It doesn’t matter whether you are just getting started on improving your physical fitness or are well on your way to being an active Beaver Strider; we have a program for you! All OSU students, faculty and staff are invited to participate. There are several options to choose from:
Solo Strider is our individualized, self-directed, program which focuses on setting achievable fitness goals through the use of a pedometer to keep track of daily step counts. Solo Strider is a six-week program; that includes an initial week of determining your baseline step count followed by incremental increases in steps and physical activity for the remaining five weeks. Joining Solo Strider is very easy… online registration is the first three weeks of every term. The program begins the fourth Monday of the term and lasts for the next six weeks.
Move It Mondays is a group walk that takes place every Monday throughout the school year, rain or shine! We meet at 12:00 p.m. near the east entrance of Student Health Services (Plageman Building) and walk for 45 minutes on various routes near campus. All walking speeds and abilities are welcome! This is a great time to get some fresh air, conduct a “walking meeting,” or just get away from your desk chair for an hour.
Looking for someone to walk with? Come fill out a Beaver Buddy card at Dixon and we will try to pair you up with someone who loves long walks on the beach just like you! (Well, perhaps they’ll at least share your pace and have the same free time available to go for walks!)
Group Step Challenges
Group Step Challenges are for those looking to add a little healthy competition to their fitness routine. Participants join teams organized through their clubs, departments, residence halls, classes or other groups. Each participant receives a pedometer and teams compete against one another over the course of two weeks to see who can log the most steps. Winners receive prizes at the end of the competition.
Group challenges run Weeks 5-6 and Weeks 7-8 of each term.
Here’s what you need:
1) Minimum of 10 participants
- Option 1: Have two or more teams of at least 10 people compete against each other. Teams can be from within your own organization, or can be multiple organizations competing against each other!
- Option 2: Everyone for themselves! Each person participating would compete against one another for the top spot.
2) A designated team captain for each team, or group of participants.
Team captains are in charge of:
- Submitting team rosters, or individuals participating
- Attending a brief orientation to learn how to participate, where they will also pick up pedometers and other program material for their teams/participants.
- Serving as the contact liaison between the teams/participants and the Beaver Strides staff.
- Relaying any pertinent info to team members from Beaver Strides staff.
- Collecting and submitting team steps three times over the course of the two-week challenge.
- Tracking teams/participants progress on the chart provided so all can see everyone’s progress!
Submit the group step challenge online request form below, a minimum of two weeks prior to challenge start date.
Challenges are run from a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive an email confirmation once your request has been approved.
Group Step Challenge Online Request Form
Ready to Get Your Move On?
To become an official Beaver Strider and join the six-week Solo Strider program, you’ll need to register online.
Plan on attending the Kick-Off Party during the third week of each term. There you can pick up your pedometer (first 150 new Beaver Strides registrants) and tracking booklet. The program is FREE for students, faculty and staff.
Be sure to also stop by Dixon Recreation Center and check out the Beaver Buddy program. See some of the great prizes you are eligible to win if you accomplish your fitness goals during your program.
Once you are registered, you will be added to the Beaver Strides Blackboard Organization. It offers links to helpful information, physical activity guidelines, motivational ideas, and things to help you "get your move on." You will also receive weekly emails updating you on fitness tips, providing campus resource links, healthy recipes, and motivational quotes.
Have questions? Email Beaver.Strides@oregonstate.edu.
The Benefits of Regular Striding
The following is a list of the "ABC’s of Regular Striding" or the "Top 26 Reasons to Get Your Move On!"
- Appetite reduction
- Burns calories
- Cancer risk reduction - especially colon, breast, and several others
- Decreases anxiety and tension
- Enhances stamina and energy
- Free and fun! All you need is a pair of shoes and a place to walk
- Good cholesterol (HDLs) goes up and bad cholesterol (LDLs) goes down
- Heart attack risk goes down
- Improves muscle tone
- Joints get more flexible and walking is easier on joints than running
- Keeps your waistline slim and trim
- Lowers blood pressure
- Maintains cognitive function and helps mental awareness
- New places - You can explore new places and paths on foot and vary your routes each day
- Osteoporosis (bone density loss) is decreased
- Pace - You can walk as fast or slow as you are able and you can increase your pace as you get healthier
- Quick - You can go for many walks throughout the day in 10 minute stints
- Reduces blood pressure
- Slims your waist
- Treats depression and helps with symptoms
- Umbrellas make walking a year-round activity in our often wet-winter climate
- Variety - In addition to walking, adding other fitness activities to your routine helps spice things up
- Weight gain is controlled and often decreased
- Xtra energy throughout the day
- You’ll feel better about yourself and look better too
- ZZZZZs - Helps improve sleep quality
Follow these suggested guidelines for a successful 6-week individual program.
GOAL: To measure the number of steps you currently take in a typical week.
WHAT TO DO: Put the pedometer on your waistband and reset it to “0” (refer to the handout “All About Pedometers” for more information).
- Go about your daily routines as you would normally.
- If possible, try to forget that you are wearing the pedometer.
- Don’t try to walk (or swim, bike, etc.) more than you do already.
- Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.
GOAL: To make an effort throughout each day to increase your steps; increase your daily steps by 1,000 steps from Week 1.
WHAT TO DO: Think about how you can incorporate more steps into your daily activities (refer to “Steppin’ It Up Throughout the Day”).
- In your typical daily routines, try to be aware of activities that can increase your steps.
- Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.
GOAL: To increase your daily steps by 1,000 from Week 2.
WHAT TO DO: Make time in your schedule to walk during breaks, lunch hours, or in the evenings, one to two times a week.
- Record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.
GOAL: To increase your daily steps by 1,000 from Week 3.
WHAT TO DO: Think about trying to track your miles from one destination to another.
- Continue to record your daily steps in your tracking booklet.
- Look at the Activity Conversion Chart for new forms of physical activity and exercise that you might want to try.
- Here’s your chance to consider making goals to reach a destination.
GOAL: Stay motivated and interested in your program.
WHAT TO DO: As workloads increase and midterms arrive, plan time for physical activity in your daily schedule.
- Increase daily steps by 1,000 from Week 4.
- Dedicate time to staying active and stress-free.
GOAL: To add one new activity to your current exercise program (i.e. swim, bike). Your options for physical activity are limitless, so have fun.
WHAT TO DO: Begin to slowly orient yourself to new activities – starting slowly helps prevent injury and increases sustainability of chosen activity.
- Remember to record all of your physical activity in the tracking booklet.
- Keep the water coming and stretch.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Week 6 of your program and chances are you are feeling pretty good about yourself and accomplishing some of your fitness goals. What’s even better news is that you are healthier, too! Walking is such a great way to reduce stress, increase fitness, and get your move on! We hope you continue to do so throughout the rest of the term and the rest of your life. Be sure to check back in with the Beaver Strides Coordinator to cash in on your prizes and talk about your success.
~ 5,500 Steps
Head south on 15th Street to Avery Park. Make the first right into the park and follow road around the park. Head back to campus via 15th Street.
~ 6,000 Steps
Head west on Campus Way. Cross 35th Street and continue on the path. Walk through the covered bridge and then circle back around.
If you have the time, you can continue west to 53rd Street and then turn around, for approximately 8,450 steps.
~ 6,500 Steps
Go east on Jefferson Avenue toward downtown. Turn left on 11th Street and cut over to Madison Avenue. Continue downtown until you reach the riverfront. Turn left and walk northward along the riverfront path until you reach the end of the path. Turn around and come back up Jefferson.
~ 7,000 Steps
Go east on Jefferson Avenue toward downtown. Turn right on the riverfront path and head south. Follow the path around to the right and back up to the skate park. Make a slight jog back towards the riverfront to get on the path that will take you under Third Street toward the Mary's River. Walk westward along the Mary's River past Pioneer Park until you reach the intersection of Hwy. 20/34/Philomath Blvd. and 15th Street. Return to campus via 15th Street.
Starker Arts Park
~ 9,000 Steps
Head south from campus until Western Blvd.; turn right. At 35th Street, turn left. Cross over Hwy. 20/34/Philomath Blvd. and pick up the path at the southwest corner of the intersection. Follow the path. At the fork in the path, keep right. Cross over Research Way and continue to the park. On the way back, stay on 35th Street and cut over to campus on Jefferson.
Do you need a little more information about Beaver Strides? This section contains details All about Pedometers and how to Step It Up Throughout the Day.
Additionally, you will find information about how to estimate how far your steps take you. So you walked 2,000 steps today, how far is that? Check out Step Estimates or Converting YOUR Steps to Miles.
Wonder how many "steps" you take while swimming, biking, dancing, or doing other activities? Check out the Beaver Strides Steps Conversion Chart.
All About Pedometers
What is a pedometer?
A pedometer is a small device that clips onto your waistband and counts the number of steps you take based on the number of hip swings and foot strikes. The pedometer was originally conceptualized by Leonardo DaVinci in the 15th Century!
Why use a pedometer?
Pedometers give you immediate feedback on your physical activity levels throughout the day. You can compare your levels from one day to the next and try to increase your step count for better physical fitness. One recommendation is that Americans walk 10,000 steps per day. Using a pedometer will show you if you’re on the mark or need to "step it up"!
When should I wear my pedometer?
All the time! Try to put it on as soon as you are dressed in the morning and wear it throughout the day for all your routine activities as well as during exercise. The pedometers we use are not waterproof, however, so be sure to take it off in the pool or shower.
How do I use my pedometer?
Clip the pedometer to your waistband or belt directly over your knee. Reset the counter by pushing the button. Test the pedometer by taking 10 steps and seeing if the pedometer records approximately 10 steps (9-11 steps is probably a normal reading but try moving the pedometer to increase its accuracy). At the end of the day record your steps on your tracking sheet.
What does my pedometer tell me?
After a week of wearing your pedometer you can average your daily step counts and see how many steps you take on the average day. If this number is below 10,000 you should try to increase your daily step counts so that you get closer and closer to 10,000 per day. This may take some time, especially if your initial average is below 2,500 steps per day. Remember to use gradual increases and build your stamina up over the course of several weeks.
Your pedometer will also point out which days of the week are most active for you and which are the least. If you join us for Move It Mondays you might notice your step count for Mondays is substantially higher than other days. If you spend the whole day Sunday sitting in the library doing homework your step count may be much lower for that day. Once you figure out which days are low step days you can try to add a few ten-minute walks to your routine or walk instead of drive to where you need to go.
Refer to "Step It Up Throughout the Day" for more tips on increasing your daily step count.
How do I properly care for my pedometer?
Be careful to not get the pedometer wet, or it will not function properly. The clips are not flexible, so do not force the pedometer onto your belt or waistband. Clipping your pedometer on a pocket is a good alternative.
So how many miles is that? The average person walks 2,000 steps to make a mile. Using that as a baseline you can figure out how many miles you’ve walked by looking at the steps on your pedometer.
- 500 steps = approximately ¼ mile
- 1,000 steps = approximately ½ mile
- 2,000 steps = approximately 1 mile
- 4,000 steps = approximately 2 miles
- 5,000 steps = approximately 2 ½ miles
- 10,000 steps = approximately 5 miles (This is the recommended amount of daily steps for Americans.)
- 20,000 steps = approximately 10 miles
To determine if these numbers are accurate for you, wear your pedometer while you walk one mile and see how close you are to 2,000 steps. This will help you achieve even greater accuracy.
Converting YOUR Steps to Miles
Because everyone varies in pace and stride length, here is a way to calculate your own personal steps to miles!
1. Wear the pedometer and walk one lap around a 400-meter track
2. 400-meter track locations:
- Corvallis High School: 836 NW 11th / Behind Fred Meyer)
- Crescent Valley High School: 4444 NW Highland
3. Multiply the number of steps you take in one lap (400 meters) by 4 to see how many steps you take in one mile.
4. Use this number to figure out total distance per day by dividing your total daily steps by the number of steps you take in one mile.
Jan wears her pedometer for a walk around the quarter-mile school track and it counts 473 steps.
She multiplies 473 by four, to estimate that she takes about 1,892 steps a mile. (For easier math, she calls it 1900 steps)
On Monday evening, her pedometer reads 6,685 steps.
Jan divides 6,685 by 1900, and gets 3.5, or about three and a half miles walked.
How to Convert Your Average Steps to Miles
473 = Average steps for 1 lap around the track
X 4 = laps for one mile
1892 = 1900 for easier math
6685 = Number of steps on Monday
1900 = Number of steps taken in a mile
3.5 = 3½ miles walked on Monday
Step It Up Throughout the Day
- Walk to deliver messages instead of e-mailing coworkers.
- Use a timer at your desk and set it for 45 minutes. When the buzzer goes off, take a brief walking break around the building or up and down the stairs a few times.
- Have walking meetings with coworkers.
- Use some of your lunch break time to take a walk.
- Try to move during the commercial breaks (do sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, or jumping jacks). During a half-hour TV show there are about 10 minutes of commercials. An hour-long show has 20 minutes of commercials.
- Replace a half-hour of watching TV with a half-hour of walking instead!
- Change the channel manually rather than using the remote.
- Replace one car trip with walking or biking each day. Most car trips are less than one mile anyway so you can walk about 2,000 steps instead of driving.
- Park your car farther away from where you are going. Don’t drive around looking for the closest parking spot to the entrance; park in the farthest spot and walk.
- Don’t use drive-through windows. Park your car and walk into the restaurant, bank, post office, pharmacy, etc. This usually saves you time anyway!
- Walking and talking is a great way to catch up with friends while getting some exercise. Most people can easily carry on a conversation while walking and get some physical activity at the same time.
- Instead of going to dinner and a movie, go window shopping or walk around a museum instead.
- Take the long way to and from your classes.
- If you have a break between classes, skip the coffee break and go for a walk instead. You’ll feel better and have more energy and mental awareness for your next class.
- Ask your professor if you can have a walking meeting with them.
- If you’ve got a long day of studying ahead, set a timer for 45 minutes. Once the buzzer goes off get up and go for a 5- to 10-minute walk and then get back to work.
- Clean the house; sweep, mop, vacuum etc.
- Rake leaves
- Take the dog for a walk, offer to take a friend’s dog for a walk, or accompany a dog-walker on their walk.
- Try to increase your exercise time by 10 minutes.
- Add a 5-minute warm up walk and a 5-minute cool down walk to your exercise routine. This will help your muscles relax after an intense work out.
- If you can’t add time to your work out, try to increase your intensity. Run a little harder or walk a little faster than usual. Get your heart rate up a bit higher than normal.
Beaver Strides Steps Conversion Chart
For each activity, keep track of how many minutes you are exercising and multiply by the number of steps per minute to get a step total:
||STEPS PER MINUTE
Aerobics - Step
Bicycling - Mountain
Bicycling - Moderate
Bicycling - Vigorous
Elliptical - Moderate
Judo and Karate
Jump Rope - Moderate
Jump Rope - Fast
Kickboxing - Moderate
Skiing - Downhill
Skiing - Cross-Country
Soccer - Competitive
Tennis - Competitive
Volleyball - Competitive
Washing the Car
Drinking 8 oz. of Water
100 steps per 8 oz.
Eating 1 serving of fruits or vegetables
100 steps per serving
FREE Health Coaching Appointment (STUDENTS ONLY)
1,000 steps per session
FREE Nutrition Consultation Appointment (STUDENTS ONLY)
1,000 steps per session
FREE Mind Spa Appointment
1,000 steps for 1 hour
FREE 1-on-1 Fitness Programming at Dixon (STUDENTS ONLY)
1,000 steps per session
Step counts taken from America on the Move. More step conversions available from Take Steps.
Are you interested in making your health a lifestyle rather than a chore? Do you beat yourself up for "slipping"? Have you started many programs and then dropped out along the way? Check out Overcoming Barriers for tips on dealing with lack of time or energy, low motivation, and even bad weather. You will find tips to keep up the good work and to stay motivated! Physical activity is for every body!
You will also find useful information on the topics of Warm Up and Cool Down, Shoe Tips, Healthy Eating, Aerobic Exercise. and Stress Reduction.
Ever wonder what your target heart rate is or what intensity you should aim for while exercising? Thinking about the intensity and duration of physical activity can help you to achieve your fitness goals.
What is Aerobic Exercise?
The word aerobic literally means "with oxygen" or "in the presence of oxygen." Aerobic exercise is any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously for a long period of time and is rhythmic in nature. Aerobic activity trains the heart, lungs, and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body. As the heart muscle becomes stronger and more efficient, a larger amount of blood can be pumped with each stroke. Fewer strokes are then required to rapidly transport oxygen to all parts of the body. An aerobically fit individual can work longer, more vigorously and achieve a quicker recovery at the end of the aerobic session.
- Aerobic means "with oxygen" or "in the presence of oxygen"
- Aerobic activity or exercise is any activity that uses a large percentage of muscle mass, can be maintained for a prolonged period, is rhythmical and stimulates the heart, lungs, and muscles.
- Aerobic activity trains the heart lungs and cardiovascular system to process and deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) - The lowest rate your heart can attain, usually while asleep, a few hours before waking.
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) - The fastest rate at which your heart can pump blood to the rest of the body. The maximum number of beats per minute that the heart can achieve during exercise, or its maximum work output. The "rule of thumb" method of determining MHR is 220 minus age (for males) and 226 minus age (for females). This is only an estimate; your true max may be as many as 15 beats higher or lower. This formula is used for activities during which your feet hit the ground (when cycling, subtract 5 beats; when swimming subtract 10 beats)
Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) - Your maximal heart rate minus your resting heart rate. It's the total "range of motion" for which you heart is currently capable.
Target Heart Rate (THR) - This is the sub-maximal heart rate zone within which you should train during aerobic activity, usually between 55 and 85 percent of Heart Rate Reserve (HRR). Refer to "Determining Your Target Heart Rate" to calculate to yours.
Are You Working Within Your Target Heart Rate?
Take pulse about every 15 minutes (you may need to slow down or even stop). You can also purchase a heart rate monitor. You can get a good monitor for around $60.00. (Cardio equipment in gyms now have HR monitors built in.)
Rating of Perceived Exertion - Created by Dr. Gunner Borg, it allows you to evaluate how you feel at various stages of exercise; helps you become attuned to your body.
The Talk Test - If you can talk comfortably while you are exercising, you are working with in your target zone. However, if you can sing the Phantom of the Opera, you need to step it up a bit!
Also take a look at Determining Target Heart Rate, Determining Exercise Intensity and Deciding Today's Intensity (all PDF files) for more information.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Are you turned off by exercise because of body aches and pains? Being sore from physical activity is a common reason why many people stop being active. "Warming up" your muscles before you get your move on and "cooling down" afterwards can minimize the discomfort of worked muscles. These are essential to any physical activity program and feel great too. Here are a few...
Benefits of Warming Up
- A warm-up consists of a slow-to-moderate intensity activity that is performed in order to gradually prepare the body to perform sustained activity.
- Gradually warms muscle temperature, decreasing the likelihood of injury and amount of work for active muscles.
- Gradually increases blood flow to the heart and other active muscles.
- Increases elasticity of connective tissue and other muscle components, and lubricates the joints.
- Reduces the chance of tightness and soreness post-exercise activity, and fatigue during higher level activity.
- Offers psychological preparation for chosen activity.
- Your response during warm-up determines the likelihood of your ability to complete the chosen activity.
Begin by making sure you have the appropriate shoes and clothing on for walking, and if possible, have a watch on hand for timing the duration of your walk.
Warm-up for at least 5-10 minutes (taking into consideration the chosen activity, duration of activity, and personal warm-up needs)
Start out walking with hands at your sides, moving them as naturally as possible (2 or 4 minutes approx.)
- Pace will be slower-to-moderate and the focus is to acclimate yourself to being physical.
- Think about rhythmic or controlled breathing (i.e. in through the nose and out through the mouth).
- Slightly tighten your abdominal muscles to support good postural alignment.
Next, begin to pump arms* at your side increasing the pace to a more moderate intensity (about 3 to 6 minutes).
- Keep breathing and allow your upper body and arms to respond to the movement of your lower body.
Once the warm-up is complete, you are ready to enter the main part of the walking program.
- Try to remember breathing and postural cues while walking.
* Pumping arms requires the following:
- Bend at the elbows to create a 90-degree angle.
- Initiate a front-to-back movement of the arms from the shoulder joint.
Begin by gradually decreasing the intensity and pace of your walk. At this point, you will be finished with the main part of your walking workout.
You will typically cool-down for at least 5-10 minutes, or for how ever long is necessary for you to decrease your heart rate and come to a more relaxed physical state
Begin by bringing your arms to your sides again (discontinue arm-pumping), swinging your arms from front to back as naturally as possible (2 or 4 minutes approx.)
- Pace will become slower and the focus is to achieve a more relaxed physical state.
- Think about rhythmic or controlled breathing (i.e. in through the nose and out through the mouth).
- Postural alignment is still important during cool-down.
Continue to slow the pace and recognize any areas that may be tight and whether or not your heart rate has sufficiently decreased (3 or 6 minutes approx.)
- Keep breathing and allow your upper body and arms to respond to the movement of your lower body.
- If your heart rate is still elevated or you do not feel more physically relaxed, continue to reduce the pace or stop and rest.
Once the cool-down is complete, you are ready to begin stretching and continue with other scheduled activities
- Remember to drink plenty of water to re-hydrate and keep yourself hydrated this also keeps you more flexible.
- Take breaks during the day to stretch and remain limber.
Do you get shin splints or shooting pains in your legs when you exercise? Choosing the right shoe is extremely important to successful walking. Wearing proper shoes can prevent injury and ensures a more comfortable physical activity experience. How you lace your shoes is another thing to consider when preparing to be active.
Picking Shoes and Laces: Things to Look For
- Comfort is of utmost importance
- Good toe room is highly important
- Sturdiness and support for your foot
- Durability of the shoe
- Availability of wide or narrow sizes
- Versatility: use your shoes for walking and for working/shopping
Shoe Trying Tips
- Bring the socks you generally wear walking to use while trying on the shoes.
- The right size for walking shoes will be a size to a size and a half larger than your dress shoes because your feet swell while walking.
- Try on shoes later in the day or right after walking so your feet will have swelled.
- Shoes should feel great when you put them on, don't buy them thinking you will "wear them in."
- If you have wide or narrow feet, look for a brand that has widths.
- If any part of your foot feels it is rubbing against a rough spot in the shoe or boot, try another pair or style. You are sure to get blisters otherwise.
- Get the right laces.
- If your laces are too long, replace them with shorter laces.
- Round laces seem to be more slippery than flat ones.
- Plastic or velcro lace lock can be used with your existing laces.
Know Your Knots
- Double-knot the bow. This is not a cure-all. Some walkers may need to triple- or quadruple-tie their shoes to keep them tied.
- Double-knot the bow and then tuck the laces (all four ends) under the crisscrossed laces toward the front of the shoe.
- First, tie your shoes as you normally do. Then, cross the laces. Then form a loop with each side like rabbits ears. Take one loop and wrap it twice around the other and pull tight. Tuck the laces in under one of the crossed laces. They will never come untied and as a bonus they also never knot and come undone when you pull either lace.
- Another knot: After forming the first loop go around it twice instead of only once before pulling the second loop through. The two times around the center of the knot keeps it from working untied.
- Two words: duct tape. Run a piece of tape around the instep so it covers the laces. They don't become loose and the ends stay tucked under the tape.
- Squirt a little water on your shoelaces after they are tied; they should stay tied for the whole day.
- Sew them up with a needle and thread. Before you head out, tie your shoes and put the stitch through the lace knot, just 3 or 4 times. When finished with your outing, a strong tug will free them up.
Healthy Eating, Part 1
Want to eat healthy but afraid you'll be stuck eating celery stalks, lettuce sandwiches and cabbage soup? It doesn't have to be that hard.
Here are a few quick and easy suggestions to nudge you down the path towards healthier eating habits.
Remember: When you modify your eating behaviors, quick changes usually dont last. It should be a gradual, ongoing process. Try a few things for a while and then look for more ways to adjust.
- Drink more water and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices rather than soda and sugary juice drinks
- Buy fresh fruits and veggies instead of canned
- Eat poultry, fresh fish and lean red meat (remove skin and excess fat)
- Try low-fat/non-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cottage cheese and milk (Hint: gradually reduce the % of fat rather than switching straight to non-fat. For example, drink 1% milk for a while, then move to ½% etc; it'll be less noticeable and more manageable)
- Try light ice-cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet or ice milk instead of ice cream
- Cook with canola or olive oil and light margarine rather than butter or animal fat oils
- Use condiments sparingly (most just add fat, sugar or sodium)
- Take your lunch
- Avoid vending machines, convenience stores and fast food
- Dont use vitamin and mineral supplements as a substitute for balanced meals
- Remember moderation (Avoid super size or value meals)
- Choose BBQ, sweet and sour, tomato, pesto or honey sauces instead of ranch, tarter or other cream sauces
- Broil or grill rather than fry
- Steam rather than boil vegetables
- Find low-fat/no-fat options that you can substitute without too much of a sacrifice (fat-free sour cream, cool-whip, croutons, refried beans, and low-fat cream soup for recipes)
Here are some more suggestions to improve your diet:
- Eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients and fewer calories than any other food groups.
- In the Nurses Health Study of 74,000 women, it was found that those who gained the least weight as they grew older were those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables.
- These are also the foods which protect against cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Strive for 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables as a bare minimum. Take carrots, apples, tangerines, and other easy packers with you in the morning. Keep kiwis, bananas, and green bell peppers on the counter. Have a salad AND a side of vegetables with your meals. It takes practice.
- Eat breakfast
- Small frequent meals are linked to lower body weights than the same number of calories consumed in fewer, larger meals.
- Alertness and test scores are higher when people have eaten breakfast than when they haven't.
- Breakfast is an opportunity to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Cold cereal, low fat milk, a banana, and ½ cup orange juice. (Look 2 fruits!)
- Old-fashioned oatmeal make with low fat milk & raisins, ½ cup OJ (2 fruits again!)
- Whole wheat toast with an egg and grilled tomato, ½ cup apple juice (Do egg & tomato in the same pan. 1 fruit & 1 vegetable!)
Lunch - Garden Deli Sandwich
- 4 Tbl. Light cream cheese
- 1 whole wheat Pita bread
- 8 cucumber slices
- 4 tomato slices
- 1 cup Romaine lettuce
Cut Pita bread in half. Spread cream cheese inside Pita bread. Add sliced vegetables and spouts. Serve with apple quarters or other fruit.
Dinner - Black Bean Quesadillas
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbl. Salsa, thick and chunky
- ½ tsp. Onion powder
- ¼ tsp. Dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. Garlic powder
- 2 tbl. Chopped green onion
- 4 flour tortillas (7 ½ diameter)
- 2 oz. Grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Mash beans. Add salsa, seasonings and onion. Mix well.
Microwave Oven: Spoon filling onto half of each tortilla. Top with cheese and fold each tortilla in half. Microwave on high for 60 seconds, rotating ¼ turn halfway trough cooking time.
Skillet or Griddle: divide filling onto 2 tortillas. Top with cheese and the remaining two tortillas. Spray griddle or skillet with non-stick cooking spray and brown quesadillas on both sides. Cut in half or quarters before serving.
Serve with sliced tomatoes and quartered kiwi fruit, or other fruit and vegetable.
Recipes adapted from Quick & Healthy by Brenda J. Ponichtera, MS RD.
Banana Strawberry Delight
- 1 banana
- ½ cup frozen strawnerries
- 3/4 cup soy milk
Creamy Pineapple Surprise
- 1/3 cup mango
- 2/3 cup canned pineapple
- ¼ cup frozen raspberries
- 1 ¼ cup soy milk
- 1 cup peaches
- ¼ cup raspberries
- 1 cup chilled peach juice
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- 3 ice cubes
Put all ingredients into your blender. Blend on high power until smooth.
Pump up the nutritional value of your smoothie with any of the following additives! (Please note: we do not personally guarantee the health benefits or the taste of any of the following; this list was made from visitor input.)
- 1 T. Wheat Germ
- ¼ c. uncooked oatmeal
- ¼ c. Post 100% bran cereal
- 1 T. Protein powder (try each variety: soy, rice, or dairy)
- Milk substituted for part of juice/lemonade
- Blackstrap molasses (extra iron)
- Brewer's yeast (protein)
- Spirulina or chlorella (vitamins)
- Flaxseed oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
- Bee pollen (amino acids)
- Psyllium husk powder (fiber)
Smoothie Website: www.smoothiecentral.com
Healthy Eating, Part 2
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet was devised to bring down high blood pressure, but it may improve health in many ways. Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk for some cancers. The calcium in dairy products can lower risk for osteoporosis and PMS. And a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
The DASH diet can't do it alone, though. It's important that you take other steps to preserve health, including exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol.
The DASH Diet Guide:
Here are the number of servings you should consume daily from each food group. Serving amounts are based on a diet of 2,000 calories per day.
- Grains and grain products: 7 to 8 daily (1 slice bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup pasta)
- Fruits: 4 to 5 servings daily (1 medium fruit, 1/2 cup canned fruit, 6 oz fruit juice, apricots, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, melons, strawberries, kiwi, apples)
- Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings daily (6 oz. vegetable juice, 1 cup raw, leafy or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables; tomatoes, broccoli, peas, carrots, potatoes, squash, leafy greens)
- Dairy: 2 to 3 daily (8 oz. skim milk or yogurt, 1 cup soy milk, 1.5 oz low-fat cheese)
- Meats, poultry and fish: 2 or fewer daily (3 oz. fish, poultry or lean meat is a serving). Note: "2 or fewer" means that meat is not considered necessary.
- Seeds, legumes and nuts: 1-2 daily (2 tablespoons seeds [flaxseed, sesame, sunflower], 1/2 cup cooked legumes [kidney beans, lentils, soup beans], or 1/3 cup nuts or soy nuts.
If Cholesterol is a Concern
- Flax seeds, 2 teaspoons (ground up), added to meals
- When using fat, choose olive or canola oil, rather than butter or margarine
- When eating flesh, choose fish and poultry more than red meats
- Add soy protein to diet (25 grams/day) from soy nuts, soy milk, soy foods
- Drink green tea, grape juice or red wine (1/day only), onions and garlic in cooking
Weight Control Tips:
- Be active: walk, ride a bike, take the stairs, rake and mow, wash windows...
- Eat breakfast
- Flax seeds, 2 teaspoons (ground up), added to meals
- Seek out fruits and vegetables
- Don't drink your calories
Do you struggle to fit physical activity into your busy day? All of us have days when we just don't feel like exercising or lack the time in our schedules. It is easy to forget how great you feel after moving your body; especially when the rain starts or the couch seems to suck you in. Here you will find information to help you overcome your own personal barriers and to develop an action plan. Learn valuable "cues to action" to remind yourself that physical activity is for every body.
Lack of Time
- Monitor your daily activities for one week
- Identify 30-minute time slots that you could spend being active
- Identify 3 times during the day where you spend 10 minutes being active
- Walk to work or school
- Organize social activities around physical activities
- Exercise during your lunch hour
- Walk the dog
- Park farther away from your destination
Make a list of activities that are available regardless of the weather that could include:
- Mall walking
- Stair climbing
- Indoor cycling
- Indoor Swimming
- Put on your rain jacket and layer your clothes for an outdoor adventure!
- Plan ahead and make activity a top priority in your day
- Schedule physical activity into your daily schedule
- Join a class with others
- Call a friend and go walking together
Lack of Energy
- Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
- Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, exercise will increase your energy level, and then try it.
- Incorporate children into your exercise program
- Run around the playground with kids
- Play tag with children
- Make exercise a family affair
- Trade babysitting time with a friend who also has children
Lack of Skills
"Most everyone developed a physical activity skill around the age of 1 year. It's called walking." - Active Living Alliance
Select other activities that require no special skills such as:
- Climbing stairs
- Start out slowly
- Choose a physical activity that is realistic and doable
- Take a class to develop new skills
Access and Resources
- Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment
- Identify convenient resources available in your community such as:
- Parks and Recreation programs
- Worksite programs
- Check out workout videos from the library
- Tune into early morning exercise programs on television
Fear of Injury or Pain
- Start slowly!
- Gradually strengthen your muscles and build endurance
- Learn to properly warm up and cool down in order to prevent injury
- Learn to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, and health status
- Choose activities involving minimal risk
- Check with your doctor about your level of physical activity
Fear of Embarrassment
- You don't look strange when you exercise, you look like a person who is taking positive steps toward better health
- You don't have to wear shorts or other revealing types of workout clothes; wear long sweats and a T-shirt or sweatshirt
- Find a friend to go with you, you will be less embarrassed if you have a partner
- Walk on a track instead of on the sidewalk
- Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family, ask them to support your efforts
- Invite friends or family to exercise with you
- Develop new friendships with physically active people
- Join a group such as the YMCA or a walking club
Beaver Strides is a great first step to overcoming your barriers!
Do you get stressed out from the pressures of work or school? As a society, we are constantly on-the-go and busy with the daily events in our lives. Sometimes we forget to take time out of our day to de-stress, relax and breathe. Learn some easy and simple exercises to reduce the stress in your life.
Meditation is an English approximation for the Sanskrit word dhyana, which means an unbroken flow of thought toward and object of concentration. The object of meditation might be a word, a picture, an image, a concept, or the breath. If the object of meditation is a word, you start by concentration on that word. As your concentration deepens, your mind flows continually toward this word. As you move deeper into meditation, your mind becomes totally absorbed in that word.
During meditation, the thinking process is stilled. The mind becomes quiet, providing profound rest for the mind, with the result that it returns to thought refreshed and revitalized. Meditation is the finest method for creating mental relaxation.
There are misunderstandings about meditation. Often when we hear the word, we think of the dictionary definition to think deeply or ponder some subject. But here we are referring to a distinct process for working with the mind, not a type of thinking. Meditation is conscious effort to focus the mind in a nonanalytic manner and to move away from thinking about things.
Another misunderstanding arises from the association between meditation and mystical practices of an ascetic lifestyle. But meditation can be effectively practiced by people richly involved with life who want to experience optimal health and well-being.
Research studies have consistently shown that people who practice meditation, their psychological well-being improves. Meditations experience improved self-esteem, decreased anxiety and depression, higher levels of self-actualization, and better overall health.
Total Relaxation: Healing Practices for Body, Mind and Spirit by John R. Harvey, Ph.D.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises have been an integral part of mental, spiritual and physical development in the orient and India for centuries. Westerners have only recently become aware of the importance of correct breathing habits.
Breathing exercises have been found to be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, irritability, muscular tension and fatigue. They are used in the treatment and prevention of breath-holding, hyperventilation, shallow breathing, and cold hands and feet.
Time for Mastery
Breathing exercises can be learned in a matter of minutes. Full appreciation of the effects of deep breathing may take a matter of months.
- Lie down on a soft blanket or rug on the floor. Bend your knees and move your feet about eight inches apart, with your toes turned outward slightly. Make sure that your spine is straight.
- Scan your body for tension.
- Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as feels comfortable. Your chest should move only a little and only with your abdomen.
- When you are at ease with your breathing, smile slightly and inhale through your nose and exhale through you mouth, making a quiet, relaxing, whooshing sound like the wind as you blow gently out.
- Your mouth, tongue and jaw should be relaxed.
- Take long, slow, deep breaths which raise and lower your abdomen.
- Focus on the sound and feeling of breathing as you become more and more relaxed.
- At the end of each breathing session, take a little time to once more scan you body for tension.
- Compare the tension you feel at the conclusion of the exercise with how you felt when you began the exercise.
- As you become more comfortable with deep breathing, you can practice it whenever you feel like it during the day whether you are sitting or standing.
- Practice your deep breathing anytime you start to feel tense.
- Start out your exercises by deep breathing for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day, for a couple of times a day.
- As you become more comfortable in your breathing you can extend this period as you see fit.
What is Progressive Relaxation?
- Developed by Edmund Jacobson, a Chicago physician
- Is a deep muscle technique that requires no imagination, willpower, or suggestion
- Based on the premise that the body responds to anxiety-provoking thoughts and events with muscle tension
- By relaxing the deep muscles, one reduces physiological tension
- Regular practice blocks the habit of responding to stressful situations with anxiety and tension
- Reduces pulse rate and blood pressure
- Decreases perspiration and respiration rates
- Can be used as an anti-anxiety pill
Time For Mastery
- One to Two Weeks
- Two 15 minute sessions per day
During the progressive muscle relaxation exercise, we will be focusing on four major muscle groups:
- Hands, forearms, and biceps
- Head, face, throat and shoulders, including concentration on forehead, cheeks, nose, eyes, jaws, lips, tongue, and neck. Considerable attention is devoted to your head, because from the emotional point of view, the most important muscles in your body are situated in and around this region.
- Chest, stomach, and lower back
- Thighs, buttocks, calves, and feet.
- Begin by practicing deep breathing exercises, to relax your mind and body
- Turn off or dim the lights
- Play some soothing music
- Keep your eyes closed
Relaxing expressions to ponder when de-stressing:
- Let go of tension
- Throw away the tension I am feeling calm and rested
- Relax and smooth out the muscles
- Let the tension dissolve away
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Exercises
Hands, Fists, Forearms
- Get into a comfortable position in your chair and relax
- Clench your right fist, tighter and tighter
- Notice the tension in your fist, hand, and forearm
- Now relax...
- Repeat the entire procedure with your left fist
- Repeat the entire procedure with both fists
- Bend your elbows
- Tense your biceps as hard as you can
- Observe the feeling of tautness
- Relax and straighten out your arms
- Let the relaxation develop and feel the difference
- Repeat this and all succeeding procedures at least once
- Turn attention to your head
- Wrinkle your forehead as tight as you can
- Now relax and smooth it out
- Let yourself imagine your entire forehead and scalp becoming smooth and at rest
- Now frown and notice the strain spreading throughout your forehead
- Let go; Allow your brow to become smooth again
- Close your eyes now and squeeze them tightly
- Relax your eyes
- Let them remain closed gently and comfortably
- Now clench your jaw, bite hard; notice the tension throughout your jaw
- Relax the jaw
- When the jaw is relaxed, your lips will be slightly apart
- Let yourself appreciate the contrast between tension and relaxation
- Now press your tongue to the roof of your mouth
- Feel the ache in the back of your mouth
- Press your lips now, purse then into an O
- Relax your lips
- Notice that your forehead, scalp, eyes, jaw, tongue, and lips are all relaxed
Neck and Shoulders
- Press your head as far back as it can comfortably go and observe the tension in your neck
- Roll your head slowly to the right and feel the changing locus of stress
- Roll your head slowly to the left
- Straighten your head and bring it forward
- Press your chin against your chest
- Feel the tension in your throat and in the back of your neck
- Relax, allowing your head to return to a comfortable position
- Let the relaxation deepen
- Now, shrug your shoulders
- Keep the tension as you hunch your head down between your shoulders
- Relax your shoulders
- Drop them back and feel the relaxation spreading through your neck, throat and shoulders
- Pure relaxation, deeper and deeper
- Give your entire body a chance to relax
- Feel the comfort and the heaviness
- Now breathe in and fill your lungs completely
- Now exhale; let your chest become loose and let the air out with a hiss
- Continue relaxing; letting your breath come freely and gently
- Repeat this several times, noticing the tension draining from your body
- As you exhale, tighten your stomach, pushing your hands up
- Hold this and then relax
- Arch your back without straining
- Keep the rest of your body as relaxed as possible
- Focus on the tension in your lower back
- Now relax deeper and deeper
Buttocks and Thighs
- Tighten your buttocks and thighs
- Flex your thighs by pressing down your heels as hard as you can
- Relax and feel the difference
- Now curl your toes downward; making your calves tense
- Study the tension
- Now bend your toes towards your face, creating tension in your shins
- Relax again
Notice, how your whole body feels relaxed and heavy at the end of the entire exercise; the more you let go of stress, the more relaxed and loose each muscle group becomes.
Stress Reduction Tips
Stress is a huge topic - after all, you can have stress from virtually every area of your life. So boiling a list of tips down to two pages is quite a challenge! To meet this challenge, three tips will be placed into each of several wellness categories. You are probably doing really well in some of these areas, already, but not all of them. The areas in which you are not doing so well can serve as a starting point for your own stress reduction program.
- Take care of yourself! This is the stuff youve always heard about but a reminder never hurts: Eat a diet that is high in fiber (fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes); relatively low in fat (15 to 30 percent of daily calories); and moderate in sugar and salt.
- Exercise - move as much as you can. Your body needs three kinds of exercise for optimal health: strength, flexibility and aerobic. If you need help in any of these areas, please ask!
- Medical Self-Care: See a medical practitioner for any medical need you may have.
- Reduce stress. Not only do you need to address all areas to reduce the amount of stress you experience, but you also need some specific activities that reduce the effects of stress. Thats called: Sress Reduction. Learn some stress reduction skills: deep breathing, progressive relaxation, cognitive restructuring.
- Take care of your internal environment by listening to your feelings, validating them and working to change the ones that are painful.
- Get help if you need it!
- Listen! Theres nothing better for relationships - any relationships - than listening!
- Work on your communication. The better you communicate, the better are your relationships.
- Be willing to admit your mistakes - people will respect you even more for it.
Life in General
- Learn how to balance all areas of your life. When you spend too much of your time in one area (e.g., work), another area inevitably suffers (e.g., relationships).
- Time is one of your most precious resources; learn how to budget it so that your priorities are apparent.
- Deep breathe...when you find yourself getting anxious or depressed. Do this before you decide on any course of action.