Tips, tricks and talks to keep your
mental well-being top of mind.
You may not realize it on a day-to-day basis, but everything you do — your habits, what you eat, when you exercise — affects your brain’s health. That’s why Pearson and its providers offer services to you to keep all of your working parts healthy. Because when your muscles, bones and organs feel good — your brain does too!
Healthy Heart, Healthy Mind
February happens to be American Heart Month, and the cold is no reason to take a break from physical activity. After all, you’re sure to have made some healthy New Year’s resolutions, so why stop now? And here’s what’s cool — exercising in colder weather has a few advantages over working out during warmer months. For one, you don’t have heat and humidity to deal with. In fact, the winter’s chill can make you feel awake and invigorated. Not only that, you can actually work out harder in the cold weather — which means you burn even more calories. That’s a win! Heading outside in the winter is also a great way to take in some sunlight, which can improve your mood and provide you with some much-needed Vitamin D.
Don’t Let The Cold Stop Your Burn!
Working out during the winter months tends to burn more calories. Check out the chart below to see how many calories you’re burning as you hit the streets, trails, courts or treadmills this winter. Your current weight and workout intensity also play a factor.
Estimated Calorie Counter
Turn it up!
The American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity are meant to serve as a baseline of what you need to do to maintain your health. But if you’re hoping to really make a difference, you’ll need to increase your exercise time or intensity, and change up your routine. No sweat! Here are some helpful ideas to get you moving:
Head uphill. Walking uphill or at an incline is a higher-intensity workout that helps build strength and stamina.
Add intervals. Switch up the pace during your workout. How? Try adding 30 second to 2 minute sprints between sets, or every couple of minutes, whichever works best for you. You should aim for your bursts of speed to be at an 8 (on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being the fastest you could possibly walk or run).
Involve your arms. Put your arms to work by holding hand weights, dumbbells, kettle bells or walking poles. It’ll help improve your balance while building strength, and it will burn more calories, too.
Join a walking team. A good place to start would be to sign up for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. You can find one in your community at HeartWalk.org.
Reroute! Switch up your regular walking routes. You can find out about different walking paths at StartWalkingNow.org.
Start a walking club. Do you prefer working out with your friends or family? Gather some together and visit mywalkingclub.org to start your own official walking club.
Embrace the season. The winter offers a chance to take part in specific activities that aren’t always available — like snowboarding, skiing and cross-country skiing or ice skating. Enjoy them — they’re great ways to get a workout!
Stay Inside and Stay Fit!
Sure it’s cold outside, but you can make your time inside this winter go a long way for your health. In fact, there are dozens of ways to get physical activity inside — no gym required. If you don’t already have some, weights (like a set of 5 or 10 lbs dumbbells) can be a great addition to your indoor workouts, but by no means necessary.
Work On Your (Compound) Moves.
Compound moves are designed to work multiple muscle groups at one time.. Here are some simple ones to try out:
Lunges with biceps curls. Start standing with your feet together, shoulders back and down. Take a big step forward with your right foot, bending both right leg and left leg (but keeping your upper body straight). As you bend both legs to 90 degrees, lift both arms into a biceps curl (with or without weights). Straighten your arms as you push back to your starting position (legs together). Alternate right and left legs. Start with one set of 10 and work up to three sets.
Squats with shoulder lifts. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back and down. Squat as if sitting back in a chair, and lean forward. Your upper body will be at an angle, but still in a straight line (keep your abs tight and pulled in). As you bend, lift your arms out front (with or without weights). Drop arms back down to your sides as your straighten. Start with a set of 10, and work up to three sets.
Remember to hydrate whenever you’re planning to
exercise. Even though your sweat evaporates quicker
in the winter, your body is still losing water!
Source: American Heart Association
Here’s what’s on the Horizon
with Wellness Seminars from EAP
Mental well-being is an important part of your overall wellness. That’s why Cigna, through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), offers a variety of wellness seminars to keep you healthy and informed throughout the year. Think of them as your check up from the neck up.
Effective Time Management
Bridging the Gaps:
Generations Working Together
Stress Management 101
Violence in the Workplace
Pay It Forward:
A Guide to Giving Back
Mindfulness: Release the Stress
Healthy Eating in a
A Prescription Plan for
Surviving Your Child’s Teen Years
All seminars are one hour long, starting at 2 PM EST. On-demand replay will be available starting two hours after the live presentation. For more information on upcoming and recorded seminars, click here to access Cigna’s Behavioral website.
Find Yourself Lost?
Use GPS at No Extra Cost
GPS (short for Guided Patient Support) is your free, confidential resource to help you get relevant information and support about any health topic or diagnosis you may have had. With a physician-led research team, GPS will answer all of your questions and will guide you toward a healthier state. Call 1.888.361.2944 or log on here to find out more.
1What do I have? Help confirming the diagnosis you’ve been given is correct.
2What do I need? Help understanding your treatment options
and confirming that the one being recommended is the best one.
3Where do I go? Help getting to the leading doctors and hospitals for your care.
4What does it cost? Help learning how to shop for your care so
you get the best quality and price, and save money.
5How do I connect? Help building a strong support network
with your family, friends, and other patients through local and online communities.