Corporate Health: Personal Development

Personal development is something that we often talk about in the workplace, but it’s easy to underestimate just how important it is. During our research, we discovered that personal development is a key factor in happiness – when we feel like we’re improving as a person, we feel happy and fulfilled.

And from an organisational point of view, multiple studies have shown that happy people are around 12% more productive!

In this blog you’ll find some great information on personal development, tips for putting your staff in control of their own development, and some suggestions for changes they might want to make.


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So what’s personal development all about, anyway? This article is a great resource to share with staff (especially newbies!), as it covers everything from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs through to practical steps for personal development.


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This great piece from HR Zone outlines a few simple steps you can take to create an encouraging environment where staff’s personal development is more self-directed. Could this help you to see better results?


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“Make the most of yourself…for that is all there is of you.”
This article contains 15 ways that you and/or your staff can become better people each day. Not all personal development has to be work-related!


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. 

 

A Beginners Guide to Going Vegetarian

Thinking of going vegetarian? Struggling with how to get started? Fear not! The Nudjed nutrition team has put together this short guide to help you make the swap. Avoiding the pitfalls that many people fear.


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The Pro’s and Cons of a vegetarian diet

Being a vegetarian can be a really easy way to boost your health and cut your carbon footprint (yes, meat generally creates more pollution!). But swapping out the foods you’re used to, can be tough to start with and you may be nervous about missing out on the vitamins you need to stay in top condition.

The reasons to go Veggie

The normal fears people have

  • Replacing the protein you get from meat
  • Making sure you’re not missing any nutrients
  • Managing your energy levels (avoiding ‘Carb loading’)
  • The reduced choice worry

So let’s help you avoid them…


Replacing the protein you get from meat

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If you’re a meat eater, it’s a good bet that meat or fish is the main source of protein in your diet. Here are ways to replace that:

Choose low-fat Dairy & Eggs –

Milk, eggs and cheese are all sources of good quality protein. Try cottage cheese, mozzarella and ricotta, instead of cheddar and cream cheese in your sandwiches and salads.

Throw on some nuts and seeds –

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of quality protein. Try sprinkling them on salads and stir-fries, adding them to curries or throwing them into pots for snacks at work.

Love Beans –

Lentils, beans and chickpeas are all excellent sources of protein. They work surprisingly well in place of meat, especially in Indian or Mexican dishes.


Managing your energy levels (avoiding ‘Carb loading’)

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Anytime you change your diet, there will be learning curve as your body adapts. Managing your energy levels is a crucial part of any diet, here’s the things to look out for in a vegetarian version.

Swap white for wholegrain –

Go for wholemeal everything, besides a boost in fibre you will also consume more protein. Replacing rice with other grains like quinoa, pearl barley and bulgur wheat is a great way to do this.

Don’t become a sugar-holic –

Going veggie can be a chance to excuse your over-consumption of simple sugars and processed white carbs. Try keeping a small pack of nuts, seeds or fruit next to your desk in work.


Making sure you’re not missing any nutrients

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If you want to lose weight then cutting out animal fats is probably a good thing, but if not (and you’re light already) then you need to replace those fats to make sure you absorb enough vitamins and get enough energy.

Use a quality oil and dress your salads –

Cold pressed oils retain the most nutrients. Go for olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or seed oils for a boost of (good) unsaturated fats.

Make friends with fatty plants –

Containing wonderful essential fats, try including more avocado, kidney/black beans, flaxseed, edamame (soya) beans, and wild rice.

Look out for enriched products –

spreads, eggs, cheese and milks all come with added omega 3 (essential fatty acid) these days

Green and leafy = extra vitamins and minerals –

meat and fish do contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals, but there are none that you can’t get from maintaining (or slightly increasing) your intake of dairy products and munching down more broccoli, kale, brussels, spinach, chard (or anything else green and leafy).

Mix it up –

Eat your meals in combination (more than one thing on the plate). For example, combining vegetables with fats often increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals and slows down the rise in blood sugar.


The reduced choice worry

Removing meat from your diet may seem like it limits your choice. But according to research carried out by Merchant Gourmet, most families rely on just 9 recipes to feed themselves. To improve your choice, here’s our top 9 meals (+ some lunch ideas) to swap for them:

Bonus Vegetarian Lunches

How to avoid getting Hangry (Angry ‘cos you’re hungry)

The human body has two main energy sources: Fat and carbohydrate. Fat is by far the most efficient energy source, but it cannot cross the barrier between the blood and the brain cells. But carbs can…


The ‘Brain Blood Barrier’

It may sound a little gross, but it’s actually pretty simple science:

  • Your body’s (and brain’s) cells need energy to function
  • Blood carries this energy to them via the circulatory system (arteries)
  • Unfortunately there’s a barrier around your brain that fat cells don’t fit through
  • This means that only carbohydrates can give your brain energy

Avoid getting Hangry

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Hangry – the anger associated with feeling hungry, is your brain crying out for energy, not your body.

When you are eating carbs, think of it as feeding your brain before you think of it as feeding your body

The brain uses only carbohydrate (sugar) as its energy supply, that is the only reason why carbohydrate is essential to the diet.

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5 Scientific Tips to help you lose weight sustainably…

Diet trends come and go in fads. We believe good health should be based on Science, not marketing. Here are our top 5 tips to help you shed fat sustainably.


Know your BMR
Know your BMR. Use our calculator, sign up for Nudjed (which calculates it for you), use someone else’s calculator, do the math yourself. We don’t care how, just go do it.


Make a food diary
Control your calorific intake. Try keeping a food (and drink) diary for a few days, it will help you understand where you’re getting your energy from.


Cut down on Sugar
Get your calories from healthier foods. This means less processed and more fresh. Sugar will hamper you when you’re trying to reduce energy intake.


Boost your Heart-rate
Do regular exercise. A long walk, a slow jog, a nice swim. Anything that raises your heart-rate, will increase your energy consumption.


Don't crash diet

Think long term. If you get tired, you may not be eating enough, or at the right times. If you start to drastically lose weight, ease off, don’t starve yourself.


3 Reasons to stand up and do 5 mins of Yoga

There are plenty of reasons why people practise yoga. Here’s the brilliant bit, this blog will explore these reasons with the actual science behind them. That way you can find out which of our yoga challenges are right for you and your health goals.

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(Source:www.quotesnsmiles.com)

So what are the main reasons people practise yoga?

“I do yoga because I want to feel more toned and flexible.”
“I do yoga because I want to feel great and get more focused.”
“I do yoga to unwind and de-stress.”

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(Source:www.homemadeyogini.co.uk)

“I do yoga because I get more focus”

Reason: Yoga helps you to focus on your thoughts, body and behaviour, these get moved across into other aspects of your daily routine. Research has shown that people start eating better, quitting alcohol or caffeine and swapping habits that are bad for something better.

Your body can adapt and can change depending on your environment, your behaviour and your experiences. Yoga can help speed this process along by helping you to challenge and change your outlook, mentally and physically.

As you undertake our challenges and read our blogs about yoga, you will notice how you can get better, stronger and healthier. You have your brain to thank for that; it helps to facilitate these learning experiences whether they be good or bad. The nerve cells within your brain called neurones can make new connections, reorganise neurone pathways and even create new neurones. By changing the behavior and processes of these cells, you are also physically and emotionally changing your behavior and processes. You are learning continuously through your thoughts and movements in whatever environment you happen to find yourself in.

“I do yoga because I want to unwind and destress”

Reason: Yoga can equip you with the coping skills necessary to deal with everyday stress. Overall, those who practise yoga feel naturally calmer and more at peace. You have your nervous system to thank for that.

Your central nervous system (CNS) is sensory system that sends and receives information about your organs from the the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS consists of nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. PNS helps you to recover from stress, helping you to reduce any stress or anxiety hormones present in your body.
Your PNS counteracts the effects made by it’s co-partner the ANS. This is an involuntary system that controls organs that need to be running in your body constantly. The ANS can cause symptoms of stress including raised heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing and blood sugar levels. If you regularly practise yoga, ANS will be less activated than PNS as a response to a stressful situation.

Stress as we all know can have negative effect on our health and daily life. So any reduction can be a life saver in preventing long and short term illness.

“I do yoga to get more toned and flexible”

Reason: Yoga stretches your body’s capabilities in new ways. As you move through the poses, you will put be shifting your weight across all areas of the body, areas that might never have been worked on before. It is these new movements and motions that can offer you the best benefits.

You are holding poses which works on joints, ligaments and tendons not used or exercised before, getting additional strength and flexibility in a variety of organs that do not usually get stimulated externally.

Muscles that are left unused and untested remain quite stiff, tight and short. When you workout your muscles through a series of stretches, they become much more relaxed and tension free.

Combining yoga with other cardiovascular exercises can help use up those calories from food consumed. Balancing your calorie input with physical output is an important step to toning up. Find out more by checking out our toning up blogs.