Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wellness Wheel: Move.

Last week I introduced our wellness wheel (WW) tool to help you assess your overall approach to your health. Our WW is based on the principals of good health we teach in our
Move.Eat.Be. program.

Based on some comments and feedback, here is a closer look at each segment and spoke of our wheel so you are better able to use this tool in your own life.

Today, we'll start with the Move. segment of our wheel.

Move. has five components: Cardio, Flexibility, Strength, Core and Rest. Incorporating each of these activities into your overall approach to exercise is ideal. During Move.Eat.Be. we help you experiment with different aspects of each component so that you better understand how to get each of these activities into your life in an enjoyable and sustainable way. 

Here are some of the tips from Move.Eat.Be.:

  • Cardio. It would be great if we could each get 60 minutes of cardio each and every day. Cardio exercise strengthens your heart, gives you energy, burns off stress and improves your immune system, not to mention the added benefit of weight loss. Sixty minutes a day is a big investment, and while worth it, is simply not realistic for everyone. If you can't do 60 minutes, aim for 30. A 15-minute walk during lunch and 15 more minutes after dinner might work for you. Cardio ideas include: run, jog, brisk walk, bike, row, jump rope, and dance. 

  • Flexibility. Stretching your body (and your mind)  is a great idea. We subscribe to the idea that doing some stretching or yoga each day is best. These programs are typically gentle and are a good way to balance out your more vigorous exercise (and other daily stressors). We recommend you start the day with a morning yoga routine and end the day with a total body stretch. 

  • Strength. Strength training is very important, particularly as you age. A well-rounded strength routine will help you maintain bone density and will up your metabolism. And, the best thing about strength training is it is easily done in small chunks of time all throughout your day. Keep a set of weights under your desk and do a few shoulder presses, tricep extensions and squats several times a day. A 10-minute strength training break each hour is a great way to increase the exercise in your life. 
  • Core. Core work is perhaps the most disliked type of exercise. Nobody really likes doing sit-ups (though we all like the idea of six-pack abs!). Having a strong core is great for balance and helps you avoid inadvertent injuries while doing other daily activities. We recommend some core work two to three times per week. And, rest assured sit-ups isn't the only way to work your core. 
  • Rest. Perhaps our personal favorite! Rest means two things: getting adequate sleep and giving your body a chance to recover from other exercise. Adequate sleep means 7-9 hours a night. You've heard it before, it has proven true over time. Make sleep a priority in your life! As for the recovery kind of rest, traditional wisdom said a day of rest in between any exercise is what you need. Newer thinking is questioning that theory. Your body will be most healthy if you do some kind of exercise each and every day. And, it is wise to rest major muscle groups between strenuous strength training sessions so as not to risk injury. Our best advice is listen to your body. It will tell you when it has had enough (but don't let the lazy bone inside of you get the better of your wellness goals). 

There you go! A glimpse into Move. and some ideas for you to up the exercise in your life. Remember, you will be most successful with your mission to wellness if you experiment and learn what works best in your life and for your body. Make the time and invest in you!

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