A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
We are excited to announce the return of “The Invitational” five-week wellness challenge!

This is a team-based steps challenge. You pick your own team, customize your own name and can even pick a mascot. Once you register to participate, your five-person team will compete against a new team each week during the challenge. The team that walks the most each week wins bragging rights! 

Registration opens May 2 and will close on May 8 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time (5:00 p.m. Central). You will no longer be able to sign up once this deadline has passed. If you log your steps a minimum of five days each week for the duration of the challenge, you will earn credit toward your gift card reward! 

Stay tuned to your email for additional details or l og into your wellness portal

Last year, all of our teams were able to hit over 35 million steps! Let’s try to top this number this year.

If you have any questions about this wellness challenge, please feel free to reach out to a customer service representative at 855.667.2546.

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
All About High Blood Pressure
Imagine this: You are a 35-year-old man and your blood pressure is 120/80. Congrats – your life expectancy is 76 years (assuming you are healthy otherwise). Now imagine this: You are a 35-year-old man and your blood pressure is 150/91. Bummer – your life expectancy is 55 years. Might want to let your kids know about this.

What is high blood pressure?
Think of the water pipes in your house. The pressure in them allows water to flow to sinks, tubs, and washers. Similarly, we need pressure in our blood vessels so that blood can make its way to organs and tissues.

When you’re bumming around Walgreen’s late on a Saturday night and you decide to test your blood pressure, the result comes back as two numbers. The top number is the pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat. The bottom number is the pressure in your arteries while your heart is resting between beats.
African Americans and Heart Disease: What You Need to Know
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And it can be especially bad news for African Americans. Compared to Caucasians, African Americans may:

  • Have more severe high blood pressure
  • Develop high blood pressure at a younger age
  • Be more likely to experience sudden cardiac arrest*

Luckily, there are many ways to help protect your heart.

Spice it Up and Use Less Sodium 
An important part of healthy eating is choosing foods that are low in salt (sodium chloride) and other forms of sodium. Using less sodium is key to keeping blood pressure at a healthy level. 

Most Americans use more salt and sodium than they need. Some people, such as African Americans and the elderly, are especially sensitive to salt and sodium and should be particularly careful about how much they consume.

Most Americans should consume no more than 2.4 grams (2,400 milligrams) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise less. The 6 grams includes all salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table.

Stress and High Blood Pressure: What’s the Connection?
Stress and long-term high blood pressure may not be linked, but taking steps to reduce your stress can improve your general health, including your blood pressure. Discover how.

Stressful situations can cause your blood pressure to spike temporarily, but can stress also cause long-term high blood pressure? Could all those short-term stress-related blood pressure spikes add up and cause high blood pressure in the long term? Researchers aren't sure.

However, exercising three to five times a week for 30 minutes can reduce your stress level. And if you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, doing activities that can help you manage your stress and improve your health can make a long-term difference in lowering your blood pressure.

Healthy Recipe: Coriander Lemon-Crusted Salmon with Asparagus Salad & Poached Egg
Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound wild salmon, skin-on, cut into 4 portions
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs

  1. Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Toast coriander in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Pulse the coriander, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper in a spice grinder until finely ground. Coat the salmon flesh with the spice mixture (about 1½ teaspoons per portion) and place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Cut off asparagus tips and very thinly slice stalks on the diagonal. Toss the tips and slices with oil, lemon juice, mint, tarragon, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Let stand while you cook the salmon and eggs.
  4. Bring water and vinegar to a boil in a large saucepan.
  5. Meanwhile, broil the salmon until just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness (see Tips). Tent with foil to keep warm.
  6. Reduce the boiling water to a bare simmer. Gently stir in a circle so the water is swirling around the pot. Crack eggs, one at a time, into the water. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. To serve, divide the asparagus salad and salmon among 4 plates. Make a nest in each salad and top with a poached egg

Tip: The fillets cook fast and continue to cook when off the heat. For the best texture, cook about 3 minutes per ½ inch of thickness. Check the doneness with an instant-read thermometer (it should be about 130°F) or peek into the thickest part of the flesh with a fork—it should be just opaque.

Source: Eating Well 
Florida League of Cities | www.floridaleagueofcities.com | 850.222.9684