Accountability Increases Results

Accountability Increases Results

How does accountability make you more successful in your fitness program? It works the same way as it does in your workplace. You become more responsible for your own actions, decisions and choices. Just like in the office, when you’re held accountable, you more fully commit to a what you’re doing. If you ate a cake (not a piece but a whole cake), you don’t say that you gained a pound because of a slow metabolism. You identify the problem and don’t do it again. Only by being accountable and taking ownership, do you have any control to change.

Just reporting to someone increases accountability.

If you’re secretly dieting, nobody knows whether you’re sticking to it or not! It could end any time and nobody would be the wiser. That makes it way to easy. While there may be some instances where not telling the world is a good thing, having someone follow your progress is important. FitForward is an app that can help you shed weight by providing daily learning modules and weekly accountability checks. Studies show that text messages as reminders and phone calls as check ins can increase accountability and help weight loss.

Winners keep score.

Tracking your daily workout, weight and food consumption can help you lose weight. You’ll know if you’ve lost weight and whether your program is helping or if you need to make changes. You’ll also record whether you worked out and ate healthy each day. Eating that order of fries isn’t as easy to doe when you know you have to record. There’s something about writing things down on paper that makes them more condemning.

Workout with a friend.

A workout buddy can be as helpful as a personal trainer. He or she will keep you accountable, especially if you’re meeting them somewhere to workout. If you decide to skip a workout, you have to call someone and tell them, so they’re not left waiting for you. It’s a bit more embarrassing to say that you simply aren’t into exercise than it is to just skip a workout if you’re working alone. A workout buddy can help share your successes and guide you away from failure.

  • Don’t just count on the scales to tell you how you’re succeeding. Take measurements and record them too. Sometimes, you may be gaining muscles, which weigh more than fat, and not losing weight, but losing inches.
  • Get the family involved. If you’re switching to healthy eating and exercising regularly, the more the merrier. Schedule a workout time and get the kids involved. Plan meals ahead and prepare them together on the weekend, so all you have to do during the week is heat and eat.
  • Take photos of you in the same outfit every month. Make sure you’re the same distance from the camera and in the same spot with clothing that shows your silhouette better to see results more quickly.
  • Use a pedometer. You’ll record every step and see just how active you are. Aim for 10,000 a day. You’ll be surprised at how much fun the challenge can be.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need Each Day?

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need Each Day?

There are so many popular diets that are defined by the ratios of macros, such as the high protein-Keto diet or the low carb/high fat diet, that addressing the amount of protein you need is important. You can get too much protein, just like you can get too little. The question is not how much weight you can lose, but how healthy the diet actually is. Whether your goal is weight loss, building muscle tissue or simply healthy living, the amount of protein you need varies from individual to individual.

Your protein requirement is based on physical activity.

The more active you are, the more protein you need. A person with a sedentary lifestyle requires a gram of protein for every 2.2 pounds of weight. If that person engages in moderate exercise, the gram increases to 1.3 grams. For someone with a high intensity level of activity, the amount is even higher at 1.6 grams per 2.2 pounds of weight. An inactive person weighing 110 pounds would need 50 grams, but if they entered a tough workout program, their need would increase to 80 grams a day.

You have to consider gender, age and special circumstances, such as breast feeding or pregnancy.

The very young and very old need a bit more protein. The very young need it because they’re growing and older people need more because they don’t process protein as well and more protein can aid in prevent muscle loss. Men need more protein than women do, since men tend to have more muscle mass to maintain. Pregnant or lactating women require extra protein for the baby’s needs.

You can eat too much protein, but it’s hard to do.

Studies show that if you ate as much as 2 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of weight over a long period of time, you’d still be in safe territory. While it’s double the recommended amount, it won’t create a health issue. If you surpass that amount, you might risk health issues. It can cause digestive problems, dehydration, nausea, exhaustion, diarrhea, headache and irritability. Long term consumption of too much protein can lead to liver disease, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, disorders of blood vessels, cardiovascular disease and death. There are links to osteopenia, osteoporosis, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

  • Don’t worry too much about eating too much protein. If you weighed 110 pounds and ate a pound of steak a day, but no other protein, you’d still be under the 2.2 grams and on the safe side.
  • Most of the danger of too much protein doesn’t come from what you eat, but taking protein supplements. A healthy diet is the best way to ensure adequate intake, unless there are special circumstances that don’t allow you to eat that much.
  • Protein is the building block for skin, bones, muscles, cartilage and blood. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating protein helps. It makes you feel full longer.
  • One side effect of eating more protein than you need or larger amounts of protein, is bad breath that you can’t get rid of by flossing or brushing your teeth, no matter how hard you try.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Best Healthy Snacks On The Go

Best Healthy Snacks On The Go

If you’re on the go and often find you’re buying junk food when you stop for gas or eating a bit too many of the donuts someone brought to the office, consider taking healthy snacks with you or having them on hand for those times you’re starved, but lunch or dinner is hours away. When you plan ahead, you can make snacks a valuable addition to your program of healthy eating. If weight loss is your goal, the right type of snack can improve your efforts, by providing extra nutrition with few calories.

Start with simple healthy options.

Most people know that fresh fruit or vegetables are definitely great options for snacks. Some are ready to eat, making them the simplest options. Take an apple, banana or other type of fruit along. If you’ve already washed it, it’s ready to eat and perfect for those times you’re on the road. Is there a refrigerator available, you have other options. Cut fresh vegetables and take along some healthy dip like hummus or one made with Greek yogurt. Even cut up fruit, such as cantaloupe or watermelon, in a container, can provide a quick snack with few calories and lots of nutrition.

Make your snack a combination of carbs and protein to satisfy you longer.

It’s not hard to do, spreading a bit of nut butter on apple slices or eating some sticks of cheese with grapes provide instant energy that keeps you going for quite a while. A bit of cottage cheese with some applesauce, berries or cantaloupe and sprinkled with cinnamon or nuts is another satisfying option when you only have a few minutes. You can combine yogurt with fruit, as well. To make yogurt a quick option, put it in a 4 oz. mason jar. Add a layer of yogurt, one of frozen black cherries and top it with walnuts or wheat germ. Put the lid on and store it in the refrigerator for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

Go nuts with homemade trail mix.

If you’ve ever searched for healthy options in stores and considered trail mix, you’ve probably noticed, many of them have more M&Ms, chocolate chips, yogurt covered pretzels or other sweet additions that aren’t healthy at all. It’s time to make your own and bag it up in individual serving sizes. Making trail mix isn’t hard. Start with nuts as the base and most plentiful ingredient. You can use raw nuts. If you want, you dry roasted at home. Add seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried fruit and spices.

  • Make your own microwave popcorn for a healthier option. Put a third cup of popcorn in a lunch bag size brown paper sack and microwave on high until there’s one or two seconds between pops.
  • Make cold treats to grab out of the freezer by using ice pop molds or Zipsicle plastic pouches, fruit, and sometimes extra water or yogurt. Blend the fruit, add water if it’s too thick or yogurt if you prefer a creamy version. Pour in the mold, freeze and eat when you want a cool treat.
  • Frozen banana rounds can be blended until they’re like ice cream or frozen half bananas can be dipped lightly in nuts for a tasty snack that adds nutrition without adding a lot of calories.
  • Make overnight oats by mixing one part steel cut oats with two parts milk in a half pint Mason jar. Put on the lid and store it in the fridge at least overnight, but up to three days. Add flavoring or fruit when you’re ready for a snack.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Support Your Local Farmer and Eat Healthy in the Process

Support Your Local Farmer and Eat Healthy in the Process

Whether it’s summertime or in the winter, there’s always something you can get from your local farmer that will help you eat healthy at a reasonable price. The cheapest way to eat is using in-season fruits and vegetables for your meals. If you live in a colder climate, where nothing seems to grow in the winter, there are some fruits and vegetables that store well over the winter, such as potatoes, which still might be locally grown. Don’t forget locally made cheese and fresh eggs as part of your effort to both eat healthy and support local growers.

Try superfoods from all seasons, such as spring asparagus.

Those slender sticks of green goodness are a spring favorite, so you’ll find them priced reasonably during that time. How do you fix asparagus? That’s the good news, they’re versatile. You can grill them, saute them or even steam them. You can top a salad with grilled asparagus and shrimp for a great treat everyone will love. Asparagus is lower in calories and high in folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Eating more asparagus can help you improve your blood pressure, lose weight and help your digestion.

Summer is a paradise for healthy eaters.

If you live anywhere but in a big city, you’re bound to find roadside stands that sell fresh fruit and vegetables, often at a far cheaper price. Tomatoes abound in the summer and taste so much better than store bought ones during the winter months that are picked before they ripen and shipped. You can substitute pasta with sliced eggplant or zucchini noodles. Both add more nutrition. Speaking of substitutions, try spaghetti squash for a change of pace. Make fresh sauce with tomatoes, peppers and onions and then drizzle it over the noodles for a delicious alternative that’s high in nutrition and low in calories.

Fall brings in even more options.

As tomato season ends, root crops are abundant. Fall and cooler weather also increases opportunities for fresh leaf lettuce and kale. Sweet potatoes, one of the fall root crops, provide fiber to support healthy gut bacteria and extra antioxidants. They have cancer-fighting properties, plus can help brain function and are great for managing blood sugar levels. They support your immune system and enhance brain functioning. Cabbage, another fall crop, and carrots, also are high in nutrition and lower in calories.

  • Buy extra for freezing, drying or canning. If you want an easy way to freeze tomatoes, simply wash thoroughly, cut out the stem and freeze. When you’re ready to use, run the tomato under warm water and the skin slides off easily.
  • Using beets is easy. Just scrub the outside and clip the long leafy stems down to an inch or two. Steam them and when cooked, run them under cold water, sliding off the skin and rest of the stem. They’re ready to eat.
  • Adding herbs adds flavor and nutrition without adding extra calories. You can use an ice cube tray to make it easier to keep them. Stuff each section of the tray with herbs and run a thin film of water to cover. Freeze. Pack the frozen herb cubes into zip lock bags to use later.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Simple Ways To Keep Your Remote Workforce Healthy And Productive

Simple Ways To Keep Your Remote Workforce Healthy And Productive

Change in the way people work has occurred rapidly recently. More and more people are working remotely, whether from home or from a distant on-site location. Even though you don’t have direct physical contact with your staff, it’s still important to find ways to help keep your remote workforce healthy and productive. Everyone wants a productive staff and know that not only is working on helping them stay healthier the right thing to do, it’s also the most beneficial to the company.

It’s all about communication.

Keeping in touch should be a top priority. Luckily, we have a lot of technology to help. One of the concerns many employees express is the stimulation that comes from brainstorming in a group. Scheduling facetime for groups and frequent online meetings can help fill in the gap. Video calls provide the visual cues that are missing from phone conferences and the audio cues that lead to misunderstandings with emails.

Take the time to make personal calls to employees, beyond the conference video communication.

If you have employees that live alone, isolation can be a problem. Many times the workplace is their primary interaction with others. Employees juggling work and family also need a break from breadwinner and responsible parent and be recognized at the human level, which often occurs at work. Taking time to check in with these people and encouraging short but more personal calls from supervisors to staff can help avoid the isolation many feel when working at a distance. Sometimes, just a word of encouragement or a welfare check is far more important than you might think.

Encouraging a healthier lifestyle can be important.

If employees are working from home, or even from an onsite remote location, providing online fitness and nutrition programs, wellness groups or both, encourages employees to get healthier. If they’re working from home, they can use the flexibility to include a workout. Workout groups and scheduled times throughout the day to exercise or fitness apps that offer a group feature can actually make fitness fun. Sharing healthy meal plans makes it easier to improve nutrition.

Provide structure. If employees are switching from working at their office to working at home, they may struggle with the lack of structure. Creating a schedule of daily communication, itineraries and daily goals can help provide the structure needed to work at home.

  • Encourage a five minute break every hour. Studies show that sitting longer than an hour can wipe out the benefits of regular exercise.
  • Hold contests and provide rewards that encourage a healthier lifestyle. You may offer a gift certificate for healthy premade meals or a gift card for workout gear.
  • Encourage time away from the computer. Emphasize to employees that their work day should be cut off at eight hours, especially if working from home. Having an unlimited time frame for tasks, encourages inefficiency.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

Make This Summer a Fitness Challenge

Make This Summer a Fitness Challenge

What is a summer fitness challenge? It’s a program where you make changes that add up to a fitter, healthier body. You don’t have to do everything at once, either. Start by eating healthier. Summer is a great time to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re less expensive and readily available. Make it a habit to have fresh fruit and veggies cut up and ready to eat in your refrigerator. Substitute the healthy snacks for those with added sugar or highly processed food. That one small change can make a huge difference in your weight over a few months time.

Increase your physical activity.

Try getting up earlier to exercise or workout over your lunch hour or after work. If you aren’t ready for a program of exercise, start by walking more. Park further from the store and walk. Take the stairs not the elevator. Start slowly. Workout three days a week for 30 minutes if you’re doing a program of exercise. Work up and increase that exercise to five times a week. As your fitness level improves, increase the intensity. Switch up to interval training, where you workout hard for two minutes and then take it easier for two minutes with a recovery pace. Switch back to a higher intensity and continue to alternate.

Add a new veggie to your diet every week.

Each week focus on increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. If you haven’t tried beet root, buy a fresh one and steam it. You’ll be amazed at how sweet and tasty it is and how good it tastes sliced on salads. Make sure you increase your water intake, too. Instead of drinking sugary soft drinks, switch it out for water. If you want to add a little flavor, make infused water that adds flavor without adding calories.

If you aren’t doing strength training, cardio and flexibility training, add it.

You need all types of workouts to be fit. Cardio or endurance training is what many people focus on, but it’s important to have strength and flexibility training, too. Strength training has proven superior for weight loss. It helps build muscles and burns tons of calories. The more muscles you have, the more your metabolism increases. That’s because muscle tissue require more energy to maintain than fat tissue does. Flexibility training helps prevent injury and cardio builds endurance.

  • Track your progress every step of the way. Record how long you exercised and what you did each day. Include tracking your food intake. Food journaling can help you see where you need to make changes.
  • Use daily activities to add even more exercise. Walk to lunch. Take the steps not the elevator. Park further from the grocery store and walk, or walk or ride a bike to the store.
  • Find fun, but active avocations. Ride a bike, take hikes or swim for fun. If you don’t have time for a hobby, let your housework keep you in shape. Put your whole effort into cleaning and do it fast and with vigor. It’s a form of exercise that gets the house or lawn clean, making it a double bonus.
  • You can take more flights of stairs as you get fitter and walk further. If you work on an upper floor, climb stairs until you tire and take the elevator from there. Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way to work. As your fitness improves, take the steps further and get off the bus earlier.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

It's Never Too Late To Get In Shape

It’s Never Too Late To Get In Shape

There are a lot of reasons to get into shape. When you’re fit, you look better, feel better, live healthier, and live longer. The quality of life improves when you’re fit. Most people realize these things, but fail to take action. There are a number of reasons this can occur, but two are often at the top of the list. People who are older don’t think they can get back into shape and accept lack of fitness as part of aging. Others think they’ve passed the point of no return and no matter how hard they try, they can’t recapture fitness. Here’s great news. No matter how old you are or how out of shape you are, it’s never too late to get in shape.

You’ll have to workout harder to get the same results as you did years ago to get the same results.

If you’re older, getting back into shape is a bit harder than it is for anyone that’s younger. As you age, muscle disappears faster and is regained slower. While that can be a bit depressing, it just means you’ll see results more slowly than your 20-year-old self did. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done. While you might not see muscles bulge or that tummy disappearing as quickly, you will notice something a younger person won’t. Those painful aches and pains from back problems will start to diminish and even joint pain will minimize. You’ll see more improvement in your overall health.

If you have a long way to go because of a sedentary lifestyle, start with making small changes.

Anyone who hasn’t exercised for a while shouldn’t expect or try to do a workout designed for someone who is ultra fit. In fact, over-exercising can even backfire. Start slowly. Make your workout easier for a few weeks until your body starts to adjust. If you are so out of shape, any workout makes you huff and puff and ready to drop, start by walking. Walk to the corner and back for a while until you build up enough stamina to go a block. You can do this light type of exercise several time throughout the day. Walking ten minutes three times a day does as much good as walking a half hour once a day.

Include some strength training.

No matter how out of shape you are, you need strength training. It doesn’t have to be weight lifting, using resistance bands works. If you don’t have either, use food cans or water bottles for weight. If you use water bottles, you can start them with less water and fill them as you get fitter. Strength training also builds muscle and improves bone density. You also need flexibility training to keep your muscles toned and improve your range of motion to prevent injury. When you add that to endurance training, such as walking, you’ll see improvements in your quality of life.

  • Track the amount of time you exercise if you break your workout into sections. As you get fitter, increase the amount of time in each session.
  • Besides seeing physical changes, you’ll also notice your mood will change. As you get fitter, you’ll feel more energized and boost your mood. It increases circulation and burns off the hormones of stress.
  • Pay attention to your body when you’re working out. You don’t have to push yourself too hard, especially at first. Always check with your health care professional before you start any program of exercise.
  • Besides working out, eating healthier and staying hydrated is also important. Eat more whole foods, switch out sugary snacks for fresh fruit and keep a bottle of water with you at all times to sip on throughout the day.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

It's Important To Feel Valued And Heard

It’s Important To Feel Valued And Heard

No matter who you are, it’s important to feel valued and heard. That holds true for every person, regardless of their station in life. If you are an employer or responsible for employees, it’s a lesson that once learned will bring loyalty and productivity into the workplace. Recognizing people for their contribution to the team doesn’t cost money and tells each employee that their valuable. The rate of turnover goes down, while employee satisfaction and productivity increases.

Employees who feel valued know their hard work is noticed.

Openly appreciating your employees also increases communication and reduces anxiety. That makes employees feel more empowered to suggest ideas and information openly that can help build a better product, create a better workforce and offer better customer service. It creates an environment that encourages professional growth and gives them incentive to commit to the long term plan of the company. Those are things that provide a solid base for any business.

Employees that don’t feel appreciated, often under perform.

While not all employees will fail to put out 100% effort if they feel unappreciated, a big segment will, either consciously or subconsciously. When people don’t feel appreciated, their desire to please diminishes greatly, which is what happens to the average employee. It also causes some of your most gifted people to search out employment elsewhere, creating a high turnover rate.

Employees feel appreciated when you value their input.

While giving public compliments is one way to praise employees, it’s not the only way. Listening to their input and encouraging open discussion of new ideas and changes, is probably one of the best ways to make employees feel like an important member of the team. Appreciating the whole group for an idea not only makes employees feel appreciated, it builds teamwork at the same time. Creating a culture of respect and even encouraging thinking outside the box without judgment can boost creativity, teamwork and a sense of investment.

  • Good leaders look for excellence, no matter what level on the corporate culture. Identifying people that look for innovative techniques to make your business better, no matter what level is important. Each person needs a voice
  • Meeting frequently with groups of employees to air situations, get new ideas and discuss innovations that they suggested give them a voice. It both gives a feeling of importance and increases the productivity of the company, while encouraging forward thinking.
  • Demonstrating your faith in employees by giving important challenging tasks and expecting them to do their best finding answers is also a way to show you value their ideas.
  • Giving employees a voice in both their work and the benefits you offer also shows that you want only the best and most satisfying workplace possible.

For more information, contact us today at TravelTrim

Accident Prevention In The Workplace

Accident Prevention In The Workplace

If you’re looking for an accident prevention in the workplace program that provides a 100% guarantee that there will be no more accidents, you won’t find it. You will, however, find ways that greatly diminish the potential for accidents, as long as people follow the safety precautions suggested. Every year, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, there are thousands of deaths from workplace injuries. How do you reduce the potential for these accidents? Here are a few simple ideas that help.

Clean the work area frequently.

Most accidents can be prevented. They often occur because something was overlooked. In an effort to meet deadlines, sometimes things are overlooked. Keeping the workplace clean sounds simple enough and should be part of the routine, but things happen and clutter builds. Clutter creates hazards. It could be something as simple as electrical cords that create a tripping hazard or empty boxes or boards causing obstacles that create a potential accident. Speed is important, but not as important as a clean safe environment.

Providing adequate on the job training can help reduce the potential for accidents.

If one of your team doesn’t know the proper way to work with a piece of equipment, it could spell disaster. Not only should training include an apprenticeship session, it should also include following safety procedures and being periodically checked to ensure they’re in practice. Knowing how to operate machinery safely reduces the potential for accidents. Employees also should be encouraged to report potential dangers and report accidents.

Discourage shortcuts that could lead to injury.

Whether it’s an experienced worker trying to get done a little faster or one who is new that doesn’t see the sense in taking the extra time for safety, always focus on safety first, even if it sacrifices time. Even improper lifting techniques or trying to lift something that requires two people to lift or extra tools or machinery to lift is a shortcut that causes many back injuries. Trying to finish a small overhead job without a safety harness is another example.

  • Guidance from signage that demonstrates proper safety procedures should be prominently displayed in areas where they’re most valuable and relevant. It never hurts to remind employees with a good visual.
  • Insist that your workers take breaks and avoid overexertion. Exhaustion causes sloppiness and that causes accidents. Everyone needs time away from the job to decompress and clear their head.
  • It’s important to ensure that there’s adequate safety equipment and PPE. It’s important to have adequate fire extinguishers or emergency eye wash stations and ensuring they’ll be located in the area where they’ll most likely be used.
  • Keeping equipment in good working order is essential for safety. Not only will it keep the business running smoothly, it will make the work environment safer and prevent downtime.

For more information, contact us today at TravelTrim

Environmental Health And Safety

Environmental Health And Safety

For both business owners and managers, there’s a lot of concerns that are important. While getting product or service delivered to customers in a timely manner is one that is at the top of the list, another important issue is environmental health and safety. Maintaining safety compliance is tough and even tougher if your resources or time is limited. It’s the series of laws and regulations that protect the health and well-being of the workers. It’s the rules and regulations imposed by agencies like OSHA that help protect both the public and workers.

It’s more than just a government dictate, it’s a courtesy to customers and employees.

While you might not think of a regulation as a courtesy, it really it. It’s a commitment to make safe products, put the health of employees and customers at the top of your priority list and by doing that, show respect for their lives. Focusing on safety issues improves the reputation of the company and can even save money. The fewer accidents you have, the less money you waste in the aftermath. Putting safety first saves money on fines, workman’s compensation and cleaning up the problem. That’s money you save for other parts of your business.

While it’s your responsibility under OSHA, it’s also an opportunity.

When you make safety in the workplace priority, rather than a duty, it provides an opportunity to let workers know that they’re important. It also opens up an opportunity to get the input of workers of how to make their workplace even safer and ways to improve the overall operation. That makes people feel important and gets them more engaged on the job.

You can improve safety by providing appropriate training.

It takes more than just providing the personal protective equipment and well maintained equipment, although that’s a big part of safety, it takes training, too. Ensuring workers take breaks and lunch hours helps keep the workforce focused and fresh. Periodic training, including good initial safety training emphasizes your dedication to the importance of safety. Concern for employees even encompasses health checks, besides regular equipment inspections.

  • If you don’t already have a person assigned to identifying compliance to the regulations, you need to do that first. If necessary, provide additional training to help understand the language of the laws.
  • Since laws frequently change, schedule regular safety meetings to ensure your company has kept up with regulations. These meetings can also be used to train employees on safety procedures.
  • Keep communication lines open and encourage employees to identify ways to make the workplace safer. It can include procedures or even hazards identified around machinery. Once identified, take immediate action.
  • Look for potential hazards, whether they’re chemical or physical. Signage systems are a good way to identify necessary PPE, proper body mechanics and machinery safety.

For more information, contact us today at TravelTrim