Regina M. Benjamin, MD, the United States Surgeon General, is on a mission! She's calling on all Americans to live and be healthier through better nutrition and exercise in the 2010 Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation Report!
Within the very readable 13 page report are REQUIREMENTS for individuals, schools,the medical community, and business leaders to living healthier and put an end to the obesity epidemic.
I regularly rant on about what individuals can do for themselves to live longer and stronger, and mostly like what Dr. Benjamin says around that. It's all good stuff.
Additionally, as a parent of two high school boys, influencing what schools do for fitness ... or what schools do anything for that matter ... is like shoveling your driveway with a pair of chop sticks! I forfeit there.
And, thankfully, the medical community is figuring it out all by themselves! Most physicians now realize that they really don't want to be drug dealers for the large pharmaceutical corporations. These days, they prescribe more than ever, EXERCISE as a 1st step in treading many diseases.
So, Minnesota Business Leaders, this Blog's for you!
One of the more frequent excuses we get from clients is that they "don't have time" to regularly exercise 3 or 4 days per week. Ladies and gentlemen, if you're serious about your career, your business, your family, or your spouse, you simply CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO exercise regularly.
- Schedule exercise into your calendar, and don’t move it unless there’s a death in the family. Make your exercise appointment the most immutable appointment of the day.
- Be accountable to someone. It helps if you have a personal trainer waiting on (and charging) you for the appointment whether you show up or not, but it is also helpful to have a training buddy/partner. You’re much more likely to show up when you know someone is waiting for you.
- Establish, write down, and publish a very specific health lifestyle goal for the next 3 months. These are things like: exercise for 90 minutes 3 times per week; or walk for 60 minutes 6 days per week; or make every scheduled exercise appointment. Lifestyle Changes.
- Establish, write down, and public a very specific, Non-Appearance related fitness goals for the next 6 weeks. While the body will certainly undergo composition changes with regular exercise, the initial 6 weeks should focus entirely on strength or endurance measurements: doubling your push ups; or completing 40 sit-ups within one minute; or completing a mile run in under 8 minutes. Don’t worry about the body weight or body fat at all just yet.
- Update your Corporate Values, Behaviors, and Ethics document to include the statement: Regular Exercise is a fundamental and necessary element of heath and happiness, and improves professional productivity.
- Encourage and allow a 10-minute walking break every two hours. Not only will this burn a few calories, but it will energize and refresh the body and mind.
- Stock Fresh Fruit in your break room and lobby (Kwik Trip bananas just 49 cents/lb.).
- Strongly discourage staff from bringing in cookies and candies. They’ll just clog your heart and/or stick to your rear anyway.
- Grant allowances for exercise. Corporations won’t hesitate much when a parent dashes off to rescue their child from daycare at the end of the day. Neither should they question employees who dash off to keep their exercise appointments.
- Install a shower and changing room at your office bike commuters, and midday runners & walkers .
- Make sure bike commuters have a safe, indoor place to store their equipment (bikes, helmets, gear); See my Blog entry for more ways to get employees started with bicycle commuting.
- Offer cash compensation to employees who commute by bike and save you parking expenses
- Stage regular, monthly Health and Fitness Seminars with key expertise on getting more fit and healthy
- Sponsor a Get Fit Month twice annually, complete with awards and recognition for people who most effectively change their lives in positive ways
- Do it now! Having helped thousands of individuals improve their health and fitness over the decades, I can honestly tell you that the hardest part is just getting started!