TEMPE, Ariz. — U-Haul continues its quest to improve the wellness and fitness of its Team Members, a process that includes gathering more knowledge at events like the Wellness Lives Here breakfast presented by the American Diabetes Association.
“From 2016 to 2017, U-Haul Team Members collectively lost 11,159 pounds,” says Monique Wantland, U-Haul wellness marketing specialist. “The Healthier U Initiative has had a spiral effect throughout U-Haul. As a result, you can walk through our new Anna Mary’s Café (at the corporate towers) and see Team Members eating healthy or using their lunch breaks to go to the gym. When people reach their health goals, it brings out the confidence and pride within them.”
Reaching those health goals also means preventing Type 2 Diabetes, the subject of the Wellness Lives Here breakfast. Diabetes affects 30 million American children and adults. That’s one in 11 Americans.
“Once you get Type 2 Diabetes there is no cure, but you can manage it,” Wantland states. “What we need to focus on is prevention before it gets to that point. That comes from education, resources and programming. We know maintaining a healthy diet, healthy weight, being active and avoiding nicotine use are the top forms of prevention.”
The American Diabetes Association is on a mission to prevent, cure and eliminate diabetes. The breakfast served as an informational exchange about the disease and the resources offered by the ADA.
“Prevention is our major focus right now,” says Brenda Schmidt, Founder/CEO of Solera and one of the three panelists. “Diabetes prevention programs need to get in the way. We want people to see them at their grocery stores, at the gym, even at the bank. Participation needs to be convenient, in order for it to increase.”
A Healthy Workplace
The panel discussed ways to incorporate healthy behaviors into the workplace. Many companies have already created wellness programs, in part because healthy people make for better employees.
U-Haul introduced The Healthier U program in 2015.
“The Healthier U program is an amazing benefit and resource that U-Haul Team Members can take advantage of,” Wantland notes. “Not many companies offer a Registered Dietitian (RD) program (where Team Members can be reimbursed for visiting an RD), gym reimbursements, nutritional plans and nicotine cessation programs. U-Haul also offers 100-percent-healthy vending machines and the cafe provides healthy, balanced and delicious meals at reasonable prices.”
The Healthier U encompasses four main categories: health, mindset, nutrition and fitness.
U-Haul held its first annual Active Day in 2016. This system-wide event promotes team unity and wellness as Team Members, friends and family participate in physical activities organized by U-Haul Companies in each region of the U.S. and Canada. The second annual Active Day will be Sept. 23.
In Greater Phoenix, Team Members can participate in a 5K at the Desert Breeze Railroad Park. Registration is free. U-Haul Active Day gear is available at a small cost, with all proceeds going to the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Read more on the upcoming second annual U-Haul Active Day by clicking here.