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Spring Health

Spring is seen as a time of growth and renewal. Use the change of the seasons as your reminder to take charge of your health. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Spring Tune Up. To keep your body running at peak performance, it needs regular maintenance. Spring is a great time to schedule a wellness check with your primary care physician and discuss any cancer screening tests and immunizations you will need to complete this year. Don’t forget to schedule your vision and dental exams, as well. spring-season
  • Lace Up Your Walking Shoes. There’s no better way to explore the season then by walking. It’s one of the best physical activities to improve health. On an emotional level, getting outside and breathing fresh air can be calming and relaxing.
  • Lighten Up Your Diet. Many healthy fruits and veggies, like asparagus, peas, lettuce, and strawberries come into season in the spring, making it the perfect time to replace heavier winter meals with salads, light soups or other lightly cooked fare.
  • Adopt Healthy Habits. Set goals to adopt healthy habits that will improve your overall health and well-being, such as getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol use, becoming tobacco-free, and maintaining a work-life balance.
  • Watch for Allergies. Spring can mean the beginning of allergies for people who react badly to grass and pollen. Keep an eye on weather. Untreated allergies aren’t just uncomfortable, they can lead to breathing problems, sinus infections, and colds.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Fruits and Veggies: How Much is Enough?

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may help prevent chronic diseases. Eating fruits and vegetables are also a great way to manage and maintain a healthy weight.fruits-veggies

If you’re like many Americans, you’re most likely not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Make fruits and vegetables the focal point of every meal and snack, covering at least half the plate.

How Much is Enough?

According to MyPlate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s symbol for healthy eating, the recommended adult daily servings for fruits and vegetables are:

Fruits

  • Women: 2 cups (ages 19-30), 1½ cups (ages 31+)
  • Men: 2 cups (ages 19+)

Vegetables

  • Women: 2½ cups (ages 19-50), 2 cups (ages 51)
  • Men: 3 cups (ages 19-50), 2½ cups (ages 51+)

With a wide variety of colors, textures, tastes and shapes, there is a fruit and vegetable out there for everyone.

To learn helpful tips on ways to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption, visit  www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.

 Take Charge. Live Well!

Fresh Start to the New Year

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people look to fad diets and weight-loss products to achieve their goals quickly. While these may prove effective initially, research shows that many people don’t find long-term success with these types of diets.

Instead of setting a goal to lose weight this New Year, set a goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Exercise regularly. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week and to do strength training exercises of major muscle groups at least twice a week.
  • Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet. Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods and healthy fats.
  • Make sleep a priority. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Practice prevention. Regular checkups may help you stay well now and protect your future health. Discuss with your doctor what screenings and immunizations you may need this year based on your age, gender and family history.

Let’s make health and well-being a priority in 2019.

Take Charge. Live Well!

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Do Good. Feel Good.

Instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of the holiday season, consider volunteering. Spend some time thinking about how you and your family can support others and give back to those who are in need or less fortunate.

If you’re new to volunteering, consider the following:

  • Choose a cause that you believe in and feel passionate about.
  • Choose an opportunity that fits in with your schedule and skills.
  • Once you have committed, be professional, courteous and cooperative.

Studies have shown that donating your time can help you relieve stress, increase happiness and give a sense of purpose. After all, giving back is the best way to spread holiday cheer.

For volunteer opportunities in your community, visit www.volunteermatch.org.

Take Charge. Live Well!

volunteer

Stay In Balance

The holiday season is thought to be the happiest time of the year. Still, the anxiety of having too much to do, too little time and the tendency to overspend can easily overshadow holiday happiness. With some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies this time of year.wp5eaaf313_05_06

  • Get organized. Make lists or use an appointment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend.
  • Know your spending limit. Shop with a list and set a budget. Don’t spend more than you’ve planned. For helpful budgeting tools and resources visit the Merrill Lynch website at benefits.ml.com.
  • Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule. Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays.
  • Know that support is available. The holidays can be a difficult time, especially for those that have lost family or friends. If you or a family member is struggling to cope, contact BHS, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), at 800-245-1150 for confidential support and guidance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Autumn Health and Safety Tips

Fall into good habits by following these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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  • Keep your kids safe and healthy. Get involved with your kids’ activities at home and at school to help ensure they are safe and healthy.
  • Get a flu shot. The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year in the fall.
  • Wash your hands. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others
  • Get smart about antibiotics. Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections, but not viral infections. The common cold and the flu are viral infections.
  • Test and replace batteries. Check or replace carbon monoxide batteries twice a year. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Test alarms every month to ensure they work properly.
  • Keep food safe. Food is center stage during the holidays. Be sure to keep it safe by following basic food safety steps.
  • Learn your family history. Learning about your family’s health history can help you take steps to ensure a longer, healthier future together.
  • Be prepared for cold weather. Exposure to cold temperatures can cause serious health problems. Know how to prevent health problems and what to do if a cold-weather emergency arises.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol slows reaction time and impairs judgment and coordination. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let others drink and drive.

Visit www.cdc.gov/family/autumn to read more on how to stay safe and healthy this autumn.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Are Your Gums Healthy?

brushGum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused when bacteria in plaque builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed. If left untreated, this can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss.

Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. In addition, research has shown that gum disease may be associated with other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Prevent periodontal disease by adding these habits to your daily routine.

  • Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
  • Floss daily. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
  • Rinse with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and any remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. In addition, regular checkups can help your dentist identify and treat problems early before they become costly.

To learn more about oral health, visit www.mouthhealthy.org.

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

Understanding Prediabetes

Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes. It is also a warning sign that you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes happens when your body can’t use insulin the right way causing glucose (sugar) to build up in your blood. High blood sugar can harm many parts of the body, such as the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, andkidneys. It can also increase your risk for other health problems and complications.

Manage your risk for prediabetes by knowing the ABC’s.

A for A1C. The A1C is a non-fasting blood test that shows your average blood sugar level for the past two or three months.

B for Blood Pressure. Blood pressure readings measure the force of blood against the walls of your blood vessels. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder and damages your blood vessels.

C for Cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance in your blood. Unhealthy levels increase the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

2018 HealthWise Wellness Screening Enhancement

This year, the non-fasting A1C test will be replacing the fasting glucose test. With this change, the wellness screening will consist of a blood pressure check and a non-fasting blood draw for a lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides) and hemoglobin A1C.

Learn your risk for prediabetes by participating in the Health Questionnaire and Wellness Screening Program which will be starting soon. Visit healthwise.employee.crown to learn more about this program.

Click HERE to print a copy of the prediabetes risk assessment.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Exercising in the Heat

heatWhether you’re biking, running, playing pick-up sports or simply taking long walks after dinner, summer is a great time to enjoy many outdoor activities.

The heat of summer brings an increased risk for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. So before you step outside, be sure you SWEAT first.

Sunscreen. To establish a habit, leave a bottle of water-resistant sunscreen near the front door, so when you head outside it’s right there. Be sure to reapply every few hours if you intend to be in the sun for a while.

Water. Being hydrated is a great way to ensure you are ready to exercise in the heat. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion as well as impaired performance. Be sure to consume 8 fluid ounces every 15 minutes or so.

Ease into it. Exercising in the heat takes time to get acclimated. Take into consideration the temperature, humidity and time of day when training in the warmer months.

Attire. Be sure to dress appropriately. Light-colored and lightweight clothing are ideal, and if you can wear performance or dry-fit clothing, do so.

Tools. Tools for managing the heat include fuel, sunglasses and hats. Be sure to properly fuel your body before exercising to prevent dizziness and nausea. Sunglasses and hats are great additional protectors from the sun.

Stay safe as you exercise in the sun.

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

Source:  “5 Ways to Safely Exercise in the Heat.” www.acefitness.org/

National Safety Month

National Safety Month focuses on preventing injuries and saving lives at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities.

This June, we encourage you to think of at least one change you can make to improve your health and safety in the areas of emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving.

  • Emergency Preparedness. Emergency situations can happen at any time. Plan and prepare for possible emergencies.
  • Wellness. We ask a lot of ourselves each day. Over time, this can put a strain on our own health and well-being. Focus on your wellness each day.
  • Falls. Distracted walking is a serious risk. Prevent slips, trips and falls both and home and in your community.
  • Driving. Avoid dangerous driving behavior and keep your focus on the driving task.

Click on “No 1 Gets Hurt” to learn additional ways to stay safe and healthy during Safety Month.

no-1gets-hurt

For more information, visit www.nsc.org/nsm

Take Charge. Live Well!