The Daniel Plan: A Faith Approach to Well-being

Fitness. Health. Wellness. What’s faith got to do with it? According to The Daniel Plan, living a life of devoted faith has everything to do with health—and it’s difficult to argue against it. Daniel planWell-known author and minister Pastor Rick Warren teamed up with two Medical Doctors, Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, to write The Daniel Plan-40 Days to Healthier Life. The Daniel Plan landed on the NYT Best-Seller List immediately upon being published in December 2013 and is a current Top 500 on Amazon Best Sellers where it also holds a Top 20 ranking in Health, Fitness & Dieting > Nutrition. The Daniel Plan is broken into five key Essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends. While these are not unique to wellness and health, you rarely see all five so well packaged together. The Daniel Plan demonstrates the role of each in maintaining health—and more importantly, shows a correlation between them. Written from a distinctively Christian perspective, “Faith” in the The Daniel Plan is not merely holding a sincere religious belief, but a commitment to God through Jesus Christ. The basis of Faith in the The Daniel Plan is much more precise than believing in a higher power; it is rooted in the Christian’s Bible. One of the significant elements found in the book is that relegating Faith to spiritual devotion, segmented from the routine everyday life, is not the message of the authors. Rather, the life of faith intersects with all aspects of life and is revealed in each of the five Essentials for a healthier life. The most common books on health seem to focus on fitness and healthy eating. The Daniel Plan adequately addresses each of these in the Food and Fitness Essentials. However, the The Daniel Plan is much more. The segments on Faith, Focus and Friends are what separates The Daniel Plan from most other health and wellness books. The Daniel Plan moves the conversation from wellness to well-being, and emphasizes how well-being is dependent upon every area of our lives being in order. Warren writes, “It’s hard to be spiritually strong and mentally alert when you are emotionally stressed or Read more of this post

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A Healthy Dose of Quotes from The Daniel Plan

This is a compilation of some of my favorite quotes from The Daniel Plan. My initial list contained 31 great quotes; I’ve whittled it down to a Top 20.  Read more of this post

Long Live The Employee!

OldManHave any 100-year-old employees on your payroll? Most likely, you don’t. Yet, what if your employees engaged in healthy lifestyles which enabled them to live 30, 40 or 50 years beyond retirement? I’m not advocating employing 95 year-olds. However, my hunch is if you have employees who will eventually reach the age of 100 then their current physical fitness is contributing to their productivity on the job.

Dan Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones, a New York Times Bestseller. The Blue Zones is a book providing “lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.” Buettner does not target employers, but the principles shared certainly have implications for employee wellness.

The research is conducted among four groups of people who have a significantly higher percentage of inhabitants living to be centenarians, (100 years of age or older). The four Blue Zone communities are found in the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda, California in the United States, and on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Studies have shown only about 25% of how long we live is dictated by genes—the other 75% is determined by lifestyle and choices. Buettner and his team paid close attention to the lifestyle similarities of these four Blue Zones and developed nine lessons to work into our lives if we desire to live longer…and more productive. What may be surprising to some, however, is many of the lifestyle choices are more “mental or spiritual” than “physical.” This supports a growing understanding of holistic wellness: Wellness programs focusing solely on nutrition and exercise lack essential elements of effective health promotion. Read more of this post

What Sophisticated Employers Know

Who are the enlightened and sophisticated employers? According to Andy Webber, President of the National Business Coalition on Health, they are the employers who “see health management not as an operating cost but an investment in workforce health and productivity.”

ZeroTrendsDee W. Edington wrote Zero Trends with the purpose of demonstrating that the improved health status of employees will not only reduce healthcare costs for the company, but also increase performance and productivity in the workplace. His book is about a new model of healthcare that defines healthcare as a combination of illness and wellness strategies that affect the bottom line of organizations far beyond simply striving to reduce the cost of insurance premiums. He contends “health management is a health strategy, but equally important, health management is a business and economic strategy.”

Avowing the cost of health is less than the cost of disease, Edington maintains that an unhealthy workforce cost an organization more than just the expense of treating illness. The cost of poor health hits employers through Read more of this post

The Company That Solved Health Care

When your company’s wellness program rations Viagra then you know there is an extensive wellness initiative in place. So it is at Serigraph, a Wisconsin-based company with 1,500 employees in Wisconsin, Mexico, China and India.

Following a presentation I gave on Employee Wellness, one of the participants came to me and recommended I read John Torinus Jr.’s The CompanySolved (1)Company That Solved Health Care. What a great recommendation. Thanks Batya!

Torinus served 20 years as CEO of Serigraph, and now serves as its active Chairman. With compelling detail, he shares how he involved their employees in their own health, enabling them to be effective consumers. It’s healthcare consumerism in overdrive. Five years into the reform, Serigraph spends one-third less than the national average to insure its workers. Read more of this post