At UMH, we are committed to a healthy living initiative for our staff and residents. Through a combination of nutrition, exercise, relaxation, social engagement and a positive attitude, we strive to help each other become healthier in 2014. Employees and residents alike have the opportunity to track their progress daily and work toward meeting those goals and celebrating with a reward program unique to each of our communities. As Mary Ann, a UMH employee says, “It is simple to follow, anyone can do it, most do every day! It is doable and inspires positive thinking about wellness.”
Awareness of goals, such as making healthy food choices and the importance of getting more than seven hours of sleep each night is the first step. Many staff and residents have mentioned that just intentionally thinking about what they can “check off” their log as accomplished at the end of each day is motivation to make healthier choices. People can be heard talking about this program in our communities, saying “I’m going to pass on that cookie so that will be one of my smart food choices today” or “I’m going to take a walk after lunch to see if I can log one mile”. Making the decision to live healthier, regardless of illness or disease is the first step!
“I do a lot of this already,” says Tom from the Maintenance department. “I exercise every day but I can work on eating more fruits and vegetables and reading for an hour or more every day. I should visit the labyrinth on campus and meditate as well.”
“I am very excited by this challenge... I need to be motivated to get fit and feel better. With accountability to a coordinator and to other employees, I believe I will be able to meet my fitness goals this year.”
Don’t become discouraged if you aren’t able to do all these things each day. Be realistic with yourself and set a goal of twenty positive choices each month and work up from there! All residents and staff who succeed in marking off twenty or more healthy options will be eligible for a raffle prize as an added incentive! All efforts will be acknowledged at our annual health living event in August.