It’s Getting Hot Out There!

No matter where you are, there probably comes a time when it is too hot to even think about working out or getting active outside. Hey, where I am at currently, it’s supposed to be 98 degrees but with humidity, it will feel like 107 today! *Excuse me while I melt*

When the season turns the outdoors into a sauna, it doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to not be active. It means that you need to be a little more strategic and thoughtful when you’re outside and what you’re doing.

1. The earlier the better!

This one can be applied at any time of year. The earlier you get your workout in, the more likely you are to do it. There is less of a chance for things to come up in your day to distract you or give you an excuse to not get to it. Also, the coolest part of the day is right before the sun comes up. So if you’re somewhere it gets hot quick, right around dawn or the early morning hours is when you want to be out and about. Starting your day when the world is still quiet with a workout really sets the pace for the rest of your day.

2. Drink water

Drink it. Lots of it. Hydration is of the utmost importance when it’s hot outside since you lose so much when you sweat! Another thing to add is salt. Yes, salt. Salt is also lost with sweat and is an important mineral that your body needs. Find a drink with some electrolytes and a little sodium to keep you feeling good.

3. Play in the water

Go to the lake. Go to the beach. Go to the river. Go to the pool. Even if you don’t swim laps, jumping around, wading, kicking and splashing are great ways to be active and stay cool. Plus, activities in water are so much easier on your joints! No bodies of water nearby? May I suggest a water balloon fight? Water gun fight? A sprinkler perhaps? Connect with your inner-child and you’ll find yourself running, laughing, screaming and having a grand ol’ time! Remember – stay safe in the water and wear a life jacket if you’re not confident with your swimming abilities.

4. Try something new indoors

Check out that indoor rock gym that you’ve been hearing about. Look on Groupon for a new gym or class that you’ve been interested in trying, but didn’t want to drop a ton of money on. Find a YouTube channel with workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to reap the rewards of being active!

5. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats, oh my!

If you’re outside for any period of time, it’s really important to make sure you’re covered and protected. Slathering sunscreen on right before you hop in the pool isn’t going to cut it either. Sunscreen should be added at least a half an hour before you’re out in the sun in order to provide the most protection. Another added layer of protection you should consider is a hat and/or sunglasses to keep you looking young and unburnt and a hat will help keep sweat out of your eyes. *bonus!*

No matter where you are or what temperatures you’re experiencing, don’t let the weather be an excuse! You’re better than that, right? This time of year is great for getting outdoors (at least at some point in the day) and soaking up the sun.

The Walker Tracker mobile app is always with you! Track your activities or log how many glasses of water you drank to know that you are staying hydrated. Do you have any tips to avoid the heat while still being active?

Happy Summer, everyone!

Introducing Our Newest Walker Tracker Team Member – Jessica Nelson Kohel

I’m joyful and excited about introducing you to our new addition: Jessica Nelson Kohel! As Head of Product at Walker Tracker she’ll be guiding our product roadmap, connecting all our teams, and helping us to launch the best features you could (or, perhaps, already did) ask for! She’s bright, she’s witty, she’s extremely organized, and her dog Pepper is stealing hearts in our Portland headquarters. Welcome, Jessica!


Meet Jessica!

I am very excited to join the Walker Tracker team and combine my health & fitness interests with my web technology background. I love working for start-ups and watching the ways in which we can grow and deliver new features and experiences to our users. I am really looking forward to doing this for a company that emphasizes movement and promotes a healthier lifestyle for our members.

More about me…I am a native Oregonian (originally from Eugene, Go Ducks!) and am happy to call Portland home after spending 10 years living in both Seattle and Los Angeles. When I am not working, I enjoy hanging out with my husband, our 3 year old daughter, and our amazing French Bulldog mix, Pepper. We love to travel, eat at Portland’s amazing restaurants, and do any number of the amazing outdoor activities Oregon has to offer. I also love to cook, see concerts, and garden in our awesome back yard. You can also find me doing Goat Yoga on a random Sunday here and there.

Pepper!

One Man’s Journey from a Crushing Injury

Crushing it in China

In 2010 I was living in Henan Province, China, teaching English, studying Chinese, and learning martial arts (with a side of partying). I also spent a fair amount of time in the gym training with my German sparring partner. One day, while trying to show him the “correct” way to kick someone in the head, I lost my footing and fell backwards, extending my left arm out to break my fall. It worked: the arm took the entire impact of the fall and my elbow shattered into pieces. As I lied there, looking at my arm contorted into an unnatural position beside me, I realized that what just happened would likely change my life forever. What I would come to discover is just how much my health habits leading up to that moment, as well as those following it, would determine my quality of life.

I’m not the only guy I know whose arrogance and competitiveness has landed him in similarly less-than-ideal circumstances, so for Men’s Health Month I would like to share the health habits that have made the difference in my life, as well as the science behind them. Working out can not only determine the direction your life takes when tragedy strikes, but also the overall awesomeness that is your day-to-day experience of the world.

A Rough Start

My genetics suck (sorry mom if you’re reading this). I come from skinny people who did skinny things, ate skinny foods, and thought skinny thoughts. As a result (*drumroll*) I was skinny.

I know most people think it’s ridiculous when skinny people complain about not being able to gain weight, but for me—a guy who wanted nothing more than to look like The Rock—having a fast metabolism was akin to an actor with aspirations for TV having a face for radio.

That meant some compensation was in order… a lot of it. Growing up I was extremely active, I did all the things: snowboarding, rock climbing, BMX riding, aggressive inline skating, soccer, swimming, skateboarding, judo, racketball, golf, and serious online gaming (okay that last one might not qualify as a sport, but I was a legend). Unfortunately, none of those were conducive to me getting bigger and my goal of looking like Dwayne Johnson didn’t feel any closer.

What I didn’t have an appreciation for at the time—and I definitely do now—is just how much all that activity benefitted my health. According to the CDC, not only does regular physical activity for kids help protect them from the greatest killers (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.), it also makes them smarter:

“Higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.”

So while my sexy factor might have still been lacking, my health metrics were on point, and at the early stages of life that’s what matters most. So for all the young bucks out there: it doesn’t matter what you do to be active, just that you do something! It could save your life, or help you win Jeopardy.

Getting On Track

What you do after adolescence really shapes your life, and fortunately for me, once I finished high school I began the activity that did so in the best way possible: weightlifting. While in college one of my “bro” friends got me hooked on the gym rat life, and there was no going back! Within a year I had increased my bodyweight by 20 lbs and was looking considerably bulkier:

Weightlifting is the greatest thing men or women can do for their health, but being that it’s Men’s Health Month I’ll share what it does for men. According to a series of studies reposted in Men’s Health Magazine, benefits of weightlifting include increases in intelligence (with 10% better memories), improved happiness (you can dramatically decrease depression with regular weight training), better sleep (65% better to be exact), increased overall health (more bone density, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of cancer), more energy (20% more), and living longer. Oh, and I forgot to mention weightlifters tend to be more attractive (science done at UCLA proves it)!

By the time I had graduated from college and had been weight training regularly for several years, I was well on my way to Rock status:

Cyan Cooper and family

Looking Ahead

I’ll probably always lift weights. I want to be the sexy old man who hasn’t lost his charisma even when he’s 60+. However, I know there are other things that contribute to overall health, such as flexibility. I was raised by a yogi and can attest to the mobility and longevity yoga brings you. While my daily morning routine already includes some light stretching (as well as 20 burpees), I’ll likely incorporate a whole lot more as I age.

In terms of longevity, research put out by the National Institute of Health in Maryland states that yoga has been shown to alleviate the decline of overall brain grey matter volume with age. So what they’re saying is: alleviating aging brain health might not be the most difficult thing in the world, but it’s a stretch.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize the importance of regular walking throughout all this. A lot of people think regular and intense workout sessions are enough for good health, but while they certainly do help, the addition of brief walks throughout the day have tremendous health benefits. A study done by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that:

“those who adhered to a walking program showed significant improvements in blood pressure, slowing of resting heart rate, reduction of body fat and body weight, reduced cholesterol, improved depression scores with better quality of life, and increased measures of endurance.”

Returning to China

So back to my shattered elbow in China. Several surgical steel inserts and weeks of recovery later, I was able to use my arm again, and there’s no doubt in my mind that a weaker arm wouldn’t have survived the trauma, and it definitely wouldn’t have had the recovery mine did. Once I was strong enough to resume weightlifting I was back in the gym.  While it took time and perseverance, I’m happy to report that I am once again on track in pursuit of Rock status. Not only am I able to lift again, but I am lifting more than ever before. I also have a deep appreciation for my two working limbs, one of which I almost lost! If it wasn’t for all the activity I did leading up to my fall, and all that I’ve done since, my quality of life would undoubtedly be worse off. So to all the guys out there with unused gym memberships and bellies eclipsing their toes, I hope you find that my story carries some weight and are inspired to improve the quality of your own life.  Get out there and move, fellas!

Father Knows Best: Our Dads Share Healthy Tips to Live By

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and we’re recognizing the men who helped shape the lives Walker Tracker employees. Read on for the activities we used to do with our dads, healthy habits they tried to teach us and what motivates them to keep moving everyday.


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

We hiked and camped together.Jan Parzybok, father to Ben Parzybok, Founder/CTO

Yes, walking and just being with her. She makes a cloudy day sunny.David Welsh, dad to Taylor Welsh, CEO

When Jill was growing up we’d go on bike rides, camping and she’d tag along with me when I’d go surfing on the weekends. I also enjoyed supporting her and her high school crew team at races.Buz Moran, pops to Jill Moran, Marketing Assistant

When Cy was a kid we rode bikes around the neighborhood and at Sunriver, and played a lot of basketball. As adults we like to walk and talk on the wooded hiking trails around Kings Valley.Rick Cooper, father to Cy Cooper, Business Development Executive

Do you have any healthy habits or healthy tips you live by and tried to install in your Walker Tracker child?

Walk through your stiffness and/or pain.Jan Parzybok (Ben)

Maintain a healthy diet, we tried to limit sweets and candy (but Jill’s grandma sometimes had other ideas), early to bed and early to rise, encouraging her to read was important to her mom and me.Buz Moran (Jill)

Cyan Cooper and father, Rick, working hard.

Low fats, low sugars, lots of fruits and veggies, moderate amounts of meat and grains, lots of water, no smoking, moderate alcohol.Rick Cooper (Cy)

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

Surprises, there is always something new and wonderful each day. The excitement of living and participating keeps one healthy and emotionally fit.David Welsh (Taylor)

Life. I like getting up and going to work every day and living an active life. I don’t want to get stale and miss out on life.Bill Green, dad to Stephanie Green, VP of Business Development

Raising and providing for my family, taking our two dogs out for their walk, catching the early waves, going bike riding or hiking before it got too hot or crowded.Buz Moran (Jill)

Is there anything you’d like to share about your Walker Tracker son or daughter?

She is the most amazing young woman!!! She works hard and plays hard. She enjoys the journey (most of the time) and is positive and uplifting. She brings sunshine into peoples lives. She is a joy to be around.David Welsh (Taylor)

Stephanie Green and her dad spending time with family.

Stephanie definitely got my energy, and is like me in that she doesn’t sit still. She constantly is go go go, so she found the perfect job! Stephanie is determined. She knows what she wants in life and is going to get it, and, heaven help me, now I have a granddaughter who is the same way.Bill Green (Stephanie)

Like his mom, Cy has always been a highly kinetic person. As a kid and young adult he was almost always in motion, biking, inline skating, skateboarding, playing soccer, snowboarding, or dancing. Even when he’s sitting still, his mind is in constant motion–analyzing, processing, philosophizing, planning, strategizing, formulating, visualizing…Rick Cooper (Cy)

I am patiently waiting for Ben’s third novel.Jan Parzybok (Ben)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Grill Up Vegetables and Fruit for Summer Freshness

Summer has finally arrived, and that means longer nights surrounded by friends, family and, of course, a good BBQ. We all know that fish and meats can be grilled up for a fresh summer dinner, and instead of a pasta or green salad on the side, try out some of these tasty ways to grill up fruits and vegetables.


Leaving the skin on veggies packs in more nutrients as well as acts as a natural insulator while cooking. Make sure to leave husks on corn, as well as the skin on eggplant, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and squash. To shorten grill time you can pre-cook veggies, such as green beans, broccoli, beets, asparagus, cauliflower, and artichokes. Just blanch the vegetables in hot water then transfer them to an ice bath to shock the vegetables before you throw them on the grill. You can even try grilling up some romaine lettuce for chicken wraps, a unique salad, or use in place of a burger bun.

When picking which fruits to grill, make sure to pick barely ripe and firm fruits such as peaches, pineapple, watermelon, or apples. You can simply brush them with oil before grilling, or marinate them in your favorite spices or sauces, like sweet chili pepper sauce, honey, cinnamon, or butter. Make sure to cut up your fruits into large, uniform slices for even cooking. Use a bag or container to add marinade and toss fruits in. Cook your fruits over moderately hot coals, or you can wrap them in foil and use indirect heat. Remember, cook times will vary depending on the fruits firmness and moisture content.

For a colorful appetizer, create a DIY kabob bar with a variety of fruits and veggies. Cut up veggies and fruits such as mushrooms, onion, pineapple, bell peppers, watermelon, brussel sprouts and let guests get creative with a tasty and fresh combo!

Is your mouth watering now? Share your favorite vegetables or fruits to throw on the barbie. And to cook up more grilled inspiration, check out the following links to some awesome recipes:

Grilled Pineapple Spears
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with a Cilantro Lime Kick
Grilled Romaine Lettuce with Balsamic Glaze
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Grilled Broccoli & Arugula Salad

Back to the Basics: What Men Really Need to Stay Healthy

Written by InVite® Health, June 2018

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. It’s important that you put your 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.

If you are currently taking non-prescription, over-the-counter, or prescription medication, you must be aware that they may cause potentially serious nutrient depletions. Click here to view InVite® Health’s Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Chart with a list of drugs and non-prescription medications and the nutrients they deplete.

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. Men have different needs than women, so there are a few nutrients and vitamins that they should take special care in consuming.

High-protein foods found in red meat, turkey and fish provide good health and energy levels for men. Supplemental protein, especially whey protein, has been shown to support healthy muscle mass and satiation.

Potassium is part of every cell and is needed to keep your heart, nerves, muscles, and brain working efficiently. It can be found in fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat.

Fiber helps to support healthy cholesterol, blood sugar, intestinal, heart and brain health. It can be found in grains and beans.

Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, heart health, muscle function and nerve signaling. It can be found 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 men 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 men 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 men’s health.

  1. Maca root has been used for its beneficial effects on sexual health, energy levels and endurance. It may also provide benefits for the prostate.
  2. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that supports cellular health, endothelial health, and healthy immune function. It also supports prostate and urinary health.
  3. Black Cumin, or Nigella sativa, supports lung health, metabolism and prostate health.
  4. Beta-Sitosterol supports healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range, immune system health and prostate health.

With a solid base like a healthy, balanced diet, a superior multivitamin and moderate activity daily, men 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.

InVite® Health offers a variety of nutritional supplements and cosmeceuticals, along with important resources on a wide range of health and wellness topics to get your health back on track. InVite® Health is offering Walker Tracker clients an exclusive offer of 50% off with free shipping on orders of $35 or more.* Plus, you’ll receive a free bottle of Multi-Protection (complete with Probiotics & Greens) with your order, if you spend $25 or more!* Click here to view this offer and for more details.

So, I Ran A Half Marathon – 2018 Eugene Marathon Recap

Running is my favorite way to push the limits of what I think I’m capable of doing. It challenges me physically and mentally. It gives me a sense of freedom. It’s my form of meditation… my minutes of zen.

I love long distance running, and the half marathon is my preferred distance. So, naturally, when I realized my next half marathon would be my 20th, I wanted that race to be at my favorite of them all–the Eugene Marathon.

Why This Race?
In a sense, Eugene is a bit of a homecoming for me. I left my comfort zone to attend the University of Oregon. I was 18 years old, nearly 900 miles away from the only place I ever called home, I knew one person and, like all teenagers, I was discovering who I was without the influences of home.

Eugene is where I started to really fall deeply in love with running. Before I started running for sport, it was just our dry land conditioning workout during crew practice. I started running in college as a way to stay active, but I soon found that it allowed me to discover my new city, and that time on my feet revealed more and more about who I am. I come back to Eugene every spring to continue that journey of self discovery. Plus, I get to take home some pretty cool hardware.

So, How’d the Race Go?
I went into the 2018 Eugene Half Marathon without any expectations, and the weather the night before was helping keep them low. It was absolutely pouring rain. Not your typical misty Oregon rain; it was falling in sheets. When my alarm went off at 5:40am, I immediately checked the weather: 48 degrees, overcast, chance of rain at 11am.

PERFECT running weather.

I went through my usual pre-race routine: coffee, bagel, water, banana. Got dressed, pinned my bib to my tank top, and jogged the 1 mile to the start line.

As I walked to my starting corral, the excitement started to build. I didn’t have a race goal in mind. My only goal was to raise money for a local organization and I achieved that weeks ago. There wasn’t much else for me to do, but cross the finish line on historic Hayward Field healthy and happy.

My view of the 2018 Eugene Half Marathon start line.

Let me be honest here. I may say I don’t have expectations, but I always want to best myself. Which is why I positioned myself between two pace groups–one that would be too fast to maintain for 13.1 miles and one that would be a comfortable race pace.

“1, 2, 3 and GO!”

Off I went jockeying my way up Agate St. to claps, cheers, and cowbells. Before I knew it, I’m passing the mile 1 flag to a chorus of watch chimes. As a pack, the runners wind through a neighborhood and start running up Amazon Parkway. It’s a gradual climb and descent that covers miles 3-7.5 and usually where I start to feel the burn. As I started the descent, I popped a Clif Shot Blok (ginger ale flavor, highly recommend) in my mouth and think I’m feeling pretty awesome. Way better than I anticipated.

I get to Mile 6 and look up to realize I caught up with the “too fast” pace group. I start telling myself, “Just don’t pass them. You’ll blow up. Draft them to conserve energy for the last 2 miles.”

I stick with this group as we run up the hill at mile 8 and back past Hayward Field. My right shin starts to ache as we cross over Franklin Blvd. But it always starts to ache at that spot and I always get through the race. “Don’t even focus on it.”

I follow the pace group to about mile 11 where the half and full marathon course splits. “Less than 2 miles to go. Let’s do this.”

Typical pose of a runner crossing the finish line. Must record accurate time!

Once I got to Autzen Stadium, there’s about a mile to go and I methodically start to pick up my pace. I held back until I saw the flag for mile 26, knowing that meant I had .2 miles to go, so I let my legs and heart do their thing.

Every time I approach the gate to Hayward Field, I start to feel like I’m truly “running in the footsteps of legends” (the Eugene Marathon’s tagline). Those legends carry me to the finish. For .1 miles I feel like I am one of those legends.

I crossed the finish line, got a high five, a medal and the rush of accomplishment. And yes, I always cry just a little. Especially when it occurs to me I beat my personal course record by a minute and was only 40 seconds away from a personal record.

Why I Run
First off, the running community is extremely supportive whether you are crushing it or driving the struggle bus. Shout out to all the friends, family, volunteers and other runners along the course. Your support is an extra boost us runners need.

But the main reason I love running so much is the mental and physical challenge of pushing myself. Every training cycle and race I learn a little more about who I am, what drives me and my reaction to certain situations. I could go into a race after an exceptionally strong training cycle and blow up. Will I quit? No. Will I adjust and recalibrate? Absolutely.

What about you? Do you have an activity you love? Something that pushes you? Share with us in the comments or post on social media @walkertracker. Global Running Day is June 6, 2018, and here at Walker Tracker we’re getting a head start with a month-long Run the World Challenge from June 1-30, 2018. Join today!

GDPR, Privacy and Walker Tracker

Hello – It’s May 25th, the date that the groundbreaking European privacy act known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) goes into place. If you use any online software at all, you’ve been receiving a zillion privacy policy updates and notes about compliance. From our perspective this is a great thing. Europe’s privacy and security legislation is a huge stride forward for user data protection.

We have always adhered to the spirit of GDPR, by providing instant account deletion and data portability, with deep attention to whole spectrum security.

Here are a few highlights from our GDPR compliance:

  • Data Portability: We rebuilt and beautified a tool so that you can export all of your personal data from Walker Tracker
  • Privacy by Design: We’ve created new security processes which focus on privacy by design and best-in-class security protocols
  • Clarification of Privacy Policy We updated our privacy statement to clarify how we use data and how it gets shared
  • Breach Notification: We implemented new protocols for notification in case of a data breach
  • Removal of Data: We implemented a new process for ensuring removal of stale/unused data

 

If you have any questions or concerns about privacy or GDPR compliance, feel free to reach out to us at privacy@walkertracker.com.

National Osteoporosis Month: Get On the Move for Bone Health

May is National Osteoporosis Month, which focuses on prioritizing bone health and raising awareness for how you can prevent the brittle bone condition. Today, more than 53 million Americans are at an increased risk for bone fractures, but you can make simple lifestyle changes both at work and at home to avoid joining the statistic. Here are three ways you can lower your risk.

1. Get moving at work.
Sedentary lifestyles are on the rise, and this frequent inactivity can increase your risk of a number of health issues including osteoporosis. Try to incorporate the following types of exercises into your weekly routine both at home and at work:

  • Muscle-strengthening exercises: To increase bone density and structure, keep a pair of dumbbells or ankle weights at your desk to use throughout the day. Take productive breaks by doing 10-15 leg raises with ankle weights while seated at your desk. If you want to stand up and move around, try weighted squats or lunges.
  • Weight-bearing exercises: Running, jogging, and walking are ideal exercises to help you maintain your current bone density. The repetitive motions of targeted muscle groups will encourage new bone tissue to form and will also improve your balance in order to prevent any fracture-inducing falls. Your lunch break can serve as the prime opportunity to get outside and get your steps in.


If you don’t feel comfortable doing desk exercises, talk to your company about beginning a wellness program that encourages a healthy working environment for all employees in more ways than one.

2. Talk to your doctor about your medications.
7 out of 10 Americans take at least one prescription drug, but we don’t often think that our medications can spur on other health conditions. Osteoporosis can be drug-induced, so it’s important to bring up concerns with your doctor if you think you may be at risk for brittle bones. Two common prescriptions that can lead to osteoporosis include:

  • Antidepressants: Certain drugs used to treat depression, including Prozac and Zoloft, have been linked to loss of bone mineral density and an increased risk of fractures.
  • SGLT2 Inhibitors: This type of medication helps type 2 diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels. Although this is life-saving for many patients, the specific SGLT2 Inhibitor Invokana has been shown to increase a patient’s risk of bone fractures and ketoacidosis.

 

It’s important to note that any medication comes with its own benefits and downsides, so be sure to discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have.

3. Limit your caffeine intake.
We’ve all been told the benefits of caffeine. Studies have shown that it could prevent Alzheimer’s, increase endurance while working out, and even reduce the risk of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

But unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our bone health. Too much caffeine can actually interfere with our ability to absorb calcium, the nutrient that’s essential for strong bones. However, you likely don’t have to worry about your caffeine intake if you’re getting an adequate amount of calcium in your diet. If the thought of turning down caffeine in any form during the work day is scary, try limiting your daily intake to 300mg (about three cups of coffee) and eat foods high in calcium like yogurt and kale.

How will you prioritize bone health?
Osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent disease” because it doesn’t show any symptoms until you experience your first brittle bone fracture. Whether it’s through proper exercise at the office and at home or through attempts to lower your caffeine intake, any positive efforts are a step in the right direction for stronger, healthier bones.

Walker Tracker would like to thank Consumer Safety for providing the following content on Osteoporosis awareness and the steps to take to potentially prevent it. Follow the organization on Twitter to stay up to date on health news, safety alerts, and trending consumer topics.

A Few Tips To Get You Ready To Bike Commute

More than seven percent of all Portland commuters choose to get to work by bike. Walker Tracker’s employees proudly contribute towards the 17,000 Portlanders out pedaling their commute. When you hop on your bike you’re getting a healthy workout; you also skip the traffic jams, feel the breeze on your face and best of all, no need to look for parking!Walker Tracker Cyclists

We gathered our staff that we suspected as Most likely to bike and asked them to share their tips on cycle-commuting. If you’re just getting started comment below what has worked well for you. The Walker Tracker community will appreciate your advice. For you seasoned two-wheel travelers, share your tips, too–you’re the experts!

 

Michel – Customer Support
I’ve been commuting on a bike for a long time. I can’t remember thinking of another option. I enjoy bike riding, so, a work commute is another excuse to take a ride. My bike ride is about 5 miles – one way. It may seem long at first but once you get going you don’t want to stop.

Tip: Be Safe, Travel on Bike Lanes.
I strap in some ear buds (only one ear bud because two is unsafe) and let Google Maps guide me to my destination. The path it takes me on seems somewhat roundabout – but trust Google! Google optimizes your route and puts you on bike paths and greenways so that you don’t have to deal with car commuters. Eventually, you will memorize the route and won’t have to let Google track your every pedal.

Must-Have Gear: After a Helmet, bike fenders are a must have. They protect you and your bike from all the grime that flings off your tires.

 

Emily – Customer Success
I have been biking to work since I started at Walker Tracker, about 9 months. But I have always enjoyed riding my bike. I like that I am able to admire the beauty of my neighborhood and get my body warmed up at the start of my day. It also helps to clear my head at the end of the day.

Tip: Check Your Tires Regularly
This tip actually comes from my dad, who taught me everything I know about riding a bike. Check your tires at the end of your ride or day for pieces of glass, especially if you have thin tires; you don’t want the glass to wedge its way into the tire and cause a flat.

Must-Have Gear: Bright lights – be seen and safe! I also have an extra light on my backpack.

 

Jill – Marketing
I’ve been bike commuting for about 15 years and ride my bike nearly every day. It all started in college when I realized it took about the same amount of time to get to class on my bike as it did driving my car. But on my bike, I didn’t have to fight for a parking space! I have the same motivation today as I did then. Plus it’s an invigorating way to start and end my day.

Tip: Take 5 Minutes, Register Your Bike
Bike theft is a sad reality of bike commuting. Bike Index is a free registration service that alerts community users if you indicate your bike has been stolen. If a bike shop or law enforcement agency encounters a stolen bike, they use Bike Index to reconnect the bike with its owner. I have many friends who had their bikes returned because they took 5 minutes to register it on Bike Index.

Must-Have Gear: USB rechargeable bike lights are where it’s at! Portland Design Works has some great options.

 

Blanca – Customer Success
Blanca- CyclingMy parents commuted by bike from when I was a small child up until a few years ago so you’d think I would always default to this option – not the case. The Winters here are wet and chilly and I haven’t bought all the gear that would make me comfortable so it isn’t until Spring that I’m back on the bike daily. When the end of Fall runs around I’ll likely alternate with public transit but until then it is glorious to ride to work! Right now I’m on a 15-day streak and feeling pretty great.

Tip: Pick the Best Day and Pace Yourself
Your first commute should be on the most lovely day possible. Check the weather and wear clothing you can layer on/off depending on how warm you get. If you know someone with a car bike rack you could ask for a ride home if one-way felt like enough for day 1. Pick your path and give yourself plenty of time so that you can make an unexpected stop to take in the view.

Must-Have Gear: Confession, I spent many years cycling without wearing a helmet. Now I can’t leave home without it. Riding a bike is both purposeful and fun, make sure to keep it that way by staying safe. Invest in a good helmet. I like the kind with a little visor to keep the sun and sprinkles out of my eyes.

 

We’d love to hear your cycling stories and commuter tips. Please comment below or share this article with your friends and co-workers.

Ride on!