Archive for February 2011
For those of you who are just now tuning in, I am “walking the talk” of employee wellness programs and documenting my success to hold me to my word to lose 25 pounds by Derby Day (May 7th). So far, it is working. I am now five pounds closer to my goal weight thanks to a healthy diet, exercise and a solid weight loss plan.
Now that I have reached the five-pound mark, I have decided to implement new strategies to reach my final goal. To help me lose the next ten pounds, I am going to shy away from alcohol at social events. Did you know that alcohol can actually increase your appetite? So, for now I think I will skip the drinks and continue to lift weights twice a week instead.
Also, I have decided to start taking Hot Yoga classes. Yoga helps to build core strength that can limit back pain and increases flexibility through stretching that can limit other injuries. I am excited to see if the 5:30 a.m. classes pay off.
Now it’s your turn. Go spread the good news about wellness programs to the rest your office and feel free to share healthy recipes, weight loss tips and more in the comments section below.
I ran across two articles in the past week, one was a report in the Insurance Journal on a prediction by Brian Duperreault, president and chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies in New York. He projected that the Property & Casualty insurance market would turn sooner rather than later, resulting in higher prices for most or all commercial lines of insurance.
The other article, by David Bradford, editor in chief of Advisen, predicts that barring a major catastrophic event or series of events, the market will continue its slow downward slide for the foreseeable future.
While I understand and have experienced the “mindset of the market” cited by Mr. Duperreault I am not so sure that such an attitude pervades the executive chambers of P&C insurance carriers. And if it did, could it really trump the dynamics of supply and demand cited by Mr. Bradford?
No matter what your opinions may be, these articles provide good reading for those of you out there trying to project the insurance market beyond the next six months.
Derby Day is 87 days away, and I am officially two pounds closer to my goal weight.
So, what have I done to lose the weight? I have focused on eating healthier, exercising more often and sticking to a weight loss plan. Check out some of my tips and tricks below, and feel free to share them with the office. Remember, implementing programs that promote healthy lifestyle choices encourages employee confidence and well-being.
Tip #1: Eat a balanced diet. Your body needs nourishment in the form of healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to function at its best. Eating a balanced diet can increase productivity, whether it is in the office or at the gym. From my own experience I can say that exercise increases energy levels and decreases stress levels. Trick: Use the support system I referenced in my first entry to help you make healthy diet choices.
Tip #2: Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps improve your overall health and burn calories to boost your weight loss initiatives. The benefit to promoting regular exercise to your employees is that it helps improve mood, combat diseases and more. Trick: I like to hop onto the treadmill, turn on my favorite sporting event, and continue my workout for the majority of the show. I am now walking up to 50 minutes per workout.
Tip #3: Make a plan and stick to it. Having an exercise and diet plan makes it harder to come up with excuses as to why you can’t workout or eat healthy. Trick: Mix it up. Changing your workout regimen helps keep exercise a fun activity instead of a monotonous routine.
Educating your team about employee benefit programs can improve the overall health and productivity of your organization. So, to those who have joined me on this weight loss mission, keep up the effort!
Reducing the amount of money your company spends on health costs each year is not a simple task, but promoting employee wellness is a step in the right direction. By offering employees a wellness program, and by setting an example of healthy lifestyle habits from the top-down, employers are more likely to lower out-of-pocket costs for health care. At Neace Lukens, we are committing ourselves to improving the health and productivity of our employees and their families in 2011 and beyond.
That being said, I understand that my own wellness plan sets an example for my staff and encourages them to take steps to achieving their own goals. That is why I decided to start “walking the talk” with my own weight loss challenge. Using the resources provided by Neace Lukens’ wellness program, the plan is – at least in theory – a simple one.
The goal: Lose 25 pounds by Kentucky Derby Day (May 7th).
The approach: A treadmill, an elliptical machine, healthy foods and encouragement from my family and friends.
The encouragement: For every pound I lose, I will make a personal donation to the company’s Hardship Fund to help those who need it with deductibles and such. I also encourage my employees to have fun with the challenge. For example, I support them to set similar weight loss goals and to consider donating to the fund.
The takeaway: By providing employees with wellness programs that encourage a healthy lifestyle, you can help prevent some unnecessary employee health issues. Also, helping employees make healthier decisions allows you to reap higher rewards like reduced health care costs for your company and your employees. Implementing programs that promote healthy lifestyles encourages employee confidence and well-being.
What types of wellness programs have you implemented? Have you seen success with any of your current or past initiatives toward becoming a healthier company?