Power your mind with great reads that encourage healthy life style choices.
Do you know that on average, every minute of walking can extend your life by one and a half to two minutes? The benefits of walking are endless! Not only does it help to prevent chronic diseases, it also gives you more energy, makes you feel good, helps you to relax, reduces stress and assists with weight management. Walking is a great choice for regular, healthy exercise. It is safe AND effective!
To address growing health concerns and to keep our employees in the best health possible, we are launching a new Health Trip initiative. HENRICO COUNTY WALKS is for all County employees to focus on the importance of regular physical activity to maintain physical and emotional well-being. It’s a fact – regular physical activity is essential for good health!
Every nine weeks employee teams will walk toward a new destination city. You can join at any time! The journey begins in Augusta, Maine and heads first to the Big Apple – New York City! To cover the 386-mile distance, employees can form a team of four, where each team member should walk two miles a day, five days a week, to stay on track! This goal makes it easy to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity per week, supporting the American Heart Association’s physical activity goal to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. For employees who are already physically active and like to jog or run on a regular basis there are options to form a team of three, two or one. These options allow smaller teams to cover the same distance with a greater per week distance to be achieved by each team member.
From New York City, walkers will head to our very own capital city, Richmond. After that, the next stop is Charleston, South Carolina and then on to the final destination city, Orlando, Florida. To assist employees with locating feasible walking routes, the County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) office has mapped out walking routes at each County facility, including libraries, parks, schools and general government buildings. These recommended walking routes are available to view on the HENRICO COUNTY WALKS Story Map. This GIS site has several site selection tabs to assist employees in searching for a convenient and safe path close to their work location. Employees can select their work location and the recommended walking route is highlighted on an aerial map. A description of the walking route is provided including the route distance, surface-type, and step-by-step directions on how to navigate the route. Locations that do not have a feasible walking route are given the recommendation to walk at the nearest park. You may preview the HENRICO COUNTY WALKS Story Map today.
Getting started on your HENRICO COUNTY WALKS journey takes a few simple steps and can happen at any point of the journey:
Before you hit the road, stop by the HENRICO COUNTY WALKS information page on the employee portal for complete program details.
Water bottles seem to be everywhere you look. Perhaps right now there is one on your desk, or you filled a water bottle for your child as they headed out the door this morning. In fact, water has become the second most popular drink (behind soda). However, water lovers got a rude awakening recently when a new report found that the benefits of drinking water may have been oversold. Apparently, the suggestion to drink eight glasses of water is nothing more than a suggestion, not based on scientific research.
Don’t put your water bottle or glass down just yet! There are plenty of reasons to drink water. In fact, drinking water is essential to your health. Think of water as a nutrient your body needs. It can be found in other liquids, plain water and in high-water content food (fruits and vegetables). Throughout the day fluid loss occurs continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine and stool. These losses must be replaced daily for good health. When water intake does not equal output, dehydration occurs. In addition, fluid loss is accentuated in warmer climates (think summer in RVA), during exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp.
Here are six evidence-based reasons to drink water:
Try these helpful tips to support increased fluid intake:
A healthy lifestyle includes how much we exercise, what we eat and what we drink. People often know the exact calorie count for foods they consume, but don’t know how many calories are in their drinks. Let’s look at a brief history of soda size. In 1916, Coca-Cola was sold in six and a half ounce bottles. In 1950, the six and a half ounce bottle was still the standard size but the 10 and 12-ounce bottle also appealed to consumers. Today the 12-ounce can is considered the regular size. This size is getting even larger as vending machines offer 20 and 24-ounce bottles and convenience stores sell 32 and 44-ounce cups.
Sugar, used to sweeten the taste of most sodas, has a lot of calories. These calories are termed “empty” because they offer no nutritional value. When looking at the nutrition facts label on a 12-ounce can of soda, you’ll see it contains approximately 40 grams of sugar. One teaspoon of sugar from the sugar bowl equals four grams. This means you are drinking 10 teaspoons of added sugar in every 12-ounce can of soda.
Here’s a quick overview of the amount of added sugar found in a variety of drinks consumed by Americans:
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars consumed. For most women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about six teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about nine teaspoons. Check out the AHA infographic by clicking on the image.
Of all the liquids we could drink, water is the very best for quenching our thirst. And, water is the ultimate diet drink because it has no calories. Replacing sugary drinks with water may help with achieving a healthy weight. In addition, our bodies need water to function. Water moves nutrients through our system and keeps us hydrated. Sip smarter and learn about healthier choices with this infographic.