Came across an interesting article of a wellness ritual that Amazon has integrated in its warehouses to become “Earth’s safest place to work”:
At least once per month, workers gather in a circle (called a “wellness huddle”) and watch a video of an animated robot going through proper lifting form along with a few stretches.
It’s one “spoke” of Amazon’s WorkingWell program designed to help build healthy nutrition habits… support physical health… and re-energize and recharge in the middle of the day.
Not surprisingly there is mixed feedback on this little wellness ritual.
However, let’s extract some of the gems from this routine:
#1: Mindful of “good form”
Over time people tend to get lazy when using good lifting form. They take it for granted. Or they will only use proper form when lifting something heavy but get sloppy when picking up a stray #2 pencil… a rolled up newspaper… or their cat. And guess what? Each year people blow out their backs picking up light objects (well, some cats are hefty) like these. The point is, it doesn’t matter how strong your back is. If you use poor form, your risk for injury skyrockets. While it possibly takes a few extra seconds to get yourself in a good lifting position, ask anyone who’s blown a disc if it’s worth it.
#2: Intermittent stretches
Taking a few minutes to stand up and do a few stretches allows you to reset and release all the muscles that have been clamped down for hours. Whether you sit at a desk for hours each day or do highly repetitive movements all day long, stretches (or gentle mobility exercises) allow you to keep muscular imbalances at bay. And unfortunately most people don’t take these seriously until their neck, shoulder or lower back starts killing them.
#3: Good form only takes you so far.
If your body is really out of whack because of years of sitting all day – you often require extra work (with corrective exercises) to restore balance in the body. You can have textbook lifting form but if you lack strength or core endurance you can still fall victim to fatigue or compensation (aka using your back muscles instead of your core). And if you lack mobility or flexibility you are going to struggle like a square peg in a star hole to get into “good lifting form” in the first place.
By the way, this is one reason why being able to touch your toes is so important. Because if you can’t touch your toes, you often have mobility restrictions in the hips. And if you can’t move from the hips, you can’t lift from your hips. So you are more likely to lift with your low back instead (which is no Bueno).
Anyway, we’ll see how these “wellness huddles” evolve
My guess is even if they aren’t great, Amazon will refine… and refine… until they run like a fine-oiled machine for improving injuries and boosting employee morale.
In the meantime, use these 3 tips to keep yourself moving freely… pain-free… able to perform at your best.
For more in-depth fitness training for getting into the best shape of your life:
Need to drink more water? But can’t seem to get yourself to do it consistently?
Here’s how I dropped my water consumption considerably - and how a simple (almost effortless) strategy brought it back up.
In fact, you may read this and think “this is common sense”. If so, my challenge for you is “make it common practice” then. Because nutrition is a game of mastery not simply knowing what to do.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
Last year, I got in a bad habit of not drinking enough water, which left me feeling hungrier, having less concentration, and my energy level took a hit. For a while this wasn’t a problem in the slightest. I would simply drink out of a giant blue 30-40z plastic mug throughout the day. So downing a few of those each day was all I needed to stay hydrated.
However, our new kitten, Yuki changed that.
Yuki started seeing this blue mug as a water hole and used it as her second water bowl. So if I left it out, she would dip her paw in it or stick her whole head in. So I stopped using the mug and instead left a small glass of water in the bathroom to sip on. However, this little change dropped my water consumption considerably. Because that little 8-12oz cup just wasn’t enough. And I learned a simple lesson. In fact, it’s the same lesson for portion control of food (just flipped in reverse).
What’s the simplest way to decrease your portion size?
Use a smaller bowl or plate, right? If you increase the plate size, you typically pile more food on and eat more. Well, let’s take the same psychology applied to cup size.
Use a bigger cup, drink more water.
Use a smaller cup, drink less water.
(like I said this is not revolutionary, this is a simple, fast-action strategy you can put into practice today)
Look at how this adds up though:
According to NHANES 2005-2008, Americans are drinking around 3-6 cups per day (people in their 20’s and 30’s tend to drink more than 60+).
So let’s say you’re in the habit of pouring a cup (8oz) of water with each meal. If all you do is drink a 12oz glass instead you’ll rack up 36oz (4.5 cups) as opposed to 24oz. That’s not trying to get any more glasses in during the day – it’s just increasing your glass size.
Let’s say you switch to a 16oz cup instead (which is about the size of those red plastic party cups). If all you do is drink one of those with each meal, now you’ll bump up your water intake to 48oz, which is roughly 6 cups. Now you’ve doubled your water consumption (compared to using an 8oz cup).
What if you want to really go hog wild?
This time you take down 20oz of water at each meal (which is about the size of a typical water bottle. Now you’ll get 60oz (7.5 cups). Compared to your start (at 8oz) you’ve almost tripled your water consumption. And depending on which health expert you listen to, this is close to the recommended intake of 64oz (called the 8x8 rule).
If you think that’s not enough water for you. Great! Increase it even further by adding a glass when you first roll out of bed or midday or before bed. This is about improvement. This is about moving in the right direction towards drinking more and more water with this little habit.
Because if you are already in the habit of only drinking 3 cups of water per day. You can muster up the determination and focus to squeeze a few more in. Or just increase the size of the glass. My guess is you’ll improve your water consumption almost effortlessly with the latter.
In my case, I started using a 24oz water bottle throughout the day, which brought my hydration right back up.
(and it kept miss kitty from sticking her face in it).
For more fitness and nutrition tips – the fundamentals that make the difference – check out the link below:
Maybe you’ve been guilty of rummaging through the refrigerator late at night.
Or late night cravings just get the best of you – and before you know it you are digging in the pantry looking for fruit snacks… a bag of chips… or a token Twinkie (and you don’t even like Twinkies).
And while most of us have suspected this might not be such a great idea – it’s easy to slip into the destructive habit. Recently a few studies came out taking a closer look at a few side effects of this gnarly habit:
Now these are small studies – but I believe more findings like these will build up.
Let’s consider what happens when you snack at night:
#1: Drops Inhibitions
Typically, after a long day of work, putting out fires and taking care of others - inhibitions have dropped like a cinder block in the river (which is a lesson infomercials learned years ago). With dropped inhibitions comes worse decisions such as whipping out the Nutter Butters instead of say, the kale chips.
#2: Mindless Eating
And late night snacking is usually combined with watching TV, streaming or scrolling which sends people into a frenzy of mindless eating. And from mindless eating comes an easy way to pound a few extra hundred calories.
#3: Disrupts Brain Washing
This is one of the most fascinating reasons against late night snacking.
During sleep your body literally “washes” your brain of neurotoxic waste and proteins such as beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein, which are linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (And yes, it’s a real thing and this newly discovered system is called the glymphatic system). But if you have just devoured an extra meal or ate too close to bed, this system gets bogged down – because you’ve forced your body to divert blood flow for digestion, instead of ‘deep cleaning’.
Anyway, there’s some late night food for thought.
So the next time, you crack open the pantry in the middle of the night, maybe these reasons will come rushing back to you – to put off your snacking.
(at least until the next morning)
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