ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
May 2020
The shareable link (printable) for this issue:
For complete member services visit us at: www.eshca.org
COVID-19 Reinforces Preventative Care and Disease Management
Underlying health conditions:
All demographics have been infected with COVID-19, however, the March CDC report indicates those with underlying conditions are more likely to have severe complications. Report findings (3/1-3/31):
  • 90% of hospitalizations, individuals had 1 or more underlying health conditions, including:
  • 49.7% - have hypertension
  • 48.3% - obesity (BMI > 30)
  • 34.6% - chronic lung disease
  • 28.3% - diabetes
  • 27.3% - cardiovascular disease

Prior to COVID-19:
  • 6 in 10 Americans had a chronic disease (underlying condition) and 4 in 10 had more than one.
  • Hypertension - 45% (108 million) of American adults exceed 130/80.
  • Obesity - 42% have a BMI > 30 including 9% identified as severely obese (BMI > 40).
  • Chronic lung disease - 37 million Americans (includes asthma and COPD).
  • Diabetes - 11% - 34-million - 27 million diagnosed/7 million undiagnosed (fasting blood sugar 126+).
  • plus another 88 million pre-diabetics (fasting blood sugar 100-125).
  • Cardiovascular disease - 48% (includes high blood pressure).
Take action:
  • Step 1 - ASSESS and MANAGE your health...Schedule your ANNUAL PHYSICAL!
  • To protect your investments, including the health insurance and retirement accounts, ESHCA has implemented a $200 incentive to complete your Annual Physical. The objective is to:
  • 1) Encourage members to meet regularly with their Primary Care Physician.
  • Data confirms, preventative appointments reduce the risk of "high-cost" claims.
  • 2) Educate members to monitor their personal health i.e. "Know Your Numbers".
  • 3) Ensure early intervention/treatment in regards to chronic disease management.

  • Step 2 - Make lifestyle changes...chronic disease is linked to 4 behaviors:
  • 1) poor nutrition
  • 2) lack of physical activity
  • 3) use of tobacco
  • 4) excessive use of alcohol

Paperwork for the $200 Annual Physical Incentive (submit all 3):

8 Steps to a Good Nights Sleep!!!
Dr. Michael Breus, aka "The Sleep Doctor"
Why is sleep important?
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco identified poor sleep as the number one factor in determining whether someone would get sick after being exposed to the cold virus. Sleep plays an important role in building our immune system; getting t he proper amount fosters T Cell production (white blood cells that fight infection) along with the production and release of cytokine (a protein that helps the immune system quickly respond to antigens).

What is the proper amount of sleep?
A sleep cycle is divided into 5 stages (REM and Non-REM) with each cycle averaging approximately 90 minutes. While 4 cycles (6 hours) may be sufficient for an adult to achieve the benefits above, Dr. Breus recommends 5 cycles per night ( 7.5 hours ).

8 steps to a good nights sleep:
  • 1) Give yourself an electronic curfew 90 minutes before lights out.
  • Blue light from digital screens reduces the production of melatonin (the "sleep" hormone).
  • 2) Consider meditation or progressive relaxation before bed or while falling asleep.
  • 3) Compile a gratitude list in your mind.
  • What works for me? I "declutter and plan", using steps 2 and 3 in combination with one another. Each night, I lay flat on my back (as still as possible) with my pillow covering my eyes, reflecting on the day and putting it all behind me. Ultimately, I am thankful for all I have and for getting through another day. Finally, I visualize (step by step) what I need to do the next day. This process (decluttering and planning) has worked wonders in preventing "restless" nights.
  • 4) Keep your schedule consistent. Avoid extra napping.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  • 5) Lower stimulants and depressants.
  • Caffeine has a half life of 6-8 hours meaning you should avoid intake after 2pm.
  • Alcohol reduces immunity and energizes you.
  • 6) Take a shower or bath 90 minutes before you go to bed.
  • 7) Make sure your sleep environment is clean, you spend a significant amount of your day there.
  • Wash your sheets 2x per week (COVID19 recommendation).
  • 8) Consider a cup of guava leaf tea (add 1 teaspoon of raw honey).
  • Not only does it calm your nerves and quiet your mind it also helps to stabilize your blood sugar.

Additional reading: How do you adjust sleep patterns when you are sick?
Recipe of the Month...Greens and Beans
Chronic diseases are defined (CDC) as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the US. They are also leading drivers of the nation's $3.5 trillion health care costs .

Poor nutrition is linked to chronic disease . The Standard American Diet is high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat while being low in fiber and nutrients (vitamins and minerals). This is not suprising when you consider our diets are low in fruits and vegetables, the most nutritious foods on the planet!

According to the CDC (2015) only 1 in 10 Americans get the recommended amount of daily produce . Current USDA recommendations are 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables/day .

Recipe of the month: Big Ole' Bowl of Greens and Beans or try a delicious Fruit Salad !

$25 Challenge - The "Strive for 5" Challenge

Make an effort to get the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Over the past 3 years emphasis has been placed on getting your annual physical, the next step is to focus on healthy behavior changes. Improving nutrition is a good place to start and encouraging every member household to get 5 (or more) servings of produce each day is the key to being successful..."Strive for 5"!

To receive the $25 incentive:
  • 1) Eat 5 servings of produce on 12 separate days in the month of May (through 6/15).
  • Be creative and get lots of variety..."Eat all the colors of the rainbow" (see examples on the log).
  • If this challenge is difficult for you, fill in the log with choices you think you can make. The process of planning (even if you do not follow through) makes this a meaningful exercise and increases the likelihood you will be successful in the future.
  • 2) Download and record on the Strive for 5 Log (click and print). Upon completion of the 12 days (must be done on 12 separate days) email (cell phone picture works), mail or fax me a copy. If you are unable to print, make your own log, I will take it!
  • 3) Every member of the household is encouraged to participate but only 1 incentive card can be issued to each member-household with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in the household. Let me know if you have questions.
  • 4) Make this healthy nutrition habit an "on the job" practice! Take fruits and vegetables to work!
Strength Exercises - Core Combo #3
Continue with either Combo #1 (crunch/superman) or Combo #2 (twisting crunch/bird dogs) and add the plank and bridge. Combo #1 and #2 are spinal flexion/extension exercises and mix nicely with the stability exercises presented here in Combo #3. Together, they provide a complete core workout.
1) Plank
  • Place your weight on either your elbows (as shown) or on your hands with the arms extended (pushup position).
  • Plant your toes into the floor and lift your body.
  • Keep your torso perfectly straight and still, holding your weight on the toes and elbows.
  • Hold for 15-60 seconds, repeat 1 to 3 times.

2) Bridge
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • "Engage your core" (suck your stomach in), press your heels into the floor using your glutes and hamstrings and lift your hips.
  • Pause for 1 second at the top of the mvmt. and return to the floor. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, do 1-3 sets