Last Saturday I ran a local race that involved running four miles and eating a box of donuts at the halfway point. Yep, it’s about a fun as it sounds. I picked up a few ideas that touch on wellness and thought they would be worth sharing.
The banana was right
One of the runners in the crowd was wearing a banana costume. On the back was written, “Today I see how the other 1/3 of Alabamians live.” That was a fairly obvious reference to Alabama’s 30+% obesity rate, and it really hit me hard to put it in those terms. Yes, I’ve heard the statistics, and yes, I think it’s crazy that 1/3 of people who live here are overweight.
For some reason, though, the idea that some people make these poor eating choices every day didn’t occur to me until the banana guy came around. More than anything else, it really just gave me a little more perspective on the demographic that wellness programs at work should be focusing on. Thanks, banana man.
Runners who eat vs. eaters who run
One of the issues I’ve seen with wellness initiatives (such as paying for gym fees or providing nutritious snacks) is that it affects those who are predisposed to healthy activity and eating. If you offer to pay for me to go to a gym, I’ll take you up on it because I’m already relatively athletic. However, offering to pay the gym membership for one of our software engineers would get you laughed out of the building. And if you brought them some fruit or veggie snacks, they’d ask for fries and a Coke.
It was interesting because one of the guys on my team for the Donut Run was a self-proclaimed “eater who runs.” He might be stimulated to get up and participate in an activity when there is a handful of donuts waiting for him, but he’s not going to get out there and work out on his own without some sort of incentive. For the record, I’m a “runner who eats.” :-)
A few months back we started a running team at work. The Pinnacle Pounders go out every Tuesday afternoon and run together. There is a great sense of camaraderie, and it’s just a great way to de-stress after a long day. Again, the only people who show up are those who are already runners! We are working to get some of our staff out there to walk our little course, but so far we’ve been unsuccessful. I’m hoping the people who see us enjoying ourselves and having more energy during the day will consider joining us, but only time will tell.
So, any other thoughts on wellness (or donuts)? Have you had an experience with a wellness program? What was it like?