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K-State Today

June 11, 2012

Employee wellness first week's theme of National Safety Month

Submitted by Lisa Linck

Each June, the National Safety Council encourages organizations to get involved and participate in National Safety Month.

Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues. Last week's theme was employee wellness. Here's more from the National Safety Council:

We have all had days where we are just dragging. Our energy level is down and we just don’t feel like doing anything. The cause of that decrease in energy could be a result of how we treat our bodies. Taking care of yourself is important. Proper nutrition and regular exercise are vital to a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and eating healthy snacks and meals, for example, can make a difference. Additional things you can do include:

• Reduce or eliminate alcohol

• Do not smoke

• Take the stairs instead of an elevator

The importance of water

Drink plenty of water. Almost two-thirds of your body weight is water weight. Maintaining proper hydration can help you:

• Improve your energy

• Increase your mental and physical performance

• Remove toxins and waste products from your body

• Keep your skin healthy

• Help you lose weight

• Reduce headaches and dizziness

• Allow for proper digestion

 Do not wait until you are thirsty to have a drink – you are already dehydrated if you feel thirsty. It is best to drink throughout the day instead of drinking a lot of water all at once. If you need to, set a timer to remind yourself to establish a habit of drinking water. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. If it is hot outside or if you are exercising, you will need to increase your water intake to maintain hydration.

Aim for 10k a day

Purchase a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps per day – that’s about five miles. Walking is a low impact exercise and has great benefits. 

Looking for ways to increase your steps? Try the following:

• Take a walk with a family member or friend

• Join or start a walking club

• Take the dog for a walk

• Park farther from the store

• Walk to the store

Keep a journal of your progress and write down how you feel. If you have any health conditions, always seek your physician’s approval before starting or changing your exercise routine. Regular exercise improves your mood, helps you manage your weight, strengthens your heart and lungs, and it helps you sleep better. 

Here are a few websites you may find helpful:

mypyramid.gov – The United States Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion website can help you understand nutrition labels, portions, and help you plan your way to a healthier you.

cdc.gov – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website can assist you with nutrition, bone health, stroke prevention, skin cancer prevention, and more.

mayoclinic.com – Provides a variety of tools for a healthier life.

The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are endless. With a few minor changes like cutting back on soda, increasing the amount of water you drink, making smart food choices and getting exercise, you could start to see changes in your health.