Wellness

How to Handle Fruits and Vegetables

The skin of fresh fruits and vegetables can have germs that can make you sick. They also can contain chemicals that farmers use to help the plants grow. That’s why it’s a good idea to wash fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Here are some tips:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling fruits and vegetables.Washing_peppers
  2. Rinse all fresh fruit and vegetables with warm water, even if you don’t eat the skin or peel. Germs on the skin or peel can spread to the inside when you cut or peel it.
  3. If there is a firm skin, such as on apples or potatoes, use a scrub brush to clean it.
  4. Cut away bruised or damaged areas on fruits and vegetables before you eat them.
  5. Most fresh fruits and vegetables will stay fresher if put in the refrigerator, but some will not. For example, it is OK to keep potatoes and bananas on the kitchen counter. But return cut and peeled fruits and vegetables to the refrigerator within two hours. Put them in the crisper and cover them.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

Color Yourself Healthy

VeggieRainbow

You can find a rainbow of colors in the produce section at your supermarket, and all that color provides big nutritional benefits.

When you shop, look for the most vividly colored fruits and vegetables. Colorful plant chemicals—such as carotenoids and flavonoids—contain antioxidants that can strengthen your immune system, protect your body’s cells from disease-causing free radicals, and may prevent some types of cancer or heart disease.

Different colors mean different types of antioxidants with different benefits. Here’s a guide:

The Reds

This hue is a sign of antioxidants that may reduce your risk for cancer and protect your heart. Consider putting these in your cart:

  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries and strawberries
  • Red bell peppers
  • Red grapes
  • Tomatoes

The Oranges and Yellows

They are packed with carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients promote heart health and vision and may reduce the risk for certain cancers. Shop for these bright foods:

  • Acorn squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Oranges, lemons, grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

 The Greens

Green vegetables contain a slew of antioxidants. They are also a rich source of other health essentials, such as folate, minerals, and fiber.  Add these to your menu:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard greens
  • Green bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

The Blues and Purples

Fruits and veggies that are blue and purple offer many of the same benefits as red items. Fill up on these deeply hued choices:

  • Beets
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Purple grapes and juice

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

Fit More Fitness Into Your Workday

Moving more at work is easier said than done, especially if your job requires a lot of sitting. But physical activity can be added into the average workday in ways you may not realize.Chair

Take a Stand    

Set an alarm on your phone or computer for every 30 minutes. When it rings, do a two-minute exercise challenge.

2 Minute Challenge Ideas

Exercise can be done almost anywhere at any time at work. Here are some tips to get you off on the right track:

  • Walk in place with high knees
  • Perform arm circles forward for one minute, then backwards for another minute
  • Squats or walking lunges
  • Desk pushups

To gain support, challenge a coworker to perform these exercises together.

Quick Tip: Try changing out your chair. Use a stability ball instead of a chair to challenge your core and improve your posture.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

4 Exercise Excuses You Can Overcome

Bike

Regular exercise can help you feel better and live longer. So what’s stopping you? No matter your reason, there’s a solution. Get ready to stop making excuses and get going.

 

Excuse: I hate aerobics­. And weightlifting. And anything else that feels like gym class.

Get past it: Good news: You don’t have to revisit gym class. Studies show that lifestyle activities­ are just as effective as structured exercise programs in improving fitness. So walk the dog, do yard work, run up and down the stairs, or dance to your favorite music. It all counts as exercise.

 

Excuse: I don’t have time to exercise­.

Get past it:  If you can’t find 30 minutes in a row, break it up. Three different 10-minute activities are just as effective. Or scrub the bathroom for 15 minutes. Now you’ve already met half your exercise goal for the day.

 

Excuse: I’m too tired to exercise.

Get past it: Yes, it’s hard to get out of that chair. But if you do exercise regularly, you’ll actually feel less tired and have more energy. Studies show you’ll sleep better, too. Just start moving, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll perk up.

 

Excuse: I’m not at risk for heart disease, so I don’t need to exercise.

Get past it: Actually, by not exercising, you are at risk for heart disease­. An inactive lifestyle also increases your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.

 

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

August Wellness Webinar: Fitting a Healthy Life in a Hectic Lifestyle

AugWebinar

Life can be busy. Filled with meetings, deadlines and family commitments. It’s no wonder that exercise gets put to the wayside and our meals are made at the drive-thru window. This webinar will discuss simple tricks and tips you can use to make healthy living fit into your hectic lifestyle.

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

How to Access the Stay Well Website

StayWell

I’m all about removing the fear of getting started and the daunting task of signing up for something new. Accessing the Stay Well website will truly take you less than 5 minutes and puts health information right at your fingertips. The Stay Well website is a free service offered to any employee insured through the UW System’s health insurance plan. That’s right FREE!!! I will walk you through the sign up process and you can discover for yourself how easy it is to access.

The first step is to go to the website. Here are some options:

I went right to the log in page from this link. You will be asked to provide your first name, date of birth and last 4 digits of your social security number.  Then you are off to choosing a username, password and security question. (hint: write down your information because you and I both know that we have one million different usernames and passwords). A link to verify your email will follow. Here’s the tricky part it may go in your spam or junk mail. (This realization took me 5 or 6 tries.) The verification code will appear in the email. You plug that code in and just like that, you have full access to the site.  If you do come across any problems with your log in process, the number to call is 1-800-821-6591.

The site contains health coaching, webinars, health plan resources, pharmacy benefit information, EAP resources, archived webinars, a mindfulness collection and so much more. I personally love the health library for up to date information on current health issues. So now that you know how easy and beneficial the Stay Well website is, go ahead and sign up today!

Article written by Linda Schmitt, College Health Nurse in UWGB’s Counseling & Health Center

20 Easy Ways to Get More Exercise

When you think of exercise, you probably picture activities such as jogging, cycling, or lifting weights in a gym. However, exercise can take many different forms. The goal is to spend more time moving. What’s more, your workouts don’t have to last for a full 30 minutes at a time. You can break them up into smaller chunks throughout the day, lasting at least 10 minutes. Here are 20 ways to sneak in more exercise.

  1. Take a walk after dinner every night.WalkingDog
  2. Turn up the music and dance!
  3. Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  4. Park farther away from buildings so you get in more steps.
  5. Play a sport—join a local team and you’ll get in a workout while making new friends.
  6. Do chores around the house that keep you on your feet.
  7. Walk your dog instead of letting him outside in the yard.
  8. Stand up and walk while taking work calls instead of sitting.
  9. Hit the mall and walk, especially if the weather isn’t ideal for strolling outside.
  10. Work in the yard—rake, weed, plant, or mow.
  11. Skip the car wash and wash your car by hand.
  12. Stay active while watching TV—walk around, jog in place, or do sit-ups.
  13. Find exercise YouTube videos you enjoy doing at home.
  14. Choose family activities that keep you active, such as going to the park, lake, or zoo.
  15. Join your kids and go swimming at the pool.
  16. When it snows, use a shovel instead of a snowblower.
  17. Find an exercise buddy—a friend or family member who can help you stick with your plan, exercise together, and motivate you to live a more active life.
  18. Go hiking at a nearby park.
  19. Walk up and down the sidelines during your kids’ sports games.
  20. Keep hand weights available so you can grab them and do a few reps any time, even while on the phone.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

July Wellness Webinar: Debunking Fitness Myths

Biking

You know you should move for 30 minutes each day. Or is that 60? And shouldn’t you be lifting weights and stretching, too? But when? This webinar will separate the myths from the facts so you can move toward better health.

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Location: Cofrin Library, 7th floor, room 735

No need to RSVP – just mark your calendar to join us, and bring your lunch!

You could also participate in this webinar at your workstation if you prefer – please visit wellwisconsin.staywell.com and go to Webinars to register.

Wellness webinars highlighting various health and well-being topics will take place the 3rd Wednesday of each month. All webinars will be recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the wellness portal after the event date.

To access the wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or enrolled spouse/domestic partner enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program.

The Benefits of Mindful Eating

Rushing through meals, barely acknowledging the food you put in your mouth, deprives you of the pleasure of eating and may impact Appleyour health.

A study in the Journal of Obesity found that the more study participants practiced mindful eating, the greater their ability to reduce anxiety, skip eating comfort food to ease stress, and avoid eating in response to emotions. That helped them lose weight in the abdominal area.

To practice mindful eating, try these exercises:

• Be mindful of food prior to eating it. Before you eat something, silently do the following for 30 seconds: Look closely at the food in front of you, noticing the colors and shapes. Smell the food and enjoy the aroma. Consider all the plants and animals that are part of the food. Acknowledge the effort of everyone who was involved in making the food. Envision yourself eating the food mindfully with attention.

• Take mindful bites. Be aware of your movements as you bring food to your mouth. When the food is in your mouth, put your hands, silverware, or chopsticks down. As you chew, pay attention to the taste and texture of the food and to the act of chewing. Chew until the food is smooth, then swallow. After swallowing, pause for a few seconds before picking up more food or your utensils.

• Mind your chews. Pay attention to how many chews it takes for you to eat a particular food. Begin by taking a bite of food and then counting the number of chews it takes you to completely chew it up. Then take a smaller bite of the same food and count the number of chews you need, followed by taking a larger-than-normal bite and noting the number of chews. This practice can help you focus specifically on the act of eating when your attention is wandering.

Easy ways to practice mindful eating include:

  • Making eating your only activity without reading, talking on your cellphone, watching TV, texting, computing, or working
  • Eating with chopsticks or with your non-dominant hand
  • Chewing each bite 30 to 50 times
  • Sitting at a table when you eat

Slowing down and practicing mindful eating has the potential to transform your relationship with food. Reducing distractions is key to the experience.

Article from The StayWell Company, LLC

24 Employees Participate in Bellin Run

DonnaAngelaKimberlySamGCropDonnaFriend SamGTeam VliesPacker

Here are some comments from employees who participated in the Bellin Run on Saturday, June 10th:

  • The Bellin Run was a blast, as always!
  • Nice weather – warm, but not too warm in morning with a nice breeze.
  • The corral start went much quicker this year. This was really nice since it was going to be warm as the day went on.

Michael Holstead finished the run with the quickest time of our team.  Team Captain, Sam Goeller, is shown in the red tank top with My Team Triumph providing race support to a participant with a disability.  Donna Mleziva is shown in the starting corral area, and Kimberly Vlies and her sister got some fun pics with Green Bay Packer players (shown with Davon House).  Great job team!