Worksite Wellness - Is a health challenge the push you need?

Hello Simply Fit readers. The holidays are here, and with it, all the food and drinks that come with the season. This year, I've decided to take a different approach to maintaining my health. Instead of my usual approach of relying on myself for willpower, I've decided to be a part of a health challenge at work.

I love the way this health challenge is structured because weight loss is not one of the aspects. Instead, it's based on six healthy habits.

1. Consume 60 ounces or more of water every day (1 point)

2. Keep an accurate food journal (2 points)

3. Set your own calorie goal, and then stay within that goal (1-3 points depending on how close you were to meeting that goal)

4. 30 or more minutes of physical activity (2 points)

5. Consume five servings of fruits and/or vegetables (1 point for every ∏ cup serving)

6. Receive 7 or more hours of sleep every night (1 point)

For a total of 14 points every day. The best part of this challenge is that we are allowed one free day every week and two free days during the week of Thanksgiving. I was a little weary of having a free day but I've found that as long as I don't go crazy, I continue to see results every week.

Each person had to pay $20 to join which adds a little more accountability. We email each other as a group with helpful tips, encouragement and also to share our struggles. We also have a Facebook page where we can add helpful and encouraging posts.

At the end of the challenge, the money is split between the first, second and third place winners. What's important to remember is that there are no losers. If someone was able to improve on their eating, sleeping, and drinking habits, then they are a winner!

It's been a great experience for me because I have always approached my fitness and nutrition goals on my own. Being a part of this challenge has added a level of accountability and encouragement that I didn't know I was missing.

If you don't have something like our health challenge at your place of employment, start one. You could even do a health challenge with a group of friends and family members.

Your challenge can be for one week or eight. Customize the challenge based on what would benefit your group the most. It's totally up to you.

Now onto another subject. According to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), obesity is costing around two trillion annually throughout the world. This cost is more than what we spend to fight armed violence, war and terrorism combined! According to this consulting firm, thirty percent of the world's population is overweight or obese and fifty percent will be overweight or obese by the year 2030. What is even more startling is that there are two and a half times more people in the world that are undernourished than who are overweight or obese. I guess the saying "Finish what's on your plate because there are starving children in Africa" has tragically backfired on us.

Most of us have more than what we could need or want. Please take a minute to give thanks for all that God has blessed you with, then bless someone else with your excess.

Happy Thanksgiving and Peace!