fitness tracker on arm

Get Moving this May for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

It’s that time of year again – it’s time to #MoveInMay!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of physical activity and asking communities, health professionals, and families to work together to create opportunities for everyone to get more of it.

Consider these stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1:

  • About 1 in 5 (21%) adults meet the current physical activity guidelines.
  • Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
  • Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.

Click on the link in the first stat above to learn more about the amount and type of activity the CDC recommends for your optimum health benefits.

While many health coverage options provide a wealth of insurance benefits to help you maintain your health, some plans may also provide additional programs and features that pique your interest:

Access to digital fitness tools

We know that consistent physical activity is a core principle of good health. With tools to help you track your fitness journey, you can integrate personalized health and fitness guidance, including tips on nutrition and self-assessments, into your workout routines. These tools can be included in short-term medical or health benefit insurance coverage.

24/7/365 access to board-certified doctors

Increasing physical activity can have a significant impact on your general health, but you may still suffer from common illnesses, allergies, or infections from time to time. Short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage can include benefits that allow you to connect with doctors in mere minutes via mobile and video to address health concerns quickly and conveniently.

Patient advocacy service

As you continue to increase your physical activity and fitness levels and make the most of your health coverage, you may need assistance navigating the world of healthcare. As is found with many traditional health insurance plans, short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage can also include access to a patient advocacy service that can help you schedule appointments, find quality doctors and facilities, lower out-of-pocket costs, and make informed decisions about your healthcare.

Note:  Keep in mind that while short-term and health benefit insurance coverage do provide these non-health benefits, neither one is intended to be a replacement nor an alternative to ACA or other major medical plans. These types of coverage do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance. They may have restrictions, limitations, and exclusions that impact your coverage.

What are your physical fitness goals? How do you work with your personal healthcare community to make sure you meet them?

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

 

Source: “Facts About Physical Activity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/data/facts.htm

 

 

 

hands holding pink ribbon during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Mammogram 101

Approximately 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point, the second most common kind of cancer in women2. The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about steps women can take to decrease their risk and to detect this disease, including having a mammogram.

If you are a woman who is age 40 through 49, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises1 that you talk with your doctor about a plan for your breast health, including when to get a mammogram.

If you are a woman who is age 50 to 74, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises1that you get mammograms every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.

Here are some questions to help you start the conversation with your doctor about mammograms:
  • Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
  • Based on my risk factors, what are my chances of getting breast cancer?
  • What will happen when I go to get mammograms?
  • How long will it take to get the results of my mammograms?
  • If I don’t hear back about the results of my mammograms, does that mean everything is okay?
If you are under age 50, you might want to ask:
  • Should I start getting regular mammograms? If so, how often?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before age 50?
If you are between ages 50 and 74, you might want to ask:
  • How often should I get mammograms?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?

While most women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early 1, there are several lifestyle factors that your clients should consider when assessing risk, including:

  • Consuming dairy (with risk of death increasing for those who continue to consumer dairy after diagnosis)3
  • Being overweight or obese4
  • Not being physically active4
  • Regularly drinking alcohol5
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy5
  • Taking hormonal birth control4

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

Sources:

1: “Mammograms: Questions for the Doctor.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/doctor-visits/talking-with-the-doctor/mammograms-questions-for-the-doctor

2: “October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx

3: “High – and Low-Fat Dairy Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.” Candyce H. Kroenke Marilyn L. Kwan Carol Sweeney Adrienne Castillo Bette J. Caanhttps://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/9/616/986948/High-and-Low-Fat-Dairy-Intake-Recurrence-and

4: “Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/lifestyle-related-breast-cancer-risk-factors.html

5: “Lifestyle: How Our Lifestyle and Choices Affect Breast Cancer Risk.” Breast Cancer Now. http://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/what-can-cause-breast-cancer/lifestyle

 

 

 

child weighing food options during National Childhood Obesity Month

Make Healthy Choices to Combat Childhood Obesity

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services1. That means obesity affects approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents2. The month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about this epidemic and to highlight simple steps parents, teachers, communities, and health professionals can take to combat it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children with obesity are at a higher risk for3:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Type 2 diabetes

They also have more risk factors for3:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

In addition to the emotional toll obesity may take on children due to bullying and social isolation, they are also more likely to have obesity as adults. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers3.

So what can we do to prevent obesity in children?

  1. Be role models. Make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Fill your plates with colorful fruits and vegetables. Stick to a fitness schedule. See your doctor regularly for checkups.
  2. Get kids involved. Let kids help in the planning and preparation of meals and in workout routines.
  3. Make creative choices. Prepare snacks and meals that are creative and colorful. Plan fitness routines that involve being in parks or fun recreational areas.
  4. Make small changes. Keep fresh fruit within reach or go on a family walk after meals.
  5. Talk with teachers and school administrators. Ask them to provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for students. 
  6. Communicate with health professionals. Learn how they show leadership within their communities and which programs they support that prevent childhood obesity and encourage improved nutrition, fitness, and wellness. 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

Sources:

1: “September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

2: “YCMA Offers Health Tips for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/community/chi-ugc-article-ymca-offers-health-tips-for-childhood-obesity-2017-08-30-story.html

3: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

 

Fruits and Veggies - More Matters Month

Pack Your Plate for Fruits and Veggies Month

“Eat your spinach!”

“Don’t trade your banana at lunch!”

“Yes, you have to clean your plate. Yes, that includes the Brussels sprouts!”

Most of us heard these messages – or something similar – from our parents when we were kids. Fruits and veggies may not always have been the most tantalizing foods back then (and they still may not be now), but there is no denying that we need lots of them in our diet1.

September is Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, an annual celebration that puts the focus not just on eating more fruits and veggies but also on how they can lower our risk2 of:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Did you know that…

…a low-fat plant based diet can control and/or reverse3Type 2 diabetes?

…plants are loaded with protein3?

veggies and fruits are packed4 with calcium, iron, and vitamin D, among other nutrients?

leafy greens5 help protect our tissues against free-radical damage, help keep our nerves, brain, and spinal cord healthy,

and help bone marrow make new red blood cells?

fruits and veggies6 are considered nutrient-dense and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages increased consumption of these plant-based foods?

According to the USDA’s Choose My Plate7 program, half your plate of each meal should be fruits and veggies. That may seem like a lot, especially when your diet doesn’t currently meet that recommendation, but here are some tips to help you on your journey to healthier eating:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit on your counter. This keeps it convenient, in your line of sight, and attractive – three qualities that will make it more likely
  • for you to choose a piece of fruit over less healthy options the next time you go to the kitchen.
  • Take a few minutes each week to cut up fruits (or buy bagged frozen options) to store them in convenient – and portable – containers for later use.
    Grab a container when you head out the door each morning.
  • Challenge your loved ones to try a new veggie with you each week.
  • Add (or increase the amount you normally add) veggies to your standard dishes like pasta, soup, or sandwiches.
  • Choose frozen fruit bars (100% fruit – no added sugar) instead of ice cream or yogurt.
  • Add greens to your breakfast smoothie.
  • Replace carbs with vegetables. Instead of making mashed potatoes, make mashed cauliflower.
  • Use lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches and wraps.
  • Make overnight oats and add steamed veggies or fruit to the top.
  • Swap the noodles you typically use for veggie noodles. With a spiralizer, you can make noodles from vegetables such as zucchini and squash.
  • Add carrots, squash, broccoli, kale, or other veggies to your tomato sauce.
  • Slice veggies such as avocados, carrots, or zucchini and bake as fries until crispy.

Looking for a farmers’ market near you for fresh fruits and veggies? Click here8.

Know someone who could use help eating healthy? Click here9 for tips on how to start the conversation:

September is also National Childhood Obesity Month. Click here10 for information on how fruits and veggies can help support healthy growth in children. Click here11 for information on the Salad Bars to Schools project.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

Sources:

1: “Everything You Eat and Drink Matters.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety. United States Department of Agriculture.

2: “September: Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month.” https://healthfinder.gov/nho/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

3: “What the Health: Facts.” http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/facts/.

4: “Power Sources.” http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-sources. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

5: “Why Eat Dark, Leafy Greens?” http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers16/. Dr. Michael Kapler.

6: “More Plants on the Plate.” http://nutritionstudies.org/plants-plate/. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

7: “MyPlate.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. United States Department of Agriculture.

8: “Local Food Directories: National Farmers Market Directory.” https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets. United States Department of Agriculture.

9: “Healthy Eating: Conversation Starters.” https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity/nutrition/healthy-eating-conversation-starters. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

10: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

11: “Salads Bars to Schools.” http://www.saladbars2schools.org/.