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."
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
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Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
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An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
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A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
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The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
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Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
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