Featured Posts

TRI the Challenge

Normally, the Ironman Triathlon requires participants to finish all three endurance events in one day. The UW Health Ironman Triathlon allows you 8 weeks to finish.

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Wellness Health Coaching

Health coaching makes lifestyle changes easier. A Health coach focuses on the client’s strengths and abilities, empowering the client to see their potential.

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Art Scavenger Hunt

Wellness Options at Work will kick off a month-long public scavenger hunt for artwork located on the indoor walking route through UWHC, WIMR and HSLC.

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Pachelbel Concentration

Attentiveness & Clarity: Week 3


Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major, opens with a string bass line.
As the music unfolds, violins layer on top.


Set aside between 2-9 minutes to do this exercise.

Exercise #1:

Click the arrow to the left to start the piece and concentrate only on the bass line. The recording will stop after 2 minutes.

How did you do? Were you able to stay with just the bass line, or did the violins tease you away? Did other thoughts crowd you out with your never ending “To Do” list?

Exercise #2:

Find a firm chair and sit at the edge of the seat. Place your feet flat on the floor with your feet under your knees. Sit tall on your sit bones. Encourage your breath to be full and even.

Click the arrow to the left to start the piece over and, once again, concentrate only on the bass line. The recording will stop after 2 minutes.

Was it easier this time? Did you disappear into a memory that this music invoked?

Exercise #3:

Click the arrow to the left to listen to the piece one more time, this time trying to lengthen the amount of time you can stay focused. This recording is 5:55 minutes long.

Interested in daily reminders? Follow @InsideUWHealth on Twitter.

Wellness Options at work is hosting FLASH BOPs. These are moments where we can stop together and share a moment of stillness. Join us for 3 breaths or 5 mins….This week, we’ll be at:

1/26: AOB Main Floor Elevators at 12-12:15

1/27: 8501 Excelsior, Room 113 at 12-12:15 and WIMR Lobby at 5:15-5:30pm

1/28: CSC Cafeteria/Elevators/Medota Market at 12-12:15



* This version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major was performed and recorded by Artist Kevin MacLeod.


Attentiveness & Clarity: Week 2

What is BOP? (mp3 audio file)
BOP (mp3 audio file)

During a natural transition, take a moment and stop.

Breathe: Take a breath.  Feel your lungs expand.  Let your breath escape.

Observe: Can you feel your feet in the floor?  Can you feel your breath?  How are you feeling?

Proceed: Commit to treating everyone you meet, from this point onward, with your highest personal regard.

Consider using this technique throughout your day.  How many times can you BOP?


Wellness Options at work will be hosting FLASH BOPs.  These will be moments where we can stop together and share a moment of stillness.  Join us for 3 breaths or 5 mins….We’ll be at:                   

1/20: HSLC Atrium at 12-12:15 and WIMR Lobby at 5:15-5:30pm

1/21: CSC Cafeteria/Elevators/Medota Market at 12-12:15

1/26: AOB Main Floor Elevators at 12-12:15 

1/27: 8501 Excelsior, Room 113 at 12-12:15 and WIMR Lobby at 5:15-5:30pm

1/28: CSC Cafeteria/Elevators/Medota Market at 12-12:15   

2/3: HSLC Atrium at 12-12:15 and WIMR Lobby at 5:15-5:30pm

2/4: CSC Cafeteria/Elevators/Medota Market at 12-12:15                          

Interested in daily reminders?  Follow @InsideUWHealth on Twitter. 

Mini Vacation

Attentiveness & Clarity: Week 1

Set aside at least two minutes to do this exercise.

(Be sure to turn on your speaker and sound to hear audio.)

Gaze at the scene. Let your belly soften. Let your breath deepen.

Draw your breath up as if sipping a thick shake: let your belly expand, your ribs open to your sides, and your collarbones float. Exhale: smoothly, slowly, completely.

Let yourself be in this space.

Click the image above to escape.


Interested in daily reminders?  Follow @InsideUWHealth on Twitter. 

Celebrating your success!

It is now the final week of our Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge. We hope you feel proud when looking back at the positive changes you haveimages (1) made in the past 7 weeks! Remember, the start of a new year can also mean a new you! Carry these healthy habits you learned and practiced into the new year! What will it take? Signing up for a gym membership? A Yoga class? Getting rid of all processed foods?  

The program comes to an end Sunday, January 5th 2015.  Prizes will be awarded to participants who submit their completed log form to Wellness Options at Work by January 17th 2015. In addition, If you accumulated at least 145 points throughout the program AND maintained or lost weight, you will be entered into a drawing for one of twenty 2015 Wisconsin State Park Stickers.

Celebrate your hard work by communicating on our blog!

Let us know what you did to find success and what you want to accomplish in the final challenge week.

How will you make the start to a new year a healthful one?

What is the single best thing you have learned about yourself during this program and how will you continue to apply this?


Last Minute Gift Idea!

Being Mindful of your non-milk beverage consumption and sweet treat intake, could leave you with an overabundance of sugar in your household. Try out this clever recipe for a last minute gift idea!

Try and spend five minutes to feel more relaxed during the holiday frenzy. All it takes is your own breath.

Wellness Options at Work wishes you a happy and healthy holiday!

DIY Mint Sugar Scrub
Prep time
5 mins
Total time
5 mins
This Homemade Mint Sugar Scrub is the perfect DIY gift idea! Inexpensive and easy to make!
Author: Liz Fourez
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ – 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  1. Place coconut oil in a bowl and microwave on HIGH 15-25 seconds until softened.
  2. Start by adding 1½ cups sugar to the oil, along with the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Mix until ingredients are well combined and food coloring is evenly distributed. If mixture is too wet, add another ½ cup sugar until scrub is to desired consistency.
  3. Spoon scrub into air-tight containers (such as a mason jar) and decorate with twine or ribbon.

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.