Health Tips

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!

Improve Your Posture for Better Health

Mind Your Posture card isolated on white

Proper posture is an important part of your overall well-being. When the curves of the spine are in proper alignment, your weight is supported by the bones and less stress is placed on the surrounding joints, ligaments and muscles. Typical posture deviations that can lead to pain and injury include forward head, rounded shoulders, rounded back, and arms rotated in, with thumbs point towards body when hanging down instead of forward.

 Good Posture

  • Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that lead to arthritis and joint pain
  • Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue
  • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain

It’s Up To You

  • Pay attention to your posture and body alignment in everyday situations, at home and at work.
  • Take frequent breaks to stretch and move your body in different ways.
  • Don’t slouch. Hold your head straight and tuck in your chin. Your ears should be over the middle of your shoulders.
  • Stand and sit with your shoulders back and down, and belly tucked in.
  • When sitting, keep your feet on the floor and do not cross your legs.
  • Beware of ‘Text Neck’. When you tilt your head down to check messages it strains your spine. Lift the device up and move your eyes, not your head.
  • Stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

Spring Clean Your Health

Spring is a great time to refocus on your health and well-being. Here are a few tips to help you spring clean your health.spring-clean-health

  • Get outside. It’s time to get outside for a walk, bike ride, gardening, or just to sit and enjoy the freshness of spring. A little bit of sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for your emotional health.
  • Update or start your exercise plan. Spring and summer offer more options for activities that you can include in your routine. The more you mix it up, the less likely you’ll get bored with your exercise plan.
  • Eat fresh. Plant a garden or plan to shop your local markets. Late spring and summer are prime for farmer’s markets, and fresh produce at your local stores. Shop local, eat fresh and “enjoy the fruits” of your local farmers and stores.
  • Schedule your preventive care appointments. This includes your age appropriate cancer screenings, dental cleanings, and vision exams.
  • Organize your medicine cabinets. Take some time to sort through your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any unused medications or antibiotics. Organize what’s left and be sure to separate vitamins or daily supplements from any prescription drugs.
  • Reorganize your pantry. Get rid of old and expired food. If there is anything you don’t see yourself eating in the next few weeks/months, donate it to your local food pantry. They are always in need of food this time of year.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.®

blue_ribbon_colon_cancer_awareness_month_card-p137107552919208707b21fb_400-400x300Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it.

 Screening Saves Lives

Colorectal cancer is highly preventable by getting screened beginning at the age of 50. This disease almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.

 Risk Factors

  • Being age 50 or older
  • Smoke or use tobacco
  • Overweight or obese, especially if you carry fat around your waist
  • Not physically active
  • Drink alcohol in excess
  • Eat a lot of red or processed meats
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Talk to your doctor about your colorectal cancer screening options. Early detection is key!

For more information, visit www.preventcancer.org.

Take Charge. Live Well!

National Children’s Dental Health Month

national-childrens-dental-health-month1February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Developing good dental habits at an early age is key to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Babies and Toddlers
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), parents should start brushing their children’s teeth as soon they emerge. Use a little toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, on a soft-bristled brush. Don’t forget that your child should have his first dentist appointment by his first birthday.

Preschoolers
Let your child pick out a new toothbrush and a great-tasting toothpaste. Kids that take the lead are more likely to make daily brushing a personal habit. You’ll still need to supervise his technique and help ensure that the teeth are cleaned at least twice daily.

Elementary-Aged
Kids at this age start losing their primary teeth. Just because these teeth are on their way out doesn’t mean kids can ignore the importance of dental hygiene. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist to detect any complications during this process.

Teenagers
Continuing with regular dental checkups can help remind your teen to keep brushing and flossing.

For more information, visit the American Dental Association at www.ada.org.

 

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Whether you prefer to walk during the day or night, in the city or a trail, winter walking can be enjoyable. The beauty of nature, the crisp, fresh air and movement are all beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Winter walking also requires a certain amount of preparation and precaution. Follow these important tips to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors during the winter months.933-snowflake-winter-wonderland-2

Dress for the weather. Start with a thin, breathable layer, then add a thermal layer. Finally, add a thin outer shell to help keep out the wind and cold. Choose smart footwear that provides traction on snow and ice. Add accessories to stay warm and dry from head to toe.

Be safe. Carry a cell phone, tell someone your planned route, and think about walking with a buddy. Use a walking stick or pole to help with balance. Keep hands out of pockets when walking to aid in balance.

Be visible. Between shorter daylight hours and sunlight reflecting off the snow, it can be tough to see and be seen in the winter. Always wear bright, visible clothing. A reflective vest or gear is ideal any time of day.

Stay alert. Assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy and proceed with extra caution. Wait for vehicles to stop completely before crossing a road.

With a little preparation, you can safely enjoy a winter walk.

 Take Charge. Live Well!

Source:  Health News from HAP, January Article.

 

Adults Need Vaccines, Too

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on recommended vaccines.

Your need for immunization doesn’t end when you become an adult. Regardless of age, we all need immunizations to protect our health against common diseases that can be serious.

The specific vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, job, lifestyle, health conditions, locations of travel, and vaccines you’ve received in the past.

Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants and young children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ to view and print the recommended immunization schedules. These schedules list the age or age range when each vaccine or series of shots is recommended. Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.

 

Take Charge. Live Well!