Message from Your Wellness Coordinator
Happy Spring everyone!

If you have completed your online health assessment and bio-metric screening, don't forget to log back into your Hometown Health portal and begin earning points toward your $100 Visa gift card!

COMING SOON: The Five to Thrive Nutrition Challenge will be launching in May! You will have the opportunity to track your servings of fruit and veggies for the duration of the 28 day challenge in your Hometown Health portal. By tracking a minimum of 21 days, you will earn 25 points. Be on the lookout for additional information in the coming weeks.

Check out this month's wellness newsletter that is filled with helpful tips below!

All the best,

Is Red Wine Good for Your Health?

Some experts believe red wine has health benefits but too much is unhealthy. Get the facts on red wine and how it can impact your health.

Health benefits of alcohol
The most widely known benefits of alcohol may be a small increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Research continues on understanding the potential benefits more clearly. Red wine is thought to have even more benefits because it contains polyphenols and flavonoids. Both of these substances may have additional cardio-protective effects.
A specific antioxidant, called resveratrol, is thought to be especially good for the heart. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes. It's also found in peanuts and some berries. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory effects and also reduces blood clotting. Researchers believe resveratrol can slow tumor growth in some cancers. They also believe it can help prevent nerve cell damage and death. Studies on resveratrol have not yet been done on humans.

Counting Calories in Alcoholic Beverages

If you're counting calories, think before taking that next drink. It could have more calories than your favorite dessert. 

A cocktail before dinner or a glass or two of wine with the meal is so common that some people don't even give it a second thought. But if you're trying to watch calories, here is something to think about before you take that next alcoholic drink.

This may be news to some, but alcohol has a lot of calories, often more than the dessert you turn down. To boot, having a drink or two before or with a meal may actually stimulate you to eat more and take in more calories. Researchers speculate that alcohol increases the pleasure of eating. While "under the influence," it's also more likely that you will lose your inhibitions and indulge in foods that are less nutritious.

Why Alcohol Misuse Is Dangerous

Drinking alcohol in excess is a risky behavior that can have lasting effects on your health.

Every 2 minutes someone dies because of alcohol. In fact, excessive drinking is the third-leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the U.S. Drinking alcohol is linked to more than 60 health issues.

When you drink in excess, the effects of alcohol aren't limited to just you. Your drinking can also hurt someone else. Half of all alcohol-related deaths are due to unintentional injuries, such as from car accidents, for example.

Excessive drinking defined
Heavy drinking and binge drinking fall under the category of "excessive drinking."
  • Heavy drinking:
    • More than one drink per day on average for women.
    • More than two drinks each day on average for men.
  • Binge drinking:
    • More than four drinks during one time (generally in a two-hour period) for women.
    • More than five drinks during one occasion for men.
Avoiding Alcohol: How to Say "No"

It can be hard to avoid alcohol at social events like weddings, parties, or other occasions. Here's how to politely decline a drink.

If you've struggled with an alcohol problem, you know how important it is to resist temptation when you're at a party or out with friends. Despite knowing your history, friends may still encourage you to "have just one." Those who don't know you may even insist, or perhaps tease you about your decision to abstain. How can you say no without making a big deal of it?

Recovering alcoholics aren't the only ones who face this challenge. Anyone who chooses to avoid alcohol may have to deal with peer pressure. If you're a teenager, a designated driver, take certain medications, have certain religious beliefs, or just don't want to drink, you need to know how to turn down a drink.

The key is to refuse offers of liquor politely yet firmly, without feeling guilty or making apologies. If someone persists, change the subject or excuse yourself. Don't let yourself be pestered or ridiculed for your choice.

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