National Nutrition Month: Promoting Healthy Habits On and Off The Job

Promoting wellness has a positive influence on individuals, the community, and the workplace. Luckily, much can be done to raise awareness, improve diet, and increase exercise. Here are a few suggestions to encourage people to work towards the common goal of improving health.

Plan a Healthy Potluck

Many companies hold potlucks centered on special occasions. Why not center one on wellness? Hand out nutritional guidelines and then ask employees to contribute a healthy dish. Everyone votes for their favorite and the winner receives a small prize such as a prepaid gift card to a local supermarket or health-food store.

Invite & Inspire

Lunch time is a great time to blend healthy eating and learning. Invite a local fitness coach or nutritionist to speak or someone who’s overcome adversity through a healthy lifestyle. These people can inspire, answer questions, and provide helpful tips to help others incorporate healthy elements into their lives.

Host a Cooking Class

Unfortunately, many people do not know how to cook or they think it takes too much time. However, cooking your own meals is a great way to ensure you’re only eating wholesome foods instead of additives and preservatives.

A cooking class can be as simple as teaching people how to cook one healthy dish or as complex as planning and preparing healthy foods for an entire week. You don’t need to be an expert to do this, either. Videos already exist – just find a place to hold your demonstration, choose a recipe, invite others, and cook.

Try Something New

Dozens of tasty fruits and vegetables exist, so commit to trying something new each week during National Nutrition Month. From arugula to zucchini and apples to watermelon, there’s bound to be something you haven’t tried. Challenge workmates to switch things up and then discuss what you like about your new foods.

Skip Fast Foods

In our fast-paced society it’s easy to rely on takeout when we’re in a hurry. For one month, steer away from food courts, deli counters, and restaurant deliveries and encourage friends and coworkers to do the same.

Pack Snacks

Do you reach for a bag of chips or a chocolate bar when hunger strikes? Is junk food your weakness? Why not try packing healthy snacks for a week instead?

Many delicious, easy-to-prepare snacks can improve your health, help you lose weight, and set an example for others, too. Once you get away from the sugar and fat, you’ll crave it less often.

Eat Meals Together

Too many families eat their meals while watching television or sitting before their computers or phones. Meals become an inconvenience instead of quality time together enjoying good food.

Make an effort to dine together more often and focus on healthy food. Vegetables, healthy fats, and protein are the building blocks of any worthwhile meal.

Learn How to Read a Food Label

They’re on every package, can, or bag of food, but do you really understand what the information means? Most people would probably say, “No” even though it is vital information for healthy eating.

The FDA offers a good overview. It takes about 15 minutes to read through, but it’s very worthwhile. Once you understand the basics, share what you know with coworkers, friends, and family.

Try a Fitness Class

No matter your fitness level, there’s a class out there suitable for you. Community centers, your local YMCA, and videos offer exercises for all ages and physical activity is crucial for health.

The USDA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above your usual activity, on most days of the week. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some helpful hints to do this easily.

You’ll reap greater health benefits from a more intense program or if you work out longer than 30 minutes.

Eat Fewer Calories

According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, more than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. If you know you need to lose a few pounds, why not use National Nutrition Month as your catalyst?

Make Learning Fun

Everyone can learn about healthy habits through games, handouts, and tip sheets. National Nutrition Month offers crosswords, Sudoku, word search, and coloring sheets for the kids on their website. Use them with your family, the community, or schools to teach adults and children about healthy options.

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle benefits employees and employers. It reduces the likelihood of costly claims and improves quality of life. Unfortunately, illness and accidents can occur despite best efforts. Proper insurance coverage and claims management can lessen the impact. Let Gilbert’s Risk Solutions’ qualified agents tailor your coverage to address your company’s specific risks.

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