Desk Reset Video

Many of us work at a desk, or sit at meetings during work, but research published within the past 10 years clearly points to the association between prolonged sitting and increased health risks including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, it just makes us feel bad. When we sit for a long time, our joints stiffen and our metabolism tanks. The good news is that by breaking up long periods of sitting with activity, we can reduce these unhealthy effects. Try the 1-minute Desk Reset after an hour of sitting, and if you have more than a minute, get out and take a short walk or climb some stairs for even better results! Walking expends 150% more energy than sitting, and climbing stairs over 200% more! The more you move during the day, the better for your physical and mental health!

Obviously, this is just an example of one short simple sequence you can do right at your desk. Feel free to be creative, and make up your own desk reset! The main thing is to move, but here are some guidelines to help you create your custom Desk Reset:

  • Incorporate a few different movements, both upper body and lower body.
  • Choose movements that open/stretch the hips, shoulders, and chest.
  • Incorporate simple body weight exercises.
  • Incorporate stretching or your favorite yoga poses.
  • Keep it simple!

If you come up with an amazing desk reset that you’d like to share, send it our way at mtchallenge@montana.edu

Express Workout Video

The latest Montana Moves video is featured this month in our online Incentive Program, but we also wanted to post it here in case anyone missed it!

Lack of time is often used as an excuse for missing exercise.

“Just too busy today.” “I meant to get to the gym, but I just ran out of time.” “The day just got away from me.”

Sound familiar? We’ve all said things like this, and your Exercise Specialist is no exception. In fact, the time in my life when I probably missed workouts most often due to a hectic schedule is when I actually worked in a gym! Ironic.

I won’t steal too much thunder from the video, but researchers have shown that with high intensity circuits, you can actually get a pretty good workout in a very short amount of time—in our case, just nine minutes! So next time you’re short on time, just remember that “Something is better than nothing!”

The format goes something like this:

  • 8-12 Exercises. Mostly body weight.
  • 30 seconds of high quality (intense) work
  • 15 seconds of rest (take more if you’re a beginner)
  • After the circuit is complete, cool down, or take a short break and repeat the circuit if time allows.

The advantages of this style of workout include:

  • Minimal equipment necessary.
  • It can be done pretty much anywhere. No gym required.
  • There is a cardio and strength component.
  • It’s a full-body, balanced workout.
  • It’s adaptable—choose exercises & intervals that fit your fitness level.
  • You don’t need big time commitment to do it.
  • In a research study, the experimental group performing this workout showed improvements in body fat, insulin sensitivity, aerobic capacity, and muscular fitness.

Enjoy!

Neal

P.S. As a final disclaimer, I’m not suggesting you ditch your existing routine in favor of doing only 9 or 10 minutes of exercise per day! But it is nice to know that when we’re short on time, we can still get in an effective workout.

Spice it Up!

The first Montana Meals challenge of 2019 challenged you to “Expand your Spice Horizons!” In the words of Cristin, “An excellent way to boost your nutrition and wake up your cooking is to cook more often with herbs and spices. Be brave, try some new flavors, and have fun.”

We wanted to check in and see how our MUS participants were tackling this challenge, plus post Cristin’s Spice it Up video and a new supplemental video short featuring some tips for chopping and utilizing fresh herbs and spices.

Here is a sampling of what our Spice It Up challenge participants have tried so far:

  • Southwest style black eyed peas with cumin, cayenne, chili powder, & garlic powder.
  • Tuna salad sandwiches with fresh ground cilantro.
  • Lavender salt on avocado toast.
  • Korean Pork Tacos with gochujang.
  • Eggs sprinkled with fresh parsley.
  • Mango java rub on elk steak.
  • Cumin spiced roast pork.
  • Orange zest in oatmeal.
  • Italian herb blend on sauteed chicken and asparagus.
  • Roasted sweet potatoes & butternut squash with chili powder.
  • Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with ground ginger.
  • Italian Noodle Soup with coriander and fresh basil.
  • Roasted potatoes and carrots with paprika, turmeric, salt & pepper.

We love reading about all the different spice combinations and cooking techniques. Keep up the awesome work MUS!

Here is the Montana Meals Spice it Up video, in case you missed it, plus the brand new short! Enjoy, and keep it spicy!

Home Fermentation Video Series

Back in the fall, MUS Wellness hosted dietetic intern StephTarnacki, and together we created two videos introducing home fermentation. If you participate in our MUS Wellness Incentive Program, you may have already caught the one on kombucha. We wanted to post it again, along with a brand new video featuring how to make your own sauerkraut. Home fermentation is easy, saves you money, can help prevent food waste, and provides a tasty alternative to some of the regular foods you eat. Fermented foods are also packed with probiotics, the good kind of bacteria that live in our digestive tract. Eating foods rich in probiotics may improve digestion, boost your immune system, promote a healthy weight, and may even improve some mental health conditions.

Enjoy!  —Cristin.

Spicy Planks (Video)

This one is for all of you participating in our current “Get to the Core” challenge as part of the MUS Wellness Incentive Program. If you’ve been cranking out those planks and increasing your core strength over the past few weeks, our latest Montana Moves video gives you some ideas about how to kick it up to the next level of fitness and fun. Happy Friday! Enjoy!

https://vimeo.com/284390661

 

The Amazing Foot & Ankle Complex

In case you missed our recent webinar on foot & ankle health, here’s a few highlights, plus a short video featuring some exercises and stretches to keep your ankles and feet healthy and happy.

Top Ten Things we learned about our amazing feet.

  1. About a quarter of the bones in your body are located in your feet (26 bones per foot).
  2. Ligaments and tendons are very strong connective tissues. Ligaments connect bones to bones. Tendons connect bones to muscles.
  3. The longitudinal and transverse arches provide strength and support so our feet can support the load of our bodies in addition to whatever we carry with us.
  4. The average person will take between 3 and 4 million steps per year.
  5. Force plate studies show that the foot absorbs at least 3 times body weight per step at slow running speeds.
  6. An elite triple jumper may produce forces of 14 to 16 times body weight during his or her jump!
  7. Sixty percent (60%) of our MUS population who responded to a pre-webinar survey (n=191) reported currently dealing with foot/ankle pain, injury or dysfunction.
  8. Plantar fasciitis was the most common foot/ankle ailment reported by our population.
  9. RICE, or rest/ice/compression/elevation can be a primary therapy for most ailments of the foot and ankle.
  10. For chronic conditions that are not improving, health professionals such as a podiatrist (PDM), orthopedic physician, physical therapist, or licensed massage therapist can help diagnose and treat the condition, so that you can “get back on your feet again”, so to speak.

If your feet are healthy, keeping your ankles mobile and feet strong with some simple stretching and strengthening exercises can be a great form of prevention. You can learn some of these exercises in the following video. Enjoy!

If you want to watch the entire MUS Wellness foot/ankle webinar, just click here.

Be well!

Neal

Basic Lifting Techniques: The Deadlift (Video)

Pop Quiz! What do the following things have in common?

  • A small child
  • A box of stuff
  • A barbell
  • A pencil
  • A suitcase or travel bag

Pause to think…

Did you get it? All of those things could be something we need to pick up off the ground at some point in our lives, or perhaps, quite often. Whether or not you go to the gym, we’re all weight lifters. It’s  something our bodies are designed to do. Unfortunately, a lot of people do it wrong, and doing it wrong leads to a lot of injuries every year. And believe it or not, yes, people have blown out their backs bending over to pick up a pencil off the ground—literally the straw that broke the camel’s back.

So check out the latest video from Montana Moves! In this video, I talk about a fundamental movement pattern, the hip-hinge, which everyone should practice and perfect. Then we move on to lifting things off the ground and putting them back down properly. When practiced in the gym setting or at home, it’s great for building strength and confidence.

One of my goals as the MUS Exercise & Fitness Specialist is that all of our employees know how to properly do a squat, and lift things off the ground properly. When we lift properly, not only do we minimize the chance of an injury, but we feel stronger and more functional as well.

Enjoy the video!

P.S. For those of you participating in our MUS Wellness Incentive Program, this video will be posted as a challenge on Friday!

Neal

Seasonal Change

Phew. I’m back in the office for a while now, after eight consecutive weeks on the road. I almost beat winter home, but not quite. Let’s just say it was a long drive home from Kalispell yesterday. My knuckles were as white as the road at a few points.

The weather this year has at some times been extreme, and other times, unpredictable. We seemingly went straight from summer to winter in September, and then fall mercifully appeared in October.  November wasted no time declaring its wintry intentions as soon as it began.

Back in mid-September we received our first snowfall here in Bozeman. An overnight storm, it was enough to cover the ground. My 5-year-old came running downstairs with excitement, hopped into bed with me and said,

“Daddy, it snowed! Can we go skiing?”

I loved the enthusiasm. It was a little heart-breaking. So with empathy, I told him that despite the snow, ski season was still a long way off.

This time, it feels different. Ski season is close. Winter is coming. There’s a change in the air, that familiar change of seasons. I recently ran my last important race of the year, and by my own tradition, it’s time for a seasonal change in my training as well. I like to do an off-season strength and conditioning program during the winter months, and for the past couple of years, I’ve also incorporated sport-specific ski drills into the mix. After months of propelling myself around via running shoes, hiking boots, and bicycles; getting in the gym, getting strong, and getting ready to ski is a breath of fresh winter air.

Now might be a good time for you to think about changes to your exercise routine as well. Winter is a great time to build a base of strength and/or cardiovascular fitness in order to tackle those 2018 goals on the horizon. I always get a kick out of fitness magazine covers that come out in May saying things like, “Get that beach body now!” Nope. Too late. Those magazine covers should really be in the grocery store shelves today.

For all of you who share my and my son’s excitement for ski season, here’s a re-post of our ski training video we put out last year. With opening day at most ski hills only weeks out, and snow piling up on your favorite XC trails, sprinkling in some of these exercises will have you ready for fun on Day 1!

 

P.S. For those of you who are MSU Bozeman employees, just a reminder that the MSU Fitness Center has discounted employee single-day tickets to Bridger Bowl on sale through November 14th.

ski tix 17

Embrace the change!

Neal

Power Bite Video: Freezing Veggies

As we head into fall and our CSA shares, home gardens, and Farmer’s market bounties of fresh fruits and veggies start to wane, don’t despair! Cristin, with the help of Montana dietetic intern Anna Goodrum, demonstrates how to freeze fresh fruits and vegetables in order to preserve those delicious foods through the winter. The simple technique of blanching is also discussed.

Freezing fresh produce is a great way to prevent food waste, and prepare for easy meals down the road.

For those of you who participate in our MUS Wellness Incentive Program, a new round of challenges will begin next week (10/2). Get a jump on one of them by watching the latest Montana Meals offering!

Happy Eating!