May 16th, 2013 by email@example.com
A: Workplace stress is a common occurrence. Most people today are trying to juggle having a family, building a career and maintaining some semblance of a personal life. These three tips will help you keep the stress from becoming unmanageable:
- Deal with difficult situations ASAP- Avoiding a tough subject is one of the biggest causes of workplace stress. Don’t wait until the boss approaches you about a problem. Take charge, and set the time and place to address it sooner rather than later. When you take control of a problem, it loses some of its stressful power over you.
- Let go of some ‘obligations’- A lot of the stress we feel at work or home is a result of overbooking our lives. Learn to say no to things that aren’t a top priority and focus on the things that are truly important.
- Develop a mental list of coping skills- When the stress gets too high, stop and take action. Taking a 10 minute walk, calling a trusted friend, or practicing a mediation moment can make all the difference in reducing your stress.
Stress can build up quickly unless you make time to deal with it on a regular basis. For more ideas and techniques on dealing with stress, visit the HelpGuide.
April 12th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: “How does Sterling’s Direct Access Lab Testing work, and what are the benefits?”
A: Our direct access lab testing is an extremely easy and affordable way to have lab work done. You can order lab work for numerous tests without visiting your physician. Confidential testing allows patients to keep lab results out of their medical records, and away from potential insurers. To order a test, simply follow these steps:
- Log on to Sterling Wellness Solutions, and click on the Online Lab Testing tab.
- The testing categories are listed on the left hand side or you can enter search words in the search box directly above that column. Sample tests include general wellness panel, cardiovascular and cholesterol panel, prostate and thyroid testing, STD testing, liver and kidney function, and many more!
- Add the test you would like to order to the cart and either continue shopping or proceed to secure checkout.
- After you checkout, print the order and bring it with you to any LabCorp in the U.S. and have blood work drawn.
Some tests may require you to fast for 8-10 hours prior to testing. Results are printed in our central office and an experienced nurse or health coach will contact you with the results within 2-3 business days. A copy of your results can either be securely emailed or mailed directly to you. For more information about our direct access lab testing services call 1.800.838.0337.
March 13th, 2013 by email@example.com
A: Want to lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, or manage medication? There’s an app for that! Whatever your wellness related goal, your smart phone or tablet can offer guidance and track progress. Check out some of my favorite health and fitness apps:
Dawn Beverage is the Technology Specialist for Sterling and a Certified Health Coach.
- Health Park: ConXus Mobile- Access Sterling’s Health Park system. View details about your company’s wellness program including program news, incentive points, challenge activities and more. Price: FREE
- MyFitnessPal- Lose weight using a free food, exercise, and calorie tracker. Price: FREE
- WebMD- Check your symptoms, access drug & treatment information, and get first aid essentials. Price: FREE
- Fig- Your personal wellness guide for body and soul. Nourish your life with simple activities. Price: FREE
- Lift- Achieve any goal, track your progress, and get the support of your friends. Price: FREE
- Fooducate- Discover what’s really inside your food products and learn healthier alternatives. Price: FREE
- Fitness Buddy- The ultimate fitness journal, boasting more than 1,000 exercises, tailored workouts and animations. Price: $0.99
- Endomondo Sports Tracker- Track your running and cycling workouts, challenge your friends, and analyze your training. Price: Free/$4.99-Pro
Studies show that people who monitor their progress are more likely to meet and maintain their wellness goals. The key is to use the apps as tools to help you stay on track and to not get overwhelmed by their bells and whistles. The best ones are simple and useful, motivating you to stay on course.
February 10th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: “Is it true that heart attack symptoms are different in women and men?”
A: Although both genders experience similar warning signs, there are often slight differences in the signs of a heart attack between men and women. It is important to remember that not everyone will experience the same symptoms. The most common sign of a heart attack in both men and women is chest pain or discomfort that comes on quickly, goes away, and then comes back. It is also common to experience upper body discomfort in one or both arms and shortness of breath.
Women however, are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting. Furthermore, women commonly experience unusual tiredness for days, and pain in the back, shoulders, and jaw. Even if you have already experienced a heart attack, your symptoms may be different for another one.
Knowing how to respond to a heart attack is also important. If you think you or someone around you is experiencing a heart attack, your first step should be to contact 911. You don’t have to be certified in CPR/AED to save a life! Simply providing chest compressions to someone in cardiac arrest is a safe and effective way for a bystander to provide life-saving techniques. If you are interested in learning more about CPR visit your local American Heart Association or American Red Cross for training information.
January 15th, 2013 by email@example.com
Q: “As part of the overall wellness balance, I need to get my finances in shape. Where do I start?”
A: Just like you exercise to keep your body healthy, a budget is a financial exercise that will help keep your pocket book healthy. Budgeting allows you to determine where your money will go as opposed to where your money went.
In order to prepare an accurate budget, you need to start by making a list of all your planned income and expenses. Make sure your list of expenses is detailed so you will easily be able to determine what items on your budget need the most attention. View a sample budget and consider these categories as you build your own working budget:
Once you have determined all of your income and expenses, you will need to compare the total income to total expenses. If you are over-budget, examine your expenses and see what costs are derived from your “needs” and which ones are from your “wants.” Beginning a budget will take some time, however in the long run it will pay off, literally! Once your budget is in place, it can help relieve some of the financial stress in your life. Budgeting will help you control your finances instead of allowing your finances to control you.
December 15th, 2012 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: “Is organic food really healthier? I can’t decide if it’s worth the price.”
Jaclyn Beaty is a Health Coach and Communications Specialist for Sterling
A: Organic foods are grown and produced without synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified ingredients. Organic animal products such as milk and meat contain less hormones and antibiotics than their conventional counterparts.
In the United States, a food can be labeled “organic” if it contains a minimum of 95% organic ingredients. Be cautious of foods labeled “natural” as this is a vague marketing term with no regulations or standards. In general, foods with a thin edible skin, such as peaches and berries, can absorb more chemicals and may be worth buying organic. Conversely, foods with a thick inedible skin, like pineapple or bananas, may not be worth splurging on since much of the pesticide residue is removed along with the skin.
If you can’t decide between organic, locally grown, or conventionally grown, one thing all experts would agree on is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. To protect yourself from non-organic foods, always wash produce in clean water and eat fruits and vegetables in season.
November 14th, 2012 by email@example.com
Q: “Weight gain seems inevitable for me during the holiday season. What can I do differently this year so I don’t leave every holiday gathering feeling guilty?”
A: Although it can be challenging, there are many ways to maintain your weight through the holidays. Here are my top 5 strategies to survive the season!
- Portions, portions, portions- Don’t waste your calories on foods that are available year-round. Enjoy small portions of seasonal favorites instead and limit yourself to one plate.
- Find Healthy Substitutions- Greek yogurt can be a great replacement for many recipes that call for sour cream or cream cheese. Applesauce can replace butter and oil in baking dishes. Click here for a complete list of healthy substitutions.
- Continue Your Exercise Regimen- Aim for 30+ minutes of exercise per day. Combine family time with fitness; go for a walk with the kids and/or the dog to look at decorations, rake leaves, or dance to your favorite holiday music.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption- Get your fill of calorie-free drinks like water, hot tea, or coffee. Restrict alcohol consumption to 1-2 servings. Opt for lower calorie choices such as light beer or wine over high-fat eggnog or specialty drinks.
- Plan for the Party- Never go to a party hungry! Start your day off with a small, fulfilling breakfast to avoid mindless eating and snacking during the party. Focus your energy on the great company because conversation is calorie-free!
Use these 5 simple strategies to maintain your weight this holiday season!
October 17th, 2012 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: “I recently heard about a new concept called Environmental Wellness. How can we use the environment to maximize our overall health?”
A: Environmental Wellness is commonly thought of as “going green,” and it is not usually a focus when viewing one’s health as part of an overall wellness plan. However, our environment and our attitude toward it can have a huge impact on our overall health. Our environmental interactions, whether public or personal, impact health and well being in a variety of ways. Pollution, conserving finite natural resources, and the negative impact of toxins in our life, affect all generations. Minimizing the negative impact of your behavior on the environment and protecting yourself from environmental hazards are central elements of environmental wellness.
As we age, so does our body’s ability to overcome environmental challenges and adapt. It is in our best interest to reduce environmental hazards that may impact heart disease, stroke, COPD, diabetes and other climate sensitive health problems. Environmental strategies to promote wellness include:
- Minimize exposure to smoke – cigarette & wood-burning.
- Ensure proper ventilation and take frequent fresh air breaks when painting indoors.
- Avoid carbon monoxide – use exhaust fans and never leave vehicles running in a garage.
- Seek air conditioned area to prevent heat stress; check medications – some may add to heat stress.
- Drink a minimum of eight, 8oz glasses of water a day. Run water 30 seconds before drinking and consider a filter system to remove chemicals.
- Wear sunscreen and protective eyewear when outdoors.
- Minimize safety hazards in your personal and work environment to reduce incidence of injury.
- Practice safety prevention: buckle your seat belt, know your evacuation route for fires & hurricanes, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep a clean, organized, and healthy home environment to aid stress reduction and relaxation.
Environmental wellness also involves societal responsibilities. Being aware of the earth’s natural resources and their respective limits is important. Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is a critical part of environmental wellness. You don’t have to be a member of an organization to help; an individual can help by simply leading an environmentally conscious life by conserving energy (shutting off lights when not in use), recycling, picking up litter, planting a tree, etc.
Take action today to protect the world around you and the environment that you live in to maximize your environmental wellness.
Ask the Expert Q: “Heart disease runs in my family, so I’ve been told to get a lipid profile test. What does that involve, and what will the results show me?”
September 17th, 2012 by Jaclyn
A: The lipid panel can provide important information if heart disease runs in your family. Often times, this test can be done with a simple finger-stick procedure and results
can indicate your risk for heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. A lipid panel typically includes total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and risk ratio.
- Total cholesterol levels should be <200mg/dL and are effected by diet and activity. Your total cholesterol is a combination of HDL, LDL, and VLDL levels.
- HDL is the “good” cholesterol and should be greater than >40 mg/dL for males or >50 mg/dL for females. The higher the number the more disease fighting power your body has to prevent your arteries from blockage. You can elevate your HDL through aerobic exercise, smoking cessation, and removing trans fatty foods from your diet.
- LDL or “bad” cholesterol should be <100 mg/dL. A diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol from animal products, and high fat dairy products can lead to a build up on the inside of your artery walls causing blockage, hardening, and narrowing of your arteries.
- Triglycerides are a different type of fat that your body makes from unused carbohydrates and/or fats. Your goal number should be <150 mg/dL. Elevated LDL and triglycerides are known as the “silent killer” because there are no signs and symptoms to elevated levels.
- The risk ratio refers to the total cholesterol divided by the HDL and is often the best indicator of heart disease. Numbers less than 4 indicate a lower risk for heart disease.
If you would like to get a lipid profile test, visit our Sterling Labs or call 1-800-838-0337 to order your direct access lab testing. Take your requisition form into any local LabCorp, and one of our health coaches will call you to confidentially discuss your results.
Ask the Expert Q: “I’ve heard a lot of buzz recently about plant-based diets. What qualifies as a plant-based diet, and can it provide all of the nutrition that I need?”
August 19th, 2012 by Jaclyn
A: A plant-based diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Not only can a plant-based diet be rich in vitamins and minerals, but it can also be low in calories and can provide all of the protein, carbohydrates and fat that your body needs. To be sure you are getting all of the nutrients that you need, include a variety of fruits and vegetables by filling your plate with a mixture of colors.
|Summer James is the Health and Wellness Advisor for Sterling and a Certified Health Coach.|
While fruits and vegetables play a vital role in providing vitamins and minerals, it is also important to incorporate other healthy sources of protein and carbohydrates. Build your plate around low fat protein sources such as beans, nuts, seeds and legumes. Be sure to incorporate complex carbs into your plant-based diet as well. Avoid refined carbohydrates that come from white bread, rice and pasta. Instead, chose complex carbohydrates that come from fruits and vegetables, oats, beans, whole grain bread, brown rice and whole wheat pastas.
Finally, when eating a plant-based diet, be sure to include a source of healthy fat at each meal. Sources of healthy plant-based fats include olives, nuts, flax seeds, avocado, canola oil and olive oil. Whether you choose to make the switch to a plant-based diet or not, always remember to include a variety of foods within each group. If you choose to eat animal-based foods such eggs, meat, or dairy, select low fat versions and always fill up the majority of your plate with fruits and vegetables.