ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
January 2019
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:
2019 Wellness Program "To Do List" - Good health is as easy as 1-2-3!
1) Schedule Your Annual Physical for 2019 ($200 Incentive)
  • Over the past 2 years, a larger than "normal" number of "high-cost claims" has resulted in an increase in health premiums.
  • In order to combat that trend, the primary goal of the Wellness Program in 2018 was to increase the use of the Annual Physical (preventative services). Biometric testing at the safety meetings was "scrapped" in favor of a $200 incentive to meet with your Primary Care Physician and have your Annual Physical ($0 co-pay).
  • Establishing a yearly meeting with your PCP:
  • lowers the risk of high-cost claims
  • can have significant health benefits including a more accurate diagnosis and early intervention if necessary.
  • having a PCP familiar with you and your health history saves time and money.
  • In 2017, 423 members participated in the Annual Physical, we will not have final numbers on participation for 2018 until the end of March but data suggests that we took a significant step in the right direction.

What information should you get from the Annual Physical?
  • "Know Your Numbers" (click) to see norms
  • Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure and Body Weight are key indicators for both current and long-term health.
  • Discuss "Your Numbers" with your doctor and be clear on where you stand. For "numbers" that fall outside of the healthy parameters there are treatments through nutrition, exercise and/or medication (if necessary).

Who is eligible?
  • Again, the $200 incentive only applies to the member and the member-spouse. Annual Physicals are offered at $0 copay for children as well but they are not eligible for the $200 incentive.

Coaching points from 2018...
  • Under the ESHCA health plan you are eligible to get a physical one time per calendar year. That means you do not have to wait a full year, theoretically, you could get a physical in December and then get another one in January. Use the "off-season" to get it done!
  • It takes several weeks to receive the Explanation of Benefits (receipt from MVP), be aware of what you are looking for. Consider setting up an account on the MVP Member Portal in order to get paperwork faster and to more efficiently track your account.

Click Here to download paperwork for the 2019 Annual Physical ($200 incentive).
2) Improve Your Nutrition 2019
3 Foods We Need More Of:

1) Fruits/Vegetables
  • 5+ servings/day
2) Nuts and Seeds
  • 1 ounce serving, 5-7 days/week
3) Seafood
  • 3-4 ounces, 1-2 days per week
3 Foods to Reduce or Take Away :

1) Excess Sodium
  • keep below 2,000mg/day
2)Processed meats (sausage, bacon, ham, etc.)
  • ideally 0 servings per day
3) Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • ideally 0 servings/day
Since most of you are "very" active during the work season, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on improving your health through better nutrition. One of the research studies I have used several times, in the newsletter and on jobsite visits, is a long-term study on premature death as a result of cardiometabolic disease (heart disease, stroke and diabetes) caused by a lack of "healthy" foods and an excess of "unhealthy" foods.

The study concluded that 45.4% of the 702,308 cardiometabolic deaths (506,100 heart disease, 128,294 stroke and 67,914 type 2 diabetes) in 2012 were a result of dietary habits. The biggest culprit was excess salt accounting for 9.5% of cardiometabolic deaths, followed by low amounts of nuts/seeds (8.5%); excess processed meats (8.2%); low amounts of seafood omega-3 fats (7.8%); low amounts of vegetables (7.6%), low amounts of fruits (7.5%) and excess sugar-sweetened beverages (7.4%).

Cardiometabolic conditions are not only deadly but can also result in costly disabilities. Taking small steps such as replacing Coca-Cola with water or French fries with green vegetables can be very helpful in controlling our premiums and ensure that we are maximizing our retirement benefits. If you would like more help in developing a successful approach to nutrition, consider participating in the 49-Day Nutrition Challenge that we will be offering in January.

Click Here for more information on the 49-Day Nutrition Challenge .

$ Get Your $25 Incentive - Take the 21-Day Water Challenge $
The objective for 2019 Newsletter is to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors through, 6-wellness challenges, 3-weeks in duration. Each challenge accomplished will be rewarded with a $25 incentive if the appropriate paperwork is submitted. Every member of the household is welcome to participate but only one incentive will be paid to each member household.

Challenge #1 - January 2019
  • Drink 66-99 oz. per day - or - 1/2 your body weight (pounds) in ounces!
  • Download and record on the 21-Day Water Log. At the end of 21 days, email (cell phone picture works), mail or fax me a copy.
  • Challenge starts on January 7th and ends on January 28th.
  • Objective: train yourself to drink the recommended daily dose of water.

Why is it important to be properly hydrated?
  • Did you know?
  • It is estimated, 80% of the US population is "chronically" dehydrated
  • Loma Linda research (1976-2002), concluded drinking 5 or more glasses of water reduced the risk of coronary heart disease 54% in men and 41% in women when compared to those who drank 2 or less glasses per day.
  • More significant than diet or exercise!

What is the truth on how much water you should drink?
  • Any recommendation you see is just a guide based on the fact that the human body consists of 55-60% water and needs to be constantly replenished.
  • Dehydration (lack of water) is based on symptoms or characteristics, not on how much water per day you drink:
  • symptoms of dehydration are: dark yellow urine, thirst, dry mouth, not urinating very often, dry skin, cool skin, headache and muscle cramps
  • dehydration can be a result of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, fever), excessive sweating, frequent urination (diabetes, medications such as water pills) or not drinking enough

What prevents people from not drinking enough water?
  • You’re busy and forget to drink enough.
  • You don’t realize you’re thirsty.
  • You don’t feel like drinking because you have a sore throat or mouth sores, or you’re sick to your stomach.

Use this Challenge as a means to train yourself to get the base recommended amount of water you need per day!!!

CLICK HERE to download the Water Log!!!

3) Improve Your Exercise 2019
Exercise boosts "good" cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides which reduces the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it helps to prevent stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, many types of cancer, arthritis and falls. It can also help improve cognitive function.

The American Heart Association recommends the following for adults:
  • Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.

  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
  • Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

Even for the "Wellness Coordinator", these recommendations look a bit demanding. My personal goal for 2019 is to get at least three 20-minute cardio sessions per week (primarily walking up and down the stairs while listening to music or a podcast). My target is to complete 150 total sessions leading up to my physical in November 2019 with the intention of increasing my "good" cholesterol and lowering my blood pressure. Even if I am not meeting the AHA recommendations, following through with this plan will be an improvement over 2018. Focus on being better, not perfect!

Note: In February, I will be offering a 21-Day Conditioning Program ($50 incentive) focused on flexibility and body weight exercises! I will be emailing a flier with registration information in mid-January.