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Delta’s Attempt at Customer Service

The hubby and I recently got back from a wonderful honeymoon…we took a European cruise from Barcelona. Norweigen, the cruise line we used, booked all our travel including our flights to and from Barcelona.

Now J is rather tall, so the tiny space in coach is not that comfortable. He called Delta multiple times to try to upgrade, to no avail. We thought, let’s see what happens at the airport. Again, a total bust all around. The people at the counters at JFK also, were not the nicest. They pretty much just didn’t want to hear it. We weren’t asking for a handout, we wanted to PAY for the upgrade.

Eventually, I took to Twitter just to express my frustration (because that is what I do).  AK from @deltaassist immediately responded to me. We took to DM (here I am completely following the rules I preach at work) and I explained the situation. AK looked into the situation and placed a note on our reservation asking them to upgrade us and/or get us free drinks. AK did everything I think @deltaassist could do.

The breakdown was in the people AT the airport. Not only did they refuse to look at the account notes, but they pretty much made me feel like I was lying to them. We didn’t get the upgrade, fine it was a full flight–or they were breaking even (whatever that means). I wish there was just as much willingness to help on the ground as there was virtually.

Active Commuting

One of my favorite things about working in NYC was the fact that it took me 20 minutes door to door to walk to work.  It was perfect for catching up on phone calls and an easy way to save money—it was also a built in 40 minutes of exercise.

A group of researchers from UNC tried to quantify the benefits of active commuting. The research found that active commuters cut their odds of obesity by 50 percent, had lower blood pressure, body mass and triglyceride levels.

Thirty minutes a day of walking at a moderate pace reduces the risk of heart disease; an hour a day cuts the risk of some cancers, stroke, and diabetes.  Walking also burns calories: while a thirty minute car drive burns a little over 40 calories, a thirty minute walk at a moderate pace burns around 150 calories.

Walking also has psychological benefits. Walking lifts mood and relieves stress by encouraging the body’s production of endorphins. A twenty minute walking commute is an opportunity to clear the head for the day ahead and arriving home from work relaxed and refreshed is pretty much guaranteed.

In some countries health officials and governments are enacting policies and programs to encourage people to leave cars behind and walk, run or bike to their desks instead.  New Zealand has “Active a2b” a two-year-old program that has seen active commuters rise by 17 percent.

I definitely miss my morning walks to work and get excited when I am in NYC so that I can walk.

Exercise and Brain Strength

I recently had the pleasure of taking the red eye from San Diego. It was awful and by the time I got back to my apartment (2 hours later than expected) I was running through my work day in a fog.

Knowing that I had many hours of work ahead of me, I did something that comes with the privilege of working from home, I did a wee bit of exercise. Just the 20 minutes of sweat gave me enough brain power to push through the few additional hours I had left.  Like muscles, many parts of the brain get a robust physiological workout during exercise.

Scans have shown that metabolic activity in many parts of the brain surges during workouts, but it was unknown whether those active brain cells were actually adapting and changing. Well a  new study found that exercise may actually allow you to become more resistant to fatigue and sharpen your thinking.

So if you feel yourself drooping, try to get 30 minutes of exercise in and you may be able to fight through.

Kitchen Tools for a Healthy Lifestyle

Studies have shown that portion control may be the single most effective thing you can do to promote lasting weight loss. Unfortunately, people don’t really know what the right portions are. Sure there are specific images like a baseball that can represent the right amount of pasta or a hockey puck for the 1/2 of bagel you should be eating. That however, isn’t the easiest thing to remember or visualize of course unless you keep them in your kitchen, which doesn’t sound right.

An easier way is to look into special kitchen tools that take the guesswork and visualization out of the process. While at ADA this past weekend, I was introduced to Healthy Steps. Healthy Steps products are designed to help you prepare properly portioned foods at home and gives you the tools necessary to enjoy the foods you currently eat in a more healthy manner.

They have everything from a pasta basket that measures, cooks and strains to the coolest tool I saw a lid that goes on dressings that you squeeze and measures out the exact amount you should be having. Now, I haven’t actually tried them, but I certainly want to, at least the ice cream scoop (you know my issues with sweets there). More information at www.myhealthysteps.com