Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy YOU

Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash

It’s almost the end of January and by this time many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolution. Don’t worry though, because it is not too late to jump back in and find fun ways to stay active! We all know that exercising and staying healthy is important, however we can still have a hard time sticking to it. Why is that? While we know how and why exercise is good for us, we don’t have the right mindset or smart approach towards exercise.

When you think of exercising, your immediate thought may be of running or weightlifting. You might be groaning at the thought of doing these activities. These activities are the traditional sense of working out. There are many enjoyable activities that you can start so that working out is not a burden and more something to look forward to.

This blog will focus on ways to spice up your normal workout routine.1

Think Outside the Gym

The gym can be intimidating, too expensive, or simply too inconvenient with your lifestyle. There are many alternatives to going to the gym. Some of these activities include kayaking, rollerblading, Zumba, and fencing.

Make it a Game

This one may surprise you but playing a video game that gets you standing up and moving around is a productive – and fun way to exercise. You can burn at least as many calories as you would be walking on a treadmill! There are many games that can be found on the Wii and Kinect for exercising, but a few are bowling, tennis, and soccer.

Pair it with Something You Enjoy

You can also incorporate exercise into your favorite activities and responsibilities you are already doing. This could look like doing a light workout during the commercial breaks of a show or dancing to music as you do household chores.

Make it Social

Exercising is more fun when you are doing it with friends! Grab a friend or two and join a club sport or attend a dance class together. They say that friends grow closer through unique shared experiences, and this is a great opportunity.

If you have kids, you can get them involved and implement exercising into your daily routine. This could look like going on afternoon nature walks together or doing seasonal activities (Skiing, cycling, etc.).

Try a Mindfulness Approach

Pay attention to your body when you exercise. This not only helps with improving your physical condition, but it also helps with interrupting the thoughts of worry and anxiety. Some activities that are great for mindfulness are rock climbing, swimming, and skiing.

A few helpful tools that provide free at home workouts are:

Luckily, you don’t have to wait until next year to get back into the habit of exercising. With the right mindset and a smart approach, you can create change in your life TODAY. Remember that it is possible to find enjoyment out of all life has to offer!

Tria Health Can Help

For select groups, Tria Health offers a weight management service called Choose to Lose. If this structured weight loss program is included through your benefits plan, you can receive help from a combination of registered dietitians, health coaches and pharmacists, along the best-in-class nutrition tracker app ‘LoseIt!’ and a Bluetooth scale.

Tria Health is a no cost benefit available through select members’ health plans. Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities! Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Resources

  1. How to Start Exercising and Stick to It – HelpGuide.org

Learn How to Lose Weight with These Surprising Tips

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

Losing weight can sometimes feel like the easy part in your weight loss journey. The hard part is keeping that weight off and being consistent in your weight loss goals. This article provides 5 steps that the American Heart Association suggests to losing weight AND keeping it off.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Take a realistic goal of where you are at now and where you want to be. Create short term goals that are achievable and will motivate you towards your long-term goal.

The SMART Goals method is a tool that will help you identify realistic short-term goals. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. An example of how to use this method is as follows:

Instead of saying “I would like to exercise more” …

The SMART Goal might be, “I would like to exercise 3 days/week for 30 minutes on my recumbent bicycle.”

2. Understand How Much and Why You Eat

Be mindful of what, when, and how much food you are eating. You can track your eating habits here: https://www.loseit.com/. You can also check out our blog from last week that talks about how you can improve your diet. To be successful in this journey, you will need to know exactly what your triggers are that are causing you to eat more or unnecessarily. This method will help you identify those better.

3. Manage Portion Sizes

Try eating smaller portions of your food. A lot of people do not realize that there is a difference between a serving size and a portion size. A portion is what you can control. It is how much food you can eat in one sitting. Serving size is the amount of food listed on an item’s Nutrition Facts label. It may surprise you that the serving size is much smaller than what you may think. These are a few examples of recommended serving sizes:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small piece of fruit
  • 1 wedge of melon
  • ¾ cup fruit juice

4. Make Smart Choices

Make healthy substitutions to the meals you are already making. Here are a few examples of food substitutions will help you continue your weight loss journey and still be able to enjoy the food you eat!

  • Instead of french fries, try baked potato, brown rice or steamed vegetables
  • Instead of hot fudge sundae or ice cream, try nonfat yogurt, sherbet, or fruit ice.
  • Instead of fried chicken, try grilled chicken and a side salad.

5. Be Physically Active

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that a healthy adult aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity and at least 2 days of muscle strengthening activities every week.

Moderate-intensity aerobic activities include walking fast, doing water aerobics, or pushing a lawn mower. Muscle strengthening activities should work all major muscle groups which consists of legs, arms, hips, back, abdomen, chest, and shoulders.

Tria Health Can Help

For select groups, Tria Health offers a weight management service called Choose to Lose. If this structured weight loss program is included through your benefits plan, you can receive help from a combination of registered dietitians, health coaches and pharmacists, along the best-in-class nutrition tracker app ‘LoseIt!’ and a Bluetooth scale.

Tria Health is a no cost benefit available through select members’ health plans. Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities! Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Resources

5 Steps to Lose Weight and Keep It Off | American Heart Association

Smart Substitutions to Eat Healthy | American Heart Association

Portion Size Versus Serving Size | American Heart Association

How much physical activity do adults need? | Physical Activity | CDC

How to Set Attainable Resolutions

Woman exercising outside
Image Source: Emma Simpson/Unsplash

The New Year is almost here! While we’re all excited for a fresh start and a chance to make some positive changes, it can be easy for our resolutions to fall astray if we don’t properly prepare. We want to help you along your journey and increase the likelihood of your resolutions sticking. Building healthy habits can change your life and decrease the chance of you getting a chronic condition. Follow these steps to help you set and keep your resolutions.

  1. Choose a Realistic Resolution: As much as we’d all like to be able to become expert guitar plays or marathon runners, it’s not always attainable within a year. It’s important to set realistic goals to increase the likelihood of achieving them. So maybe instead of becoming a marathon runner, your goal is to start running once a week.
  2. Focus on One Goal at a Time: While you might be able to accomplish all your goals, you’ll increase your success if you instead focus on one or maybe two main goals.
  3. Break it down: Now that you have your goal in mind, it’s time to break it down and plan. If we’re sticking with our running example, that means planning one day a week to run. Start small and then throughout the year work up to maybe running 2-3 times a week.  
  4. Find Support: A support system can be essential to meeting your goals. Having someone to hold you accountable can help give you the push you need. But make sure if you ask for someone’s help, you’re specific in what you’re asking of them. Whether it be words of affirmation or a gym buddy, you need to be clear for it to be beneficial.
  5. Don’t Give Up: Mistakes will happen, just remember that one mistake doesn’t have to derail your goals. Learn, adapt and overcome the challenges you face.

Resolution Ideas for Medication Health

Improving your medication health is a great resolution idea. to keep you healthy in the new year. Here’s what you can do:

  • Review all your medications with your pharmacist at least once a year. Having an expert review your medications will keep you healthy. Even if your medications don’t change, changes in your body and your reaction to medications can impact medication effectiveness over time.
  • Carry your medication list with you and review your list with other health care providers at your appointments. Many times, health care providers might not have visibility into your medication regimen. Having this information can ensure better health care decision making.
  • Make sure you are up to date with vaccinations and preventative screenings.  Early detection is key to effective treatment and can mean life or death…literally.
  • Follow all diet and exercise recommendations from your health care team.
  • Schedule and attend all yearly physicals and checkups

Questions?

If your health plan includes Tria Health, you can talk with a clinically trained pharmacist and receive a customized care plan. This includes recommendations for medication adjustments, preventative services and lifestyle modifications. Tria’s pharmacist will be able to help you achieve your goals and improve your health.

Visit www.triahealth.com to learn more.

Clean Medicine Start for a New Year!

Each year millions of us resolve to take better care of ourselves and families.  Often this is a resolution to eat better,  quit smoking,  be more consistent with medicines, or even lose weight to get off a medication or two.  Why not start the New Year with a clean medicine cabinet?

Gather all your medications and supplements together, and follow these guidelines:

  • Take stock of what you have and refill chronic medications you will soon need.
  • Expired or rarely used medications should be thrown out.
  • If you have not used the medication or supplement in the last 6 months and do not see a likely need for it in the next 6 months dispose of this too.
  • For tips on proper disposal, check out these guidelines on the FDA’s website or visit disposemymeds.org.
  • If possible, store all the medications together for ease of use and convenience.
  • Pain medications or other controlled substances should be safely stored out of reach of children and other “curious” adults.

You’ll be left with a cleaner, better organized, and smaller medication supply.  This will also reduce the likelihood you go out and buy more allergy medication when Spring rolls around; because you know you already have some!

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolution: Maintain a HEALTHY Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health conditions seen in the United States.  Elevated blood pressure leads to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and death if undetected.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

New guidelines state:

  • People < 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 140/90 mmHg
  • People > 60 years old have a blood pressure goal of < 150/90 mmHg

How to achieve and maintain healthy blood pressure:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your blood pressure down. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable in addition to foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Also limit amount of daily caffeine found in coffee, teas and soda.
    High sodium is a known culprit for increasing blood pressure.  Try to decrease the amount of sodium you add to you foods.  Be aware that many processed foods (including canned soups and frozen “healthy” meals) and restaurant meals are high in sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your blood pressure. Losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week.
  • Stop smoking!  Smoking increases your blood pressure while increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer and breathing complications

If lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your blood pressure at goal, medications may need to be added.  Usually one medication is started and the dose is increased until you are able to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure.  A second or even third medication may need to be added if blood pressure remains elevated after one month of treatment.

If you have questions, call the Tria Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.