Winona’s Healthy Habits highlights Winonans who have adopted healthy habits that are helping them (and others) lead a better life. If you (or someone you know) would like to be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidi is the Wellbeing and Engagement Specialist at Winona Health overseeing the worksite wellness programs, HealthyU and HealthyBalance. She promotes wellness at work, in the community, and with her family. Heidi creates creative challenges for HealthyU participants that incorporate the eight dimensions of wellness and promotes wellbeing. To learn more about Heidi and her healthy habits, read her interview below:
Q. Tell me more about Winona Health’s HealthyU program and HealthyBalance
Winona Health believes in balanced work-life integration and wants our team to spend time focusing on all aspects of wellbeing. One of the ways that they encourage that is through HealthyU, our worksite wellness program. It’s a point-based platform that rewards team members for participating in wellness-focused challenges, events and educational offerings. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to help our staff remember that caregiving often starts with caring for ourselves.
HealthyBalance is similar to HealthyU in that it helps folks focus on their wellbeing while they are at work. We partner with local businesses to evaluate their unique needs and customize wellness plans that make measurable health & wellness improvements – all while improving the culture and morale of their organizations!
Q. How do you promote healthy habits within the workplace?
The bulk of my job is to promote healthy habits through the HealthyU program! On a personal level, I try to lead by example. I schedule walking meetings when possible, keep a water bottle on my desk, practice stress-reducing/mindfulness techniques, encourage others to take advantage of the YMCA subsidy that Winona Health offers, and encourage healthful food choices. I just love the salad bar in the Lakeside Café! It’s so affordable and they do a great job of switching out the ingredients to keep things interesting!
Q. May is Mental Health Awareness Month; how do you promote mental health in the workplace?
I promote our Employee Assistance Program for counseling services, encourage the use of our relaxation room and provide different opportunities for our team members to try things like yoga, meditation and mindfulness. We also focus on gratitude and social connection.
Q. What are your healthy habits?
- Getting outdoors! It helps me mentally recharge just as much as it does physically! Hiking, going for walks, rollerblading and disc golf are some of my more frequent outdoor activities, but I would never turn down canoeing, kayaking or fishing either!
- I enjoy attending a variety of fitness classes at the Winona Family YMCA.
- Most of our meals include large portions of fruits and vegetables.
- Meal planning and prepping.
- Gratitude journaling and practicing mindfulness.
- Occasional massages.
Q. How do you incorporate healthy habits with your children?
We focus on appreciating our bodies and all that they are capable of. We don’t allow negative self-talk in our home- that includes from my spouse and myself. There is a “no screens” policy during the week and there are time limits during the weekends. Luckily, my kids love to do most of the things that help me recharge, so they come with on most of the outdoor adventures. They really enjoy geocaching and hunting for painted rocks! They have fun participating in sports like soccer and baseball, take swim lessons and sometimes attend dance workshops.
We keep fruit on the counter at all times for snacks and have a “one bite to be polite” policy for food where they have to try at least one bite of all the food that is being offered, which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. They know that our taste buds change frequently and that eating a variety of foods is important to be sure we are getting all the nutrients we need. I also try to include them in meal planning and prepping and will sneak in little tid-bits of nutritional education while we do it.