From the Blog:

4 ways to encourage well-being on the 4th

Independence Day is all about fireworks, flags, fun and fat-laden-often-fried foods. We’ve all been to picnics and barbecues with a spread of hot dogs, chips, heavy-on-the-mayo salads and way too much cake. The annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest (ugh) is evidence enough of the day’s gluttony. It’s all a ton of fun – but it’s not exactly synonymous with healthy living.

Check out these stats:

  • 68% of Americans participate in Fourth of July activities
  • Americans spend close to $2.5 billion on Independence Day cookouts
  • We’ll eat 150 million hot dogs in this one day alone
  • Fourth of July is the third-most popular day to drink alcohol in the U.S. (it even beat St. Paddy’s Day)

Sources: DealNews, Yahoo and TIME.

So how can you encourage employees to make better choices on our nation’s b-day? Try these ideas and challenges:

1. Fry-free 4th

We don’t HAVE to celebrate with French fries, corn dogs and all manners of fried dough. Challenge employees to choose fresh and grilled foods instead – lean meats, fish, vegetables, fresh green salads, summer fruits … the options are endless!

2. 4 miles on the 4th

Reward employees who log four miles of any physical activity (like hiking, biking, walking and running) on the Fourth of July. Many cities offer fun runs and walks that day – promote ‘em if your town’s got ‘em!

3. Better beverages

You don’t have to hard-core swap all beer, wine and soda for water. We’re all about healthy around here, but we’re also about getting real. Instead, challenge employees to branch out with creative, healthy options, like orange pomegranate green tea or – our hands-down favorite – natural honey limeade.

4. Independence Day recipe showdown

Ask employees to submit healthy summertime recipes, and create a company Fourth of July “cookbook.” Reward all participants and choose the top three to win a prize, such as a picnic basket, kitchen store gift card or Fitbit.