Recently a team of six employees from VAST participated in an event called the Bell Bike Race. This event hosted by Bell Hospita lin Ishpeming, Michigan is an annual fundraiser for healthy lifestyle awareness. The event put teams of six people together with a stationary bike. Each team member had the responsibility of pedaling as “far” as they could in a 25 minute time frame. At the end, all six distances were added together for one grand total “miles pedaled.” During the event, teams showed their support for each other by dressing in costumes, making banners, yelling and encouraging others to pedal faster and harder. The sense of community was pretty cool to see.
Now, I do my fair share of working out, but traditionally biking is not within my normal regiment. I was sweating and gasping for air by the time my 25 minutes was complete. Having my team members there to cheer me on was exciting and also empowering. When the person came around to check my distance I had pedaled 9.3 miles in that short time frame! I was proud of this number and felt like I had accomplished something.
Did you know that you can be on your way to an active and healthy lifestyle with just 30 minutes a day, a few times per week? Living a healthy lifestyle is important in many aspects of our life – how we feel, how we relate to others, the activities we are involved in, our attitude, etc. Living an active lifestyle is also showing up on the radar of health insurance companies who have health plans available which focus on wellness rewards and incentives to those who meet certain criteria. It can be in the form of fitness related gift certificates or decreases in your deductible expense. A big part of health care reform was the transition to making preventive medical visits a covered expense on all health insurance plans.
Workplaces are also offering fitness programs and wellness points to employees who participate in company wide challenges. What a great way to get American’s moving again! In our organization, we currently have a wellness competition called VASTland.
Throughout the office there are postings with different locations from around the United States. Your goal is to make it “across the USA” visiting each “town” on your way. Every 30 minutes of exercise is enough fuel to move you to the next stop along the path. Eventually everyone who participates will have traveled from our hometown of Marquette,MI to sunny Miami, FL! There are prizes and such along the way, but ultimately it’s a great way for people to stay motivated and healthy.
Consider that sedentary jobs have increased by 83% in the USA since 1950 and the average work week has increased by 164 hours per year compared to 20 years ago. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that the cases of obesity in the US are rapidly increasing.
Making a small change in your week can have a tremendous impact on the rest of your life. Consider a healthy lifestyle starting now!