Health Tips

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!


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
  • 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.

  • 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 to read more on how to stay safe and healthy this autumn.

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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

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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 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.”

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.


For more information, visit

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

Take Charge. Live Well!