Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Employee Health: Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

This blog was written by Melissa Sherman. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

holiday stress, work related stressWith the holidays fast approaching, we are rolling into a busy and hectic time of the year. Stress can take a heavy toll on employee health. Here are some quick and easy ways your employees can de-stress and rebalance their minds and bodies.

  • Take slow, deep breaths. This takes no time at all and can have some beneficial side-effects. We tend to breathe more quickly, taking shallow breaths, when we are stressed. Focus on your breathing, making sure to take slow, deep, fulfilling breaths. Relaxing your body physically can have a positive effect on your mental state.
  • Stretch it out! This is another exercise that can be done in a relatively short amount of time or while doing other activities that can have a big impact. Stretching will help to get the blood flowing and relieve any built-up tension you might be holding in your body. Focus on areas such as your neck, shoulders, core, and wrists.
  • Phone a friend. It can help to have a mini venting session by talking to someone you love and trust.
  • Fit in physical activity. Even if just for 10 minutes, give your stress to the pavement or the treadmill in the corporate fitness center and let it go from your body. Staying active can help elevate your mood and reduce stress.
  • Eat healthy. Health and well-being are promoted by healthy eating, which can help enhance your resilience to stress.

Really looking to distress? Try a massage, take a warm bath, or take a weekend getaway!

Topics: employee health stress corporate fitness centers

Debt Affects Your Health

money stressA recent AP/AOL poll of 1,000 Americans showed increased debt was directly related to increased perceived stress. Among those polled, individuals with the greatest debt exhibited the most physical and psychological health problems linked to their stress levels.

Debt Causes Physical Symptoms

For example, 33 percent of those polled with high debt said they had suffered from high blood pressure, compared with 26 percent of their less-debt-laden peers. Additionally, 51 percent of those with the greatest debt load reported suffering from low back pain and muscle tension. Only 31 percent of their reduced-debt counterparts reported similar symptoms.

Debt Leads to Unhealthy Behaviors

When bank accounts run low and personal debt (credit cards, lines of credit, and so on) runs high, Americans trend toward a host of unhealthy behaviors. Excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, and food (overeating) become coping mechanisms for the super-stressed. It's also common for sleeping patterns to be interrupted as levels of stress rise.

Debt Produces a Self-Care Freeze-Up

In addition, those under financial strain may perceive that they lack funds for self-care, so they choose not to seek medical help for what appear to be small health issues. Those concerns grow with unrelenting stress (they are often linked to one another) so that a small, easily remedied health problem eventually becomes a significant medical concern.

If you are experiencing stress related to being in debt or keeping on budget, follow our Fiscal Fitness Email Series for more tips. You may also want to find someone you know who seems money savvy and get some ideas from them or look online for free resources.

Topics: cholesterol stress disease prevention financial fitness

Financial Stress Impacts Employee Health

This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

Fitness and orderly finances. Do they go together? Now try this one: poor health and chronic debt. I bet you can see that relationship more closely. Just as with our health, we need to be proactive about our money and keep our financial lives “in shape.”

financial wellness, stress, wellnessFinancial Problems Cause Stress

It’s no surprise that money, or lack of money, is one of the biggest causes of stress in the human life. Long-term stress can lead to a whole host of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, loss of sleep, and depression. Just as you encourage your corporate wellness members to take action now and build healthy physical lifestyles, there are measures they can take to build the health of their finances.

Urge Corporate Wellness Clients to Focus on Their Workouts

This article reports that anywhere from 30% to 80% of employees in any given workforce are taking care of personal financial matters on company time. This means they are probably thinking about their financial dilemmas during their exercise time, too. Urge your corporate wellness members to stay focused on their workouts at the gym and block out distractions. This not only enhances the physical benefits of their workout, but also provides post-exercise mental stress relief.

Other Ways Corporate Wellness Can Help with Financial Worries

Encourage others to examine their resources and have gratitude for their finances, large or small. These positive feelings of contentment can be linked to better mental health.

Also, consider hosting an educational Lunch & Learn at your corporate fitness center, and invite a trustworthy financial consultant to speak. Giving people tips they can use on a daily basis to save money or showing someone how to set up a simple budget can alleviate stress and maybe sickness down the road.

Refer to this website for other “Small Steps to Health and Wealth.”

Topics: corporate wellness corporate fitness stress financial fitness