Move Smart! Nighttime safety walking tips

Be safe when walking at night
The change of seasons along with the change in daylight saving time may have you walking in the dark — literally. Here are a few tips to help you see and be seen while walking at night.

  • Carry a flashlight to illuminate your path and help drivers see you. Consider clipping a “book” light or other small light on the back of your jacket.
  • Walk in well lit areas and on routes you are familiar with. You need to know where the curbs and uneven surfaces are.
  • Wear reflective material when walking at dusk or at night. Don’t rely on one strip of reflective tape on your leg or arm.
  • Face oncoming traffic and stay on designated walkways and paths when possible. When a car approaches, move out of the way.
  • Always assume drivers will not see you, especially when crossing a street. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
  • Use popular walking routes. Drivers in that area may already be on the lookout for pedestrians. But again, don’t assume that every driver is familiar with the area.
  • Be aware of engine noises and backup lights, cars backing out of driveway and parking lots.
  • Don’t use headphones or talk on the phone. Don’t get distracted.
  • Share your walking route and what time you expect to return with someone you trust.
  • Walk with a buddy or take Fido with you. There is safety in numbers and company can make the time pass.
  • Wear a whistle or carry a small alarm to attract attention if you need help.
Leave a Comment »

Move Smart! Exercise might help fight obesity gene

Researchers at the Medical Research Council’s Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge examined data on genes, weight and the exercise habits of 220,000 adults from around the world.

Researchers found that people who are genetically predisposed to obesity can reduce their odds of gaining weight by staying active.

The international group of researchers among study data of more than 218,000 participants, found the FTO (gene) “fat mass and obesity associated” (FTO) gene, which is known to increase the risk of obesity, has a 27 percent weaker effect on physically active adults compared to inactive ones.

How much exercise does it take to counteract the gene? About an hour a day five days a week, according to study author Dr. Ruth Loos, an obesity researcher at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, England.
Dr. Loos mentioned that walking the dog, cycling to work, taking the stairs, all provide the same effects viewed in the study and that it’s not necessary to run a marathon or necessarily join a gym.

Leave a Comment »

Move Smart! 2011 Halloween contest winners

We had some amazing entries in this year’s Halloween contest. The competition was tough, and the decision even tougher. Congratulations to this year’s winners, who walk away with a $100 Amazon gift card!

2011 Halloween contest - Zombie Workout
Best Individual
James Landry
Constellation Energy

2011 Halloween contest Halloween Social
Best Group
Millie Lovos (dracula), Henry Buchheitt (top hat), Anita Wills (witch),
Burnadette Concepcion (smiling pumpkins), Maggie Johnson (clown),
Lataya Adams (blue bunny ears)

2011 Halloween contest - Super hero family
Honorable Mention
Josh Biggart
BCN/Dakkota Integrated Systems

2011 Halloween contest - Favorite time of year
Honorable Mention
Lacie Lyons
Walkingspree customer – Canada

2011 Halloween contest - Walkingspree family
Honorable Mention
Khuong Tran
Constellation Energy

Honorable Mention
Nancy Nguyen
Prime Therapeutics

2011 Halloween contest - Ghost rider and family
Honorable Mention
Ernesto Arteaga
TEVA Pharmaceuticals

2011 Halloween contest - Walking dead
Honorable Mention
Joy Thompson
Blue Care Network

2011 Halloween contest - Walk it off!
Honorable Mention
Gloria Nastas
Blue Cross Blue Shield

For more photo submissions, check out the Halloween photo album on our Facebook page

Leave a Comment »

Move Smart! Be smart when increasing your step goals

One of the key components to the Walkingspree program is walking challenges. They help motive and keep you on track. Meeting the daily step averages can give you a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. So much so, that you will want to start exceeding those goals and set some of your own.

So be smart when setting your next daily step target and do it gradually. Jumping to 10,000 steps a day when you average 5,000 may result in injury, so be smart and increase your steps over time.

Take your daily average and increase it by 20 percent (multiply current average by 1.2; current average 5,000 x 1.2 = 6,000). Update your new step goal on your Walkingspree home/portal page and track your steps daily. Once you have achieved your new goal and maintained it over a period of a week, increase your step goal again by 20 percent. If 20 percent is too challenging, increase your steps by 10 percent.

The good news is that studies show wearing a pedometer helps people increase their steps.

Here are ways to get in more steps:

  • Take the long way to the restroom, water cooler or break room.
  • Park your car at the back of the parking lot.
  • Take a walking break at work.
  • Take a lap around the grocery store or mall before shopping.
  • Walk with a buddy.
  • Make taking a walk before or after dinner a new habit.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

And of course, it’s Halloween and a great way to get in more steps. Take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the decorations, or tag along with the kids as they go trick-or-treating.

Share your favorite ways to get in extra steps in the comment section below or post your tips on our Facebook page.

Leave a Comment »

Move Smart! Making and Keeping Your Step Goals

Set your walking goals

Before the crush of the holidays and the threat of bad weather dim our resolve to exercise, take some time to set your walking goals. These time-tested strategies will help you keep on track.

Set a Specific Goal: Saying you are going to walk more and get healthier is great, but to be a true goal it needs to be specific and measureable. Determine your daily step goal and go for it and set it up on your home/portal page.

Use Your Pedometer: Not only is your pedometer an accurate way to track your steps and monitor your progress, it is also an excellent motivator. Knowing you have X number of steps to go might be the motivation you need to get moving. Who knows, it might motivate you to get in an extra 1,000 steps over your goal!

Make Time: Set a specific time to do your walking. It will help you develop a routine and thus help you achieve your daily step goals. Put it at the top of your “To Do” list and don’t let other priorities be an excuse not to walk. Remember, you are priority No. 1.

Keep a Record: Your Walkingspree account makes this easy. Review your daily step count and monitor your progress on your Step Tracker. Make sure you upload your steps frequently; say once or twice a week or even daily, to help you keep on track.

Get a Buddy, Be a Buddy: Participants who walk with a buddy walk farther. Be they real or virtual, buddies are a great way to get and give support, and push for “one more time around the block”. You can keep tabs on your buddies and send them gifts by clicking on the “Buddies” link located under the green navigation bar on your home/portal page.

Do you have a tip that works for you? Share it on our Facebook page or post it in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment »