We all know that a nutritious diet and regular exercise are crucial to living a healthy life, but with today’s busy schedules, finding time to make health a priority is often a challenge. To help employees more easily integrate fitness and nutrition into their daily lives, Verizon offers 44 on-site health and wellness centers, and a staff of a hundred fitness and diet professionals who are dedicated to helping employees meet their health goals. In addition to fitness centers, we provide healthy menus in our cafeterias, free consultations with nutritionists, discounted membership in commercial weight loss programs like Weight Watchers® and more.
We spoke with four employees about how Verizon is helping them live their healthiest life.
“Get the blood flow going, and it keeps you energized throughout the day.”
Joy Ghanim, a senior health and wellness coordinator, has probably saved Verizon employees countless trips to the doctor. A lifelong athlete, Joy’s enthusiasm led her and a co-worker to become trained instructors on the Pilates Reformer. Olympic athletes, professional dancers and celebrities flock to Pilates, and now Joy brings its low-impact strength training to Verizon’s employees, without the hefty price tag. Her clients range from avid runners to those recovering from surgery. In addition to Pilates, Verizon’s health and wellness centers offer Zumba®, spin, yoga and other group exercise classes.
Joy encourages everyone to get up, stretch and move around, even if they happen to be stuck in a meeting. “Get the blood flow going, and it keeps you energized throughout the day.”
“After I joined the soccer league, I was able to complete a 30-second push-up challenge.”
When Yannick Mensah joined Verizon’s technical staff over four years ago, he says he was looking “for personal development, social responsibility, innovation and a company that pays attention to health and wellness. Those four things are definitely here at Verizon,” he says.
Yannick started two soccer league teams made up of his fellow Verizon employees: one to cater to competitive athletes and the other for those participating for fun. And when he discovered Verizon holds regular 5ks to raise money for domestic violence organizations, Yannick, who had never been a distance runner, joined, and has been running in them for the past 3 years.
“The classes are 30 minutes, so you have time to shower and get back to work within an hour.”
Apryl Butler, an executive assistant, goes to her office’s on-site gym about four times per week, and her enthusiasm is so infectious that six colleagues now join her. “I’ll email people: ‘it’s gym time,’” she laughs.
“The classes are 30 minutes, so you have time to shower and get back to work within an hour,” Apryl says. She’ll put exercise in her calendar with a reminder, because, she says, “I had to make myself a priority, because most of us don’t do that.”
Apryl found that the Health and Wellness Center taught her about the connection between nutrition and exercise. “I thought if I exercise, I can eat whatever I want, and that’s so not true, because you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” She saw a nutritionist there and now keeps a journal of what she eats.
“It’s not about making radical changes, but small tweaks over time.”
Whether you want a tune up or a 360-degree transformation, Jarett Menzel, a Verizon health and wellness coordinator, will devise a plan that’s tailored to your needs. In addition to offering one-on-one counseling to Verizon employees, he also coordinates menus with Verizon’s cafeterias and cafés, works one-on-one with nutritionists, leads seminars and holds classes on healthy eating. “[Success] is not about making radical changes, but small tweaks over time,” he says.