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Why you may want to rethink your commute to work - TotalCare Wellness. How do you get to work? If you commute by any method other than a car, you are ahead of the game, health-wise. A recent study by British researchers found that people who drove to work weighed more and had a higher percentage of body fat than those who got to work by walking, biking or public transportation. The study involved data from 157,000 middle-aged British adults, collected between 2006 and 2010. Body fat was assessed in two ways: body mass index (BMI), which is a ratio of weight to height, and body fat percentage. “Even after accounting for a wide range of characteristics and lifestyle information about the participants, active commuting methods were linked to lower body weight and body fat.The biggest difference was seen between cyclists and drivers. Men who biked to work averaged nearly two BMI points less and were about 11 pounds lighter than those who drove.

Women who biked were about 1.65 BMI points less and 9.7 pounds lighter than those who commuted by car.” Dr. Don't take balance for granted: Add balance exercises to your fitness regime - TotalCare Wellness. Here’s an aspect of health that many of us take for granted: good balance. Yet a lot of your body’s resources go into keeping you on your feet, as this article in Healthbeat explains: “How do we keep our balance? The inner ear, which senses head motions, is an important part of the intricate system of balance. So is the body’s somatosensory system, which relays the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. And, of course, vision tips you off to obstacles around you.

The brain takes in all this information, plans our movements, and carries them out. When we are young, most of us have relatively good balance – we don’t ave to work at it, it comes naturally. But maintaining good balance, strength and mobility should not just be important when we age: The National Institute of Health says that to get all of the benefits of physical activity, we should include all four types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Need more help? Source: Fix.com Blog. March is National Nutrition Month - TotalCare Wellness. We’re midway into National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.It’s not too late to spice up your employee communications with some good tips and colorful artwork highlighting the importance of good nutrition!

This annual March campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme is “Savor the flavor of eating right.” The Academy’s website has a variety of resources that you can use in your wellness program and employee communications – both for this month and beyond. We’ll highlight a few that we particularly like. Plus, many are available in both English and Spanish.

Social Media Toolkit – a variety of colorful National Nutrition Month gifs, banners and artwork ready made for posting on social media or for downloading. We’re using a few in this post. A selection of recipes with nutritional information. Smoking and the movies - TotalCare Wellness. If you are a smoker, if you are a parent or even if you are just interested in public health, you may find this report on smoking in movies interesting. Most smokers start young – the CDC says that 9 out of 10 smokers start by the time they are 19. But with all the knowledge about the health risks, why do kids start? The Addiction Blog lists several reasons, among them: family attitudes, peer pressure and copycatting what is cool in popular culture. Plus, there’s the age-old flirtation with risk and rebellion that marks teenage years for so many. First, in terms of family attitudes, studies show that children of smokers are more likely to be smokers themselves – a good reason for parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles to quit, if they haven’t already.

But even if parents don’t smoke, kids are influenced by smoking in popular culture and advertising. Hear what Dr. This CDC report shows that instances of smoking in films rose 38% from 2013 to 2014. What can you do? How's your kidney health? Take the "rate your risk" quiz - TotalCare Wellness. Your kidneys are some of the hardest working organs in your body, filtering toxins from about 200 liters of blood a day … but they get none of the glory or attention that the heart or the brain get. Unless something goes wrong, we don’t think about kidneys much at all… but National Kidney Month hopes to change that. One in three Americans are at risk of kidney disease, and one in nine have kidney disease but don’t know it.

The early stages of kidney disease often have few symptoms so knowing risk factors and maintaining good kidney health is important. High blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure and being over 60 are major risk factors for developing kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation is calling on all Americans to take five healthy steps for their kidneys. 1. Take the Rate Your Risk of Kidney Disease Quiz and the Kidney Quiz to see how much you know. Here’s a short primer that will help you learn more about your kidneys: Strokes are a growing risk for younger people - TotalCare Wellness. NPR features a profile of Troy Hodge, a 43-year-old resident of Carroll County, Md. Troy’s story is remarkable because he is one example of a troubling trend: Strokes are a growing risk for younger people. While the majority of strokes occur in older people, about 10 percent occur in people between 18 and 50 years old — but experts say that the incidence and prevalence of stroke among younger people are on the rise, and significantly so: A national survey found that between 1995 and 2008, the increased number of young people (ages 15 to 44) who were hospitalized for stroke closely followed an increase in several chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and lipid disorders.

“People who are obese are at greater risk for high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for stroke,” says Dr. Troy was fortunate to have gotten help quickly after his stroke – the importance of rapid response cannot be over-emphasized. Other stroke resources: Nutritious, delicious & healthy one-bowl meals - TotalCare Wellness. Looking for some delicious, nutritious new recipes? You can’t do better than this colorful selection of healthy one-bowl meals.

Vanessa Perrone is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and one of our favorite healthy living RDNs that we discovered via Twitter. Among her nutritional beliefs: “getting back to basics in the kitchen with a real food approach that embraces nutrient-packed, minimally processed, whole foods.” “switching off auto-pilot-eating, tuning-in to your body’s needs and getting true satisfaction from your food (finally).” She defines real food as: Minimally processedMade of single or few ingredientsMade without artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes or flavours Her site offers many excellent recipes, but this is the one that caught our eye on Twitter: Top 9 Healthy Superbowls.

Follow her blog for more recipes and tips. Heart Health: The best Valentine's Day Gift of All - Total Care Wellness. Which came first – Valentine’s Day or American Heart Month? It doesn’t really matter, they really go hand in hand. The single best thing you can do for a loved one this Valentine’s Day is to look after your own heart health – and to encourage them to look after theirs. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Million Hearts – a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017 – are encouraging Americans to know their blood pressure, and if it’s high, to make control their goal.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure. Here are several interactive tools to get a snapshot of your heart health: New Dietary Guidelines focus on "healthy eating patterns" - Total Care Wellness. Fresh for the new year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new Guidelines put a heavy emphasis on developing healthy eating patterns, suggesting that a daily diet include a variety and mix of nutrient-dense foods from the food groups and subgroups within an appropriate calorie level. Here are a few key points: Limit sugar, saturated fats, and salt. Added sugar should comprise less than 10% of your calories per day; same for saturated fats.Eat less meat.

Choose lean protein from healthy sources, such as seafood, soy, seeds, beans, and tofu.Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of various subgroups.Make half of your grains whole grains. Guidelines spark controversy The new Guidelines are not without controversy and reactions have been mixed. Here’s a roundup of reviews: Here’s What 10 Experts Think of the Government’s New Diet Advice Assessing the new U.S. dietary guidelines. Winter Running Tips from a Marathon Winner - Total Care Wellness. EEOC legal challenge: A win for wellness - Total Care Wellness. Last spring, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) gave a preliminary nod to limited incentives to promote participation in wellness programs, promising future guidance, which is still in process.

This was a welcome development, but somewhat tempered by a pending wellness suit filed by EEOC challenging whether mandatory wellness participation violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC legal challenge was filed against Flambeau, Inc., a Wisconsin plastics manufacturer that required employees to participate in its wellness program to be eligible for the company’s health insurance coverage. The EEOC stepped in after an employee’s insurance was cancelled for non-participation in mandatory program components. In What’s On the Horizon for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs and the EEOC in 2016? “On July 15, 2015, Flambeau filed a motion with the district court requesting that the court dismiss the EEOC’s lawsuit.

Additional Resources. The motivation factor: Keeping your 2016 health & wellness resolutions - Total Care Wellness. Workplace Wellness Incentives: A Game-changing Strategy. High healthcare cost prompted organizations to offer health and wellness programs to their employees. Health issues such as diabetes, obesity, stress, and heart diseases are steadily increasing and playing havoc with business results.

TotalCare Wellness addresses these concerns of increased cost of healthcare and rise in severe medical conditions. They offer various workplace wellness programs to help employees remain fit and healthy. TotalCare Wellness, with its workplace wellness programs, addresses the emotional, mental, and physical concerns of the workforce. Their range of applications includes an employee wellness portal, Health Risk Appraisals (HRA), wellness coaching, wellness apps, and workplace wellness incentives, among others.

Workplace Wellness Incentives Companies are opting for wellness program incentives to encourage health awareness among employees and influence their participation as these programs are an excellent way to enhance employee engagement. Healthy Holiday Recipes from Lauren K - ESI TotalCare Wellness. To celebrate the holiday season, we have some great holiday recipes courtesy of one of our nutrition colleagues, Lauren K. Although suitable for holidays, these dishes sound great for anytime! Lauren hosts a Cooking with Lauren K on WTAJ’s Central PA Live Show and she has a new cookbook featuring healthy meals that won’t break your budget. She’s also worked with our TotalCare Wellness Nutrition Coaches on several projects.

Lauren was gracious enough to let us feature a few of her recipes here on our blog. We’ll give you the intro to each, then click “more” at the end of the post for full recipes and nutrition information. And a reminder to our Members – if you need healthy eating tips to get through the holidays, call a Coach! Italian Chicken Roll-Ups with Christmas Pasta The holiday season is my favorite time to have a few friends over for some festive food and cheer. Total Time: 45 minutes Servings: 6, 2 chicken roll-ups and 1 cup of pasta Total Cost: $19.59 Apple Pie Smoothies. How Health Risk Appraisal is Redefining Workplace Wellness Programs by SheriJohnson. Many organizations offer health and wellness programs to their employees. Driving the high cost of providing health benefits are issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases that are steadily increasing among the working population.

This concern of increased cost of healthcare is addressed by TotalCare Wellness. TotalCare Wellness provides various workplace wellness programs that help address the mental, emotional and physical issues among employees. The range of comprehensive employee health & wellness program offered includes Health Risk Appraisals (HRA), an employee wellness portal, wellness coaching, and wellness apps, to name a few. Health Risk Appraisals (HRA)Health Risk Appraisals, also referred to as employee Health Risk Assessments, are the gateway to a robust wellness program at the workplace. Works in Tandem with your Workplace Wellness ProgramThe HRA offered by TotalCare Wellness is part of an integrated workplace wellness program. Salient Features of HRA. Explore Workplace Wellness Incentive Models - ESI TotalCare Wellness. There are a variety of options when it comes to workplace wellness incentives, ranging from money and tangible goods to special privileges and recognition.

What works best? There are no tried-and-true formulas: the incentive that will be best for your corporate wellness program should be based on your organization’s culture, your wellness program goals and your budget. We’ve just posted a new whitepaper that explores a variety of incentive models, along with a description and some of the considerations for each: Participation-based incentivesEducational/Awareness IncentivesOutcomes-based incentivesProgress-based incentivesSmorgasbord of Incentives Whatever types of incentive strategies you decide to put in place, encouraging peer support and even competition can help increase the impact. Click for a complimentary copy: Strategies for Success: Workplace Wellness Incentive Models Related: Diet supplements and weight loss products can be dangerous - ESI TotalCare Wellness. As a society, we tend to be a little pill happy.

There’s a pill for everything, from aches and pains and mental disorders to diet, sleep and nutrition. But when it comes to diets and nutrition, there are no magic pills that will fix things – in fact, some pills may be dangerous. One area of particular concern are dietary supplements, herbal supplements and weight loss products. Many people think that herbal pills must be safe because they are natural and because Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has oversight, but neither of those things is necessarily true. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that 23,000 Americans visit the emergency department every year for dietary supplements, with about 25% of those visits involving adults who were using herbal weight loss products, and another 10% related to “energy products.”

Family physician Stephen Kamelgarn talks about this study in his article Natural drugs aren’t necessary safe. Dr. 10 tips for healthy holiday dining - ESI TotalCare Wellness. The wellworks for you fitness and nutrition program by Sheri Johnson.