We launched our 2018 meetings with a presentation by medical fittness expert Kylie Vatthauer entitled “Butt, This is Serious: Refocusing Your Wellness Goals.” Laurie Lucking shares her notes below.
Kylie began by emphasizing the difference between lifestyle and purposeful movement. Lifestyle includes things like job duties, chores, and the number of steps you naturally take each day. Purposeful movement goes above and beyond day-to-day activities, with cardiovascular (running, swimming, biking), resistance (barbells, resistance bands), and mobility (Pilates, stretching) training. She recommended that everyone get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity cardiovascular movement, plus resistance training on each muscle group per week. In order to achieve weight loss, her recommendations increased to 240 minutes of cardiovascular and resistance training twice per week.
For people in sedentary jobs like writing, Kylie advised getting a standing desk if possible and arranging your day so you can do some standing and some sitting. She also suggested walking breaks and positioning everything in your work space to minimize strain on your back, neck, and arms.
Next, she presented on eating. She stressed that no one diet plan will work well for everyone, so the focus should instead be on mindful eating: paying attention to how foods make you feel. Avoid processed foods as much as possible, and see if you can incorporate vegetables into every meal. She suggested a few simple substitutions that can help eliminate some processed foods, such as honey or protein powder instead of coffee creamer, or crushed raspberries and feta cheese instead of salad dressing. We also need to drink plenty of water to help with many processes in our bodies. She recommended a ½ ounce per pound of body weight on inactive days, and 1 ounce per pound of body weight on active days. If you weigh 160 pounds, that translates to 5 quarts of water on active days, 2.5 quarts on inactive days.
Sleep helps our bodies fight off infection, supports metabolism, and improves brain function. Adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Stress can also affect a number of aspects of our lives, including irritability, blood pressure, cholesterol, indigestion, immunity, and more. Acute stressors, such as a new challenge or giving a presentation to a book group, aren’t harmful, but chronic stressors like a bad work schedule can have severe health effects. Everyone is different, so we all have different stress relievers. Kylie’s suggestion was that it’s important for everyone to focus on taking mindful pauses.
For anyone who’s unsure where to start, Kylie emphasized the benefit of writing down your food intake for a week to increase awareness. Once you start eating better, you’ll have more energy and the motivation to exercise will naturally follow.