4 Ways to Improve Wellness Programs & Advice for Just Starting Out

employee wellness Nov 28, 2018

Did you know research from Gallop shows there is a “clear link” between employee well-being and employee engagement?

Gallop additionally reports that employees with higher well-being are more productive and miss fewer workdays than those who do not have high well-being. Corporate wellness programs help improve employee well-being and reduce healthcare costs. However, not all wellness programs are equally effective.

Below are 4 ways to improve your wellness program and some advice on how to start or revive a program

4 WAYS TO IMPROVE WELLNESS PROGRAMS

1. Ask

As simple as it sounds it really helps to ask your employees what kind of wellness initiatives they are interested in and what they think would motivate them to participate. This can be in the form of a survey, suggestion box or even casual conversations or focus groups.

2. Awareness

Be sure your wellness initiatives are well advertised. Research from Gallop showed that among the organizations they studied that...

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3 Research-Backed Health Benefits of Gratitude

mental health self-care Nov 20, 2018

In our busy lives we often look for solutions to balance, reduce stress, and focus better. Expressing gratitude in one’s life helps improve overall well-being. Although it is sometimes hard to believe taking the time each day to be grateful can be worth the time, gratitude improves your outlook on life, health and happiness.

Outlook on Life

Being grateful helps us be more optimistic. A study done by Dr. Roberts A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E McCullough of the University of Miami had participants write a few sentences for ten weeks focusing on different topics. The first group wrote about things they were grateful for that occurred during the week. The second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had bugged them during the week. The third group wrote about what events had affected them during the week with no focus on positive or negative. At the end of the study those in group one were more optimistic and overall felt better about...

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Salad Mix-In OR Yummy Snack

healthy snacks recipes Nov 10, 2018

My (Rachelle) 6-year-old nephew, Jaysun, was swiping through my pictures and came across the pictures above.

His response: "This looks soooooo good!"

What a surprise. :) He is more of a bread guy than a salad guy. I thought I would share the recipe since it has his endorsement.

Eat these chickpeas with a salad or as a tasty snack by itself! 

My favorite sweet 'n hot chickpea salad combinations:
  • Any type of salad green (I LOVE spinach)

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Tomato

  • Corn

  • A sprinkle of feta cheese

  • Light ranch (the combination of tastes reminds me of the cool ranch-flavored chips!)

Enjoy!

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Motivation to Eat "Enough" Fruits and Vegetables

healthy eating Nov 05, 2018

We’ve probably heard we’re supposed to eat “enough” fruits and vegetables every day but most Americans (9 in 10) don’t.

Motivation to Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables 

According to a Harvard study involving more than 833,000 participants, eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day lowers your risk of mortality by 25%.

Other health benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can include a lower blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, eating enough fruits and vegetables also helps with digestive problems and other health issues.

What is “enough” fruits and vegetables?

The national dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 2 servings of fruit each day and at least 3 servings of vegetables each day. 

Tips to Increase Your Daily Intake of Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Make them accessible and visible. Keep fruits and vegetables in eyesight when...
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Why Am I So Tired?

well-being Oct 31, 2018

Have you been feeling overly exhausted lately? Fatigued before everyone else seems to be? 

Let’s compare our body to a car and talk about some of the reasons we can feel tired all the time.

Not Exercising Enough

You know how cars don’t run that well if they just sit around and are never driven? Our bodies are the same. We don’t perform at our best when we don’t get enough exercise.

Likewise, if we run ourselves too hard we will also be fatigued. Cars that are driven too hard and not properly cared for (oil changes, tune-ups etc.) don’t last or perform their best. 

Not Eating Right

Unhealthy eating behaviors can also aid in feeling fatigued and tired all the time. Think of a nice mustang. Would you expect it to perform the best if you shoved pizza and a ton of desserts down it? Of course not!

Not Having A Consistent Sleeping Schedule

I know, it’s hard to get enough sleep…much less a consistent sleeping schedule! However, our bodies...

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As Dangerous as Smoking Up to 15 Cigarettes a Day

mental health well-being Oct 11, 2018

Investing in your social network is one of the greatest investments you can make for your health.

Your social network leads to greater well-being and less stress. It’s also an antidote for depression and aids in high performance.

Social networks don’t only reduce your stress and anxiety, but they also reduce your loneliness. Both actual and perceived loneliness are associated with a greater risk for early death.*

Research from Brigham Young University professors Timothy Smith and Julianne Holt-Lunstad reveals that loneliness and “a lack of social connection can be as dangerous to your health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.”

Professor Timothy Smith (counseling psychology professor) said “Overall, people understand that some factors predict death, but what they haven’t understood is that social factors are even more predictive of death than things like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels. People find this surprising but...

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Say "BOO" to the Flu this season!

flu season Oct 03, 2018

Fall is here! That also means flu season is here... 

Did you know these ghastly flu facts?

  • In the US, flu season can start as early as October and last until May.
  • After receiving the flu shot, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu.
  • For some, contracting the flu can lead to hospitalization and/or even death. Harvard Medical School reports that more than 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die each year from the flu in the US.
  • Flu-related complications can include bronchitis and pneumonia. The flu can make chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart and lung disease worse.
  • Those who are at high risk for serious flu complications include: children less than 5 years old (especially children less than 2 years), adults 65+ years old, nursing home and other long-term care facility residents, and individuals with certain chronic conditions.
  • You CANNOT contract...
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Sincerity Over Ability: Did You Know This About Thank You Letters?

well-being Sep 26, 2018

Recently I read an article about a study that shows “people miscalculate the benefits of writing to someone to express gratitude.” This article focuses on an interesting aspect of human nature.

Often when we go to write a thank you letter or do anything to express gratitude, we measure our ability to do the task and not the sincerity behind it. The result? We don’t feel adequate to express our gratitude and often don’t engage in the behavior to do so.

Researchers found that people who write thank you letters underestimate the happiness the letter will bring to the recipient. They also overestimate how awkward the recipient will feel receiving the letter.

We tend to judge ourselves on our own ability to perform a task, not the sincerity behind it.

How would our lives change if we focused on the sincerity behind our actions and not our abilities to perform? Would we express more gratitude? Would we try harder to take...

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Help Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse

well-being Sep 06, 2018

Injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages AND are a LEADING cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. The good news is everyone can help prevent injuries. One leading injury in Utah is prescription painkiller abuse. 

Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkiller overdoses are a growing problem in the United States, especially among women. About 18 women die every day from a prescription painkiller overdose - more than 4 times as many as back in 1999.

In Utah, 24 individuals die from prescription drug overdoses every month - more than the number of deaths from firearms, and motor vehicle crashes in Utah. From 2012-2014 Utah ranked 4th in the U.S. for drug poisoning deaths.

 How to Reduce the Risk of Prescription Painkiller Abuse:

  • Make sure all medications are stored out of reach of kids and visitors.
  • Keep an inventory of what medications you have, where they are located, and how many pills are left. If any medications/pills are missing...
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The Art of a Variable Cost Account $$

financial well-being Aug 22, 2018

How do you budget for expenses you know you’ll have but aren’t consistent every month? This includes things like changing your oil, replacing your car tires, going to the dentist, purchasing contacts, etc.

A variable cost account is one effective way to prepare and manage these expenses. It allows you to “normalize” or even out how much money you spend on variable expenses. This will help you reduce stress and have greater control of your finances.

To create a variable cost account, follow these three steps:

1. Go to the bank and open another account. A savings account is usually preferred as a checking account is easier to spend from.

2. Determine how much you need to put away each month.

  • Review your spending over the past 5-6 months. Identify how much money you spend on variable costs – things that did not occur every month but you did need to buy them.
  • Once you’ve reviewed this number, take a guess at your projected variable costs in the...
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