NMC Employee Wellness Monthly Mini Challenge

April 2015

Wellness Works! -  earth day Month

Earth Day has been celebrated around the world on April 22 since 1970. Originally founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, it began a groundbreaking movement that led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. 

Earth Day festivals and parades act as a catalyst to rekindle public commitment and community activism regarding the current state of the environment. How can you participate? Volunteer, attend an Earth Day festival, launch a community garden and/or join a local environmental group. Better yet, set a good example for those around you by reducing waste, reusing items and recycling spent items.

An easy way to incorporate these ideas in your life is by cooking at home. Eating out, especially fast food, produces a considerable amount of waste. It takes energy to produce those burgers and fries. Not to mention, the paper, plastic, Styrofoam and cardboard needed for wrapping and packing that usually ends up in landfills. When you cook at home you not only help the environment but can add ingredients to increase the nutrient content. For example, try adding cubes of sweet potato to your chili for a boost of Vitamin A, which is beneficial for your skin and eyes.

What do you do with left-overs? Pack a lunch. People that pack their lunch typically consume half the calories of those that purchase a lunch. Not to mention, a typical lunch out costs $7/day or $35/week which adds up to $140/month. Over the course of year you can save $1680 simply by packing food you already have at home.

Packed lunch = Better Health
Packed lunch = Saves Money

april packed lunch challenge

Your challenge for April is conserve resources by packing your lunch. Track the number of days you packed your lunch in April and send your monthly total to mtalicska@nmc.edu by May 6th. The person with the greatest number of days will win a local merchant gift card. All others will be entered in a random drawing. Good eating!

Wellness-APRIL desk stretches

We all have everyday aches and pains caused by sitting and/or typing for long periods of time but we can find relief. Take a few minutes out of your day to try out the stretches below which can be done at your desk. 

Desk Stretches for your legs

Stand up/ Sit down:

You might have gotten a gold star in preschool for sitting still but as desk dwelling adults we need to move for optimal health.

  • Without using your hands, stand up and sit down, over and over.
  • Make it a game and see how many stand/sits you can complete in one minute, three minutes or five minutes.
  • Repeat every hour.

Standing chair hamstring stretch:

  • Stand in front of a sturdy chair.
  • Lift one leg and place your heel on the seat of the chair.
  • Bend forward at the waist until you feel a light stretch in the hamstring (back of thigh).
  • Hold for 10 seconds repeating on the same leg three times.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch:

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair with one hand on the back rest.
  • Bend one knee and grab the foot or ankle with your hand. If you can’t reach the foot or ankle grab your pant leg or sock.
  • Gently pull the heel toward your bottom keeping both knees close together. You should feel astretch the quadriceps (front of the thigh).
  • Hold for 10 seconds repeating on the same leg three times.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Inner Thigh Stretch:

  • Sit on the edge of you chair with the legs open and feet turn out about 45 degrees.
  • Lean forward from the hips placing the elbow on the inside of the knee.
  • Gently press the knees apart using the elbow until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat three times as needed.

Fit ball:

  • Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball. You will be engaging the muscles of the back, legs, buttocks and abdominals all day long.


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