4 Surprising Ways that Mindfulness Meditation WILL Transform Your Life

This week Walker Tracker is excited to have Lena Franklin join us a guest blogger. Lena is a Mindfulness-based Psychotherapist and is the head of content for Welzen.

Welzen is a wonderful app which provides a variety of mindfulness tools to assist users in developing their own meditation practices and improve their wellbeing.

In honor of May being designated as Meditation Month Lena is sharing her insights on how meditation can provide you with inner peace along with emotional balance and joy.


 

Our minds are regularly engaged in an inner dialogue that involves stories about work, marriage, financial status or that strange look our friend gave us. We experience 60 – 80 thousand thoughts a day and…wait for it…the majority of those thoughts are negative. Wow, right? So, in order to transform our lives, we must transform our thoughts.

In a world where you truly need to disconnect to find a signal, carving out time for stillness and silence is imperative to our health and happiness. Essentially, meditation can create a greater sense of inner peace, emotional balance, love, and joy. It’s energizing to realize that we hold the power to increase our sense of internal happiness, the feeling state our society is frantically striving for.

But we need to make a fundamental shift if we’re going to begin experiencing the deep inner joy and contentment we’re seeking. THE shift: Move from focusing on external to internal consciousness. What does this mean? Well, instead of grasping and clinging to external materials and life circumstances to be happy, look within…deep within…and stay there for periods of time. Through our great teachers of stillness and silence in mindfulness meditation, you’ll be transformed. Here’s how:

1.) Self-Love

In order to love our lives and those precious people in our lives fully, we must connect with an authentic sense of love for ourselves. Through mindfulness meditation, we’re able to gain a felt sense of our wholeness beneath the not-so-accurate thoughts of being deficient human beings. When we can finally drop into mindful presence, receiving and accepting ourselves in the present moment, no matter what is going on externally, we begin to appreciate our imperfectly perfect selves. And through this appreciation, we learn to love ourselves more — embracing the goodness of our true self beneath fear and self-doubt.

2.) Compassion Cultivation

I like to say that “to journey inward is our highest calling” because to go within through the practice of meditation is to be courageous enough to see what’s there. We all experience thoughts and feelings we’re not so proud of. The Buddha taught that because we are humans living on this earth, we suffer. This very suffering is the connective tissue that binds humanity together as one. To honor our inner distress (without pushing it away) with compassionate presence is to transform the way we walk through the world. When making compassion meditation a daily practice, we honor not only ourselves but all of humanity.

3.) Profound Peace

We’re constantly looking externally to grasp at the next exercise fad, supplement or treatment that will bring us the peace and joy we’re so desperately longing for. A fundamental tenet of mindfulness meditation is the belief that peace exists within the depth of our being. Again, this is the shift from external to internal consciousness. The more we’re able to be present with the ebb and flow of our inner landscapes (thoughts, feelings and body sensations), the more quickly we’re able to find that profound inner peace when we need it. It’s a choice. When we choose to go inward, we choose to walk the path of peace. Peace is our natural state as human beings.

4.) From Stress to Serenity

Mindfulness meditation gives us an inner tool to begin witnessing our thoughts without judgment or attachment. With dedication and practice, we can start to see that our thoughts are real experiences, but they’re not necessarily based on truth. Much of our stress as human beings stems from negative thought patterns that loop in our minds. Shifting from the busyness of our mind into the presence of our breath decreases cortisol, the primary stress hormone that floods our bodies when we’re caught in our maladaptive thoughts. Meditation is our tool to shift from stress to serenity.

Cultivating a meditation practice is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the world. You see, the amazing capacity for peace, love, and joy thrives within. And beneath the turbulence of daily living, we can begin to reclaim the essence of our power, transforming our lives from the inside out.

Our Moms Share Healthy Insights

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday we are taking time to appreciate the women who molded some of the employees at Walker Tracker–their mothers. We asked our moms to share healthy habits they tried to teach, the special activities they did with us as kids, and what inspires them to continue to live healthy lifestyles.

Once you see these responses, it’s obvious… we got our passion for wellness from our mamas. Who doesn’t love seeing embarrassing childhood photos? Scroll down for some photos these moms shared.

Are there any healthy activities you like to do with your kids, past or present?

Oh gosh yes. Bicycling, swimming, gardening, chatting and eating special meals. And I love walking – city walking as well as walking in paths in the woods, and also tramping through woods without paths, checking out the plants and the animal traces.Rosemary Rinder, mother to Blanca Garcia-Rinder, VP Customer Success

We used to bike and go on walks on the weekends.Oristela Guidos, mom to Emily Guidos, Program Manager

Nash and I love to go for walks and he thinks it’s pretty interesting when I try to do yoga at home.Ellen Nelson, Program Manager, mama of Nash Nelson

We did yoga together and worked in gardens together. Cy helped me build my blueberry raised bed out in Kings Valley a few years ago. We hiked Opal Creek.–Julie Cooper, mom of Cyan Cooper, Business Development Executive

We’d go on nature walks, camping on the beach, walking in our neighborhood and go on lots of bike rides.–Jeannette Moran mama to Jill Moran, Marketing Assistant

Being active is key to living a healthy life. Our favorite activities to do together are walking, indoor fetch sessions in the winter, swimming in the summer (Zoey is quite the little river otter!), and the occasional game of tug-o-war when we are feeling feisty!–Stephanie Green, VP Business Development, dog mom to Zoey

Are there any healthy habits you tried to install in your children?

Daniel Griego’s family

Eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep & nourish friendships.–Melissa Reglin, mother to Taylor Welsh, CEO

Eat whole organic foods, get involved with sports, music and art!!Teresa Griego, mom of Daniel Griego, Developer

Do you have any health tips you live by?

Walker Tracker is a very integral part of my life, it created a certain kind of mind-set for me around movement (I never “took a walk” just to walk before Walker Tracker) and it is a way to actually “keep track of oneself” –sort of grounding one to their embodiment-be in one’s body.Jenni Fallein, mother to Ben Parzybok, CTO and Founder

Ellen & Nash on a walk

Ellen Nelson and Nash on a hike.

Tip 1: I love Michael Pollan’s recommendation on food: ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’ Tip 2: Stay close to your family and friends.–Rosemary Rinder (Blanca)

Everything in moderation & quality over quantity.Ellen Nelson (Nash)

My life is one big health tip. I try to recognize space in my life. Time for meditation and relaxation.Julie Cooper (Cyan)

Make good food choices and move everyday.Jeannette Moran (Jill)

Eating vegan these days! Walk walk walk!Melissa Reglin (Taylor)

Always talkie while you walkie.Stephanie Green (Zoey)

What inspires you to get up and get moving every day?

I’m an obsessive-compulsive pedometer carrier and it inspires me to move on a regular basis. I do also love that I can get credit for my other obsessions like yoga, swimming, skiing and gardening and I try to be really prudent about what I “claim.”Jenni Fallein (Ben)

My family is a huge blessing and has always inspired me to get up and moving everyday!!Teresa Griego (Daniel)

My children (and now my grandchildren) inspire me to get up and get moving so I can try to stay ahead of them… or even just keep up!Shawna Green, mother to Stephanie Green

My family, I want to be healthy and live longer to enjoy them.Oristela Guidos (Emily)

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What Women Really Need to Stay Healthy

Walker Tracker is pleased to introduce you to InVite Health. InVite Health offers a variety of natural health products and also provides education on a wide range of health and wellness topics. Since May is Women’s Health Month InVite Health is sharing their recommendations on ways to stay healthy especially for women in these busy times.

What Women Need to be Healthy

Nutrition is at the core of a healthy body; what you feed your body can be the difference in how you feel, your weight, your risk of chronic diseases, and your overall health. With women constantly on-the-go, it’s important that they put their health first and make self-care a priority. By taking steps to get and stay healthy, you’ll set your body up to keep your energy high and your body strong.

 

What are nutrient depletions?

Nutrient depletions occur when your body is not receiving the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and other important nutrients. This can be caused by numerous factors, such as following an unhealthy diet, prescription drugs and medications, and free radical damage.

“We live in an increasingly polluted environment, loaded with toxins; the soil we grow our food in is often nutrient-depleted and many consume processed, factory—made foods supplying scant nutrients. Ironically, our bodies wind up requiring even more vitamins and minerals to effectively metabolize nutrient-depleted goods. Add that depletion with less time spent outdoors, minimal exercise, prescription drugs and medications, and chronic stress, and the result is that many individuals are truly nutritionally deficient,” reports Archana Gogna, MS, CNS, MBA, Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health.

 

Balanced Nutrition

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy, this includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein. You’ll want to avoid excess calories from added sugars, saturated fats, and alcohol. Women have different needs than men, so there are a few nutrients and vitamins that they should take special care in consuming.

Iron-rich Foods found in red meat, turkey, fish, and kale, provide good health and energy levels for women. Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body.

Folic Acid, one of the B-vitamins, are found in citrus fruits, leafy greens and beans. Folic acid is important as it helps the body produce and maintain new cells.

Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, heart health, muscle function and nerve signaling. It can be found in in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt, but also in seafood, leafy greens and legumes.

It has been estimated that approximately 70% of Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. This is due to combination of factors, including low levels of sunlight, obesity and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D like fatty fish. Vitamin D has been shown to support normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and promote a healthy immune response.

Be sure to include a balance of these foods in your diet in order to reap the benefits of each nutrient.

 

A Superior Multivitamin

For these reasons, healthcare professionals are advising women to begin taking a safe, reliably-made, high-quality multivitamin mineral formula on a daily basis to fill the nutritional deficits in their diet. Scientific Director and Pharmacist, Jerry Hickey, understands that women have different nutritional needs and recommends a multivitamin that contains, not only a superior base of vitamins and minerals, but four additional ingredients that naturally support women’s health.

  1. Iron Bisglycinate is a gentle iron to support energy and endurance. It does not cause nausea or constipation.
  2. Type I Collagen is needed for the maintenance of skin, nails and hair, as its production slows with age.
  3. Purple Corn Flower support brain, eye and breast health and metabolism.
  4. DIM, or Diindolylmethane, is formed from the indole-3-carbinol found in cabbage vegetables that helps support breast and cervical health.

 

With a solid base like a healthy, balanced diet, a superior multivitamin and moderate activity daily, women can help lay their own healthy foundation in order to keep their bodies as active as possible.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.

Commute By Bike to Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Cycling to work puts a smile on my face and is a great way to fit cardio into my routine. Now we’re hearing from scientists at the University of Glasgow that bicycling to work daily may greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Bike to work

Cycling Commuter Study

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers analyzed data from a group of 250,000 British commuters who cycled at least 30 miles per week. The participants of the study were tracked over 5 years and the results indicated that cancer incidences were reduced by 45%, heart disease by 46%, and death from any cause by an astounding 41%.

Although it is not possible to pin down a clear cause and effect through this study, the positive results were still there after removing variables such as smoking, gender, age, weight and income. The resulting evidence concludes that a daily bike ride makes a strong positive impact on your health.

This study’s results tell us that adding more physical activity into our daily routines can improve our quality and duration of life. We don’t need to join a gym or attempt to run a marathon. Anything that gets your heart racing and out of breath can make a difference – so hop on your bike, jump in the pool, go out for a walk or move like lightning as you tidy your home.

Encouraging Youth to Enter the Workforce at the Portland Opportunity Job Fair

Stephanie Green & Cyan Cooper - Job Fair

Stephanie Green & Cyan Cooper from Walker Tracker’s sales team volunteering at the Portland Youth Job Fair

On April 13th Cyan Cooper and I represented Walker Tracker by volunteering at the Portland Opportunity Youth Job Fair.

 

What made us go?

Walker Tracker is proud to be a member of Business for a Better Portland, and they reached out to all their members asking for volunteers for this event, as they were helping to sponsor and organize the event. We decided to help by volunteering for the morning.

 

Youth Job FairHow was the experience?

It was great! We both had a blast interacting with young people looking to enter the workforce. I think it was great we sent two members of our sales team, because our strength is talking to people! We volunteered to be greeters, and had a lot of fun with it. Many of the youth there walked in unsure and anxious. It was really rewarding to walk up to them and start a conversation to help them feel more confident in the experience. We would explain how it worked, explain where to find resources, and even introduce them to the first company they wanted to talk to.

 

What was the result?

The event was a great success, and we hope it becomes an annual occurrence in Portland. The volunteer coordinator from Worksystems shared the event results below and you can view more details and pictures at the Gateway to College National Network Facebook page

  • Of the approximately 1,200 who attended, 209 were interviewed on the spot and 103 were extended offers.
  • Those youth who didn’t immediately find employment will be reached out to by our Connect2Careers staff to invite them to participate in SummerWorks internships, where we anticipate over 1,500 placements this summer.
  • The average salary offered was $14.30/hour.
  • Young adults made over 1,800 serious contacts – this means they took applications, left their contact information for follow-up, or completed applications with our employers.

New Featured Challenges for Meditation Month

May is Meditation Month and we have THREE new meditation-themed map challenges!

The goal of meditation is to achieve mental clarity and a calm emotional state. Mental and emotional wellbeing is vital for handling life’s stresses and building healthy lifestyles. Similar to having many options for physical activities, there are many options when it comes to meditation. Some examples include Qi Gong, mindfulness, and focused attention meditation. Try and see which one works for you!

These meditation-themed map challenges will inspire you to try out or continue a meditation practice.

 

Buddha's IndiaBuddha’s India – Meditation May

Have you ever wondered where meditation originated?  The most influential form of meditation comes from the traditions of Buddha.  This map will take you to destinations in India that highlight the most important parts of Buddhist history.  You will learn about where Buddha spent most of his time, where pilgrims congregate to meditate and more. Along the journey you will also be given tips so that you can start your own meditation practice.

 

Ready Set Mediate worldReady, Set, Meditate: World

Meditation month is upon us and this map will take you on a journey to some of the best meditation retreats and locations around the world. We’ve included stops in eight unique destinations, where nature is abundant, and the sky is blue. From ancient cities to modern housing, you will be amongst the leaders of the world in meditation practice and knowledge.  Learn about some hidden gems, some meditation history and take note of the meditation tips given along this journey.

 

 

Ready Set MeditateReady, Set, Meditate: USA

May is national meditation month! We want to celebrate by taking you on a tour of the most relaxing and infamous retreats while providing information on meditation practices. We make meditation easy to get into even with a busy schedule, so we will give you meditation guides, motivation, and facts during this challenge! To start off, here is a list of meditation benefits to help get you inspired to meditate:

– Reduce stress

– Controls anxiety

– Promotes emotional health

– Enhances self-awareness

– Improves attention span and concentration

– May reduce age related memory loss

– May help fight addictions

– Improves sleep

– Helps control pain, both mentally and physically

– Can decrease blood pressure

– Improves positive emotion

– Makes you more compassionate

Interested in these challenges?

If you are a program administrator and are interested in adding any of these meditation map routes to your program, please submit the form below.



May is Meditation Month! Do You Meditate?

MeditateThere are about 42,700,000 results for the Google search “mindfulness meditation.”  This is not so surprising. “mindfulness meditation” has been appearing in headlines everywhere, and even the most well known news outlets are talking about it.  There are apps for your smartphone or computer to help you practice or learn about it. There are speakers who hold conferences. There are yoga studios on every other block in almost every town.  If you haven’t heard of “mindfulness meditation” you’re in for a treat! One of the main goals of meditation is to be more present in our lives and in the lives of others. To be more focused on what is in front of us and less on the past or future.  And here we arrive at an answer as to why there may be a sudden surge in “mindfulness meditation”. Anxiety, depression, stress are all on the rise. So, yoga to the rescue! Meditation to the rescue! The science says it works! (See the New York Times’ article How Meditation Changes the Brain) If you have not tried it yet, you can find a guided practice to get started below and learn how Walker Tracker can help you on your meditation journey.

I won’t go into details here because a blog post is too short for all that there is to learn about meditation, but let us be reminded that mindfulness meditation comes in many forms.  Some focus on being mindful while praying or doing yoga, and others while doing exercise (ex. Tai Chi). At Walker Tracker we are especially interested in an ancient Buddhist practice known as Walking Meditation.  Walking Meditation encompasses mindfulness, as well as exercise and connection to nature. You can use Walking Meditation to supplement your Walker Tracker experience, and continue your meditation practice while staying on top of your steps.  Let’s learn how to practice from the Zen Master and best-selling author Thich Nhat Hanh who uses walking meditation in his teachings:

Walking Meditation

“While walking, practice conscious breathing by counting steps. Notice each breath and the number of steps you take as you breathe in and as you breathe out. Don’t try to control your breathing. Allow your lungs as much time and air as they need, and simply notice how many steps you take as your lungs fill up and how many you take as they empty, mindful of both your breath and your steps. The link is the counting.

When you walk uphill or downhill, the number of steps per breath will change. Always follow the needs of your lungs. You may notice that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation. You might find that you take three steps during your in-breath and four steps during your out-breath, or two steps, then three steps. If this is comfortable for you, please enjoy practicing this way. You can also try making the in-breath and the out-breath the same length, so that you take three steps with your in-breath and three with your out-breath. Keep walking and you will find the natural connection between your breath and your steps.

Don’t forget to practice smiling. Your half-smile will bring calm and delight to your steps and your breath, and help sustain your attention. After practicing for half an hour or an hour, you will find that your breath, your steps, your counting, and your half-smile all blend together in a marvelous balance of mindfulness. Each step grounds us in the solidity of the earth. With each step we fully arrive in the present moment.”

Thanks for reading, and please let us know about your meditation experience in the comments.

Wellness Program Highlight: University of Nebraska

Creating and sustaining a successful wellness program requires hard work and the best tools, as well as learning best practices from other organizations. Earlier this year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Campus Recreation Center started their first walking program for both faculty and students. Amanda Robine and Marc Derrico are administrating the program and were gracious to share with us some details about their first experience with the Walker Tracker platform. We hope their feedback will help other similar organizations learn how they can better create or improve their programs.

UNL had its first Challenge with us earlier this year. How did participants respond to the new program?

Our participants jumped head first into this challenge. We have had triple the amount of participation in the WalkerTracker program, compared to previous programs. WalkerTracker’s user friendly and easy to navigate platform has been a huge reason for the success. Our participants enjoy being able to sync steps through apps they are already using and convert activities into steps to increase their chance of winning the challenge.

What has been the most difficult part of running a walking program?

The most difficult part of the walking program has been trying to reach beyond our participants to others at the University of Nebraska. In the beginning, we grew exponentially with great enthusiasm, but now that participants have settled in, we want to find more people to join who may not be aware of this program or they are resilient to join. This means we will be reaching out to current participants with the challenge of growing their team, and hitting the pavement to find groups who may be unaware of the program. We are excited to see even more potential as we move forward.

How about the easiest and most fun part of running a walking program?

The easiest part is managing all the participants. With the scheduled emails and automatic reenrollment into teams and competitions, managing everyone is simple. The most fun part is the actual competitions. Watching teams compete for the top spot and seeing movement on the leaderboards is awesome.

Any advice you would give to people organizing their first walking program?

We have a group of “Wellness Ambassadors” who did an excellent job in the very beginning to really grow our program. Our Wellness Ambassadors represent various departments around campus and recruited participants in their departments to participate in the walking program. From there participation grew. We would suggest something similar where you have team leaders who are very excited about the program. These leaders would work with you to get the news out about the program. Digital communication only works to a certain extent. Word of mouth from a colleague is most effective. From there, maintaining constant communication with participants and reminding them to do simple things such as syncing their devices and apps to get credit for their work.

Favorite feature on Walker Tracker or favorite part about working with Walker Tracker?

We have a ton of favorite features of WalkerTracker. Our top two favorites are:

  • We love that your activities do not expire. Previously we worked with a program that would not count activities if they were more than 72 hours prior to syncing. With WalkerTracker your window to sync your devices or count your activity is as big as the competition currently going on.
  • We also love that participants do not have to re-enroll in each challenge. We automatically start with a great group of walkers and can grow from there. Our participants like being very “hands-off” with syncing and joining the different challenges.

 

Did you hear of any personal success stories within your organization due to your use of Walker Tracker? 

One of our on campus groups found great success in this program. Our Wellness Ambassador for this particular department has had a hard time getting her team to buy-in to wellness programming. For some reason, this WalkerTracker program has been the turning point for the department. They have enjoyed participating in challenges and created a prize structure for the winning team in their department. The prize also focuses on wellness by bringing in nutrition workshops for the winning team. We are so excited to see the successes of our Wellness Ambassadors, and cannot wait to continue highlighting their stories.

 

 

My First Powerlifting Meet – I Said I Would Now I Have To Do It

Stephanie Green Powerlifter Extraordinaire

Stephanie at the Powerlifting Championships

Why Powerlifting?

I discovered lifting weights four years ago when a good friend of mine invited me to go to the gym with her. Lifting weights was never something I had been exposed to, but I immediately fell in love with it. As someone who struggled with hand-eye coordination (let’s be honest, whole-body coordination) their whole life, organized sports were never my forte. Lifting weights didn’t require me to handle a ball with agility or be able to predict my teammate’s movement, it was all about me and how much could I pick-up, pull, or push. Turns out, that was more than I expected!

 

Cut to Late 2016

The year 2016 ended up being the biggest year of my life. On a personal level, I made changes to where I lived and what I did for work, among myriad other things. When you find yourself in a new city, with a new job, and not knowing anyone, the gym can be a great starting place to meet new people. I found myself at an amazing little gym within walking distance of my new home, (if you’re in Portland it’s  Studio X, and I highly recommend you check it out). There I connected with a trainer who corrected my technique, pushed my limits, and encouraged me to go big. Long story short, when she suggested I sign up for a powerlifting meet, I did exactly that.

 

I said I would, now I have to!

You know how once you say you are going to do something, you have a new found sense of commitment? That was my training for this meet in a nutshell. I said I would, now I needed to perform. So on January 1st, I started training for my first powerlifting competition. Having no idea what to expect or what I was doing, my trainer gave me a program and I found myself in the gym four-to-five days a week for the next 14 weeks. I pushed the limits of what I thought I could do. I sweat. I shed a tear or two. I threw my hands up in victory. I screamed in frustration. There were times my body felt like it got hit by a truck. There were times I felt like I had conquered the world.

 

How did it go?

April 7th was the big day, and I won’t say I wasn’t nervous. Of course, I was! However, despite the nerves, I was also excited. This was it: time to see weeks of training, managing my diet, and pushing my body to its limits pay off. It was just me and the weights, and I was there to pick them up and put them down. On my first lift, I was marked down for form violations (read: apparently when nervous I lift my toes up when I squat), but once I hit my stride I had six perfect lifts and set new personal records in both my bench press and deadlift!

 

What was my take away?

I’m sure some of you are wondering at this point if I “won” or what place I ranked. Powerlifting meets are competitions after all, aren’t they? Yes, they are. But they also are one of the most supportive competitive experiences out there. I came in around the middle of my weight class, and for a first-time competitor that’s pretty good. I also walked away with new friends and a sense of achievement that rivals any other competitive experience I’ve had to date. The women I competed with were all amazing, strong women. Everyone was cheering each other on, and the phrase, “it’s all about competing with yourself and reaching your new personal best” was echoed throughout the day. I also walked away with a sense of personal pride. I set a goal, I worked hard, and I achieved it. That is what not only weightlifting, but any personal fitness journey is all about.

Power socks for powerlifting.

Power socks for powerlifting.

Oh, and I also walked away with a really cool new pair of deadlift socks monogrammed with the initials of my nickname, compliments of the Walker Tracker team. I’m pretty sure they helped push me to that new PR!

 

Have you participated in a new sport recently? Tell us about your experience. What made you decide to try a new sport or activity?

Walker Tracker on the Move – Staff Challenge Recap

Almost a month ago, I posted about our staff challenge and the results are in! Congratulations to Blanca Garcia-Rinder, our V.P. of Customer Success, for winning the Walker Tracker Rise and Grind Challenge! Our runner-ups include yours truly in second place and Kristina Peltier, our Marketing Manager, in third place.

Walker Tracker on the move.It’s always nice to take a moment to highlight the effort that was made as a whole group. During the challenge, we tracked 4,474,307 steps! But more important than the numbers were the beneficial experiences from participating in the challenge.

Taylor Welsh, our President and CEO, shared her experiences during the challenge:

“This challenge was a great motivator to focus on better sleep habits and being consistently active. Coinciding with the Rise and Grind challenge I began working out in the mornings instead of evenings. Man oh man did that make a difference in my energy levels throughout the day and quality of sleep at night.”

It’s experiences like this that demonstrate the power a wellness challenge has on forming healthy habits. The simple act of tracking wellness metrics creates personal awareness (e.g., is that really how little I sleep?). Awareness can motivate you to start making lifestyle changes that will help you reach your personal goals.

Once the goals are set, then motivation is key. Challenges can feel long when the initial excitement wears off, so it can be a ‘challenge’ to stay motivated.

Kristina shared a tip that kept her moving through the challenge:

“Schedule time for yourself.  Every day I would set aside time to go to a workout class or go for a walk. If it was on my calendar I would follow through and do it. This is how I made sure that I had steps or activities to add to my challenge tracking on a regular basis.”

It’s no surprise she was among the top finishers.

What will keep you motivated? It might be extrinsic (a cash prize or gift), or it may be intrinsic (feeling great about yourself for achieving a goal, no matter how small). Figure out what motivates you, then you will rock the challenge!

Back at the office, we’ll reflect on the fun we had during this past challenge for just a bit before we prepare for the next challenge because we walk the walk!

What do you and your friends do to stay motivated in a challenge or active regularly? We’d love to hear how you stay inspired.

Walker Tracker being active.

A few members of Walker Tracker taking a break with an afternoon walk.