Celebrating American Heart Month: Wellness Initiatives to Promote a Healthy Heart
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Did you know the number one killer in women is heart disease? Alternatively, 80% of heart attacks and strokes can be treated, prevented and even ended if both women and men learn what puts them at risk and take action towards fighting it. In observance of the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month, which symbolizes the fight against heart disease in women, we’re sharing recommendations for how to use your wellness program as a means to help employees learn about heart health and how to reduce their risk of future heart disease.
Activities and Programs
- CPR class. Provide your employees the opportunity to save a life with on-site CPR classes—they’ll learn how to resuscitate a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped.
- Defibrillator class. Place defibrillators at key sites in your building and offer classes on how to use them.
- Class on heart-healthy behavior. Teach employees how to minimize behavior that puts their hearts at risk. Exercise, nutrition, smoking, stress and other elements of heart-healthy behavior are under our control.
- Exercise class. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. Offer on-site exercise classes that focus on reaching your target heart rate. Include an educational portion that explains what a target heart rate is and how to measure it.
- Heart-healthy meals. Whether employees do a potluck lunch or the company has the funds to cater or alter cafeteria offerings, your company can encourage employees to eat right by featuring delicious, healthy recipes—along with education on the best foods to eat for heart health.
- Blood pressure class. Teach employees the meaning of blood pressure, how to lower their blood pressure and how to measure their own blood pressure. Supply blood pressure cuffs so they can practice their new skill on a partner.
- Sports store gift certificate. Encourage healthy behavior by sending employees to a store that offers a variety of equipment, including soccer balls, running shoes, yoga clothes and baseball bats.
- Healthy food gift basket. Fill a big basket with fresh fruit, whole grain baked goods and a cookbook for heart-healthy meals.
- Blood pressure cuff. This medical equipment is safe to use at home and may encourage employees to learn about and monitor their blood pressure, along with taking steps to reduce it.
- Pedometer. Walking is good for the heart. A pedometer allows the walker to measure the number of steps or the distance walked in a day. Give some away and encourage employees to set and achieve daily step goals.
- Gym membership. This popular incentive is also effective, since it can actually help employees reduce their risk of heart disease and provides many other health benefits.
Activities and incentives tied together are a great way to increase participation and engagement in your wellness program. Check out our webinar recording on how to better use them to your advantage.
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