ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
July 2019
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:
Fiber Improves "Your Numbers"
The current health trend in the US...
  • Modern medicine has greatly reduced the risk of infectious diseases, however, changes in our lifestyles (poor nutrition and low activity) have led to an increase in "Chronic-Diet Related Diseases" including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer (colorectal, mouth, pharynx, larynx, uterine, breast, kidney, stomach and liver).
  • One half of American adults (117 million people) have one or more preventable diseases that can be cured or managed with simple lifestyle changes.
  • Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body weight are a reflection of current and future health in regards to your risk for these diseases.

Problem: Our diets lack nutrient dense foods...
  • The average American eats 400+ more calories today than they did in 1970!
  • Research indicates there is an increase in poor quality fats/oils and grains; combined with a decrease in nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Total calories from fast food have increased from 3% (1977-78) to 13% (2005-2008).
  • Processed foods have made it possible to go days, weeks, months or even years without eating a fruit or vegetable.

Solution: Eating nutrient dense foods requires READING LABELS!!!
  • Not all fats/oils are bad, in fact, some are necessary for "heart health". When reading labels:
  • 1) Focus on "healthy" unsaturated fats
  • 2) Avoid saturated and trans fats
  • "Healthy" Grains vs. "Unhealthy" Grains -or- Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs
  • "Healthy" grains have more fiber (5+grams), protein, vitamins and minerals.

Increasing fiber intake is one key to better health...
  • Currently, the average American consumes only 10 to 15 grams per day!
  • Women require 21 to 25 grams per day and men 30 to 38 grams per day.

What is fiber?
  • Fiber is a carbohydrate, found in fruits, vegetables and good quality grains that the body cannot digest. While most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber passes through the body undigested. There are 2 types:
  • 1) Soluble - forms a gel that collects "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and controls blood sugar. Example: oatmeal
  • 2) Insoluble - acts like a brush, "scraping" your colon clean; it helps food move through the digestive tract quicker preventing constipation. Example: skin of an apple

What does fiber do?
  • Lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Keeps you fuller longer, meaning, you eat less total calories per day.
  • A growing amount of data suggests people who eat more fiber have a lower body weight.
  • A recent study demonstrated people who added fiber to their diet lost as much weight as those following a heart-healthy, low-fat eating plan provided by the American Heart Association. Researchers concluded simply adding fiber was easier to stick to than the more structured AHA plan.

  • Fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, nuts/seeds and whole grains.

Tips to add more...
  • Get 5+ servings of fruits and vegetables/day.
  • Use whole grain bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, etc. (1-3 servings per day)
  • read nutrition labels and choose higher fiber foods (5+ grams or more per serving).
  • Replace some of your weekly meat proteins with beans, lentils or nuts/seeds.
  • Eat an apple/almond combo daily!

$25 Incentive - Fiber Calculator Challenge
  • The following link would not attach to the email. Cut and paste or type it in to open the "Fiber Calculator".
  • 1) Go to https://globalrph.com/medcalcs/fiber-calculator-great-tool-for-dieters/.
  • 2) Fill in the calculator using foods you have eaten over the past 24 hours.
  • Make sure you adjust the serving size.
  • 3) Once it is completely filled out, click the "Calculate Total Fiber Content" tab at the bottom.
  • 4) The results page will display. Please email me one of the following: a) screen shot of the results page; b) a printout of the results page; or c) record the info including total grams and selections made (do not include serving sizes).
  • 5) This is one day challenge, complete it anytime before July 31st, send me the information and I will send you a $25 incentive card.
  • Remember, all are encouraged to participate but only one incentive card will be sent to each member household unless more than one employee lives in the household.

It is estimated that 80% of the US population is "chronically" dehydrated even without working a 10 hour shift on black top in summer heat.

Water is necessary for every chemical reaction that occurs within the body...
  • Removes waste
  • Controls body temperature
  • Controls heart rate and blood pressure
  • One long term study (1975-2002) concluded that drinking 5 glasses of water per day lowered the risk of heart disease 54% in men and 41% in women. Statistically that is more beneficial than diet or exercise!
  • Maintains a healthy metabolism
  • Another study demonstrated people who drank 16.9 ounces of water before each of their 3 meals lost 4.6 more pounds over 12 weeks than those who did not.
  • Lubricates joints and muscles, relieving pain and reducing the risk of arthritis and muscle damage.

Symptoms of dehydration are not conducive to operating heavy equipment or working inches from "rushing" traffic. They can occur with as little as 1-2% water loss (body weight loss).
  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark colored urine (should be a pale yellow)
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Factors that increase the risk of dehydration...
  • Excessive Sweating (working in excessive heat)
  • Alcohol and Caffeine
  • Frequent Urination
  • resulting from diabetes and medications (diuretics - water pills)
  • Sickness resulting in fever, diarrhea and/or vomiting

How much fluid do you need?
  • General Hydration (Daily)
  • Drink 66-99+ ounces of water per day or enough to prevent thirst and the symptoms above (dark urine is a good indication).
  • Extreme Heat (Plan and Be Prepared)
  • The day before...
  • Avoid alcohol and focus on general hydration
  • Include high-water content foods at all meals.
  • Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, skim milk, cucumbers, lettuce, broths & soups, zucchini, celery, plain yogurt, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, grapefruit, coconut water and cottage cheese.
  • The Day of...
  • 1) Drink 8 to 16 ounces of water before work, include high-water content foods.
  • 2) Limit coffee intake to 32 oz. and avoid energy drinks altogether!
  • 3) On the job; drink up to 32 oz. per hour (do not exceed 384 oz. per day).
  • 4) Include 2-4 sports drinks (8 oz. servings) to replace lost minerals.
  • Should consisting of 120-170 mg of sodium and 6 to 8 percent carbohydrates. This includes Gatorade, Powerade and All Sport.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk also has the perfect blend of electrolytes and is often promoted by sports nutritionists as the perfect post workout meal. Great for lunch or the ride home!
  • 5) Eat high-water content foods throughout the day.
  • 6) Drink 8-16 ounces of water at night (after dinner hours).
  • focus on recovery for the next day

  • Recovery from a Hot Work Day, the scientific approach...
  • Weigh yourself before and after your shift, for every pound lost it is recommended you drink 20 ounces of water!
  • Remember: in most instances proper hydration is more about monitoring the symptoms and less about the number of ounces you drink.

Note: Sports drinks are for use on hot days or to recover from illness (fever, vomiting and diarrhea). D o not use them when not needed, they contain too much sugar, sodium and excess calories. Focus on drinking plain water!
  • extra-reading search: Eat This, Not That! 13 Healthy Sports Drinks for Weight Loss
  • Zico Coconut Water, Horizon Organic Low-Fat Chocolate Milk, NUUN Active, Aloha Organic Protein Powder, EBOOST Natural Orange, Chameleon Cold-Brew Vanilla Coffee, V8 Low Sodium Vegetable Juice, Liquid I.V., Core Hydration, WTRMLN WTR, Aloe Gloe Aloe Water, Happytree Maple Water, and Water.

Stretch of the Month - Low Back (Part 1: Flexion)
The General Health Assessments reveals, approximately 75% of respondents suffer from low back pain. Pain is a symptom of inflammation and irritation possibly resulting from minor muscle tightness or strain. It could also be a warning sign of a more serious issue such as arthritis or disc degeneration. Stretching the low back and treating it with ice and/or heat can often relieve all or much of the pain. There are two considerations that should be taken: 1) Tight low back muscles that need to be stretched; and 2) weak abdominal muscles that need to be strengthened.

1) Stretch (low back muscles) - knees to the chest
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. If necessary, place a pillow behind your head to support your neck.
  • Gently pull the knees toward the chest. You should notice your low back muscles lengthen as the lower spine gently "settles" into the floor (Figure A).
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds then return to the starting position. Repeat 1 to 3 times.
  • This stretch can also be done with a single leg (Figure B).

2) Strengthen (abdominal muscles) - abdominal crunch (Figure C)
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
  • Place your arms across your chest or behind your head.
  • Gently, suck your stomach in and roll forward (crunch).
  • In the contracted, "up" position, you should notice: a) tension in your abdominal muscles; and b) your lower back is pressing into the floor.
  • Hold each contraction for a 1 second count before returning to the floor. Complete 5-25 repetitions and repeat for 1 to 3 sets if necessary.

What Is the Wellness Program Offering in 2019?
Be rewarded for practicing healthy behaviors! Healthy employees cost less and are typically more productive. The ESHCA Wellness Program encourages members to practice healthy behaviors and live a healthy lifestyle. Save on your health premiums by taking advantage of the incentives offered:

  • Annual Physical Incentive ($200)
  • Click Here to download the required paperwork.
  • Nutrition Program ($50)
  • Take the ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge (offered in November and January) - or - get credit for participating in a nutrition program of your choice (example: Weight Watchers)
  • "Used" Gym Membership ($50)
  • Email (good cell phone picture works), mail or fax me a copy of the "Member Login Record" provided by your gym, illustrating you have completed 35 workouts this year and I will send you the incentive.
  • Don't belong to a gym but you workout at home? Contact me and I will send you the paperwork to fill out.
  • Smoking Cessation Program ($50)
  • Complete a smoking cessation program and send me proof of completion.
  • Complete 6 Newsletter Challenges ($25 each)

Don't forget ESHCA is a member of the Herb Philipson's Workwear Program! Show the cashier your ESHCA/MVP Insurance Card and get 10% off Herb's already low prices on "workwear items"!