Corporate Health: Get Your Staff Running

Running is great cardio, requires very little equipment and preparation, and people of almost any ability can give it a go! This health resource contains a range of articles and information that you can share with your staff to encourage them to get their trainers on.


 

The Nudjed guide for first-time runners is a great introduction to the sport for your employees who may be nervous about giving it a go. It contains 8 simple steps to prepare yourself and have a successful run.


 

This training plan from the NHS will give your staff all the information and guidance they need to build up to a 5k run! You could even suggest that a group from your organisation sign up for a race near you to give them something to aim for – try RunningBug’s race finder here.


 

For those who are already interested in running, you could suggest checking out this rundown of the best apps for tracking performance. Measuring progress is one of the best ways to stay on track with health and fitness goals!


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

Get Inspired: From Health Warnings to Half Marathons

Sometimes, the biggest barriers to improving health are mental – lots of people feel like they’re just “not the sort of person” who goes to the gym, or eats salad, and so on.

Nudjed is on a mission to prove that anybody is capable of being as healthy as they want to be.

To inspire you, we’ve been following and supporting a group of runners as they train for the Cardiff Half Marathon. Below, two of our case studies talk about their experiences during training, their motivation for taking part, and the positive changes they’ve noticed since they committed to improving their health.


 

Alan

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Alan was diagnosed with diabetes 16 years ago. At the time he was overweight and self-conscious about his size, and his doctor told him that he needed to lose weight to avoid needing daily insulin injections.

I didn’t feel comfortable in going out [to run], the size I was, because I was 17 and a half stone at the time,” he told us. He started off by buying some exercise equipment for his home, gradually building up from walking short distances to running 5k over the space of six weeks.

“From there it was a case of, well, the nights are getting darker… I can probably let myself go out on the street once in a while now. The first time I did it I managed to do about 200 yards and it was like, ‘I’ve got to stop, I’m way out of breath.’ Running outside was totally different to being on the treadmill.”

Alan persevered, alternating between running and walking to build up his endurance, and began to see the resulting weight loss.

“I’ve lost around 3 stone 10 now, and it’s helped no end. It’s brought my sugars under control, and at my annual checkup with the doctor in June I found out that I’m a lot healthier overall. My cholesterol levels have never been better.”

Taking control of his health gave Alan the confidence to overcome other obstacles as they appeared.

“I was having some pain in my hips while running, and it turns out that I’d developed arthritis. So then it was a case of digging into the running world to find out how to cope with that – I had to change my stride pattern completely, but it’s gradually getting better. I’ve also taken up yoga, which has been really great for me. Since I started that, about 8 weeks ago, I’ve become a lot my flexible, especially in my hips – and the yoga stretches are great when I’m warming up or cooling down from a run.

My body has been getting stronger and more supportive – the more I do, the easier it gets. I did a 12 mile run on Sunday, and normally after that the backs of my legs and my quads are in agony, but this time I didn’t feel a thing!”

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Alan has gone from strength to strength since he started running, and has now completed races including the Newport Half Marathon and the Cardiff Bay 5 Mile Run. Through his running at these events, he’s raised over £500 for cancer and diabetes charities. And the health benefits aren’t the only positive outcomes – Alan says his friends, family and customers at work have all commented on how healthy he looks.

“My legs have gone from these things that looked like tree trunks to the point where I can see actual muscles! And I notice the little things, like having more energy to play football with my kids in the garden, where before I would need to stop for a breather every 10 minutes.

“My self-confidence has improved massively as well. Like I said, when I started I was too self-conscious to go out in public – now it doesn’t matter, I’ll stretch out in the front garden, I don’t care. Sometimes I do get heckled; the other day there was a group of kids shouting things, but I just turned to them and said, ‘Join me for 13 miles and then you can take the mickey.’ At the end of the day, I’m not doing this for anyone else, I’m doing it for me, and I don’t care what anyone says.”

Frances

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Most of us can probably relate to Frances – she’s always been conscious of her weight, and has struggled to avoid the temptation of overeating and drinking too much. Although she knew she should be eating more healthily, and tried hard during the week, she found herself spending weekends in front of the TV with wine and snacks. After having her third child, she decided she was fed up with the constant cycle of losing and gaining weight. Her fitness journey started with a classic New Year’s Resolution, and she signed up for the Pontypool Home Run 10k in February to motivate her to stick with it.

“I just started like you do every year, cutting out all the bad stuff, but I wasn’t really getting anywhere…I thought there was no way I was going to be able to do the 10k. I nearly didn’t do it by my husband said, ‘Come on, it doesn’t matter if you walk it or run it, let’s just do it.’ I was really nervous and anxious but I did it, and I actually did run all the way around – really slowly! There was a photographer, and seeing the pictures of myself I thought I looked huge; so the confidence boost from finishing the race, and the feeling that I wanted to look better, both motivated me to keep going.

Frances says that although running wasn’t something she found easy, it gave her a massive sense of accomplishment.

“It was really hard, and lots of times I felt like, ‘I want to stop now.’ But I feel so proud that I’ve stuck with it. Other runners are really friendly as well, they always say hi! Everyone’s on that same journey of trying to get better.”

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Alongside taking up running, Frances has been focusing on eating better and says that having a good diet has helped her both physically and mentally.

“I’m definitely on more of an even keel,” she tells us. “I’ve cut down on sugar, and it’s really helped my mood…I feel like a different person. I used to constantly be thinking, ‘What can I eat?’ Now I don’t really get cravings, just that genuine stomach rumbling when I’m really hungry, and then I know I actually need to eat. It feels good to know you’re being good to yourself – and now I can drink a glass of wine without feeling horribly guilty. I definitely think these are going to be permanent changes, because they’ve improved my life so much.”

Frances has now completed races including the Caerphilly 10k and the Bournemouth quarter marathon, and achieved her Personal Best time in the Blaenavon 10k recently.

“I did 10 miles the other day and it just feels like it’s actually doable now. When I finish a race, it feels so good. When I did the first one earlier this year, my husband was at the finish line and he ran towards me and I was actually crying – I felt like a bit of an idiot, but it was emotional.”


Frances and Alan are proof that anyone can improve their health – start by making some small changes, and figure out what works for you. The benefits you’ll gain are well worth it!

 

Meet the Nudjed 100 Club Healthy Heroes!

As you might have heard, Nudjed is teaming up with Run4Wales to help 100 participants train for the Cardiff Half Marathon in October. All 100 Club members have received a free subscription to Nudjed, which will help them to learn more about their health, make smart changes and stay on track with their training.

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We’ve selected six Healthy Heroes to follow on their training journey between now and the big race, and we’re very excited to introduce them to you!

Frances

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Frances never thought she was the sort of person who could run long distances, and was jealous of those who did – after her husband ran the Cardiff Half Marathon twice, she decided to finally give it a go. She’s struggled with her weight in the past, using Weight Watchers and other diet plans to try to lose weight, but nothing worked long term.

She also has a foot condition that she thought would stop her from running, but with some expert advice and special insoles she’s started training and is well on course to complete the race in October! The above photo was taken right after Frances beat her personal best time in the Mic Morris 10km race in July.

Kevin

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Kevin won a place in the 100 Club through a Facebook competition by Run4Wales. He’s always been an active person, but says he wouldn’t consider himself to be ‘fit’. He’s tried running before, but has found it hard to stick to the habit – having the Half Marathon coming up is a great way to stay on track! Kevin’s finding the content that Nudjed curates to the 100 Club Facebook group very useful – this can range from tips on running techniques to recipe recommendations, recovery methods to mindfulness training.

 

Emma

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Emma has always wanted to run a half marathon, and is finding Nudjed handy for organising her training schedule – she especially likes the text reminders.

 

Alan

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Alan started running around 9 months ago, as a way to lose weight and help to control his Type 2 Diabetes. He says he’s previously tried a whole range of expensive diet programmes and gym plans, with limited results. He’s finding the Nudjed content interesting, and has found the information on healthy snack swaps useful, as he works in an office where the temptation of junk food is always around.

 

Andrea

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Andrea decided to take part in the Cardiff Half to regain her fitness – she was previously 5st overweight and asthmatic. She’s using Nudjed daily to set challenges and reminders that keep her training on track – she also likes being able to keep track of her health data with the Nudjed fitness tests.

 

Steve

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Steve is taking part in the 100 Club because he likes to set himself a new physical challenge every year. Three years ago he decided to make some lifestyle changes including eating better and exercising regularly, and since then he has lost around 7 st. He started running recently, having previously done a lot of swimming and circuit training. He’s using Nudjed several times a week, and says that he’s finding the dietary content especially useful – a more intense training schedule means that our runners have to make sure their nutrition is well-balanced and energising!

Keep an eye out for updates from our Healthy Heroes as they train for the Cardiff Half Marathon in October!

8 Simple Steps For First Time Runners

You’re only 8 steps away from setting yourself up for running success. Let us help you to equip yourself with the know-how and attitude to keep you going out for a run in all types of weather!

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1. Start today.
Don’t think about doing it tomorrow or next month. What are you waiting for? You can run anywhere, anytime. You can do as little or as much as you want. Even running to your nearest supermarket counts!

2. Pace yourself.
Run at a speed you’re comfortable with. Starting off lightly can prevent your body from overworking itself – only build yourself up to faster speeds when you’re ready.

3. Get the right running shoes.
Go to a running shop and get yourself fitted for running shoes that compliment your shoe type. You will be doing your feet a favour by giving them room to breathe with fewer blisters and injuries!

4. Be optimistic.
See running as a learning experience. It’s a chance to test out what speeds, tracks, times and locations work for you. The trick is to keep trying out new things and learning from exercises that aren’t right for your needs.

5. Always run against the traffic.
This is really important if you’re going to be running in an urban area – you can see any cars coming towards you, and you can avoid any injuries and accidents.

6. Focus on yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to other runners and how well they are doing – everyone has their own goals and their own running paces. Running is individualised so keep at your own pace, and don’t get disheartened!

7. Listen to your body.
When your body is slowing down, allow it. It is only through building up running exercises slowly that you can run faster and run longer.

8. Motivate yourself.
From losing weight to training for a 5k marathon, motivation is personal thing. Find a goal that will keep you going for your next run!

Good luck! For more advice and info you can follow us on Twitter; if you have any problems, you can talk to one of our experts – email coach@nudjed.com.