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Whether you’re a serious athlete or a recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.

 

For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you’ll be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you keeping going longer.

 

Sports drinks have other advantages over water for athletes and exercisers that go beyond better hydration. Specifically, the calories in sports drinks have been shown to increase energy and endurance, limit the immune system suppression that sometimes follows hard workouts, reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, and promote faster recovery.

Water provides no sodium, and sodium helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood. For training over an hour at medium to high intensity, look for a drink that provides between 13-19 grams of carbohydrate per 8 oz serving, and at least 80-110 mg sodium and even more for longer duration training.

 

Sports drinks have three basic ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt

 

These three ingredients work to rehydrate, reenergize, and replace lost electrolytes.

 

The sugars in sports drinks can also help replenish the fuel you use during exercise. The body stores fuel as carbohydrates in the muscles and the liver and releases sugar into the bloodstream for instant energy. But after prolonged exercise – about an hour of intense exercise like a fast run or hard cycling – the carbohydrate stores are depleted and blood-sugar levels can drop.  A steady source of sugar during strenuous exercise for an extended period can help fight off fatigue and enhance performance. With lower intensity exercise, such as jogging, it may take two hours or more before energy needs replacing.

 

If you’re simply an active person who plays social tennis, swims, or goes to the gym a couple of times a week, you don’t need sports drinks. However, for long periods (an hour or more) of strenuous exercise, they may be beneficial.

 

 

 

Brink-Elfegoun, Thibault et al. “Effects of Sports Drinks on the Maintenance of Physical Performance during 3 Tennis Matches: A Randomized Controlled Study.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11 (2014): 46. PMC. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Alsunni, Ahmed Abdulrahman. “Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects.” International Journal of Health Sciences 9.4 (2015): 468–474. Print.

 

References

Abby Housefield, “Electrolytes for runners: The Definitive Guide”, runnersconnect.net, accessed December 2016. https://runnersconnect.net/running-nutrition-articles/electrolytes-for-runners/

Anna Schaefer, “Is Gatorade Bad For You?” healthline.com, accessed December 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-gatorade-bad-for-you

Kyle Levers, “Nature’s Gatorade: Effectivness of Coconut Water on Electrolyte and Carbohydrate Replacement”, huffinesinstitute.org, accessed December 2016.

http://huffinesinstitute.org/resources/articles/articletype/articleview/articleid/446/natures-gatorade-effectiveness-of-coconut-water-on-electrolyte-and-carbohydrate-replacement

 

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates.

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

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Cottage cheese not only keeps this easy peaches and cream cake moist; it also keeps down the calories.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups sliced peaches, fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" spring form pan.
  2. Beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter, cottage cheese, yogurt and vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, stirring or beating gently to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan, and place the peaches evenly over the top.
  6. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, to firm up.
  8. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

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Consider an alternative to mashed potatoes with fewer calories and carbohydrates.

 

Cauliflower boasts nutrients such as vitamin C, K, and B6.

 

This mashed cauliflower recipe would work for those on a paleo diet, as well as anyone who wants to avoid high-glycemic foods.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (approx. 3 lbs.), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish ideas: Salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped thyme, extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Put in the cauliflower and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until you’re able to stick a fork through the cauliflower.
  2. Drain the water from the pot. Return the cauliflower and garlic back to the hot pan. Let it sit 2-3 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Combine the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Purée until smooth. If you don’t have a processor, you can mash the ingredients together by hand.
  4. When smooth, taste-test the mashed cauliflower and add further seasoning as needed.
  5. Before you serve, as an option, garnish with salt, pepper, chopped thyme, or olive oil.

 

Sources

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cauliflower

2 https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycemic-index-good-versus-bad-carbs


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The constant stream of news surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak is causing heightened stress and anxiety for many. This isn’t an unusual reaction. It’s actually part of a natural built-in survival mechanism known as the “fight or flight” or stress response. Humans are wired to scan their environment for potential threats. When people perceive a dangerous situation, their bodies react in ways that are designed to help them survive imminent danger.1  

While the stress response is very effective for helping us survive an immediate threat – reacting quickly to avoid a collision when someone cuts your car off on a highway, for example – it can be counterproductive when facing uncertainty in an ongoing situation.

 

During this challenging time, it’s important to take appropriate action to protect your health. It’s just as important to manage stress and anxiety so you can avoid causing harm to your physical and mental health. Information therapy is a technique that can help you do both.  

 

What is information therapy?

Information therapy is formally defined as, “supplying patients with health information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and care,” and to participate in their own well-being.2  

Information therapy can help you feel a sense of control in an unpredictable health situation. In the case of COVID-19, access to reliable information is critical to ensuring that you know what to do to prevent spreading the infection.

The key is to stick to accurate, useful information from reliable sources while avoiding media reports that are alarmist and contain misinformation. Some reputable, up-to-date websites you can go to for factual information about the coronavirus include:

 

·       World Health Organization

·       The Centers for Disease Control

·       National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

·       Harvard Medical School

How to tell if you’re on information overload

As communities deal with the coronavirus pandemic, they are bombarded with breaking news reports, emails, social media posts and news articles about the crisis. Immersing yourself in the constant news cycle can create intense feelings of dread and even panic. In fact, studies show that people who are repeatedly exposed to negative, sensationalist news stories experience acute stress, symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and other long-term consequences to their well-being.3  

 

A constant diet of bad news can lead to overreactive decision making, like hoarding food, toilet paper and protective masks. It can also lead to excessive worry, debilitating anxiety and physical symptoms.3

While everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, there are some signs that they are struggling with a high level of stress and anxiety.4

 

  • Constant fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

 

Practical ways to manage anxiety and nurture your well-being

Controlling your reaction to information during a pandemic is no easy feat, especially since there is a heightened level of anxiety and concern throughout our communities. However, there are practical steps you can take to help reduce stress and take care of your well-being during this difficult time.5  

  • Stick to only certain credible websites for information
  • Limit the amount of time you spend consuming COVID-19 coverage each day
  • Make a concrete plan about how to get through the next weeks and months that focuses on things you can control
  • Stock up on a reasonable amount of food and medical supplies and avoid hoarding
  • Stay in touch with family and friends by phone, video or social media
  • Carve out time every day to do something around the house you enjoy
  • Prioritize sleep, a healthy diet and exercise
  • Take breaks from electronic devices and play board games or cards or work on a creative project with your household members

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Go365 program has ways to support you while earning Points. You can keep a mindfulness log for 10 Points per week or download one of our compatible apps like Unwinding Anxiety or Stop, Breathe & Think to learn new coping skills or find peace in your day. Engage your mind and body for your well-being while getting rewarded.

 

Sources

1 “What Happens to Your Body During the Fight or Flight Response?” Cleveland Clinic (December 2019), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-happens-to-your-body-during-the-fight-or-flight-response/

2 D.J. Mitchell, “Toward a definition of Information Therapy,” Proceedings. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (1994), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2247874/

3 Jill Suttie, “How to Be Intentional About Consuming Coronavirus News,” Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley (2020), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_be_intentional_about_consuming_coronavirus_news

4 “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Stress and Coping,” CDC (2020) accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

5 Yasmin Anwar, “When Coronavirus Anxiety Is Useful and When It Isn’t,” (2020), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/when_coronavirus_anxiety_is_useful_and_when_it_isnt?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=3283ee616b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_April_7_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-3283ee616b-74267559


Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

From time to time, Go365 may make available items and services from third-party vendors. While some services are provided at no additional cost to you, if you choose to use certain items and services, you may incur additional fees that are not covered by your wellness program. Similar items or services may be available at no or reduced cost under Go365, or your health coverage, if available. You should consult your Go365 program or health coverage documents for more information.  Third-party vendors may provide compensation to Humana. Humana does not endorse the items or services provided by third-party vendors.

 

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries do not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

 

DIN: GCHKSSGEN

communitymanager

No negative self-talk

Posted by communitymanager Moderator Apr 27, 2020

Negative self-talk can stop you from reaching your goals.  It undermines your self-confidence and often what you tell yourself has a way of becoming reality. In other words, what you tell yourself can support you in achieving your goals, or undermine you.

The good news – there are strategies you can use to talk back to that negative voice in your head, things you can use to flip your thinking to the positive and support you in achieving your goals.

  • Notice negative thoughts when they pop up. Acknowledge them for what they are – just thoughts that you can change if you choose. Writing down your thoughts and flipping them to the positive can help you learn to make the flip more easily.
  • Challenge your thinking. Once you’ve become aware of negative thoughts, begin to challenge them. Ask yourself, are these thoughts really based on truth?  Most likely not. On the off chance they are, ask yourself what you could do to make things different?
  • Use positive statements. Avoid the words “not” and “don’t.” Studies show that your brain doesn’t really grasp the concept of what you are not; it registers what you are. In other words, if you say, “I am not weak,” the brain registers “I am weak.” So instead, be positive and say, “I am strong.”  
  • Use the present tense. State self-talk in the present tense – here and now statements to help you take action. Instead of, “I’ll be better tomorrow,” say, “I am making a choice to be different now.” You may choose to act a different way or feel a different way.  Focus on being different in the moment rather than how you were in the past or will be in the future.
  • Identify what you want to achieve and state it as a fact. Rephrase your statements to see a goal as a reality. Instead of, “I hope to walk three times this week,” say “I am going to walk three times this week.”
  • Focus on behaviors you can control. Use “I” statements. Create positive self-talk that deals with you and your goals. Say, “I am eating healthy foods this week” instead of, “I am losing three pounds this week.” Realize that you cannot control the actions of others, or the outcomes, but you can control the choices you make.

 

 

References

https://coaching.humana.com/Default.aspx?tabid=5383&lid=1025780&reflid=0&cid=a1400c3c-9947-4576-83ca-2aeb6cd8b0e3&cpid=50001&ctid=10074&cgtid=10000&cvtid=1&coachmgr=1&conly=1&nolog=1&cpidv8=50001&id=a1400c3c-9947-4576-83ca-2aeb6cd8b0e3&rwndrnd=0.7149800296928728

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_95.htm

communitymanager

Keep it safe

Posted by communitymanager Moderator Apr 6, 2020

Regular activity is good for all of us, and it’s important to stay safe while becoming more active. Here are some tips for doing so:

·         Talk to a doctor.  Talk to your doctor before engaging in exercise, especially if you haven’t been active recently.  Also consult your doctor if you have any injuries or health conditions, or if you experience any troublesome symptoms during exercise such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

·         Pay attention to your body. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level.  At times you may need to cut back or change your routine.  Physical activity can be challenging, but shouldn’t be painful.

·         Prevent soreness and injury. Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly to prevent soreness and injury, and be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries.  Shoot for a mix of different kinds of activities that use different muscle groups, and make sure to rest between bouts of activity.

·         Remember the weather. In cold weather, wear layers you can easily peel off. In hot weather, try exercising during cooler hours or in an air-conditioned gym.  Watch for signs of overheating such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, cramps, or palpitations.  No matter the temperature, always drink lots of water!

·         Use good form. Especially for strength training, good form is critical to success. Initially use no weight or very light weights when learning the exercises. And never sacrifice good form by hurrying to finish reps or sets, or struggling to lift heavier weights.

 

Finally, if you have persistent or intense muscle pain that starts during a workout or right afterward, or muscle soreness that persists more than one to two weeks, call your doctor for advice.

 

References

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/10-tips-for-exercising-safely

http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/PamphletPrint.aspx?token=13017087-e182-44a8-b26a-0bd8976976b3&chunkiid=21333#

When you’re physically active on a regular basis, your body gets more efficient so what was once challenging is now easier. The upside – you’re stronger and healthier. The flip side – your body is now burning fewer calories.

To keep up the calorie burn, follow the exercise guidelines of the FITT principle. FITT stands for: 

 

·         Frequency - How often you’re active

·         Intensity - How hard you’re working

·         Time - How long you’re active

·         Type - The kind of activity

 

Changing just one of these areas at a time helps you get better results, minimize boredom, and avoid weight loss plateaus.  For example, if you’ve been walking the same 30 minute route three days a week for the past few months, instead you might add an extra day of walking, walk longer, walk faster or even add a few short bursts of jogging into your walk, or switch up your routine altogether by adding a Zumba class or 30 minutes of swimming.

 

Only increase one area of the FITT principle at a time, not all at the same time, to avoid overuse and injury. As always, see your doctor for guidelines and recommendations specific to your current physical condition.

 

References:

 

https://coaching.humana.com/Default.aspx?tabid=5383&lid=1025471&reflid=0&cid=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d9d2b0370c8e4&cpid=50001&ctid=50002&cgtid=10000&cvtid=1&coachmgr=1&conly=1&nolog=1&cpidv8=50001&id=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d-9d2b0370c8e4&rwndrnd=0.4568419243863251

http://teams.humana.com/sites/Coach2Coach/SiteAssets/Coaching%20Resources/Coaching%20Resource%20on%20Fitness.pdf

communitymanager

Time for a reset?

Posted by communitymanager Moderator Mar 10, 2020

Despite our best intentions, we all get off track sometimes, right? When working on weight management, the most important step is to “hit the reset button” and keep moving forward. Here are the steps you can take to help you get back on track.

  • Don’t dwell. Remember, self-acceptance and self-kindness are key to moving forward. Think about what you can do in the future instead of what happened in the past.  Remember you are only one meal – or workout – away from getting back on track.
  • Ask yourself what you learned. Reflect on the situation. Is there something you’d do differently next time? Maybe it’s a new strategy such as scheduling physical activity into your calendar or putting sticky notes on your fridge to remind you to eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Add a little structure. A little additional self-monitoring will help ensure successful “reset” efforts. Try using a food log or measuring cups for a couple of days, weighing yourself regularly, or incorporating an activity tracker into your physical activity.
  •  Remember why you started. Reflect a bit on your motivation. Ask yourself how you can help keep your motivation front and center.  

 

In need of a reset? Try these suggestions out!

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/top-10-ways-to-get-back-on-track#1

If you’re not taking advantage of savings programs offered by your employer, you may be leaving money on the table. Plus, the earlier you participate, the more time your money has to grow before you need it for college tuition, healthcare expenses or retirement.

 

It’s always a great time to learn more about the financial programs offered by your employer, which might include:

 

  • 401(k) and 403(b) plans – One of the most popular employer programs, these retirement-based programs help build up a retirement fund at any stage in your career. In 2020, you can contribute up to $19,500, before taxes, through a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (for non-profit companies). Your employer can match up to six percent of your contribution – think of it as “free” money. Your savings grow tax-free until you start taking distributions. 
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) – If you’re paying for daycare, preschool, summer camps or adult care for a dependent, a DCFSA allows a tax-free reimbursement for eligible expenses. Experts predict this could save an average of 30 percent in taxes every year. Ask your employer if they offer DCFSAs and when you can enroll.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – This is another great way to save money. With an FSA, you set aside funds to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs during your plan’s program year. You are not required to pay taxes on the funds in your FSA account. In addition, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. If your employer offers FSA accounts, they will be happy to provide details about their FSA program, including timing of when funds must be used.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – With an HSA, you can save money to pay for medical expenses and reduce your taxable income. You must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan to open an HSA. Like an FSA, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. Otherwise, for 2020 individuals can contribute up to $3,350, while families can contribute up to $7,100 annually. Plus, you never lose HSA funds – it’s a savings account that stays with employees with contributions being invested over time.

 

If you think you’re missing out on “free” money or tax breaks, ask your employer how to participate in these programs to optimize your savings.

 

Living your best financial life starts with understanding how to maximize savings opportunities. The earlier you start, the longer your wealth has time to increase.

 

Sources:

Julia Kagan, “401K Plans: The complete guide,” Investopedia, accessed January 2020. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/401kplan.asp

“Dependent Care FSA,” FSA Feds, accessed January 2020. https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/dcfsa

“12 things you didn’t know about the Dependent Care FSA,” Employee Benefits Corporation, accessed January 2020. https://www.ebcflex.com/Education/NewsCenter/tabid/1142/ArticleID/413/12-Things-You-Didn’t-Know-About-the-Dependent-Care-FSA.aspx

“Using a Flexible Spending account (FSA),” HealthCare.gov, accessed January 2020. https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

Liz Davidson, “Considering a financial wellness program for your employees: Make sure you ask these questions first,” Forbes, accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2019/03/03/considering-a-financial-wellness-program-for-your-employees-make-sure-you-ask-these-questions-first/#5e3094602f3b

Brianna McGurran, “How to build financial literacy–and why,” Experian, accessed January 2020. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-financial-literacy-and-why-is-it-important/

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Chips and cookies? Banana and whole wheat crackers? Protein bar and nuts? Your snack stash says a lot about you and your work environment. While it might be tempting to stock up on candy and chips, smart snack decisions can boost productivity, keep you engaged and maintain your focus.

 

Here’s a smart snacking strategy to help you get through the day.

10:00 a.m. – Snack time

You’ve got a few options. Healthy or not healthy? The temptation of the yummy vending machine snacks, the fast food next door or the community snacks in the breakroom can be hard to resist. By bringing your own snacks to work, you’re in control of what you eat. Keep healthy options in your desk, locker or backpack to tackle your cravings.

Here are some healthy ideas for munchies:

  • Homemade trail mix
  • Veggie chips
  • Cheese sticks
  • Raw veggies with hummus
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Protein or granola bars

12:00 p.m. – Lunch time

Be prepared. It’s a simple way to eat healthier and avoid temptation. Prepping lunches for the week puts you in control of your food choices and lessens temptation to grab a fast food meal. Choose recipes that are easy to make and easy to pack so you’re ready whether you’re eating at your station or in the breakroom. Complete the meal prep over the weekend to avoid making lunch after a long day of work or when you’re rushing to get out the door. You may even find your coworkers are a little envious of the yummy lunches you prepared!

Here are some lunch ideas that are easy, quick and downright delicious:

  • Thai tofu Buddha bowls
  • Grilled chicken cobb salad
  • Turkey spinach pinwheels and veggies
  • Taco salad bowls with quinoa
  • Greek whole grain and grilled veggie wrap

Find more tasty recipes here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/recipes.html

3:00 p.m. – Provide encouragement

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on the healthy-eating track when you face tempting, but less nutritious options at work. Remember, you can be an inspiration to others. When someone comments on your lunches or snacks, let them know how easy it is to make healthier substitutions for that hamburger and fries or share some of your favorite meal prep tips.

You can also encourage your employer to support healthier choices for everyone. Here are some ideas to inspire leadership.

  • Ask your employer to switch out the potato chips in the vending machines for whole wheat crackers or unsalted popcorn. Encourage trading the sodas for carbonated water.
  • Get creative with a team cookbook. Ask your coworkers to share their favorite healthy recipes and compile the collection into a simple downloadable file.  
  • Make suggestions for healthier celebrations and team meetings. Recommend fruit and whole grain muffins instead of bagels and donuts. Frozen banana pops, rice crispy bars or fruit tarts are healthier ways to celebrate a birthday.
  • Join your company’s wellness team, or start one, to show your commitment to making healthier choices. Your involvement can positively impact the culture for everyone in your organization.
  • Create a support circle by finding coworkers who share your passion for eating healthier. Lean on them for support and accountability when you need to stay on track. Share food prep ideas, new restaurant finds and tips on how to eat healthier at workplace events. Hand out the high-fives when someone makes it through the week without giving in to temptation.

 

Sources

11 Quick Lunches to Bring to Work,” Damn Delicious.net, Accessed January 2020. https://damndelicious.net/2018/05/19/11-quick-lunches-to-bring-to-work/

Rodney Goodie, “How to Control Diabetes at Work,” St. Hope Foundation, Accessed January 2020. https://offeringhope.org/control-diabetes-work/

Noma Nazish, “Five Smart Ways to Eat Healthier at Work,” Forbes, Accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2019/02/28/five-smart-ways-to-eat-healthier-at-work/#29852c61465f

Susan M. Healthfield, “How to Encourage Healthy Food Choices at Work,” The Balance Careers, Accessed January 2020. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-encourage-healthy-food-choices-at-work-1917961

“Ten Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating at Work,” Personnel Today, Accessed January 2020. https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/ten-ways-to-encourage-healthy-eating-at-work/

Did you know the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight? Research tells us sleep is a powerful regulator of appetite, energy, and weight control in multiple ways.  

 

First, when we’re tired, we might not always make the best food choices during the day.  Additionally, during sleep the body works to regulate hunger and satiety hormones – we produce more of the hormone leptin that suppresses our appetite and less of the hormone grehlin that stimulates appetite. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, these hormones become unbalanced, making it harder to determine when we’re hungry and when we’re satisfied, potentially resulting in weight gain. 

 

How much sleep should you get? It’s recommended you get seven to nine hours of good quality sleep per night to regulate hunger and satiety hormones, keep your metabolism working, and function at your best!

 

But what about when you haven’t slept well?  Some evidence shows that short naps (up to an hour) can be beneficial and can improve mood and work performance. Try not to nap after 3 p.m. or for longer than 20 minutes so as not to interfere with the next night’s sleep. And naps are not a long-term substitute for a good night’s sleep.

 

If you’re finding yourself frequently having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or not feeling well rested despite having at least seven hours of sleep, talk to you doctor.

 

 

References

 http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd

 

 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Your Guide Healthy Sleep:  NIH Publication No. 11-5271 Originally printed November 2005 Revised August 2011

 

 

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Whether they’re furry, feathery, or scaly, pets can be a boon to your life and well-being. Read on to learn about some obvious and not-so-obvious benefits, and how you can, in turn, take good care of your pet.

 

Benefits to physical well-being

Many studies have been done to examine the effects of pet ownership on a person’s state of health. For example, it has been observed that children who grow up in a household with pets are less likely to develop allergies, allergies, and skin conditions like eczema.

Other studies found that having pets can lower anxiety and pain levels for people dealing with chronic pain or recovering from surgery. They can also help with preventing infection because they can boost people’s immune systems.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) link pet ownership with healthier levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides – all good indicators for avoiding long-term, chronic diseases.

 

Benefits to mental and emotional well-being

Why all the health benefits? It may have to do with how pets improve their owners’ feelings of stress, anxiety, and loneliness. It’s no secret that physical health is heavily influenced by how we’re feeling, which is in turn affected by how well we’re socializing. Not only do pets offer constant companionship, but they can provide opportunities to connect more with other humans, such as when we walk our dogs in the neighborhood.

In addition, some pet owner activities get you to move more. 

 

Remember to return the love

Don’t forget to take good care of your pet!

  • Bring your pet to the vet regularly, and make the most of those visits by asking questions and voicing concerns.
  • Educate yourself about common diseases and symptoms that your pet may encounter, so you can be on the lookout for trouble.
  • Communicate with other pet owners (whether it’s a real-world or online community) to learn from their experiences and to get tips and advice.

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/health-benefits-of-pets

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html

https://www.womansday.com/life/pet-care/a2352/10-health-benefits-of-owning-a-pet-116238/

https://animalfoundation.com/the-basic-necessities-of-proper-pet-care/

 

 

As news about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to evolve, it’s worth reminding our members and their families that the best way to stay healthy is to follow the advice given every flu season.

 

What can you do?

Take precautions as you would with the normal seasonal flu. There is no vaccine for the novel Coronavirus at this time.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following to help reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others:

  • Stay home while you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

 

Although the CDC considers this Coronavirus a serious public-health concern, the agency has said that the immediate risk to the American public is low at this time and that “a graver health risk for Americans — not just right now, but every year — is the flu.”

 

Visit the CDC seasonal flu page and the coronavirus prevention and treatment page for further guidance.


What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases. A novel Coronavirus (CoV) is a new strain of Coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Common symptoms of Coronaviruses include runny nose, cough and fever. Some patients develop pneumonia.

 

Why should you care?

In a world that is globally connected, viral outbreaks in one country can impact others. Thousands of cases have been reported worldwide, including in the United States, but the vast majority of them are inside China.

To learn more or stay up to date, go to the CDC website and check out the CDC’s travel guidance. You can also learn more from the World Health Organization.

These simple concepts can make staying on track feel much easier. Here are the key components not only to lose weight, but also to keep it off long term. 

 

  • Fuel up.  Like your car needs the right gas to run optimally, what you put in your body affects how you feel. Eat whole, non-processed foods, being sure to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into what you eat each day.  Keep eating patterns consistent and include breakfast daily to help lose weight and maintain that loss over time
  • Watch portions.  Monitoring how much you eat is key to weight management.  To help control portions, fill your plate with mostly non-starchy vegetables, use a smaller size plate, and avoid eating out of packages.  Occasionally measuring portions or using our handy portion guide can also be a helpful reminder to keep portions in check.
  • Plan ahead.  Having a well-stocked pantry and freezer can make choosing healthy foods easier.  Create a meal plan and bring a shopping list to the grocery store.  Keep healthy snacks nearby when you’re on the go. And when eating out, make your choice ahead of time, if possible.
  •  Feel satisfied.  Managing weight doesn’t have to mean feeling hungry.  To feel more satisfied, limit distractions while eating and slow down to really savor your food.  Also include high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to help feel fuller longer
  • Stay active.  Reducing calorie intake alone won’t provide the same results.  Research shows that people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.  Remember, this doesn’t have to be done all at once.  Aim for a minimum of at least 150 minutes per week, or about 20 to 30 minutes a day. Once you’ve reached that, you can choose to aim even higher.
  • Get quality sleep.  Keep a regular sleep schedule and aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  Have trouble sleeping?  Limit screen time before bed, avoid strenuous exercise, and include relaxing activities such as a warm bath or soft music
  • Get support.  Having a solid support system can help you stay the course and keep motivation strong.  Remember, support can be from friends, family, your environment, and even yourself by practicing self-compassion.

 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/keepingitoff.html 

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/healthy-living-8-steps-to-take-today#1

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by Shannon Spence

Your social network is one of THE BEST tools for dealing with the stressors of life. Several studies have shown that leaning on your social support network contributes to psychological well-being.1 Not only can you benefit from a sense of belonging, increased self-worth and feelings of security, your friends and peers can also help hold you accountable with your health and well-being goals. People who build a support system are more likely to succeed at goals like getting more active.2 From working with a coach or workout buddy to participating in online communities, the variety of options is as diverse as personalities are unique. So, what type of social connection is right for you?

Virtual

Achieving your health goals sometimes requires a little help from our friends, and that includes the virtual ones. The influence of our social networks can be a powerful motivator to encourage us to stay active, eat right and just be happy.

Go365 offers quite a few options when it comes to finding motivation to exercise or eat healthy within a community of like-minded people. Through the website or Go365 App, you can start or join a step or weight loss challenge with friends and family, and compete against other teams at your company. And soon, you will have the ability to message, heckle and high-five one another through our challenges platform. Look for more information to come on these exciting new features!

If you need help clarifying your goals and priorities, connect to a health coach through the Go365 program at no additional cost to you – it’s part of the program! This trained professional can help you create a personalized plan, help find your hidden motivation, and provide you with the support and accountability you need. Sessions are held online, via phone or a combination of the two.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and our exclusive Go365 Community.

Live and in-person

If your style is more face-to-face, schedule workout dates with a friend and stick to them. While you may not be experts, the point is that you get out there and get active together. There are a variety of options through Go365 that can help you connect with others and even support a good cause while you’re at it, including:

  • Joining a sports league 
  • Participating in a 5K walk and getting friends and family to join 
  • Finding a colleague and developing a fitness habit together, such as taking walking breaks or using the stairs more often. Just make sure to set up your new habit in the Go365 App to earn Points.

There’s no right way to achieve your health goals. What matters is that you’re taking steps to get there. And get there you will!

Sources
1 “Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress,” Mayo Clinic, accessed January 2017, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445  
2 Gina Demillo, “Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies,” experiencelife.com, accessed November 2016. https://experiencelife.com/article/strength-in-numbers-the-importance-of-fitness-buddies/ 

Go365 is not an insurance product. This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. Consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.