by Melanie Pagan
At a recent Carrabba’s luncheon, I listened to Andrew H. Singh, MD, MPH (guest author of Healthy Me. Healthy Lee. in our September/October issue of Gulf & Main) give a lecture on workplace wellness.
Similar to what he wrote in the article, Dr. Singh spoke about the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive—a lifestyle plan created by the Horizon Council designed to inspire people in our community to make healthier choices.
Turns out, just a few simple lifestyle changes can take you a long way down the road to healthier living. Here are some key points Dr. Singh went over, showing us how to incorporate these choices every day:
Exercise More: Or, as I like to call it, the hardest activity to dedicate yourself to. But, commitment-phobes can relax. One does not need a gym membership to be active, although it helps.
Thirty minutes of exercise in the form of a brisk walk or three 10-minute exercises a day fits in to even the busiest of schedules, said Dr. Singh.
Eat healthier: Even after I opted for tilapia with my pasta instead of chicken, Dr. Singh offered a healthier alternative to our carb-filled dine in.
“As you can see, hardly anyone has touched the pasta at our table,” he said, pointing to a group of health workers with no more than a few bites taken from their plates. They had filled up on side orders of broccoli instead.
According to doctor’s orders, plates should be filled with 50 percent fruits and vegetables, equaling out to about five-to-nine servings a day. Even at restaurants, he proved this is still able to be done.
Don’t Smoke: The smoke-free environment Dr. Singh has implemented at his office promotes the healthy living lifestyle to all his employees. On average, he said, smokers miss about three-to-four more days of work per year directly from smoke-related illnesses.
Get plenty of rest: According to Dr. Singh, seven hours of sleep is the minimum a mind needs to stay sharp throughout the day.
Enjoy life: Isn’t this what we all want to do, anyway? Keeping your mind and body active, Dr. Singh said, is the key to getting there.
I watched as the doctor and wellness advocate kept us engaged through his honest enthusiasm, and it made me realize just how much he has truly benefited from this lifestyle. While most of us were drowning in that sluggish, two o’clock feeling after indulging in empty calories, I wondered how much better I would have felt had I opted for a plate of broccoli instead, too.
To those who have already adopted a more active lifestyle, how does this fit into your everyday schedule? And to those who are striving to be more health-conscious for 2014, how do you intend to do so? We always want to feel our best, so let’s help each other get there and start sharing some secrets to wellness!
For more information on the Healthy Lee Workplace Wellness Incentive and to learn how to implement this into your own workplace, pick up our September/October issue of Gulf & Main on stands now.
Melanie Pagan is the editorial assistant for TOTI Media, Inc.