The Division of Fire Continues Their Reign

The May 6th all-employee kick-off reenergized the sixth anniversary of the Public Safety Games season. Forty-six registered athletes between Police, Fire, and Sheriff began to compete for the 2022 Fittest Public Safety Division bragging rights by accumulating as many points as possible over four weeks. There were three individual events, four team events, and ten mini-event challenges for the athletes to attempt. (Visit our SharePoint page for a complete list of events.) The top teams with the most points earned them a spot in the head-to-head final obstacle course challenge, and the division with the highest total number of points was declared the overall division winner. The energy and motivation surrounding the events by each athlete was invigorating and really turned up the heat of the friendly competition. (Check out our SharePoint page to see pictures of each challenge.)

There was a lot of anticipation going into the final team challenge as there was no clear overall winner at that time. Thus, the first to finish the final challenge would be the decide the winner for the entire Public Safety Games season!

The final competition was the consummation of many performance tasks a tactical athlete could endure: teamwork, communication, tactical awareness, mental acuity, dexterity, maneuvering, endurance tasks, strength tasks, and the overall ability to work for an extended period in a high-stress environment. Zachary Sayles and Nathan Beahm from the Division of Fire went head-to-head with Dustin Hazelgrove and Trevor Holmes from the Police Division for the title by completing a seven-part obstacle course with a mental twist:

View the Final Obstacle Course Event recap video.

Congratulations to Zachary Sayles, Nathan Beahm, and the Division of Fire for claiming the Fittest Public Safety Division of the year title for the fourth time! Their names have been added to the Public Safety Games “Fittest Public Safety Division” plaque inside the lobby at the Henrico Training Center. We look forward to the 7th anniversary of the Public Safety Games in 2023, as our vision continues to unfold.

If you are sworn public safety personnel interested in either the Public Safety Games or joining our sworn-only fitness programs, please contact Joshua Gaskins at gas001@henrico.us or 501-7218. 

For more information about all of our programs, please view the Fitness and Wellness Division Sharepoint page

 

Read More

Return of the Public Safety Games

For the first time since the inception of the Public Safety Games, on Friday, May 6, 2022, over 50 employees, fans, and volunteers from many different departments contributed to the kick-off of the 6th anniversary Public Safety Games Kick-Off after a 2-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

 

Participants of varying fitness levels completed many different physically and mentally engaging challenges with the incentive to win both door prizes and potential votes for this year’s fan favorite. Fitness and Wellness chose specific challenges to help participants gain insight into the drills used to physically and mentally train our public safety heroes. These exercises included wall vaulting, window climbing, the Keiser sled, tire flips, the how-to or pull-up challenge, fit-tac-toe, stair climb word find, Echo Bike Jenga, and a 150-pound dummy drag. In addition, many other attractions like the K9 Unit, the Bomb Squad, a Fire Truck, and a Sheriff Recruit Vehicle were available to tour. Each successful challenge completed earned a Bucket Beirut toss to vote for the Fan Favorite. Congratulations to the Division of Police for winning the “Fan Favorite” and 50 points toward your divisional Public Safety Games score!

 

During the month-long competitions, eight teams of 2 and 35 individuals from Henrico’s Police, Fire, and Sheriff divisions are competing in Endurance, Work Capacity, Strength, and Mini Event challenges to determine who will win the title of the Fittest Public Safety Division of 2022. Currently, the Police Division is in the lead, with about 50% of the events still to be tallied. Stay tuned by following the leaderboard here: https://henricova.sharepoint.com/Fitness_Wellness/SitePages/PublicSafetyGames.aspx

 

We invite you to come to watch the explosive and entertaining final obstacle course team competition Friday, June 3 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM at the Henrico Training Center.

 

Check out our kick-off recap video!

 

Read More

Reasons Why You Should Participate in The County’s Employee Fitness and Wellness Programs

We see on television, social media, newspapers, and magazines the importance of creating habits to achieve fitness and wellness goals. The results of one person’s efforts often leave us in awe. Do you ever wonder, “can I do this too”? With consistency and the help of like-minded folks, results are possible for everyone!

Challenging yourself is good so check out our Fitness and Wellness programs on our SharePoint site. Here are a few snapshots of some of the great people and activities Fitness and Wellness offers:

Being competitive with others and yourself is healthy. Creating goals and challenging your body and mind are positive tasks. When you commit to a fitness program, you commit to making a goal and achieving it. By participating in an at-work fitness challenge, you receive guidance and coaching similar to having a personal trainer. You receive help setting up a routine to workout, eat healthily, lose weight, get more sleep, and find work/life balance. By placing your health at the top of your priority list, you develop healthy lifestyle habits. When you form new habits, you feel better and enjoy additional positive rewards like feeling stronger, fitting into smaller clothing sizes, and having more energy.

You’ll have a support group.

With all programs and services offered through the Fitness & Wellness Division, you have access to a community that is making changes alongside you. The camaraderie you experience helps you stay motivated by knowing you are not alone. Knowing you can do it with a support group enables you to keep on track and encourages your growth and learning while sticking to a new healthy lifestyle routine.

Results happen.

If you stick to the new challenge and commit to change, results will happen. Whatever your goal is, you can reach it if you challenge yourself. So don’t hesitate anymore; you can do this!

Find a Fitness & Wellness challenge that works for you and join in today!

Read More

2022 Public Safety Games- Save the Dates

In 2012, the County began a friendly, fitness competition between the Henrico Police Division, Henrico Division of Fire, and the Henrico Sheriff’s Office and commenced for the first time as the ‘Public Safety Games’ (PSG) hosted by the Fitness & Wellness (F&W) Division of the Department of Human Resources. Since its inception, five successful PSGs have transpired, along with steady growth in popularity, competitiveness, and enthusiasm. Currently, the Division of Fire has three wins, the Sheriff’s Office has one win, and Police Division has one win. 

The battle for the throne of the “Fittest Public Safety Division” of the year has become an excellent way to compel our Public Safety members to improve individual fitness performance. The overall aim of the competition has been to provide different, fun, yet challenging events to test the athletes’ endurance, work capacity, and strength, culminating in the Final Obstacle Course Event. 

2022 is the 6th Anniversary of the Public Safety Games and this year’s Battle for the Throne of “Fittest Public Safety Division” will be the most thrilling of all. New this year, the Public Safety Division with the most accumulated points throughout all events will be declared the winner. Therefore, participation is more crucial than ever before. This year’s competitions will kick off on Friday, May 6, as an all-employee “civilian day” with fun and social challenges. Employees who choose to participate can gain one point toward the division they of their choice. The main competitions will ensue in the weeks following: The Endurance Event, The Work Capacity Event, The Relative Strength Event, and then the Final Team Obstacle Course held on Friday, June 3. Individual competitors can participate in one or more of their chosen events, and each event will recognize its winner. Team competitors will partake as a pair in all events, with only the top teams from each division invited to the Final Obstacle Course. The accumulated total points from each competition (all individual, team, and mini) will determine who is the Fittest Public Safety Division of the year. Anyone of any age and fitness level has an opportunity to contribute to their division’s point totals!

More event details are coming soon on the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint site.

If you are interested in participating in any of the events, including the All-Employee Kick-Off Event, individual events, team events, or mini-events, please email us at fitness@henrico.us.

Don’t forget to check out our video overview of the 5th Anniversary Public Safety Games Final Event in 2019 on YouTube!

Read More

Your Fittest Year Starts Here!

Are you in an exercise slump? It happens, but are you going to sit there and let yourself join the ranks of the formerly fit? Unlike other vacations, exercise breaks generally last longer than you’d like – and the mementos they come with are ones you’d rather not hang on to. Two missed workouts snowball into two months of missed workouts, and suddenly you can’t button your jeans or do a pushup to save your life. In fact, research shows that body fat, weight, and waist size can rise – and fitness levels can dip – after just a five-week hiatus.

The new year is the perfect time to make your comeback. Regardless of what has been keeping you on the sidelines – a hectic schedule, an injury, a new baby, etc. – there is a solution. It’s not just physical roadblocks: there are also psychological and logistical challenges as well. Whether you’re looking to lose pounds, eat healthier or simple stick to a regular workout schedule, reaching your diet and fitness goals can be daunting. That’s where the Fitness and Wellness Division comes in – with Health Coaching services, kick-butt exercise programming and knowledgeable staff to help you hit whatever target you’re aiming for.

Join us for 2022 in 2022!

The New Year is upon us and perhaps you are already thinking about a New Year Resolution or two to master in 2022. Before deciding on your plans, we invite you to join the Fitness & Wellness Division in tackling exercise/physical activity consistency with our year-long quest of achieving 2022 minutes of exercise/physical activity each quarter in 2022.

The challenge starts by breaking down the year into quarters or 13-week blocks. Each quarter the primary goal is to achieve 2022 minutes of exercise or physical activity. This may seem like a daunting task, however, when broken down 2022 minutes equals 155.5 minutes per week or 2 hours and 36 minutes per week. Broken down further, 2022 minutes per 13 weeks can be achieved by engaging in exercise/physical activity for…

  • 23 minutes per day
  • 31 minutes 5 days a week
  • 39 minutes 4 days a week
  • 52 minutes 3 days a week

Increasing physical activity by going for a walk, taking on an at-home exercise video, or attending a fitness class all work! This does not have to be strenuous exercise. 

In addition to the 2022 minutes of physical activity each quarter (13 weeks), you can decide to tackle your secondary goal. You decide, and then let Fitness & Wellness know. It’s that simple.

  • Quarter 1 (January – March): Lose 13! Thirteen pounds, or 13 inches, or a combination of the two.
  • Quarter 2 (April – June): Complete 13 miles per week in steps taken and distance covered. Don’t panic – this is based on a 2,000 steps per mile formula. So, a total of 26,000 steps per week equals 3,714 steps per day or less than 2 miles per day. 
  • Quarter 3 (July -September) Participate in 13 group exercise classes at the Training Center with Fitness & Wellness, or at home, or at your local gym.
  • Quarter 4 (October – December) Improve your nutrition and try 13 new recipes! Fitness & Wellness will post a wide variety of recipes for participants to try, or you can find recipes that meet your unique nutritional goals.

And to assist you in keeping track of all that you are doing, Fitness & Wellness will supply you with an Excel spreadsheet so you can enter your exercise/physical activity minutes and secondary goal progress. To sign-up for 2022 in 2022, send an email to mailto:Fitness@henrico.us.

Read More

The Real Way to Treat Yourself

We all have times when we fall into a self-neglect rut, but lately it seems almost epidemic. The American Psychological Association reports that more Americans believe the level of stress in their live is increasing, but only a marginal few think they can handle it well. In looking at the relationship between stress and being overweight, professionals have zeroed in on a key hormone called cortisol. You’ve probably heard of it – and that it’s gotten a bit of a bad rap. But in and of itself, cortisol isn’t a bad thing – our bodies use it to maintain blood pressure, and it plays a role in the way we metabolize both fats and carbohydrates for energy.

Part of the problem is that we seem to have forgotten how to pamper ourselves in healthy ways. We now translate “be good to yourself – you deserve it” into splurge on foods that aren’t good for us at all. Often, it’s because food is an easy solution – it’s fast and provides instant gratification. It’s no wonder that researchers have found a persistent connection between poor self-care, low self-esteem, and binge eating.

When you’re neglecting yourself, certain foods (rich ice cream and gooey mac ‘n cheese come to mind) may seem nurturing. But that feeling quickly fades and is replaced with empty feelings like unhappiness and regret. The same can be said for how we view physical activity. Instead of treating yourself to a stress busting workout, or a walk in the great outdoors after a long day, we now plop ourselves down on the couch to watch hours of TV to distract the mind and body. And in the end, we have only gained a very temporary release of tension and stress.

A Secret to Staying Motivated

Making healthy connections can pay off in significant health benefits. People who reach out to others for help are more likely to achieve their goals The Fitness and Wellness Division provides Health Coaching services to assist employees improving their fitness, nutrition, and well-being. Staff health coaches work with groups and one-on-one, virtually, to establish health-related goals and provide resources and creative tips to achieve success. The goal is to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to begin and maintain a healthy lifestyle-path.

Here is what your co-workers have said about their Health Coaching experiences:

“This group has helped us focus on healthier habits, redefined relationships with food, and set reasonable goals for getting healthy.”

“I learned a lot about eating healthy and fueling your body without dieting.” 

“I enjoyed discussing healthier nutrition habits and choices with other colleagues and our health coach in this work group. We learned useful tips and resources to help us stary mindful of healthy eating.” 

“Working with our coach alongside friends pushes me to stay committed and keep the big health picture in mind. “

 

“I am a permanent remote worker and needed help in getting started again with my daily work routine. The Stress and Management/Finding Balance 10-week Health Coach session really helped get that process going. It really broke down how a habit works and how that habit was going to benefit me. The individual meeting with the Health Coach, broke down even more how I could improve the habit and the group meetings kept reminding me that it wasn’t just me going through the journey of improving our Mental Health. I really appreciated the Fitness and Wellness group putting these Health sessions together. Definitely going to take advantage of another one.”

The next block of Health Coaching is scheduled to begin the week of January 12th. To learn more about this service, visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint site Health Coaching page

Read More

A New Year, a New You! In 2022 Put Effort into a New, Improved, and Healthier You!

With 2022 just around the corner, it is time to start setting your sights on what you want to accomplish in the new year. For many, embarking on a New Year’s resolution is met with a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two, of staying on track and meeting your goals only to gradually fall off the new set course and revert to your old habits.  How can you make 2022 different? What can you do to be more focused on achieving your objectives? Well, if you have goals that are centered around your health, wellness, and/or fitness, here is how!

In 2022 the Fitness and Wellness Division of Human Resources is hosting a year-long challenge available to every Henrico County employee and retiree. The challenge, 2022 in 2022, will consist of breaking the year into quarters (13-week blocks) where each quarter focuses on a specific objective. There will be one constant through each quarter which is accumulating 2022 minutes of physical activity/exercise. 2022 minutes may seem very daunting, however let’s look at it broken down. 2022 minutes = 155.5 minutes per week or 2.6 hours per week or 2 hours and 36 minutes per week.  If we break this down further, it is:

  • 7 days at 23 minutes per day
  • 5 days at 31 minutes per day
  • 4 days at 39 minutes per day
  • 3 days at 52 minutes per day.

 

An important thing to remember is that this does not have to be strenuous exercise. Increasing physical activity, going for a walk, taking on an at-home exercise video, or attending a fitness class will work!  If you would like to learn more about participating, please email Fitness and Wellness at fitness@henrico.us.

In addition to the year-long challenge, Fitness and Wellness is also continuing the 10-week health coaching groups. The health coaching groups are centered around small group-based topic-specific behavior changes. So far there have been two 10-week sessions completed with great success!  Here is what a few who have participated in health coaching so far had to say:

“This group has helped us focus on healthier habits, redefined relationships with food, and set reasonable goals for getting healthy.”

“I learned a lot about eating healthy, and fueling your body without dieting.” 

“I enjoyed discussing healthier nutrition habits and choices with other colleagues and our health coach in this work group. We learned useful tips and resources to help us stary mindful of healthy eating.” 

Working with our coach alongside friends pushes me to stay committed and keep the big health picture in mind. “

If you are interested in improving your health and wellness and these health coaching groups interest you, please reach out to Liz Stovall at STO077@henrico.us.

Read More

Now is the time to take care of you… you deserve it.

Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division health coaches are your personal advocates for living an energized life. We work with employees to help create happy, healthy lives in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial. By working together, the health coach and the employee can discover the lifestyle choices that best support you to reach your current and future health goals.

Our group health coaching is designed to address weight loss, better nutrition, becoming more active and finding balance. Our health coaches understand that getting on the right path toward your health goals is a process that requires support, adjustment, and taking small steps to make lasting and positive changes. Whether you want to lose weight, eat better, be more active or you just want to feel better overall, you have a team of qualified health coaches who are ready to help.

Joey Pacelli is currently leading a group of three individuals working to lose weight and had this to say about the success of the group:  “{They} have become very close and are using each other for accountability measures in multiple aspects of their weight loss journey – this includes keeping each other honest with goals, meal planning recipes, being workout partners, and supporters when someone is having a rough day/week. Through our group and individual meetings, I have challenged each of them to keep a measure of multiple things as a way for us to measure progress. This group is really coming together and forming a tight bond which has visually helped them stay motivated and focused!”

“I joined the health coaching series because I had completely lost all my healthy habits over the last year. While my main goal was to lose weight, I really needed to re-learn healthier habits.  I knew I needed a higher level of accountability if I was going to get back on track.” Recalls Ty Parr, one of the group participants.

“This group has really helped me focus on healthier habits, redefine my relationship with food, and set reasonable goals for my health journey.  It’s easy for me to stay focused on the scale, and struggle with my thought process. This has helped me recommit to a healthier lifestyle.  The social networking and coaching check-ins are encouraging, educational, and motivating. Working with our coach alongside friends pushes me to stay committed and keep the big health picture in mind.”

 

The next session of health coaching groups begins the first week of October. If you are interested in learning more visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint Site

Now is your time! Talk with someone about your health and received the personal attention you deserve!

Read More

Don Lambert Memorial Workout

In honor of Captain Don Lambert, the Fitness and Wellness Division and Henrico Police Division will host a memorial workout at the beginning of Police Memorial Week.

  • Monday, May 10 from 6:30-8:00 a.m. at the Hermitage High School Track and Field
  • Henrico County employees only
  • Please be sure you have an updated Assumption of Risk Waiver Form complete.

Public Safety Assumption of Risk Waiver Form

General Government and HCPS Risk Waiver Form

  • Workout details will be published soon. The workout will consist of the track, stairs and field. It will include running, walking and calisthenics. Versions of the workout will be available for ALL fitness levels. Honor Don by participating at your pace. The length of your workout is up to you.

Please email fitness@henrico.us to RSVP by Friday, May 7.

Read More

Transformation starts with YOU… and the support of a Health Coach

Just as a sports coach can help an athlete develop and excel at a specific sport, a Health Coach can assist you in achieving your fitness and wellness goals. Employees looking to be healthier by losing weight, reducing stress, improving diet and nutrition, or creating a more active lifestyle, can now utilize health coaching services offered through the Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division.

Each employee has unique nutrition, fitness, and wellness goals driven by personal history and experiences. There is often a need for guidance and accountability to create a sustainable behavior change, and that is where a Health Coach can assist. The Health Coach can educate employees on their health risk factors, how certain habits or choices may augment those risks, and offer tools to help employees make healthier dietary and lifestyle changes all while providing accountability and motivation to meet their goals.

It is a partnership between the employee and their coach that guides the employee toward the changes they want to make. Together, they will create goals and action plans to achieve those goals. Coaches use their intuition, compassion, and empathy to develop a rapport with employees to make the process productive and successful. Then, the coach will motivate and push the employee to reflect on themselves and see their health in ways they never have before.

To learn more about Health Coaching offered through the Fitness and Wellness Division, visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint Health Coaching page.

Read More