Get The Most Out Of Your Workplace Wellness Program

A recent Forbes article notes that 70% of surveyed employees said they’d like to improve their health, but 63% were unwilling to commit an hour a day to that effort.

Maybe those respondents didn’t realize that employer-sponsored wellness programs make it easier than ever to put your desire for a better health into action. The following are some common wellness-program components and ways to make the most of them.

On-site fitness centers. If the gym is at your workplace, your excuse for not working out withers. A couple of times a week, substitute a workout for lunch at a restaurant or schedule a fitness session before or after work. Choose activities you enjoy and recognize that the goal is better health … not professional-athlete fitness.

Classes and programs. Do you smoke? Need healthy-diet info? Want to de-stress? Nearly every workplace offers free classes and programs that help you eliminate bad habits and develop better ones. Many classes are online and, therefore, flexible. Squeeze something worthwhile into the time you otherwise would step out for a smoke, get a snack at the vending machine or something like that.

Group activities. Many employers sponsor group activities such as team participation in a community walk or run, on-site fitness classes and more. Grab your work friends and make participation a social activity. You’ll have so much fun, you might forget it’s about wellness.

Discounts. Think a gym membership, fitness tracker or class enrollment is too expensive? Maybe not if you can take advantage of the discounts offered by many employers. Some employers even utilize reimbursement programs (like First Person’s Improve Mint) to help pay for fitness equipment and more. Find out what deals might be available to you and start saving on getting healthy.

Connect with help. In recent years, employers have realized that their employees are looking to them more and more for help with mental health issues, family stressors and financial worries. As a result, companies have connected with resources – locally and virtually – that employees can use to get on the right track.

Employee Assistance Programs. Despite employers seeing an increase of 70% of utilization, Employee Assistant Programs (or EAPs) are one of the most- neglected of all employee benefits. EAPs provide a wide range of free resources for people trying to improve their physical, mental, family or fiscal health. Contact your HR team and ask for information.

Regardless of how you connect with your employer’s wellness programs, you’ll discover that those programs do what they’re supposed to do: increase your overall wellness, which means you’ll feel, live and work better. Isn’t that worth an hour a day?

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