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."
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The eclectic vibe of summer
Three bedroom River Ranch cottage or four bedroom Youngsville traditional home
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
In this letter to the editor, Lafayette Parish School Board member Shelton Cobb (the board's former president) weighs in on the difficulty behind this year's budget process, calling out a number of his fellow board members over their inability to drop their power struggle with the superintendent and make the interests of the students a top priority.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
A refreshing twist at a Lafayette institution comes served with a black bean salad stuffed avocado
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Three bedroom Sunset Victorian or three bedroom Opelousas Acadian home
Louisiana designer commissioned for NYC Awards gift
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
INDEats and EatLafayette want to give one lucky foodie and friends the most memorable meal — here’s how you can win
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.