Tuesday, February 8, 2011

h|month: pho queen shares ...

#healthmonth love ... team CDWL@edi's pho queen shared health month love with her cubeopolis toastmaster's group a couple of weeks ago. we figured it would be fitting to share it with others. enjoy!

how many of you have fitness and/or diet goals or resolutions for 2011? (great!)

now how many of you keep track of your physical activities or meals? (okay, there are less hands)

today i'm going to talk about three online tools that i'm using to help me reach my health goals this year. these three websites are fun, free of cost (with a minor caveat), and don't require a lot of your time. they are cubeopolis's race around the regions challenge (aka the president's challenge), my fitness pal (dot) com, and health month (dot) com. i'll briefly describe each one and give reasons why they work or why i like them. by the end of my speech, i hope to have motivated you or at the very least to spark your interest in some friendly online competition.

you probably have heard of cubeopolis's race around the region (ratr) challenge which uses president's challenge (dot) org. - friendly competition between all cubeopolis regional offices to earn 8,000 points, which is equivalent to the distance in miles around all ten of the cubeopolis's offices and cubeopolis headquarters. you start earning points by logging in your daily physical activities, which can range from exercise at the gym, to skiing, biking, running or even doing household chores. cubeopolis started officially counting points this past monday. through this friendly competition, you and your fellow employees have the chance to win prizes and improve your health. as an example, joe has already earned 646 points and smiles 1,750. i have a measly 236 points, but i am motivated to win a prize, even if it's a shirt or gym bag. an added bonus of bragging rights - recognition for our cubeopolis region to be the fittest and healthiest regional office. because the president's challenge is limited to tracking physical activities, i use the next website, my fitness pal (dot) com, to track my meals.

my fitness pal (mfp) is also a mobile app for iphone and droid. the website says "mfp is a diet and fitness community built with one purpose in mind - providing you with tools and support you need to achieve your weight loss goals." essentially, it's a food and exercise diary. studies have shown that the more you consistently track what you eat the more likely you are going to lose weight. mfp really is a buddy because it allow you to log all of your meals an counts your calories and other nutritional information such as carbs and proteins. it's a food database that remembers what you've eaten and what you most often eat. you don't have to do a search all the time, and you can even include home-cooked recipes. you can also get the support and motivation from friends. when i see my only frend log in her activities, it motivates me to do the same.

the last website is health month (dot) com. from the website, "health month is about taking the science of nutrition and behavior change and combining it with the social games of the web." in other words, it's a game to help improve your diet, fitness, mental health, relationship health, and financial health, while enjoying it. health month is also based on a point system, but more importantly, you get to craft your rules for the week and month, based on what's already available. for example, one rule that is already there is to exercise, but i crafted my rule to say "exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week." so far it's going bad because i lost points for not following this rule. it's a program that helps people take responsibility for their behavior, and it doesn't need to include diet or exercise goals.

ratr, my fitness pal, and health month are all worthwhile tools to help you reach and achieve your health goal and be accountable. for the record, i swear i did not get paid by any of these websites, but i can say that my compensation has come in the form of higher self-esteem, losing 2 pounds, eating healthier meals, and saving money on meals i create at home. i hope that, if anything, i've convinced you to use ratr to track your health goals so that our region is a healther one.

thanks, pho queen,
for the healthy chat!

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