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 HEALTH KIOSK KICKOFF (JAN. 10-14) ................. 1

MYUHC. COM

FEBRUARY 2011

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Thursdays: West 9:30AM & 3:00 PM  CARE24 CELL PHONE

WELL focused

You r M a p t o W E L L N E S S

ADDRESSING THE WELLNESS NEEDS OF TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION MEMBERS

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” ~World Health Organization, 1948

200 Pts

Lose and Win weight management Mondays: Fallbrook 9:30AM , 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM

Lose and win is an 8 week weight management program, designed to provide you with the information and skills you need to make healthy lifestyle changes such as:  Estimate appropriate portion sizes  Incorporate physical activity into everyday life  Plan healthy meals  Recognize signs of emotional eating  Overcome exercise barriers  Manage stress  Choose healthier options when dining out The Lose and Win program will begin on February 7 and meet weekly until April 1. Participants must attend at least 5 of the sessions to receive the 200 Wellness Points. Sign up for a class today! Classes with less than 5 people signed up by February 3rd will be cancelled.

Tuesdays: Hiram Clark 9:30AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM Wednesdays: Field Service Center 6:30AM Polk 9:30AM , 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM Thursdays: West 9:30AM & 3:00 PM Fridays: Kashmere 9:30AM, 11:00 PM, & 3:00 PM Mid Day Lot 2:00 PM

**Class schedule is subject to change, depending on number of participants**


Keys to a healthy heart Keeping your heart strong and healthy isn’t hard. However, it does take a little effort. Taking care of your heart can pay off in good health for many years to come.  Visit your doctor. Have regular checkups. Include blood pressure and cholesterol level readings, as appropriate. Talk with your doctor about any risk factors. Discuss any illnesses, ongoing health concerns and family medical history. If you have health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. Keep him or her informed of any symptoms or changes.  Kick the smoking habit. Don’t put it off any longer. Many serious health risks are related to smoking, including heart disease and elevated blood pressure. Try a quit smoking program or talk to you doctor about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), such as gum or patches. Counseling or a support group also may be helpful. Quitting smoking may not be easy. But, your health– and life– depends on it.  Fuel up with good food. Eat foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. But, remember that low in fat doesn't always mean low in calories. So, read nutrition labels carefully. Be sure to include foods such as oats and beans in your diet—a diet high in fiber can help lower cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables also can supply fiber. They also have many heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.  Keep your body moving. Exercise is important for a healthy heart. However, that doesn’t mean you need to run marathons. Aerobic exercise such as walking, bicycling or swimming is great for your heart. Choose an activity that’s a good match to your fitness level and start slowly. Moderate activity is recommended—at least five days a week, 30 minutes a day. Remember, talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise or sports program.  Learn to manage stress and anger. Keeping life free of stress isn't possible. Instead, you can make changes to the way you react to life’s daily challenges. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, gentle stretching or meditation. Look at your daily and long-term priorities. Are your goals realistic? Do your best each day and let the rest go. Eating well and exercising also can help. Make time for good health and good relationships. It will do your heart good.

25 Pts

February Health Challenge

True or False– Please state whether the statement is true or false. Turn in your answers to the Wellness Coordinator either in person or by email (tjoshua@uhc.com), with your name and contact information by February 28, 2011.  

Moderate exercise, only 3 times a week, is recommended for a healthy heart. (True or False) Setting realistic goals may help manage your stress, which may help contribute to good heart health. (True or False)  The American Heart Association has endorsed fish oil as a supplement to help manage heart disease. (True or False)  Laughter has been found to reduce stress and lead to improved blood flow. (True or False)  You should talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program or taking supplements to help manage heart disease or high blood pressure. (True or False)

Call Care24 anytime to learn more about exercise program, weight loss and many other health conditions, including stress management and injury prevention. Registered nurses and Master level counselors are available 24 hours every day: 1-888-887-4114 This publication is provided to union members and other readers to inform of wellness programs offered and achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The content herein is not intended as medical advice on individual conditions. Personal medical advice should be obtained from a medical doctor.


Laughter Can Boost Heart Health Research finds it improves blood flow and may help ward off high blood pressure. New research lends weight to the old adage that laughter can be a powerful medicine, particularly when it comes to your heart. Two studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting in Seattle found that laughter not only can reduce stress, which can damage the heart, it can lead to improved blood flow, which can help ward off high blood pressure. The first study included a small group of healthy adults who were asked to watch either a comedy or documentary film. They were then checked for activity of the carotid arteries– the main arteries in the neck that bring blood to the brain and face— during the films. People who watched the comedy displayed improved “arterial compliance”—the amount of blood that moves through the arteries at a given time. Decreased arterial compliance is often linked with high blood pressure and heart disease, according to an American College of Sports Medicine new release. “Arterial compliance was improved for a full 24 hours after subjects watched a funny movie,’ said lead researcher Jun Sugawara. “Laughing is likely not the complete solution to a healthy heart, but it appears to contribute to positive effects.” The second study focused on vascular function and the dilation of blood vessels. When a second group of adults watched either a comedy or a serious documentary, there was more dilation of blood vessels during the comedy. Constricted blood vessels can be a cause of high blood pressure, the new release said. “Not only did comedies improve vascular dilation, but watching a documentary about a depressing subject was actually harmful to the blood vessels,” said Takashi Tarumi, lead researcher on the second study. “These documentaries constricted blood vessels by about 18 percent.”

Can Supplements Be Beneficial for Heart Disease? Considering a supplement to help manage your cholesterol levels? Some supplements, when coupled with a healthy lifestyle, may play a role. The evidence is clear. Good nutrition and regular exercise are major players in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Taking a statin drug is standard therapy to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and to raise HDL (good cholesterol). But researchers are confirming that some vitamins and/or plant substances may also play a role in managing heart disease. What works The American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed fish oil and plant stanol supplements to help manage heart disease. Many doctors also advice getting more vitamin D. The supplements can be used along with diet and exercise. But first talk to your doctor before you take any supplements. Even natural substances may interfere with the effectiveness of other medicines you are taking, such as blood thinners. Fish oil, found in fatty fish, contains high amounts of the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. These fats may help reduce the chances of blood clots, clogged arteries, irregular heartbeats, high triglycerides and death from heart disease.  The AHA recommends at least 1 gram daily of DHA and EPA combined if you have heart disease.  Though oily fish is preferable (salmon, mackerel, sardines), your doctor may also suggest EPA/DHA supplements.  If you have high triglycerides, your doctor may suggest 2 to 4 grams of EPA/DHA per day. Talk to your doctor about these options and the dose that might be right for you. Vitamin D may be an up-and-coming player in the field of heart disease treatment and prevention. People with low blood levels of vitamin D are known to be at higher risk for heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and earlier death.  There are no specific guidelines yet for vitamin D in the treatment or prevention of heart disease. But getting adequate vitamin D through foods or supplements is widely advised for bone health. It has great potential for use in other chronic illness, too.  The National Institutes of Health recommends 400 IU for healthy people ages 51 through 70. Healthy adults aged 71 and over should try to get 600 IU daily.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that adults age 50 and older should get 800 IU to 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day. Ask your doctor what dose is right for you. Find a physician, chat with a nurse, look up health conditions, compare prescription prices, and more at myUHC.com

This publication is provided to union members and other readers to inform of wellness programs offered and achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The content herein is not intended as medical advice on individual conditions. Personal medical advice should be obtained from a medical doctor.


Physicals and Preventive 400 Pts Screenings

W ELLNESS C HAMPIONS

Have you had your annual physical or recommended preventive screening? For more information on preventive care for your age and gender, visit www.uhcpreventivecare.com. Once you have received your annual physical or recommended screening, provide the Wellness Coordinator with a copy of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to receive 400 Wellness Points. If you did not receive the EOB in the mail, it is available on your myuhc.com account. Contact the Wellness Coordinator if you have any questions.

Helpful phone numbers: TWU Health & Welfare Trust— 713-868-1995 UHC Customer Care– 1-800-705-1692 Colonial Insurance— 713-774-6110 Care24— 1-888-887-4114

Have you made a change for the better? Have you become more healthy, started exercising, or stuck with a weight loss program? Let the Wellness Coordinator know about your health improvements and get featured in an upcoming newsletter. Feel free to nominate someone that you know who have made some life saving changes also!!

UPCOMING EVENTS Wellness Consultations Have you completed your online health assessment and are ready to make steps towards improving your health? If so, contact the Wellness Coordinator to set up free one on one wellness consultations to help you achieve your health goals. Completion of the wellness consultations will earn you 100 Wellness Points.

100 Pts

Lose & Win– February to April

Contact the Wellness Coordinator For any questions regarding the Your Map to WELLNESS Program, please feel free to contact TWU’s Wellness Coordinator: Tasha Joshua tjoshua@uhc.com 713-296-4813

Get up to date Wellness Info!! Send Tasha Joshua (tjoshua@uhc.com) your email address to get signed up!!

Find a physician, chat with a nurse, look up health conditions, compare prescription prices, and more at myUHC.com

This publication is provided to union members and other readers to inform of wellness programs offered and achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The content herein is not intended as medical advice on individual conditions. Personal medical advice should be obtained from a medical doctor.


February 2011 Newsletter