´╗┐ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
November 2019
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:
Urgent Request: Blood Donations
American Red Cross
Give "The Gift of Life" through a blood donation. Each donation can save up to 3 lives , the life you save maybe a loved one or even your own. There is a constant need for blood donations, not enough eligible people donate blood (3%) and because blood products have a short shelf-life (5-42 days), the supply needs to be constantly replenished. There are several reasons why people do not donate blood including strict ARC rules on who is eligible (only 38% of the population), fear of needles, inclement weather in the winter, nice weather in the summer, fewer drives around all holidays, busy lifestyles and a simple lack of social awareness on the urgency of need.

  • Every 2 seconds someone in the USA needs a blood transfusion.
  • Essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries.
  • For example, a single car accident victim can require as much as 100 pints.
  • 41,000 blood donations are needed each day.
  • The average donation is 1 pint.
  • Each donation can save up to 3 lives.
  • 38% of the US population is eligible to donate, however, only 3% each year actually do.

How long does it take?
  • It is a 4 step process: 1) registration, 2) medical history/mini-physical, 3) blood donation and 4) refreshments.
  • Entire process takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes; with the actual donation taking 10-12 minutes.
  • Save time by making an appointment (contact information below) and filling out the online Rapid Pass (covers registration and medical history).

How often can I donate?
  • A Healthy donor can donate red blood cells every 56 days (6 times per year) or double red blood cells (Power Red) every 112 days.

Do I qualify to be a donor?
  • First, are you at least 17 years old and do you weigh at least 110 lbs?
  • Second, the medical history and mini-physical provide additional information to determine if you are eligible (you may want to complete the Rapid Pass to verify you are eligible, better to find out at home rather than taking the time to go in and find out you cannot give that day):
  • Ask about your health and travel.
  • I found out I was not eligible for 12-months because I traveled to the Dominican Republic in February (risk of malaria).
  • Ask about medicines you have taken or are taking.
  • Ask about your risk for infections that can be transmitted by blood (AIDS and viral hepatitis).
  • Take your blood pressure, temperature and pulse.
  • Take a blood sample to make sure your blood count (iron) is acceptable.

How should I prepare?
  • Consider making an appointment, go to the ARC Website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a blood drive where you live or work.
  • Walk-ins are welcome but making an appointment will save you time.
  • Consider preregistering using the Rapid Pass.
  • Bring ID with signature and know your social security number.
  • Drink 16 ounces of water before your donation.
  • Eat a healthy meal, low in fat.
  • Wear a short sleeved shirt.

Great American Smokeout 2019
American Cancer Society
The Great American Smokeout is an annual event held on the third Thursday of November. This year it will be observed on November 21st . The idea began after a series of smaller events, starting in 1970 when Arthur P. Mullaney (high school guidance counselor) suggested people give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money to the local high school in Randolph, Massachusetts. Seven years later the first official Great American Smokeout was held on September 16, 1977 in San Francisco's Union Square.

What is the purpose?
  • The event provides an opportunity for people to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives. Hopefully, not just for a day, but for a lifetime.

Smoking statistics (CDC 2017)...
  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the USA.
  • 1 in every 5 deaths (480,000 per year; including 41,000 from second hand smoke) are related to smoking.
  • Worldwide, more than 7 million deaths per year are attributed to tobacco.
  • 34.3 million (14%) American adults (18+ years old) currently smoke.
  • 16 million Americans live with a smoking related disease (American Lung Association) including:
  • Lung cancer, COPD, heart disease, stroke, asthma, reproduction issues, premature babies, diabetes, blindness, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and over 10 types of cancer (colon, cervix, liver, stomach and pancreatic).
  • The average smoker will live 10 years less than a non-smoker.

Is it working, are people quitting?
  • Smoking in American adults has decreased from 42% (1965) to 14% (2017).

Tips to quit...
1) Find your reason.
2) Have a plan.
3) Consider nicotine replacement.
* Research suggests, it nearly doubles the chance for success.
4) Lean on loved ones.
5) Find ways to relax.
6) Identify and avoid triggers.
7) Thoroughly "clean house".
* Get the smell of cigarettes out of your home, clothes, car, etc.
8) Be active.
9) Eat fruits and vegetables.
10) Save money and choose a reward.
11) Try and try again, never give up!!!

Technology can help you quit! Changing any habit (smoking, nutrition, exercise) is difficult and smoking is especially difficult because of nicotine addiction. Tracking your behavior can provide you with valuable information on your trends and your triggers. There are several apps that guide you through the "tips to quit" above and increase your chances of long-term success. "Healthline.com" has identified the best apps to quit smoking in 2019 including:
  • Smoke Free
  • Easy Quit
  • Quit It Lite

Stretch of the Month - Forward Head Posture
Poor posture is a common cause of neck, back and shoulder pain (including rotator cuff injuries) . Proper stretching can be an effective means of relieving pain and preventing serious damage. "Forward Head Posture" (Figure A) is a common postural deficiency in which the head shifts forward increasing stress on the cervical spine (neck). A well-balanced head weighs approximately 12 pounds, thus placing 12 pounds of stress on the spine. However, as the head shifts forward it places greater and greater stress on the spine (think of a bowling ball on a stick), stressing not only the muscles in the neck but the entire back (upper, middle and lower). Additional characteristics include tight chest muscles, forward shoulders and a rounded upper back.

Stretches to correct forward head posture include chin tucks, lateral neck stretch and pectoralis (chest) stretch. The chest stretch is also a postural strengthening exercise, using the muscles in the upper back to pull the shoulders back and "open" up the chest.

1) Chin Tuck (Figure B and C) - a) stand with your head, shoulders, upper back, buttocks and heels against the wall (Figure B); b) keeping contact with the wall, push your chin inward, toward your neck creating a "double chin" (Figure C); c) feel a slight pull in the back of the neck; may also feel a pull in your upper back and possibly slight discomfort running down through your arms (nerve stretch); d) hold for 15-30 seconds; d) return to the start position; e) repeat 1-3 times. This stretch can also be done lying on your back.

2) Lateral Neck Stretch (Figure D) - a) stand tall with your chest up and your shoulders back; b) place your right hand on your lower back; c) drop your left ear toward your left shoulder; d) apply gentle pressure with your left hand; e) feel a slight pull on the right side of the neck and trapezius muscle; f) hold for 15-30 seconds; g) return to the start position; h) repeat 1-3 times; i) do the same on the other side. Can also be done sitting in a chair, instead of placing the arm behind the back, grip the seat of the chair just behind your hip.

3) Chest Stretch/Shoulder Blade Squeeze (Figure E) - a) stand with your head, shoulders, upper back, buttocks and heels against the wall; b) put your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows at 90-degrees; c) squeeze your shoulder blades together and push your elbows and wrists back into the wall; d) feel the squeeze between the shoulder blades and the stretch across the chest; e) hold for 15-30 seconds; f) return to the start position; g) repeat 1-3 times. Can also be done lying on the floor.

$25 Incentive Challenge - Forward Head Posture Stretch Challenge
a) Complete these 3 stretches 9 times (9 seperate days) over the month of November.
b) Record on the Forward Head Posture Stretching Worksheet and send it back to me via email, mail or fax. I will send you a $25 incentive card for participating. Reminder: only one incentive can be given to each member household (with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in a household). Please contact me if you have questions.
c) Last day to submit challenge paperwork is 12/14/19.
ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge:
Log your food intake and earn a $50 incentive!
This is late registration, do not delay, contact me today!
Wellness Program Incentives 2019?