OS is kicking off our annual wellness challenge in January with 100% participation from our staff. Statistics show that it takes about six weeks to make a habit, so this year we are incorporating nine, six-week mini challenges in hopes of having the healthiest year ever. The idea behind this is to have every staff member try to build on each “habit” incrementally, so that by the end of the year we have made a permanent healthy lifestyle change. The challenges incorporate the following areas of wellness: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress-reduction and community connection. The mini 6 week challenges are broken down as follows:
Challenge 1: Nutrition and Sleep Benefits
Stop all eating and drink no caffeine 2 hours before bedtime. Both interfere with the quality of your sleep and can cause heartburn, weight gain, and in some cases are the reason you snore (or the reason your spouse snores).
Challenge 2: Exercise
45 minutes of physical activity 6 days per week. Doing laundry doesn’t count. With our sedentary career, taking 45 minutes a day to focus on fitness is really non-negotiable. Besides our bodies needing physical movement, it helps with stress reduction and sleep. Both of those are definitely critical when you work in healthcare billing!
Challenge 3: Nutrition
Give up most unhealthy food group (and technically potato chips are not a food group – especially if you replace them with tortilla chips) – allow a small serving once per week
Challenge 4: Exercise
Vary your work outs – either try something new or mix up what you currently do. The best workout routine includes a rotation of strength, cardio and flexibility programs. Finding fun ways to get in daily exercise is the key to making it a permanent part of your lifestyle.
Challenge 5: Community Service
Donate time to doing community service, a charity, food pantry, give blood – minimum 4 hours. It’s easy to write out a check, but giving of your time to serve others is not only good for the heart but at times, life changing.
Challenge 6: Nutrition
Drink 8 – 8 oz. glasses of water every day. When you drink this much water, it’s hard to fit in the unhealthy, sugared and sometimes high calorie alternative beverages.
Challenge 7: Exercise
10,000 daily steps or 1.5 hours of movement per day. This should be easy now that we have already been working out 45 minutes per day since challenge #2!
Challenge 8: Nutrition
Make your own food for all meals using fresh/not frozen ingredients - except 1 or 2 per week (exceptions – salads ordered in restaurants or when you are traveling)
Challenge 9: Wellness
Choose a book from our self- help/wellness book list, read from cover to cover and summarize in a learning lunch or blog on the topic.
For every day/time that an OS team member completes one of the new habits, their name will be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes. So the more effort made in creating a health habit, the better the chances to win. The goal is to then add the next habit, not replace it...so by year end, we should all be regularly practicing all of these healthy habits. Staff who successfully complete each challenge and add on the next one will qualify for a major annual prize (read about our recent trip to San Diego).
If your organization would like to join us in our challenge, contact Leah Wright at email@example.com.