ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
January 2020
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:

2020 Wellness Program "To-Do" List: Clear Vision to Good Health

1) Get Connected...Open the Newsletter Each Month!
What will the newsletter offer in 2020?
  • The newsletter provides information and activities targeting the issues that have the greatest effect on rising health care costs. A team approach to the Wellness Program will have positive effects on the Health Benefit spend allowing you to maximize the Retirement Benefit contribution. Make a commitment to participate and improve your health in 2020:

  • 1) Monthly challenge ($25 incentive)
  • Be rewarded for taking actions that directly impact your health (and your savings).
  • Some of the challenges take a matter of a few minutes and some take 21-days.
  • 2) Eat Better!!!
  • Nutrition Information and a "Recipe of the Month".
  • 3) Be Active!!!
  • Monthly Strengthening, Stretching and Conditioning Exercises.
  • 4) Financial Wellness
  • QCI is an excellent resource for your financial peace of mind, they will be providing a monthly article and their quarterly newsletter!
  • 5) NCAA "March Madness" Bracket Challenge
  • Keep your eyes open for an email (beginning of March) outlining registration details!

2) Schedule Your 2020 Annual Physical ($200 incentive)

Does your annual physical have positive effects on your healthy behavior? I recently spoke with a member who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at their annual physical. The Primary Care Physician outlined a treatment plan including prescription meds and a 6-month follow-up appointment. The member, knowing they could improve their lifestyle (specifically nutrition), asked the PCP to hold off on medication and give them the 6-months to "naturally" improve their condition. The PCP agreed and was amazed 6-months later when the member returned having lost a significant amount of weight (greater than 10%), improving all their blood work including a blood glucose reading within normal ranges.

  • Diabetes Fast Facts:
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US (79,535/year).
  • Costs $327 billion in health care costs (including $90 billion lost in productivity).
  • 30.3 million adults in the US have diabetes (7.2 million are undiagnosed).
  • 84.1 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

What issues did the member identify as needed changes?
  • The member stated that they had allowed their weight to get out of control

  • Weight and Health Statistics:
  • CDC (2018) statistics indicated 71.6% of American adults (20+ years) were overweight (39.8% obese).
  • Excess body weight is linked to the leading causes of death including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. It is also associated with poor mental health and quality of life.
  • Research (along with our example) demonstrates small improvements in body weight (5-10%) can have positive effects on your health.

  • Blamed weight gain on poor food choices, especially eating out while working out of town.

What changes did they make?
  • 1) Cut out "fast food" and "junk food"!
  • 2) Took more care in planning and preparing meals including:
  • packing a lunch box with healthier choices (rather than eating out)
  • eating more fruits and vegetables
  • started using a veggie pasta maker
  • cooked in the hotel room using an air fryer, improving the quality of meals by reducing saturated fat intake.

Taking action, makes a difference!
  • Not only did they improve their health, they also saved themselves time and money!

Submit the following to receive the $200 incentive:

3) Eat Better!!!
Eat More...

  1. Fruits & Vegetables
  2. Nuts/Seeds
  3. Seafood

Eat Less...

  1. Excess Sodium
  2. Processed Meats
  3. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Recipe of the Month ...

One of the tools used by our member to reverse their type 2 diabetes diagnosis was a veggie pasta maker . Replacing pasta with vegetables is beneficial when you are trying to reduce calories and carbohydrates and increase your vegetable intake.

This month try: Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Bake (this recipe does not require a veggie pasta maker)

$25 January Incentive Challenge - Start 2020 with your first nutrition challenge!

"Drink Yourself to Heart Health!!!"

What should you know? Research shows drinking 5 glasses of water per day reduces the risk of heart disease in women 41% and 54% in men. That is statistically more significant than diet or exercise.

  • Drink either 66-99 oz. per day - or - 1/2 your body weight (pounds) in ounces!
  • Download and record on the 21-Day Water Log (click and print). At the end of 21 days, email (cell phone picture works), mail or fax me a copy. Make your own log if you are unable to print, I will take it!
  • Challenge starts on January 7th and ends on January 28th.
  • If you get a late start, fill in the log and send it in, I will take them up until 2/14/20.
  • Objective: train yourself to drink the recommended daily dose of water and reduce your risk of heart disease!

4) Be Active!!!
The heart is the most important muscle in your body. It pumps blood carrying all the vital materials we need and removes harmful waste products. When the heart does not function properly all aspects of our health are greatly compromised. The heart can be efficiently exercised through cardiovascular exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.

  • The American Heart Association recommends:
  • 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.
  • 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.

Problem: Most people have difficulty adhering to an exercise program...
  • Only 20% of the 45-million Americans that have a gym membership actually use it.
  • Most complain gyms are crowded, time-consuming and they are confused as to what they should do.

Solution: Exercising at home saves time and money! Keep it simple!
  • 1) Understand the importance of exercising your heart and commit to exercise. Just Do It!!!
  • 2) Focus on what you can do at home!
  • It is much more time efficient! You do not need to change your clothes and drive to the gym.
  • For example, I put my headphones on and walk up and down the stairs 3-4 times per week. My 2019 goal was to do 150 sessions (keep a log).
  • Don't have stairs? It is amazing how good of a workout you can get jogging in place in front of the TV!
  • 3) Make your goals attainable!
  • You will feel more successful if you accomplish what you set out to do.
  • Start with 2 or 3 days/week completing 5-10 minutes walking the stairs or on your treadmill, use your stationary bike or elliptical, take a walk or ride your bike through the neighborhood. Keep it simple, just move!!!
  • I started by doing 5 to 10 minutes per session and worked my way up to 30 minutes per session by the end of 2019! Approximately, 90% of my workouts were done walking the stairs but I also incorporated some jogging, cycling and hiking. I made improvements in my good cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and resting heart rate.