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Winter Exercise Classes

Reigistration is now OPEN! Classes include, Yoga, Cycling, Strength and Flexibility, Core Fitness, Functional Fitness, Zumba and more!

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Attentiveness and Clarity Program

Attentiveness & Clarity

Who couldn’t use more of this in our lives? Join us for an innovative program designed to integrate these skills into our workplace, families, and selves.

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DIET FREE Online Program

If you are looking for a life changing nutrition and exercise program you have landed in the right place. Adopting DIET FREE’s eight habits, one step at a time, will change your life.

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Holiday Beverages

Did you know?  A report from 2001-04 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database indicates the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.  That adds up to 335 calories with zero nutritional value!starbucks

The holiday season can bring an abundance of delicious seasonal drinks. With a little knowledge, moderation and self-control, you can still enjoy your favorite holiday beverage!

Nothing says ‘it’s the holidays’ quite like a creamy cup of eggnog or a mug of spiced apple cider. However, you may be shocked to see how much sugar these beverages actually contain.

Holiday Beverage

Serving Size



Chestnut Praline Latte


39 grams


Spiced Apple Cider

1 cup

27 grams



1 cup

21 grams


White Russian


16.1 grams




1 gram



How do you plan to stick to the goal of limiting your non-milk beverages to less than 200 calories? Below are some tips to help you out!

  • Choose unsweetened beverages (sparkling water or iced tea). Limit your sugar alternatives which tend to be ultra-sweet.
  • Consume the recommended 8, 8oz. glasses of water each day
  • Pay attention to serving sizes. Serve your favorite seasonal drink in a small glass.
  • If you do chose to have a holiday beverage, ENJOY it!

Be mindful by practicing relaxation techniques

We have reached the halfway mark of our Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge! At this time of year, schedules get busy and quite often we spend our moments thinking about future events and tasks instead of being in and enjoying the present moment. Being mindful and practicing relaxation techniques could be just what you need to bring cheer to this holiday season!

Wellness Options at Work offers a wide variety of Stress Management resources and tools for you to use.

Check out one of our Relaxation Guide videos, ‘Breathe Easy’ to help you unwind this week.


Additional mindfulness videos and resources for you to try!

  1. Relaxation Guide
  2. Mindful Movement Video
  3. 30 Ideas for Relaxation (pdf)
  4. Health Benefits of Meditation
  5. Stress and the Working Parent (pdf)
  6. Stress Management (pdf)
  7. The Relaxation Response: A Mental Vacation (pdf)
  8. The Science of Perception: How We See the World Can Make Us Healthy or Sick!
  9. Time Management (pdf)
  10. Unresolved Problems: A Source of Stress (pdf)
  11. UW Health Integrative Medicine Services UW Health offers massage, acupuncture, healing touch, Feldenkrais Functional Integration and massage therapy/body work of various types. UW Health employees are eligible for a one time discount of $15.00 for each of the individual services.


Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

The Monday after Thanksgiving can call for a fridge full of wonderful holidayvegetable_asparagus_250 leftovers. With a handful of healthy recipe ideas, you can take some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods and turn them into delicious, healthy, wholesome and nutritious meals that won’t interfere with your program goals..

So before you decide to have pumpkin pie for breakfast, learn how to transform the ultimate meal into something that’s really good for you.

  1. Food and Wine: Thanksgiving Leftovers to Love            
  2. Cooking Light :Thanksgiving Leftovers 
  3. Eating Well: Thanksgiving Recipes 

Blog question #1: Revisit your holiday menu. Please share a healthy recipe you incorporated into your meal.

Blog question #2: Do the holidays tend to pack on the stress? Share how you practiced your mindfulness goal this past weekend. 

Spice up your workout!

Let’s face it: sometimes our workouts can get a bit monotonous after a while. If you agree with this, it is time to switch things up! Take a look at some excellent and easy ways to spice up your workout and make it fun again.

1. Use the internet as a resource.

One of the easiest ways to make your workouts more interesting is to look
online for resources. There are numerous resources out there to help you! They can monitor your progress, motivate you and even give you workouts to follow. Check out these ideas.

2. Add a little pep to your step by listening to music while working out.download

Music can be a great addition to your workout. It can up your effort, put you in the ‘zone’ and even make you WANT to move! Add these top genres to your playlist!

90’s Playlist

80’s Playlist

70’s Playlist

60’s Playlist

3. Join a Group/Club.

For various reasons, many people find it easier to work out with others. Start walking with friends/co-workers and make a plan to walk in the morning before your day begins, during lunch or in the evening after work.

4. Don’t like to exercise outside?

View several workout videos you can do at home!

6. Hate commercials? Use that time to exercise.

Check out “5 Exercises you can do Anywhere”


Welcome to the Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge!

mdgA little extra help and motivation can go a long way for a weight management program. There are many apps and resources available that can assist you when it comes to your nutrition, stress and exercise habits. As an added bonus; many of these apps are entirely free.

Other Apps (free of charge):

Johnson & Johnson Official 7 minute Workout

Iphone and Anroid

NIke Training Club

Iphone and Anroid

Track Yoga

Iphone Only

1 Minute Desk Workout

Iphone Only

Custom Wod

Iphone Only



Additional resources are provided below to help you succeed throughout this 7 week program.

Do you have a particular app or favorite social media site that you use when it comes to exercise, nutrition and mindfulness? Please share.



Reflecting on Fall 4 Walking

Congratulations! Our Fall for Walking point master is Holly Johnson.

She won a pair of Yaktraxs to encourage winter walking.

She won a pair of Yaktraxs to encourage winter walking.



Total Number of Participants: 505

(30% of our participants returned their final evaluation and the observations of the program are based on their responses.)

Thanks so much for joining us in this journey. Here’s a brief summary of our program:

93.1% of participants believed that the program was valuable. Many participants noted that the program helped keep them accountable to their goals and motivated to stick with it. Interestingly, they enjoyed having a daily goal. This daily commitment helped participants to see ways to integrate walking within their daily routines and also provided an excuse to take time to get outside. Eventually, this excuse began to foster a routine which connected participants to walking buddies: partners, children, and dogs too! Although many respondents spoke of connections made during the program, a full 68.5% found themselves enjoying their walks alone.

The top three activities which participants enjoyed:

  1. Walking in Nature
  2. Watching the video on corrective exercises
  3. Trying the Grounded Walking

Most importantly, many of the respondents mentioned that they enjoyed the shift in perspective: viewing walking as an avenue to stress reduction.

“I loved the focus on mindfulness and relaxation while walking. The focus was delightful.”

Fall 4 Walking asked you to pay attention to your surroundings and some respondents found the permission to pay attention to how they were actually feeling,

“ It encouraged me to walk rather than run, if that’s how I really was feeling.”  

Many participants saw favorable changes in their lives:

“It gave me more energy, helped me sleep better, and helped me tone up.”

Consider all the ways you have integrated walking into your daily routine. Remember how it felt to really notice and focus on what’s around you. Make a commitment to continue on your journey. Like the labyrinth, the decision is just to enter—to begin.

Fall 4 Walking BINGO key

Embracing your routines

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt photo by Laurie Ostrander

All of us have routines: we walk down the same hallways; prefer to park in the same area; walk the same loop in our neighborhood.  Disrupting that routine can give us a sense of adventure.  Yet, embracing our routines, can lend a sense of groundedness and restoration….

Our program is coming to an end.  Your walking, however, must continue.  Your favorite paths are heading into the frosts of deep Fall, the snows of Winter, and the damp warmth of Spring.  Watch. Notice.  Appreciate.  Come  to truly know your paths and they will bring you a quiet, comforting support.  

Take a moment to locate your log and complete our very last survey.  Our ending distance on the labyrinth, as well as the program winner will be posted on Wednesday’s blog.  Remember, you do NOT have to return the log to Wellness.

 Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Nordic Walking

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1593 out of 4545 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

The Participant Labyrinth represents our progress by points. 1593 out of 4545 points were posted this week. Every step leads inward.

Nordic walking is a total body exercise. Your trunk and arm muscles strengthen as you press down on the poles in a natural striding pattern. “In a mile, you’ll do about 2,000 abdominal contractions. If you do a high repetition contraction of a muscle against a fairly low resistance, you are going to build lean muscle mass that has tremendous endurance; burn more calories; and develop the strength of the muscles gradually, creating long, lean, and supple muscles,” explains Tom Rutlin, designer of Exerstrider Nordic walking poles.

In Nordic walking, you want to work towards landing the pole as lightly as possible and then, at the moment of contact, applying as much force as possible. Once you have the technique down, you will burn 30-60% more calories during the same distance that you are now walking.

“If weight loss is your goal, Exerstriding at a moderate pace for a longer duration will give you the best results”, assures Rutlin.

Tom Rutlin worked with UW Health employees to help them experience Nordic Walking at UW Health’s facility, AOB.  If you were unable to attend, the following video further explains the benefits of Nordic Walking and reviews how you can get started.


If you have a friend or loved one facing gait or walking issues, this video describes a research study with seniors. Participants experienced better balance, improved upright posture, greater confidence, and a quicker, more fluid gait.

Viewing either of these videos, or attending the event, earns two points on your tally.

Scavenger Hunt

This week’s perfect score: 11

 Nature Scavenger Hunt

Octwater_lily_250ober is coming to a close. The air is brisk and Nature is scrambling to prepare for Winter’s grasp. It’s a perfect time to bundle up and get outside and go hunting…by noticing what’s around you.

This week’s challenge is a scavenger hunt. We have eight categories: trees, flowers, creepy crawlers, pond life, birds, critters, clouds and sounds. Simply find five items with at least one item coming from the sound category. If you can’t remember what a cumulus cloud looks like, simply check it on the internet. Have fun and enjoy finding as many items as you can. Once you have completed your hunt, send us a picture of an item at Wellness@uwhealth.org. We’ll make a collage of all our pictures and post them on the blog.

Grab your gloves, your sense of adventure and get out there and find it!

Last chance to register for Nordic Walking!  Don’t miss this great opportunity…registration ends today at 5pm.

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at WIMR

Wednesday 10/29 Tom Rutlin & Nordic Walking at AOB


Exercises and stretches to prevent walking related injuries

Amanda Gallow, UW Health Physical Therapist/Sports Rehabilitation, outlines some exercises and stretches to help address the injuries discussed in last week’s blog.  Remember the following exercises should be utilized as prevention strategies not treatment interventions. If you experience a persistent injury, please contact the UW Sports Rehabilitation clinic for consultation. In addition to the following exercises other injury prevention strategies include: proper foot wear, appropriate walking surface (non-cambered road) and gradual increase in walking speed, duration and frequency.

Clam Shells:


Purpose: Improve gluteal/hip strength specifically the gluteus medius muscle. This helps in maintaining pelvic stability.

Set-up: Be sure your top hip is rolled forward, keep your feet together and rotate the top knee towards the ceiling. You should feel this in the back pocket region along the outside portion of the gluteals. Don’t let your hips rock back and forth during this movement.

Progression: A resistance band or ankle weight (to the top leg) can be added to increase the challenge

Amount: 2 sets of 20-25 repetitions



Purpose: Improve gluteal/hip strength specifically the gluteus maximus muscle.

Set-up: Lying on your back with knees bent to 90 degrees, heels down and toes up, tighten your stomach muscles and squeeze your gluteal muscles, lift your hips off the ground. Do not arch through your lower back.

Progression: This becomes more challenging by the lifting arms overhead. To focus on one side at a time, lift one leg and hold, be sure to keep your pelvis level.

Amount: This depends on how well you can engage your gluteals. You may have to start with 5-second holds and progress to 10-15 seconds. Repetitions can be anywhere between 8-12 reps. Focus on quality rather than quantity.


Purpose: Flexibility of the thigh muscle (quadriceps) and calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus).

Quadriceps stretch: Standing, pull your foot to your buttocks with the same side hand, place opposite hand on the wall for balance if needed. Be sure not to arch your lower back, keep your stomach muscles engaged and stand tall. This should be felt across the front of the thigh.

Calf stretching: Place your hands on the wall, put one foot slightly behind the other. Be sure both toes are pointed straight ahead. Keep the back leg straight, a stretch should be felt in the calf. Then bend the back knee slightly, keeping the heel on the ground at all times. This stretch should be felt closer to the ankle.

Amount: Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side. 

Balance Exercises:

Purpose: Improve balance and stability in addition to working on pelvis control.

Set-up: Standing on one leg with the knee slightly bent (do not lock the knee straight), focus on keeping the pelvis level, trunk upright and maintaining balance. Pelvis alignment is achieved by keeping the knees parallel to each other and at the same height.

Progression: Closing your eyes or standing on an uneven surface such as a towel roll can challenge your balance.

Amount: Work up to holding each position for 60 seconds.