During the busy holiday season food temptations lurk around every corner. Holiday parties and late nights can wreak havoc on an exercise schedule. Even those of us in the well-being industry struggle to keep up with our healthy routines! Read on to learn how our coaching operations staff in the Indianapolis office manages this crazy time of year.
Studies show the average person gains about one pound over the holiday season. It may not seem like a lot, but that extra pound can take a long time to lose and really add up over the years. Our coaching staff in Indianapolis came up with a solution: The Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge!
It’s a team effort.
We know from our clients’ experience with challenges that joining a team can provide the motivation to stick with health goals. Staff members are encouraged to form a Maintain Don’t Gain team and give it a name. “Hangry Birds” and “Thighs Over Pies” are two of our favorites.
How it works.
On December 3rd, all team members weighed in to provide a starting point for the challenge, with subsequent weigh-ins each Monday. Team members receive points for maintaining or losing weight and participating in various nutrition and activity challenges every week. This year we even added a mental health component.
On January 9th, points are tallied and the winning team members all receive a $25 gift card or one hour of “comp time” to be used however they please. Oh, and a “Winner” sweatshirt they can flaunt around the office.
Keeping things fun.
In addition to optional weekly weigh-ins, each week we have a special challenge:
Week 1: Sugarless Challenge—consume zero added sugar for at least 3 of 5 work days.
Week 2: Skip Empty Calories & Dice Challenge—walk away from the sugar cookies…and check off the “dice challenge” of the hour (planks, squats, lunges, etc.).
Week 3: Stairs Challenge—take the stairs all day…who needs an elevator?
Weeks 4 and 5: Instagram 3×3 Challenge—complete the @webmdhealthcoach daily dose of three exercises, repeated three times.
Week 6: Water Challenge—drink one additional 8-ounce glass of water per day for a post-holiday-party reboot.
We also provide helpful educational material on reducing stress, limiting sugar during the holidays, how and why to keep up hydration, and tips for healthy eating and exercise while traveling.
It’s not all about food and exercise.
The holidays can leave some people feeling depressed, so we are paying attention to our mental health, too, with “positive vibes” posts. Throughout the 6-week period we encourage participants to share positive thoughts and encouragement. Whether it’s complimenting a co-worker or sharing something good that happened, team members who post in our Maintain Don’t Gain chat receive one point for every post.
And…drumroll. The results are in.
We’ve toasted, eaten, and unwrapped all the presents. It’s January and we’re back at work. Time for the final weigh-in. All participants will step on the scale on January 9th to see how they did. In past years over 80% of participants either maintained or lost weight, which is a huge accomplishment. But no matter the results, just bringing some awareness to maintaining healthy habits over the holiday is worth celebrating.