Category Archives: Physical Well-Being

Join us for the annual Step Up For Stepping Strong Challenge

All faculty, staff and students of the GMHEC colleges are invited to join the Green Mountain Higher Ed. Consortium team for the annual Step Up for Stepping Strong steps challenge supporting The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  The challenge runs from May 1st through the 31st.  Be part of an effort to raise a $100,000 gift to advance trauma research provided by Cigna, honor and support those who have been affected by trauma and be entered into weekly drawings to win gift cards. There is no cost to participate.   Download the MoveSpring app and join us today. 

Continue reading Join us for the annual Step Up For Stepping Strong Challenge

When it comes to heart health, keep it simple

Rarely do we think about our heart and the incredible job that it does to keep us alive.  Since February is American Heart Month there is no better time to think about our heart and consider what we might do to keep it strong and healthy.  The heart is the hardest working muscle in our body and is responsible for delivering oxygen to every cell in our body (except the cornea).  Our heart works tirelessly every second of every day of our lives and it never gets a break.   Consuming a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco and reducing stress are essential to keeping our heart in top shape and essential to helping our heart keep up with its tremendous demands.

Continue reading When it comes to heart health, keep it simple

Take small steps

November is National Diabetes Month so it’s the perfect time to talk about prediabetes.  Prediabetes is a serious health condition affecting more than 88 million Americans, most of whom don’t even know they have it.  Prediabetes puts you at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  In fact, people who have prediabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years.  The good news though is that by making small lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage or reverse prediabetes and prevent it from turning into type 2 diabetes.    

Continue reading Take small steps

Cancer….the word no one wants to hear

September is Cancer Awareness Month so there is no better time to talk about the importance of prevention and regular screenings.  Breast and colon cancers rank among the top five types of cancer but with healthy lifestyle behaviors, screening, and early detection these types of cancers are largely preventable and treatable.  And, guideline-based screenings are part of your Cigna health plan preventive care benefit which means they most likely won’t cost you a thing.

Continue reading Cancer….the word no one wants to hear

A little dose of prevention and screening….

The Covid pandemic has impacted our lives in more ways than we care to count and more ways than we may realize.   On a global scale it has posed an unprecedented challenge to public health, our food system, and the world of work as we knew it.  On an individual level it has steered many adults away from getting their annual physical and preventive screenings including colon cancer screening.  With March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month there is no better time to talk about the importance of screening. 

Continue reading A little dose of prevention and screening….

Flu shot season is upon us

It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever.  While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as:

  1. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
  2. Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated before flu viruses begin spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February so getting vaccinated in October and into early November will offer the greatest protection.

You can get your vaccine at your primary care practice and at many local pharmacies.  For a list of Cigna in-network pharmacies click here.  BCBS VT members…to find an in-network pharmacy where you may be able to get a flu vaccine, click here.  MVP members….click here.  Staying in network for your vaccine will ensure that your vaccine is covered, and you don’t incur any unexpected costs.  Most pharmacies offer flu vaccine on a walk-in basis, but it’s always a good idea to call ahead to make sure they have vaccine available and a staff person to administer the vaccine when you arrive.

This year it’s more important than ever for all of us to take action to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy and getting vaccinated is one of the best ways we can do that.

Seasons change and so can we

Fall has arrived and with that means cooler temperatures, shorter days, and for many of us, more responsibilities and demands on our time.  While many of us may have been in our self-care grooves this summer, we often have a hard time maintaining these routines as we transition into fall and winter.  As a health coach, I so often hear people say, “I fell off the wagon” or “I don’t know what happened.  I was doing so good.”  Well, I might be able to shed some light on what happened.  The environment changed and instead of adapting we dug our heels in and tried to maintain the same routines under completely different circumstances.  If you’ve been on the “on the wagon/off the wagon” in the past,  I’ve got some strategies and new ways of thinking that just might help you drive the wagon exactly where you want it to go this fall and winter. 

Continue reading Seasons change and so can we

Celebrate National Nutrition Month by investing in your health

March is National Nutrition Month and along with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I invite you to focus on developing sound eating and physical activity habits.  A healthy diet and regular physical activity are essential to a healthy life and, despite what we may think, small habits done consistently can have a big impact on the quality and quantity of our lives. This year’s theme, “Eat right, bite by bite” highlights the benefits of small action.  Bite by bite and step by step we can achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being. Here are some of my top tips for making healthy eating and physical activity the easy choices .

Continue reading Celebrate National Nutrition Month by investing in your health

Take the critical first step

We’re five weeks into the new year and for many of us our aspirations for 2020 have already fallen by the wayside.  Life has a way of distracting us from what is most important and if we’re not careful, before we know it, time has slipped away.  There is a verse in a Pink Floyd song that resonates with me every time I hear it. “And then one day you find, ten years have gone behind you.  No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun.” Life is short and we only have one chance to live the life we want. The time to act is now but how do we actually get ourselves to take action?  How do we “get motivated”? 

Here’s the secret about motivation…motivation comes after we start.  Yes, the best way to get motivated is to take action. Taking action is not always easy.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all and to do it perfectly. We become too focused on the outcome.  Let’s forget about the outcome and focus instead on the process. Focusing on the process, especially on just the first step can significantly increase our likelihood of success.  Every habit that we have or that we want to have starts with a trigger, one small action that is like the first domino which sets the chain in motion. Once we do that first action, the rest of the steps fall into place with minimal effort.   All we have to concern ourselves with then is taking that first step.

Continue reading Take the critical first step

Health….it’s not just physical.

When we hear the word health, the first thing that often pops into our minds is physical health but mental health is just as critical to our overall well-being.  Mental health is “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (WHO, 2014.).  According to a 2007 article published in American Psychologist (Keyes, 2007), mentally healthy adults reported the fewest missed days of work, low levels of helplessness, having clear goals in life, high resilience and high intimacy, the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, the lowest number of chronic physical diseases, the fewest health limitations of activities of daily living and lower health care utilization.  

Continue reading Health….it’s not just physical.