The following post is a partnership between me and Walgreens. They are offering free health screenings, plus a way to track your activity levels, so I am all in favor of you reading about it!Alexandra Williams, MA
I totally admit to being a health screenings geek. I love knowing my body’s stats, plus I wear a fitness tracker so I can know even more numbers. Being goal-oriented, I want to be a winner with my own body! Note the part where the word “free” snuck in there? Sa-weeeeet! (that is not the way to drink southern tea; that is my excitement at getting a free screening).
Life got even better when Walgreens asked me to help them get out the word about a few things – all FREE!!!! You can:
Along with the AARP and the National Urban League, Walgreens is traveling around the U.S. providing “free tests, assessments, education and consulting services to communities with the highest uninsured and unemployed populations.” I live closest to Los Angeles, which has four dates – July 10, 19, 20 and 21 – but the screening bus will be stopping in many states, so look up the closest stop to you via their locator.
I am working on getting points for all the steps I do. The average U.S. inhabitant does 2,000 – 4,000 steps per day. The goal is to get to 7,000. To stave off weight gain, most of us should all be doing at least 10,000 (only 8,000 if you’re over 65) Amish men do 18,000 steps per day, with a 0% obesity rate (go dudes with beards), and Amish women have a 4% obesity rate and do 14,000 steps per day.
The Balance Rewards program gives points for doing what you do every day – moving. Just by logging in my steps for the past week, I’m already up to 920 points, which can be traded for things I need to buy. The FitBit is a popular device that syncs up with the Rewards program. I have a Polar Loop, which doesn’t sync, so I manually enter my daily steps. I’d prefer the syncing, but I can pull the info off my Loop or from the synced app that came with my Loop and heart rate monitor, and just transfer the info.
Local Savannah trainer Drew Edmonds was joined by three panelists who answered questions about using fitness trackers to reach your goals, be it weight loss, better sleep, more movement, calories expended, heart rate, and all kinds of other info depending on the device. Research is starting to come in showing that people who use fitness tracking devices tend to do more to accomplish their goals than when they do not wear them.
During the conference, I signed up and got my free assessments, all of which took less than 20 minutes. Did I mention the Way to Well Health Tour bus was air conditioned? Inside the bus I had a quick finger stick to collect some blood. It was NOT a needle draw, so you can do it! Then a pharmacist met with me to explain my results, which you can see just below. Since scales cannot tell if your weight is from muscle or fat (I prefer to go by how my clothes fit), I am not a huge fan, so I’ve left that part crossed off. The important thing is what the blood reveals about me, including how that plays in to my weight.
As you can see, my total cholesterol is a bit high, so I will do a full blood panel (the needle kind) at my next check-up to separate out my low from high cholesterol to discern if there’s an issue or if this was a one-time result.
The good news is that all my other results were fantastic! When the pharmacist told me that my body thinks I’m 43, I was overjoyed. My vanity was even more excited. Who wouldn’t want to be 12 years younger? I tell you, exercising, eating right and sleeping (marginally) well is truly the Fountain of Youth.
I totally encourage you to see if the Way to Well Tour bus is coming near you. Even if it’s not, why not do the Balance Rewards program and get free stuff? Oh yeah, did I mention I also got a free year added to my AARP membership just for doing the screenings? If you’re too young for AARP, they let you give it to an older family member.
P.S. I’m a sucker for John Corbett (think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Northern Exposure”), who voices the “At the corner of Happy & Healthy” commercials for Walgreens, so I was kind of hoping he’d personally deliver the happy, healthy good news about my test results. Oh, well. At least I can say he lives just over the mountain pass from my home in Southern California.
For a hint of the fun flavor, we present this flash mob video of “Fame.” Alexandra is easy to spot.
Last week we headed up to Portland, Oregon to speak at the annual Fitbloggin’ convention, which in their words is “for bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.” But you don’t have to be a blogger; you can be a future blogger too.
Mornings were dedicated to small group discussions that ranged from the challenges and emotions during and after significant weight loss, to goal-setting (for diet and activity), to injuries. Afternoons were for the business side of things, with speakers talking about writing, working with brands, making money from your social media accounts, improving video & photo skills, technical blog skills, and nutrition. A lot was packed into the two-day schedule, that’s for sure! If you go to the Fitbloggin’ Facebook page, you can access the notes to many of the sessions.
In between, there was the Expo hall, where sponsoring brand representatives showcased their latest products and services. When we say “showcase,” we mean “they were very generous with their time and products.” For example, Reebok gave everyone a fitness top and workout shoes.
Alexandra wore the top in the JumpSport trampoline class and her boobsicles stayed in place. Ergo (yes, a place to stick that fancy-shmancy word). we signed up to be affiliates with Reebok via Share-A-Sale because we think you will like their workout apparel. Maybe we should get an ad tagline: Better Boobsicles for Boomers! hahahaha. And someone (not Kymberly, sadly) won a complete kitchen from Amana. Alexandra won a personal trampoline, so look for some upcoming videos that show knee- and pee-friendly moves!!! If you don’t know what that means, just move along. Nothing to see here.
We have attended and spoken at many, many (repeat that word several times) conventions, and found this one to have the most “hugs,” by which we mean friendliness and genuine caring between the bloggers, Fitbloggin’ staff, sponsors and even the hotel staff (it was held at The Nines in Portland).
An enthusiastic thank you goes out to NOWFoods, the company that helped pay for our travel to Oregon. They offer products that range from aromatherapy to supplements to snacks and teas. And they happen to be giving away free samples of their Slender Sticks on their Facebook page. Just click on the square marked Sample. One lucky attendee at our “Craft the Perfect Pitch” workshop won a backpack full of their products. It was probably worth more than what she paid for the convention!
Next year it will be in either Austin or Nashville. We’re voting for Austin!
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