How do we stay healthy? Amid hectic schedules we do our best to reach for the right foods, stay active, and breathe deeply. But, in the bumble of a busy day, we tend to forego our well-being to prioritize everything else: work, hobbies, kids, pets, spouses. So, where do we fit ourselves in? Marino Wellness aims to show us how.
Carly Marino-Healy, founder of Marino Wellness, was born with a devotion to movement. Growing up classically trained in ballet, she adopted the discipline and overall passion that practiced exercise and wellness bring. As she got older and looked toward a career centered on the benefits of movement, her career choice seemed obvious.
“The most natural fit for my passion was to study kinesiology—the study of motor skills, the mechanical aspects of movement, and the body’s physiological responses to physical activity,” Healy says. “After spending so many hours at the barre, it just made sense.”
Healy’s studies went beyond movement. Her master’s in exercise physiology with an emphasis in public health gave her a deeper understanding of chronic conditions prevalent in the United States (like obesity) as well as the ways in which exercise and proper nutrition relate to overall health. And, after spending the first portion of her professional career at NBC Universal as the associate wellness director, she realized that she wanted to make a positive influence on a broader audience.
“I spent several years of my career in public health implementing evidenced-based practices to prevent obesity,” Healy explains. “This experience allowed me to hone my skills in population-based wellness strategies, identifying key programs targeting chronic conditions.
“Then,” she continues, “I realized the same factors affecting the public sector also affected the everyday worker, and there was no comprehensive private sector solution. There was a clear need for employers to improve health outcomes in the workplace, but they did not know how to effectively improve physical activity levels, nutrition behaviors, or how to reduce the stress of their workforce.”
From this need came Marino Wellness. Seeing as people often split their time between home and work, Marino Wellness focuses on the latter, specializing in office massage, meditation, fitness, and health education programs to help ingrain healthy habits into one of the settings that beckons our attention most.
“It’s really exciting because this is the future of office wellness, and it only gets better from here.”
“Our vision is to create the opportunity to adopt a healthy lifestyle within a busy work day,” Healy explains. “That way, the average worker can find more of a work/life integration. We’ve identified evidence-based programs that companies can adopt to help make the healthy choice the easy choice at work.”
Marino Wellness’ model fluctuates based on the size, need, and investment of its clients. Companies can integrate weekly yoga classes or bootcamps to increase physical activity. They can implement lunch-and-learns or health coaching to address nutrition behaviors. The company even offers stress management programs like weekly chair massage or meditation sessions to enhance emotional and mental well-being.
No matter which programs a client chooses, the key to success, says Healy, is making wellness an ongoing part of the company culture. In fact, as more companies adopt a value on investment (VOI) model for employee wellness programming, Marino Wellness’ business strategy has gained a lot of traction.
“We are in an era where decision makers know that if they do not prioritize employee well-being, there will undoubtedly be negative impacts on business,” Healy says. “There is a paradigm shift happening: employers are recognizing wellness as a mainstay in corporate culture, stigmas around stress and emotional wellbeing are being removed, and the largest segment of the workforce, millennials, expect employers to prioritize well-being. As a result, employers are recognizing that such programming is a necessity.”
In addition to providing on-site programs, strategy, and turnkey solutions, Healy’s team encourages offices to promote well-being by focusing on the small things: casual dress codes, access to healthy snacks, and flexible work schedules. Small changes like these add up to a happier, healthier culture.
The team also encourages companies to be creative in terms of what they think their wellness programs should look like. At Marino Wellness’ own office, for example, employees take “wellness breaks” throughout the week to take part in a yoga class, get a massage, take a walk outside, or engage in mindful meditation. They’ve even started a “green drink happy hour” to feel good inside and out and teach healthy eating habits.
“We’re wellness enthusiasts at headquarters,” Healy laughs. “For us, we’re really passionate about making sure that we practice what we preach.”
As Marino Wellness helps its clients pave a path toward well-being, Healy has noticed more companies weaving physical, mental, and social health into their foundational fabric. “It’s really exciting because this is the future of office wellness,” she says, “and it only gets better from here.”