The key factor in achieving a healthier lifestyle is that you have to be ready for change. If you're aren't ready, you'll need to work up that mindset. That's just what the employees at The Onebane Firm are doing in preparation for the Corporate Challenge. Led by team captain Jane Guidry, the firm has been spreading the word to its 73 employees and by Friday, Jan. 4, Guidry hopes to have a final count on the number of employees who will be participating. "I personally think it's easier to make an exercise commitment by making it a fun, team effort," she says.
Onebane is planning a kickoff breakfast for its participants on Feb. 29 at which time it will be handing out T-shirts that read, "Onebane: Firm in Training." (By the end of this week, the Corporate Challenge training guide will be posted at www.indevents.com, which includes a wealth of information about the program and how you can get involved).
Finding a partner or teaming up is your first step. Most health experts say that if you know someone is counting on you ' or waiting for you at the gym ' you're more inclined to keep the commitment. Once your new fitness program is under way, you may be more comfortable going solo. And the second step, by virtue of the "requirements" of the Corporate Cup, is that you will be asked to make a public commitment to your health ' well, at the very least you're making a commitment to your company. (And who wants to let the boss down?)
Set realistic goals and write them down. Want to drop 10 pounds this year? Schedule how you're going to accomplish it, and be patient with your results.
The next step ' yes, it's the one you always hear about ' is to start every day with breakfast, whether it's a boiled egg, yogurt, fresh fruit or a combination of all of these. The Corporate Challenge's event producer, longtime triathlete Gerd Wuestemann, prefers to exercise before eating breakfast. Don't eat late at night and your body will be calorie-deprived from the hours you've spent sleeping, which means you will tend to burn calories faster. And because Wuestemann's metabolic rate is up after a workout, he burns even more calories when he eats. He suggests trying to eat protein within 20 minutes of your workout for maximum benefit.
Walk, walk, walk. Walk everywhere. Take the stairs. Don't ride around looking for the closest spot in the parking lot. Power walking is best, but don't get discouraged by the lack of immediate results from walking; the benefits of power walking sometimes take a while to show up. If you can, eventually work up to a slow jog after a few months of steady walking. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy running can be if you start very slowly, and you'll be amazed at the results. If you feel good, pick up the pace.
Buy an inexpensive, manual stepper. It's compact and easy to store, and if you spend any time in front of the television, you have absolutely no excuse for not exercising. Do the stepper while you watch; 30 minutes is a good start.
Keep a few hand weights handy, too. Work your arms and use them for other resistance exercises while you're in front of the TV. (If you have access to a gym, always try to get a little weight training in. Your body will continue to burn calories for hours after you've put the weights down.)
Eliminate soft drinks and other sugary drinks. One Coke a week might not hurt you, but it certainly won't help you. These sugary carbonated beverages are about the worst thing you can put in your body; the diet versions are no better. Drink water instead.
Steer clear of processed foods. If it comes in a box, can, bag or carton, it's likely processed. The World Health Organization says processed foods are to blame for the sharp rise in obesity and chronic diseases seen around the world. Eat fresh foods whenever possible.
And keep healthy snacks handy. Don't let yourself get famished or you'll risk overeating. If you're hungry during the day, your best bet is to snack on fresh fruits or nuts (limit your intake by measuring out small amounts in Ziploc bags that you can keep in your car or at your desk). Nuts, a unique combination of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and fiber ' along with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals ' help suppress your appetite by making you feel full. Pistachios are the lowest in fat and calories.
Mix up your exercise program. Don't get in the habit of doing the same thing over and over again or you risk burnout. If you're walking regularly, try substituting one or two days on the Stairmaster or another machine that will work different muscles and prevent you from getting bored.
If you do nothing else this year, stop saying you don't have time. A 15 or 20 minute workout is way better than nothing at all. And if it requires that you say no to certain commitments, do it.
If you fall off the wagon, get back on. Don't be discouraged by a day or two of overeating or missed workouts. Everyone has setbacks.
To succeed at your goals, you'll need to keep score by monitoring your success with a charting system. Lafayette insurance agent Gene Fortier, who also has committed to the Corporate Challenge, has his own way of keeping tabs on his health and weight. "I weigh in every day," he says. "I have a chart at the gym with the date, number of miles I walk, my weight." If you stop weighing in, weight can easily creep up and set you back to square one before you realize what's happened. Says Fortier, "My choke point is 200 [pounds.] Once I hit 200, I put the brakes on."
Finally, don't go overboard and don't try to do too much too soon. If you over-eat one day, cut back the next. If you feel great and can run three miles on Monday, it's OK to skip exercise on Tuesday. "For me exercise is a wonderful thing if I can balance it with a pretty normal lifestyle," says Wuestemann. "I like to eat; I love wine. I train a lot, but I balance it with a completely normal schedule."
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
Lafayette manufactured home or Scott two bedroom home
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."