Corporate Wellness

Workplace Wellness Programs Are The New Thing

occupational healthThere’s been a lot more focus on staying healthy and avoiding illness in recent months, which may be one reason workplace wellness programs have risen so much in popularity. Employers provide employees with the benefit of concrete knowledge that can help them plan better in almost every area of their life. More recent programs offer information to help employees with physical and mental health issues, as well as financial issues. Helping employees with information to live a healthier, more rewarding life not only provides benefits for the employees, but also benefits the employer.

Healthier employees are more productive.

A lot of workplace health issues revolve around lifestyle. If you live a sedentary life and eat high calorie food with all the nutrition removed by processing, the potential for serious conditions rise. Eating healthier can sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Providing precise science-backed information that’s easy to access makes it easier. The easier something is to do, the more likely it will be done. Healthy foods tend to keep blood sugar level, which means fewer dips in energy. The same holds true for exercise. Not only does exercising regularly help keep employees healthier, it boosts their energy level, too. More energy, higher productivity.

Employee morale rises.

When you know you’re a valuable part of the organization and that your employer cares, that can boost goodwill and play a role in building a positive attitude toward the organization. Some employers even provide rewards for participating in wellness programs, which boosts both the effectiveness and goodwill. Not only are wellness programs good for present employees, they’re important when presenting a benefit package for recruiting the best employees.

You’ll reduce your costs.

Not only does illness create a higher healthcare cost for employers, it also increases costs in other ways. First, let’s consider programs like weight management through diet and exercise, smoking cessation and even mental health issues. Making lifestyle changes can make all the difference in reducing the risk of lung and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Besides saving on health care and ultimately on insurance, keeping employees healthy help reduce the number of sick days and boost productivity.

  • Wellness programs address the effects of stress and provide stress management programs. Reducing stress not only helps improve sleep and improves morale, it also can improve focus, memory and emotional responses.
  • Sharing information with your employees on ways to stay healthier, despite the latest outbreak of influenza or virus, not only helps them feel more reassured, it aids in preventing the spread of the illness.
  • When wellness programs encompass all areas of their life, financial, emotional and physical, you’ll have happier employees, which leads to better customer care, problem solving and creativity.
  • Wellness programs can be a powerful tool to help employees get the most out of life. There’s nothing better than having a happy workforce, unless it’s having a happy, healthy one.

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Does Your Company Have Corporate Wellness Programs

Does Your Company Have Corporate Wellness Programs

Reduce the risk of illness and serious health conditions.

There’s a lot of information, particularly on the internet, about making lifestyle changes that can improve health, but it’s often mingled with false information. Providing your employees with dependable info that can help them make lifestyle changes that lower their risk for chronic disease can make a difference. A well-organized program can help improve overall health by providing guidance that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Whether an employee is looking for guidance or meal plans to help reduce blood pressure or trying to quit smoking, a corporate wellness program provides it. Just lowering diastolic blood pressure by one percent can reduce the risk of heart disease by two to three percent.

Improved productivity is one result of a corporate wellness program.

Whether you’re having a problem with absenteeism and presenteeism—employees coming to work but simply not producing as they should. There is a lot of research showing a direct connection with a wellness program and lower absenteeism. The findings showed that a corporate wellness program can improve employees lifestyle choices, help control risk, aid in lowering blood pressure and glucose levels, improve cholesterol and help with weight control. One Harvard study showed that for every dollar spent on wellness programs by corporations, it helped save $2.73. People under producing cost the company 2 to 3 times more than actual health care does. Studies show that when people had a healthier diet, didn’t smoke and exercise, their productivity was increased significantly.

You’ll build morale of employees when you show you care.

Making your employees feel valued and important is one thing a corporate program offers. There’s nothing better for making morale higher. When people feel good about their employers and jobs, there’s less absenteeism, more productivity and a higher retention rate. Being happy on the job is just as important as eating healthy food. You’ll see a difference in attitude relatively quickly.

  • One study on corporate wellness programs showed that of the seven health risks factors, it improved five of those seven in just one year.
  • The lower your company’s health care cost, the lower the cost of insurance or self-insurance. Various studies have looked at the return on investment and found that for every dollar spent, it saved $3.27 in healthcare costs.
  • Some health conditions can make productivity difficult. Chronic disease, pain and even mental factors like depression affect it dramatically. Employee wellness programs can help relieve those conditions, too.
  • When you have an employee wellness program, you’re telling your employees that you care and that they’re important. That not only helps retention, it aids recruiting good candidates, too.

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Occupational Health And Safety

Occupational Health And Safety

Most people recognize the term, occupational health and safety, and have a vague idea what it encompasses. To keep it simple, it’s the field of study that looks at trends in injuries and illnesses in workers and finds ways to prevent them, whether they’re sweeping regulations or simpler, on-location changes. It’s an extremely broad field that considers toxic substances, workplace violence and even ergonomics, among other factors.

Once occupational health and safety focused solely on jobs that required manual labor, but it’s grown.

Today, all fields of work are covered under occupational health and safety. While it once was primarily focused on safety in the work environment to prevent injury, today it goes beyond that, considering other hazards, both long and short term, that can lead to both physical and/or mental issues immediately or in the future. The statistics are amazing. In the United States, almost three million people have a work related illness or injury every year. Another two million are exposed to hazards that might cause problems in the future. Claims for worker’s compensation are more than a billion dollars each week. Add to those numbers lost wages and indirect expenses, plus the toll it takes mentally and you can see the need for diligence.

When employees feel an employer really cares about their safety, there are huge benefits.

While statistics give us a picture of the problem based on numbers, that’s not all there’s too it if you’re an employer or employee. No matter who they are, every person wants to feel important and that their health and safety is a priority. That’s why a safe work environment inspires happier employees and focusing on safety gets higher productivity with less absenteeism.

Focusing on safety and going above required minimum for safety brings other benefits.

You’ll have a decrease of Worker Compensation claims, which also lowers the cost of premiums. A safe, more pleasant environment is also a draw for top notch employees and worker loyalty. The people that work for you are your most valuable asset. They determine the quality of your product, work or customer relations.

  • Cleanliness is an important part of safety. It helps remove debris that can cause safety issues. Having higher standards and a clean work environment it also improves morale.
  • Programs that use the input from employees to improve safety make workers feel they’re important and often look for ways to make the environment safer.
  • If you work with others in a subcontracting situation, your company’s safety record is important. It shows not only less chance for disruption, but also a well organized and managed company.
  • Showing concern for both the health and safety of employees improves the general public’s view of the company and can even improve business.

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Workplace Safety - How Important Is It?

Workplace Safety – How Important Is It?

workplace safety2Focusing on workplace safety should be a top priority for any employer, or employee, for that matter. Lack of concern cause permanent injury and death, but also costs billions of dollars every year. In 2017, the cost of injuries at the workplace were $161.5 billion. Those costs include medical expense, administrative costs, productivity and wage losses, property damage and employer’s uninsured costs. That’s a huge expense that could be lowered significantly by focusing more on the problem and eliminating as many potential hazards as possible.

Health and safety programs save more than they cost.

Not only is protecting the worker the right thing to do, it makes perfect financial sense. That makes it a win-win for employees and employers. A good program can help lower injury costs, improve attendance and productivity, while also reducing turnover and raising the employees’ morale. If you have a successful health and safety program, it can reduce the cost of injury and illness by as much as 40%, according to statistics from OSHA.

Work place safety programs make workers more aware of potential hazards.

Identifying the potential hazards and making employees aware of them is of key importance. The more employees are aware of surrounding hazards, the more risk is reduced and the potential for precautionary steps to eliminate the hazard are taken. Something as simple as the proper use of tools can make a huge difference and how short cutting procedures or using the wrong tool can create a potential injury or even loss of life.

Stress, whether environmental or otherwise, can be the cause of problems.

Working longer hours for extended periods, job insecurity and excess work are three causes of stress. Sometimes those things occur, but they shouldn’t continuously. That can lead to distraction, which leads to workplace injury. Having an open policy where employees can discuss their issues is one solution to the problem. Lack of a healthy diet, exercise program or other stress management tool can often add to employee safety.

  • Encouraging breaks throughout the day and even a five minute exercise or stretch session every hour or so can help retain focus and reduce accidents at the workplace. So can providing healthy options at the company cafeteria and stress management programs.
  • A program that alerts employees of potential harm or safety issues, which includes a follow-up by employees, so they don’t simply ignore the warning, can help improve on-site safety.
  • Having the right type of safety equipment available, such as hard hats, face masks, safety gloves and earplugs is important. Making using that equipment mandatory can help lower the rate of workplace injury.
  • Something as simple as correct posture is just as important for the office worker as safety gear is to those on a more active worksite. Ensuring the furniture is ergonomic can help reduce workplace injuries and medical expenses.

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a goal without a plan is just a wish - motivational handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

Let Your Goals Change Your Future

a goal without a plan is just a wish - motivational handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

a goal without a plan is just a wish – motivational handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

What you focus on is often what you achieve. It’s like any type of travel, when your focus or destination is a specific city or location, it determines the path you take. In other words, your goals determine what you do on a daily basis and what you do consistently can change your future. If you’re not happy with your health, how you look or how you feel, repeating the patterns of the past won’t change that. When you set a new goal, you also create a new path to achieve that goal.

You also need to be specific about what you want.

You can’t just make vague goals. They have to be specific. Just like traveling, you don’t book tickets on a flight for someplace west or point your car in a direction and keep on driving if you have a job interview in a certain town. You name that town as your destination and then figure out how you’re going to get there. Do you want to lose ten pounds? Have enough energy and stamina to run a mile or walk five? When you make your goal specific, you’re half way to achieving it.

You need to make your goal realistic and provide a time limit.

Maybe you’d like to lose weight and need to shed 90 pounds. A realistic goal would be to lose that weight over eleven months or a year’s time or lose two pounds a week or eight pounds a month. An unrealistic goal would be to shed 90 pounds in a month. A goal also needs to function within a time frame to achieve it. If you don’t set a specific time, you’ll be setting your goal for “some time” and some time never comes. You’ve turned a goal into a wish.

If your goal is to have more energy or lose weight, you need to identify and do the things to achieve it.

Just saying you want to lose weight or increase your energy level isn’t enough. It’s not a goal, but a wish if it isn’t backed by steps that can provide that change. Creating a path or map to achieve your goals is the key. If you want to lose weight, learning healthier ways to eat and starting a program of exercise is the only healthy way to achieve it. Make the steps specific and create a way to measure your progress. If it’s weight loss, it might be the number of pounds you lose each week.

  • Long term goals need to be broken down to multiple short term goals, such as changing a 90 pound weight loss into losing two pounds a week for 45 weeks.
  • Breaking a larger goal down to smaller goals provides more motivation, since you get to achieve those goals quicker. It also can help you make changes if you find your present program isn’t effective.
  • Always track your progress. If you’re exercising, track the number of repetitions you can do, how far you can run or even your measurements. Keeping track helps you see your progress.
  • No matter what your goal in life, fitness or otherwise, it normally requires you change some of your behaviors. There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. That’s true about achieving goals.

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Fitness For The Idle

Fitness For The Idle

lazy idleIf you’re one of those people that think it’s rude to grunt, moan and sweat in the gym or simply don’t like the idea of doing the same boring type of workouts everyday when there’s so much to share on social media, you’ll appreciate these tips to help you achieve fitness. Fitness for the idle isn’t new. People have been hunting for easier ways to look fabulous and feel great without working out for centuries.

Start by working out during a commercial.

Are you a TV watching fanatic or are binge watching your favorite shows? If you have a subscription that has commercials, you’re in luck. There’s no use wasting that time by watching that little clock count down when you can be doing a few exercises. Even if you don’t have commercials, let the intro play every time you watch a new episode and use some of that time to do a few lunges, push ups or planks. Just laying on the couch and stretching your leg straight in the air or doing bicycles as you lay on your back increases your exercise time. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

Did you know there are exercises you could be doing while sitting?

Just stand up and you’ll be getting exercise. Going from seated to standing, then back to seated and repeating the process ten times provides good exercise. It makes your butt look better by working the glutes and also works the front of the thighs. Keeping your feet flat on the floor in seated position and with the heels on the floor, pointing your toes toward the ceiling is a good stretch for the calves. Simply pulling your stomach in tight and holding it can strengthen the abdominal muscles.

Lower your blood pressure and build your forearms and grip.

When Dr Ronald Wiley was asked to help the air force prevent loss of consciousness in fighter pilots in the F-16, due to fast acceleration and a G-Force that made it hard for the heart to pump, he developed a hand grip they squeezed. The pilots who did it while flying to maintain consciousness, but something else came from the study. Those who practiced it frequently, raised their blood pressure enough to keep flying, but also lowered their resting blood pressure rates overall after a few weeks. Just squeezing a tennis ball in one hand for 60-90 seconds, then repeat in the other hand. Repeat three times.

  • Doing a plank is easy and you can still watch TV while you do it. Lay on the ground on your stomach with your legs extended. Your forearms should be under your chest. Now lift your body with the weight on your forearms and hold.
  • Isometric exercises, ones that are simply tighten and hold exercises, don’t involve the gym or sweating. While you still need regular exercise, a program of isometrics can be done anywhere and don’t put wear and tear on the joints. It also helps lower blood pressure in the process.
  • While you’re watching TV or at the office, you can do two exercises that will not only help you shape up, but make you feel better. Rolling your head front to back and side to side can help loosen you up and relieve headaches. Lifting one leg as high as you can and pointing your toes is another stretch.
  • Try some ideas to boost your endurance, like parking further from the stores, taking the stairs rather than the elevator and walking to lunch, rather than driving.

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Eat, Drink And Be Fit

Eat, Drink And Be Fit

SaladIf your motto has always been “Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow is another day”, maybe you need to modify it a bit. That’s particularly true if that other day has arrived and found you out of shape, overweight and in need of help for your health. It’s time to eat, drink and be fit, while also still being merry. You don’t have to give up everything you love and may even find things you love even more when you consume a diet of healthy food and drink.

Start with what you drink!

Most people hate me when I suggest they give up colas and soft drinks, but it can make a huge difference in your weight and in your health. Studies show that even drinking diet soft drinks can cause fat to build up around your waist. This fat, visceral fat, is the most dangerous type of fat because it crowds internal organs. It’s also the toughest to lose. Try switching to water or if you want to be elegant, try infused water. You can infuse flavor into water with berries and other fruit, herbs and even vegetables, such as cucumber. There are a number of recipes for it that taste delicious, but don’t add health risks or calories.

Start a meal or make a meal of a salad.

Want to upscale your meal and be in with the in crowd? Try salads using more exotic choices than iceberg lettuce, such as radicchio, arugula, kale or spinach. Toss in a few seeds or nuts and some Craisins for added sweetness. Mushrooms are a nice addition, so are mandarin orange slices or grapes. As you can tell, your salad can become quite exotic and delicious when you step out of the normal confines and eat healthier.

What’s for supper?

If finding out what’s for supper (lunch or breakfast) involves ready a menu at a fast food restaurant, it’s time to make a change. You’ll find loads of healthy recipes you can make at home and freeze so all you do is heat them when you’re ready to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of everyone’s dinner and making sure you have a salad of leafy greens to start is important. You’ll be amazed at how good baked, broiled, grilled or boiled food can taste when it’s accented with healthy herbs.

  • While most items on a fast food menu and many on a regular restaurant menu aren’t healthy or low in calories, some are. Find ones that are and sample them, like salads with baked chicken or baked fish.
  • Get rid of processed foods, particularly those that contain added sugar. It’s the toughest part of eating healthy, but worth it. After a few weeks, you’ll really start to taste the sweetness of fresh fruit!
  • Don’t ruin everyone’s good time by bemoaning you can’t eat the food, if you’re at a party that has all junk food. Just don’t overindulge. Find the healthiest food available. Even if there’s none, eating unhealthy food once in a while is still okay.
  • You’ll be amazed at how good healthy food tastes and how much people love it when they actually get great food. I remember taking one of my favorite healthy dishes to a family dinner and everyone asking for the recipe. I didn’t tell anyone about its health benefits. Why spoil their enjoyment?

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Wellness Rediscovery

Wellness Rediscovery

commitmentIt’s easy to know when you’re sick. You may have a fever or show other signs like digestive issues or a sore throat. However, there’s a difference between being sick and not being well. Lack of good health indicates being at your best. Having the energy to get through the day with ease and feeling good. Sometimes, people who seek wellness rediscovery find that once they achieve wellness, they actually realize just how bad they felt before they began the search for wellness.

Wellness begins with making lifestyle changes that help your body run at peak efficiency.

A lot of things affect your overall energy level and how good you feel throughout the day. What you eat, the amount of sleep you had, whether you exercise regularly and even whether you’re hydrated are just a few of the things that make a difference. There’s also a difference between good health and wellness. Achieving wellness focuses primarily on preventing illness and preventive care. Good health is the lack of illness.

Wellness focuses on achieving good health.

Wellness includes more than just physical health. It includes learning how to make choices that keep you healthy and making those changes to achieve your best health, physically, emotionally and socially. In fact, going out of your way to get to know coworkers and appreciate them could be considered an act of wellness. Quitting smoking, eating healthy and regular exercise are all wellness activities.

Rediscover wellness to achieve good health.

There’s a lot you can do to enhance your life and use wellness to make it better. Are you burning the candle at both ends? Do you find yourself stressed out at the end of the day? Are you overweight or out of shape? When you rediscover wellness, you find activities and make decisions to help you achieve good health and address those issues. Regular exercise or even mastering meditation can help with stress.

  • Something as simple as focusing on drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water every day can be part of your wellness program. Mild chronic dehydration can affect your overall performance and good health in many ways.
  • You’ll be surprised at how other factors besides diet and exercise can affect your weight. For instance, lack of sleep increases the production of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry, and decreases the amount of leptin, the one that makes you feel full. It’s harder to lose weight without the right amount of sleep.
  • If you aren’t ready to adopt a full-fledged wellness program, start by working on one area and making changes. You can begin by simply eliminating junk food and sugar from your diet until it becomes a habit and then work on the next step.
  • You’ll find lots of information on how to make other wellness changes to your life. Once you experience how much better you feel, you’ll want to do everything possible.

For more information, contact us today at Travel Trim

The Sweet Life

The Sweet Life

pamperWhat’s your definition of the sweet life? It’s different for every person. Some people dream of traveling the world and sight seeing. Others think the sweet life is eating at the finest restaurants and staying in the top hotels. Still, others find it closer to home, surrounded by family and friends. No matter what your vision of the sweet life is, feeling good and being healthy should be part of the picture. Without robust health, energy and a good attitude, no matter how much pampering or how real your good life is, you’ll never get the most out of it.

Include healthy habits in your vision of the sweet life.

Are exotic places and fine cuisine on your bucket list? The good news is that you can do it and still strive toward a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up good food. Quite the contrary. There’s a lot of healthy food found in top restaurants across the country. This type of food isn’t breaded or fried, but instead uses wholesome ingredients and focuses on flavor. It may contain many herbs and spices, which also add to the nutrition of the dish.

Do you want to lounge around a pool, but still know you need exercise?

You can make it a habit of getting extra steps into your day by parking further from buildings or taking the stairs. If you’re sitting around a pool, make an effort to go for a short dip every hour or so. Moving vigorously five minutes of every hour is not only healthy, it’s mandatory to good health, even if you have a program of exercise. Don’t forget to move during the day, especially if you have a desk job.

Do you love the nightlife?

If the good life means enjoying the nightlife, you need to plan your sleep. Perhaps form a pattern of getting up later and going to bed later. Having a scheduled sleep cycle is known to help keep you healthier. Not only is adequate and good sleep important to heart health, it’s important to weight maintenance. Studies show that lack of sleep stimulates the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and reduces the amount of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. You can see how that could affect your weight.

  • Don’t forget to hydrate. Keep a bottle of water with you and sip on it throughout the day. Mild dehydration can make you tired and put a damper on the fun. It’s especially important the older you are.
  • Smile more and laugh. Studies show that people who smile more live longer and laughter actually is good medicine. A good social life also extends your years and brings better health.
  • Don’t forget to be thankful for all that you do have. Even if you aren’t living your good life yet, enjoy every moment of the life you have. A grateful attitude can help you live healthier.
  • Learn to deal with stress. Whether you use physical activity, meditation or simply change your thinking, reducing stress in your life can help you live longer and truly enjoy the sweet life.

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Real Foods Are Real Important

Real Foods Are Real Important

honeyReal foods are single ingredient foods. There’s a lot of data that suggests people need to return to eating real foods, not the processed types with additives man was never intended to eat. For instance, many foods now contain petroleum. You know, Vaseline or the substance you use to lubricate machinery. Why would manufacturers do such a thing? Are they trying to poison the public? Is it harmful? First, let’s examine the reason. Shelf life is important for almost all products. In the case of baked goods, using the petroleum product, mineral oil, to replace olive or vegetable oils in baked goods helps prevent spoilage. Unlike vegetable or olive oil, it doesn’t become rancid and extends the shelf life. Your bread stays fresh and donuts remain mold free for weeks longer.

You may not be getting what you think, even if you’re trying to eat healthy.

The food industry provides a lot of deception, so even if you’re looking for healthy alternatives, you may not be getting what you want. Are you looking for an alternative to table sugar and decide to make honey your choice? Back away from that cute little teddy bear that claims to contain the sweet delight. Because of lack of standardization, almost anything can qualify as honey as long as there’s some in it. Honey is often diluted with high-fructose corn syrup to stretch it and make it less expensive. Check the label for added ingredients. It should only contain one ingredient, honey. If it says honey product or blend, walk away. Sometimes, even the most discriminating people are fooled. There are tests you can do once you get it home, but unfortunately, then it’s just too late. Buying raw honey from a local vendor might be your answer.

Don’t be fooled by an illusion of being a healthy alternative.

You see it all the time. The public becomes aware of a health issue, such as gluten intolerance, then suddenly you see gluten free everywhere. Grain such as barley, rye and wheat contain gluten, but there are grains that are naturally gluten-free, too. These include corn, rice, some ancient grains and oats. Many manufacturers got on the gluten-free train and created alternatives to high gluten products. Unfortunately, to make the change, some of the protein was lowered and far more calories came from sugar, which is worse for children and adults if they don’t have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity.

How should you choose your food to make sure it’s real food?

Going back to the basics is always the best. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and create the meal yourself. Most canned vegetables and some fruit are appropriate, but you must read the labels to check for added ingredients. If there’s added salt, rinse them first before cooking. Never use processed meat, but choose high quality protein like lean chicken, beef, fish or eggs.

  • While eating real foods isn’t as easy as picking up carry-out, it’s worth the effort. You can make it easier by creating meal plans and making meals ahead to freeze. It’s a good way to aid in weight loss, too.
  • Check labels when you buy. Look for added ingredients. Most packaged food contains preservatives and additives for flavor that was processed out of the food.
  • Most real food is lower in sugar, higher in fiber and contains more nutrients than their highly processed alternatives.
  • Real foods help you maintain a healthy microbiome, maintain a higher amount of antioxidants and can even help prevent sugar cravings and help you to lose weight. Living healthier, however, is the biggest reason to stick with real food.

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