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Guest post written by Anne-Marie Covacs of The Succulent Wife. Photo courtesy of the city of Marietta.

To address my recent curiosity regarding which supplements I should be taking and why, I consulted with Margaret Plouff, health and lifestyle consultant. Margaret has spent years researching supplements and has used them in healing infections and illnesses over the years. Margaret’s first tip is to “invest” in our supplements by buying whole food – or at least food-based – supplements. She suggests avoiding synthetic supplements that are created in a lab and full of fillers, food coloring and hydrogenated oils.

Here are additional recommendations for essential supplements for adults over 50:

  1. 1. Omega 3: Omega 3’s are important for brain health but also for skin, eyes, and joints. Margaret says, “It’s not what you put on your body; it’s what you put IN your body”. She explains each brain cell has a lipid cell around it that helps keep it flexible and moist. When cells become unhealthy, they dry up and it’s then easy for viruses to find their way into them.
  2. 2. Magnesium Citrate: Ninety percent (90%) of Americans are deficient in Magnesium Citrate, also known as MagC. It is beneficial for heart health and as a stress reliever. Taken at night, MagC may help relax muscles in the body and help you relax and sleep.
  3. 3. B Complex: A good B Complex vitamin may help reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. B Complex helps protect nerve endings by nourishing the neurotransmitters and encouraging these to transmit proper sensory messages. B Complex also can help with energy production as it encourages red blood cells thrive.
  4. 4. Probiotics: Probiotics naturally exist in our system but are often alienated by stress, antibiotics, and poor-quality and non-organic foods. When we put probiotics back in our system, they can help proliferate and balance the stomach, which aids in digestion and immunity.
  5. 5. Vitamin D: Most living in the northern hemisphere are likely deficient in Vitamin D. Taking Vitamin D may help ward off illness. To assess your level of deficiency, you can get a blood test ordered through your doctor. Most people will need a minimum of 2000 iu a day.
  6. 6. CoQ10: CoQ10 is recommended for anyone over 50 years old or taking statin drugs, as those drugs can block the CoQ10 the body produces. CoQ10 is important for heart health, periodontal health and mitochondrial cell health, and may be a good energizer.

Consult your doctor to find out which supplements and which dosage of each is right for you. Your body and your brain will thank you!

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 13

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

Thanksgiving is typically the one time of the year when we make an effort to reflect about what we’re grateful for. But by adopting an “attitude of gratitude” beyond the holiday season, you can enjoy many lasting health benefits. If you take some time each day to jot down the reasons you’re grateful, you could see some pretty powerful results:

 

1. A Positive Charge
In a series of experiments detailed in a 2003 study in
the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology the act of listing three to five things you’re thankful for every day in a gratitude journal improves your outlook.

 

2. Better Sleep
Researchers also found that updating your gratitude journal
at bedtime also helps you worry less, which in turn helps you get to sleep faster.

 

3. A Big, Big Love

Journaling or expressing the ways you feel grateful for a loved is also linked to partners feeling more connected and satisfied in their relationships.

 

4. Boosts the Immune System
The
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study also linked journaling gratitude to better health. Gratitude breeds optimism and participants in the study exercised more regularly, decreasing their cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, linked to our ability to fight off colds.

If keeping a physical journal seems too difficult, try finding a free diary app for your smartphone. Or, start small and find little ways to celebrate the things that made your day great. What are you grateful for today?

 

Sources:
Greater Good
Telegraph
New York Times

 

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

 

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

 

Photo used under creative use license courtesy of Rosser321

 

The choice between going to an emergency room (ER) or urgent care center is one we all would rather not make. Unfortunately, accidents happen.

 

According to recent research, 71% of ER visits are for causes that do not require immediate attention. By understanding your options ahead of time, you may be able to save time and money while you seek immediate medical care. Ultimately, the choice between the ER and an urgent care center should be based on how severe your symptoms are. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Urgent care centers can address many common ailments. They can treat fevers, colds and flu; they can suture cuts, set and cast broken bones; and many offer x-rays and lab testing.
  • If it’s life or death, go to the ER. The ER is staffed by highly trained physicians and has access to advanced medical technology and supplies, which are critical for treating sever cases.

 

Urgent care centers offer cost savings. According to Concentra, patients can save an average of 80 percent on medical bills by visiting an urgent care center instead of the ER, when appropriate.

 

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

 

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

 

Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons license courtesy of Las_Initially.

 

Body: Whether you’re starting out or starting over, motivation is important in taking that first step. But what do you do when that push just isn’t there? Here are a few ways to jumpstart your motivation.

 

Let yourself Win
Think small and reachable—set one easy goal that you can accomplish without fail. “Once a week, I will take the stairs instead of the elevator.” Slowly build successes and up the ante as you continue to achieve. Be very specific with that first goal, and try to stick to it for a set period of time before adding the pressure of additional goals that may derail your success. Once you have a few wins in your corner, set your sights on bigger challenges.

 

Peer Pressure
By announcing your goals in a public fashion on social media (Facebook), or privately to a few trusted pals, you create advocates who hold you accountable. Reporting your plans to supportive friends or a group that shares a common goal can help you stay focused when the motivation just isn’t there. Let them know your goals so they can help keep you accountable and on the right path.

 

Make it fun
Instead of thinking about all of the challenges and hard work that a health journey can be, try to find a way to make your goal fun and enjoyable. If you have a busy week ahead, think of your workout as the quiet time when you can reflect and enjoy uninterrupted time by yourself. With a little shift in perspective, it can become something worth looking forward to!

 

Just go.
Whatever your health goals, the best way to get started is to start! Even if you don’t feel like moving, put on your sneakers. Keep a spare pair of fitness clothes at the office. Commit to five minutes of something! Make it really hard for you not to at least try.

 

Sources:
Unclutterer

James Clear

Huffington Post

Zen Habits

 

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

 

Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons license courtesy of Candie_N (Welcome Fall).

 

Body: Did you know that positive thinking can lead to long term health benefits? Don’t worry if you’re not a natural-born optimist—a few exercises can help even the most negative of “Nancys” think more positively. According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking has some pretty enticing rewards:

 

• Longer life span

• Less Stress

• Lower rates of depression

• Improved immune system

• Better stress management and coping skills

• Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related health

• Increased physical well-being

• Better psychological health

 

Not only will positivity improve your ability to cope with stress and immunity, it also stands impact to your overall well-being. When you experience positive feelings, you may be more likely to reach your fitness goals, whether you want to reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure, or get more active.

The key to turning negative thinking around is accepting that it won’t happen overnight. Being positive means replacing existing thought patterns, a challenge that requires patience.

 

Take a deep breath, and when you’re ready to see things in a positive light, here are some tips to help you:


  • Identify what you think negatively about. Maybe you’re frustrated about your work-life balance, and how it impacts other parts of your life. Try to focus in on one thing at a time, and with each exercise it will get easier.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts—take time to analyze how you’ve been thinking throughout the day. If you catch yourself thinking negatively, try to re-frame your thoughts in a more positive light.
  • Try to see humor in the mundane—if you can laugh about it, you may feel less stressed.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who can support and give you perspective while you’re shifting your thinking.

 

These small strategies for overcoming negative thinking may not solve all your problems, but they will certainly help you deal with your current circumstances in the best way you can. And that is the first step toward a healthier outlook on life.

 

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

 

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

go365admin

Is SAD making you sad?

Posted by go365admin Sep 9, 2015

It’s natural to feel a little sad as you replace your summer clothes with sweaters and heavy coats. But if you consistently feel symptoms of depression during the winter months, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.Common SAD symptoms include:

 

Mood Changes

Lack of interest in your usual activities

Feeling less active

Changes in sleep patterns

Increased carbohydrate craving and weight gainDifficulty concentrating on regular tasks

 

 

Here’s what you need to know:

What is it?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs at the same time each year, usually around late fall and winter. Studies have indicated that 75% of diagnosed cases are women.

Many experience symptoms and dismiss them as ‘winter blues,’ but it is important to remember that there is a spectrum of seasonal depression—some cases are milder than others. No need to tough it out if you can take steps toward balancing your mood throughout the year.

What causes SAD?

The exact causes of SAD are unclear, but research has found a direct link to lack of sunlight. Experts have also found links pointing to melatonin and serotonin, two chemicals that help regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The human body produces more Melatonin when it’s dark and days are shorter. This increase can cause us to feel drowsy and tired. On the other hand, serotonin production goes up when a person is exposed to sunlight. This may account for a natural dip in the winter. 

What can I do?
While proper diet and exercise may not cure SAD, good habits may help you cope more effectively.  If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.  For milder symptoms, here are a few helpful ways to make life feel a little easier in the Winter.  You can even earn Vitality Bucks for doing some of them!

  • Take daytime walk breaks during your work week
  • Increase your daily vegetable intake
  • Be social: don’t be afraid to ask for support from family and friends
  • Light therapy–this involves sitting in front of a “light box,” or high-intensity fluorescent lamp.  Studies have shown
  • Keep moving!

For more information, or to take self-assessments, visit: http://www.cet.org/eng/Tools_ENG.html

Photo used under creative use license courtesy of evilerin. HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card.

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

If you are medically unable to perform these tasks, you can call customer care and we will work with you to find another way to earn Vitality Bucks. Please call the member service number on the back of your Humana member ID card.

Valentine’s Day may be over, but love never quits.  Who is the most important person in your life? If your first answer isn’t “Me”, it should be. Knowing and loving yourself plays an important role in your overall wellness.  Putting yourself second (or further down the line) can negatively impact other areas of your life, including relationships with the people you love.  Learning how to love yourself is an important lesson—without it, you are risking health and happiness.

Common ways that we don’t show ourselves enough love:

  • Being afraid to say “no” and taking on too much
  • Doubting ourselves
  • Negative Self-talk
  • Over-apologizing
  • Comparing ourselves to others
  • Associating self-love with being selfish
  • Self-loathing

 

We are our own worst critics.  What if you were to record your inner thoughts for a day–how many times would you criticize yourself? How many times do you think you’d offer yourself praise for an accomplishment? It’s never too late to start loving yourself– here are a few ways to rekindle the flame:

1. Trust yourself
Listen to your gut.  The more you tune in, the stronger your instincts will be.

2. Choose happiness
Consider your own happiness in your decision-making. You’ll experience less stress, because you will feel less guilt by choosing something that you feel good about.

3. Forgive yourself
No matter what you have done or how much you may regret something, forgive yourself and consider the mistake a life lesson.  Focus on the good things you have accomplished, and learn from the things you aren’t proud of.  It’s ok to resolve to do better next time.

4. Take time for yourself
This is a tough one! Coordinate with loved ones and schedule uninterrupted time to yourself. What you do with this time is less important than committing and honoring that time. If you honor it, so will others. Use HumanaVitality as an excuse to get out of the house every day for a walk.  You can log those steps on your pedometer and , if you earn enough, you’ll earn Vitality Bucks!

5. Find Balance
Get a full night’s rest, eat things that make you feel good and are good for you (check out our Vitality HealthyFood recipes and earn savings while you’re at it!), and make time for your daily steps.

 

Living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to love yourself!

Sources:
The Wellness Warrior
Happify.com

Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons license courtesy of QuinnDombrowski.

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.

This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card.

 

Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.

If you are medically unable to perform these tasks, you can call customer care and we will work with you to find another way to earn Vitality Bucks. Please call the member service number on the back of your Humana member ID card.