alternating some of my step sessions with jump roping to give the metabolism an extra boost. It’s a way to mix up the routine a bit more in the office space and doesn’t take up too much room.

Ok, I’m off to tweet this and then do my 140 steps:)

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Walking Right – A Review

Here are some tips on making your walking experience that much better!

Start slow and easy
No matter whether you are a seasoned walker or new at it…always begin your walk slow and easy. When you walk remember to walk only as far as or as fast as you find comfortable. Next time you will be able to go for longer or faster.

Use proper technique to avoid injury and setbacks
Walking is a great exercise because it’s so simple to do. But if your posture is poor or your movements exaggerated, you increase your risk of injury. Walk tall and relax your body. Keep your gaze up to the horizon and enjoy the scenary,

Walking Right - Source Mayo Clinic

Walking Right – Source Mayo Clinic

Measure the intensity of your workout
As you walk, measure the intensity. Knowing your level allows you to increase the intensity to maximize your workout or slow down to avoid overdoing it. You have these options:

  • Talk test. If you’re so out of breath that you can’t carry on a conversation with the person you’re walking with, you’re probably walking too fast and should slow down.
  • Borg scale. This method is a self-assessment of your perceived exertion. You rate how hard you think you’re working on a scale that ranges from 6 (no exertion) to 20 (maximal effort). Aim for at least moderate intensity (12 to 14) as you walk.
  • Monitor your heart rate (pulse). To find out if you’re exercising within the range of your target heart rate, stop exercising to check your pulse manually at your wrist (radial artery) or neck (carotid artery). Another option is to wear an electronic device that displays your heart rate. Your target heart rate will depend on age. Resting heart rate average is 72 beats per minute.

Keep track of your progress
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration. Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year.

Reference your walking using the WalkingSpree pedometer activity tracking. If you need help let one of us know! Your walking history can all be found when you upload and sign in.

Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

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Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) Walking Buddies

WalkingSpree has several members who have undergone weight loss surgery (WLS) or are contemplating surgery. This decision often involves a lot of thought and it is not a quick fix. After the surgery, there is still a lot of work to be done to lose the weight.

Well, one of WalkingSpree’s members and a previous member of the month has found a great way to inspire many people who have gone through weight loss surgery and are on their journey to lose weight. Virginia thought that doing youtube videos would be a way to motivate herself and others as she lost the weight. She decided to invite other viewers to be her walking buddy. Over time her subscriber base grew and before she knew it, she had several weight loss surgery (WLS) viewers wearing pedometers and participating in her walking buddies challenge.


“Who wants to be my walking buddy contest?”

Virginia then encouraged everyone to come to WalkingSpree so they could see each other’s stepping totals and have some fun competition and motivation with their own walking club. Their monthly challenges appear to be inspiring many and their forum group is a lively bunch. Virginia is a great example of someone had a goal and found what worked for her and would inspire herself and others.


Youtube WLS Buddies most recent Walking Buddies Challenge

If you would like more information about weight loss surgery or support, you can visit Virginia’s WLS Walking Buddies Live Spaces page.

Kudos to all the WLS walking buddies on your continued walking challenge and reaching your personal goals. WalkingSpree is proud to support the WLS Walking Buddies.

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Inside WalkingSpree

We’re excited to launch our new WalkingSpree blog. In the blog, you’ll find articles on health, nutrition and wellness as well as monthly recipes. Our WalkingSpree Personal Trainers will be writing posts that provide grounded and accurate fitness information as well as provide you with encouragement and motivation.

We sent this special edition of our newsletter to all our WalkingSpree members to highlight some exciting events that have happened recently. Read our Corporate client news, listen to a podcast, find out who the member of the month is and see who the top 20 walkers are for September.

Corporate Client News

WalkingSpree Corporate Client wins 2008 Benefits Professional of the Year Award

WalkingSpree was thrilled to congratulate Scott Beeken of American Financial Group (AFG) and Great American Insurance as the 2008 Benefits Professional of the Year (Benny Award) that was recently presented at the Annual Benefits Forum & Expo in Washington, DC.

WalkingSpree has worked closely with Mr. Beeken in establishing a company wide wellness initiative for its 5,500 employees by delivering WalkingSpree’s turn-key walking program for corporate clients that includes a private website for AFG. As part of a comprehensive wellness program that also included biometric screenings, a weight management program and wellness seminars, employees were challenged to walk at least one million steps over a 6 month period to qualify for a range of awards that included a new 2009 Saturn Sky convertible.

There are 2,700 employees and spouses participating in the WalkingSpree walking component and they are averaging over 8,300 steps per day — twice the average activity for a typical office worker. AFG employees might be wearing out their shoes as they collectively have walked over 2 billion steps after four months, and nearly two-thirds will have exceeded the corporate challenge to reach million steps. That is amazing!

WalkingSpree Member of the Month

Not only has Mr. Beeken won the Benny Award, he himself has walked at least 10,000 steps every day since he started the program in early April 2008. He hasn’t missed a single day. In light of this, we would like to make Scott Beeken, the WalkingSpree member of the month. Congratulations!

Scott Beeken with Dr. Oz

Scott Beeken (left) with Dr. Oz (right)

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Podcast Interview

Hiran Perera, CEO of WalkingSpree was also interviewed on the Cost of “Presenteism in the Corporate Work Environment”. Listen to the podcast to find out the effects of corporate wellness programs, keeping people motivated and your ROI.

Direct link to w3w3 podcast.

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Top 20 walkers – September
(includes all WalkingSpree members)

Screen Name Total Steps Average Steps

68

1404129

46804

The Lean Machine

1354047

45135

Eileen A Southerland

1200060

40002

suemartin

1166911

38897

Summerlin

1063785

35460

Martini

930428

31014

KC Kitty

903561

30119

LBrady

900396

30013

me

877381

29246

Brock

862520

28751

Annie

853702

28457

Tommy Slay

775139

25838

Joan Schloemer

771197

25707

Pigpen

769158

25639

BiggestFrank

755183

25173

grego

754596

25153

Just Do It

746191

24873

Janice Wilson

741326

24711

Gordita

734193

24473

Gizmo

730860

24362

New Features
If you are a club admin, you can now send a private message to all your club members under the club admin panel.

NOTE: We will be transferring all the older newsletters over the next couple of weeks so that you’ll be able to find them all in one spot.

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