Buckeye Wellness Tips

Buckeye Wellness Tip 28
June: National Employee Wellness Month

Ohio State is celebrating National Employee Wellness Month. Setting aside a bit of time each day to focus on wellness will improve your mood, health and productivity. There are a number of free wellness events for you to participate in, including on-campus fitness classes, biometric screenings, and the inaugural family wellness expo. If you are unable to attend one of the university’s wellness events, consider starting a walking club with your colleagues, enjoy time at a park with friends and family, or write down things that you are grateful for in your own life.  

For June’s calendar of wellness events visit:
http://yp4h.osu.edu/events-and-challenges/events/employee-wellness-month


Buckeye Wellness Tip 27
April: Spring into activity

Let’s get moving! What better time than Spring to boost your physical activity levels. Whether you are a conditioned athlete or just starting to think about adding more activity into your life, getting outside, enjoying the weather and being active is a great way to stay motivated. Ohio has an impressive park system, with many locations to take your family. Find a park near you for a leisurely hike, jog, or a game of Frisbee. Also try to sit less, stand more and move every hour for more energy throughout your day.

For more information, see:
http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 26
March: National Nutrition Month®

Focus on healthful eating
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and prevent chronic disease. Make a plan on the weekends and purchase healthy foods for dinners and snacks during the week; not having a plan typically leads to unhealthy eating.  Strive for the recommended five fruits and vegetables per day. Eating light and eating often, including breakfast and healthy snacks between meals, boosts energy throughout the day and avoids overeating at dinner.

For more information, see:
http://www.eatright.org


Buckeye Wellness Tip 25
February: Be Heart Healthy!

Approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year (www.cdc.gov). Many of these deaths are preventable with healthy lifestyle behaviors (engaging in healthy eating and active living), medications, and awareness of your personal needs and risks. Knowing your numbers is the first step to a heart healthy life. On Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, get your Million Hearts health screening. Your Plan for Health will be offering free biometric screenings for faculty and staff at several locations on campus to help you become aware of your numbers and your health.

For more information, see:
http://www.millionhearts.osu.edu/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 24
January: Achieving a Healthy Weight

The key to maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body needs. Whether you are already at a healthy weight or are overweight, the first step is to prevent weight gain. A little planning is necessary to achieve your goals. Choose a healthy eating and exercise plan with short-term, realistic goals. These plans allow you to self-monitor your behaviors over time to determine if the plan is successful or not.

For more information, see:
http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/index.html


Buckeye Wellness Tip 23
December: Help prevent illness with handwashing!

Handwashing is easy and one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many illnesses. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another. Hands should be washed before, during and after preparing food; before eating; after using the restroom; when coughing or blowing your nose; and after taking out the trash. As a rule of thumb, rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds while using soap. If soap and water are not accessible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

For more information, see:
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 22
November: American Diabetes Month

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. An additional 79 million are pre-diabetic. It has been predicted that one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050, unless we take steps to prevent the onset of this condition. The good news is that diabetes and its complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eating five fruits and vegetables per day, being active 30 minutes a day and quitting smoking can lower the risk of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association invites you to join the Stop Diabetes campaign.

For more information, see:
www.diabetes.org


Buckeye Wellness Tip 21
October: The importance of cancer prevention

To lower your risk of cancer, eat a healthy diet, engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy body weight. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), one-third of the most common cancers in the US can be prevented by following AICR’s recommendations. Try to eat a greater variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while avoiding processed meats. Be as active as possible, aiming for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Prevent additional weight gain and keep your body fat level in its healthy range.

For more information, see:
http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/cancer-prevention/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 20
September: Recovery month

Mental health disorders and substance abuse are closely tied to chronic health conditions. Research shows that rates of mental health problems are significantly higher for people with diabetes, asthma, and heart conditions. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that a healthy emotional well-being is essential to your overall health. Ohio State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a valuable resource for mental and emotional well-being education, support and counseling. The EAP can assist you and your family on your journey to a healthier, happier life

For more information, see:

http://www.osuhealthplan.com/OhioStateEAP
http://www.recoverymonth.gov/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 19
August: Staying ahead of the back to school rush

Summer break is coming to an end and that means it is time to prepare for the start of a new school year with greater demands on your time.   As life becomes more hectic, it is even more important to take care of ourselves and incorporate regular recovery breaks into our schedule to keep energy levels high. Block off a little time each day to relax and engage in an activity that you enjoy. , Take a daily walk, spend 10-15 minutes reading a book, or spend quality time with family or friends. This quality time for yourself will help you to recharge and better take on life’s challenges.

For more information, see:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/handlingstress


Buckeye Wellness Tip 18
July: A great time for healthy gardening

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Gardening is a great way to get physical activity, enjoy the environment, and make your neighborhood a more beautiful place! To stay healthy while outdoors, protect yourself from the sun with a wide brimmed hat, use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, read warning labels on gardening chemicals and equipment before you use them, and always check yourself for ticks. Enjoy the beauty and bounty the outdoors can bring!

For more information, see:

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/gardeningtips/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 17
June: Men's Health Month

Men’s Health Month is a time for men to become more aware and knowledgeable of health promotion strategies, preventable health problems, disease detection, and treatment. Men are at a greater risk of complications from heart disease, cancer and stroke because they are less likely to visit their primary care provider (CDC, 2013).  Men—take action this month by completing your Personalized Health Assessment (PHA), scheduling a biometric screening, and making just 1 change for your health, such as increasing your physical activity, eating healthy and managing stress.

For more information, see:

http://www.menshealthmonth.org/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 16
May: Faculty/staff stress high, but improving

According to the 2012 PHA findings, stress levels are still elevated, but slightly lower than the previous two years. 46% of faculty and staff experience high levels of stress, which puts them at risk for health issues such as cardiovascular disease. Take charge of your thoughts and emotions and the way you deal with problems. First, identify your sources of stress and how you respond to them. Next, develop creative and healthy ways to manage your stress, such as exercising and practicing mindfulness. By engaging in these activities or other healthy ones, you can positively cope with life’s challenges!

For more information, see:

http://yp4h.osu.edu/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 15
April: Distracted driving—it can cost you

In 2011, 3,331 Americans were killed and 387,000 were injured in automotive crashes involving a distracted driver. A distracted driver is someone using a cellphone, eating, grooming, using a GPS system or reading. Texting is the most common distracting activity because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. To reduce your risk of a preventable accident, make a pledge to never text while driving. Limit your cell phone use while driving. If you have to take a call, make sure you use a hands-free device. 

For more information, see:

http://www.distraction.gov/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 14
March: Eat healthy for National Nutrition Month

Eating healthy is essential for optimal health and wellness. During National Nutrition Month, remember to build your healthy eating plan with your unique lifestyle and nutritional needs in mind.  Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and include whole grains and lean protein options (the size of the palm of your hand). When you’re on-the-go, pack non-perishable foods, such as fresh fruit or trail mix, for healthy eating throughout the day. To control portion size at restaurants, split one meal with a family member of friend, or take home half your meal for leftovers.

For more information, see:

http://www.eatright.org
http://www.choosemyplate.gov


Buckeye Wellness Tip 13
February: Be One in a Million

Heart disease and stroke are two leading causes of death in the US. Every day, 2,200 people die from cardiovascular disease. The Million Hearts initiative is a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by the year 2017. You can commit to the Million Hearts pledge by:

  • Understanding the risks for cardiovascular disease
  • Being physically active
  • Knowing your ABCS (Appropriate Aspirin Therapy, Blood Pressure Control, Cholesterol Management, Smoking Cessation and Stress Management)
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Following your doctor or nurse practitioner’s instructions for prevention and treatment

Commit to having your biometric screening performed on Valentine’s Day.

For more information, see:

http://www.millionhearts.osu.edu/ 


Buckeye Wellness Tip 12
January: For the new year, set Just 1 New Goal

There is no better time of the year than January to make a resolution to improve your health and wellness. Set a goal to make just 1 change, which might include making healthy food choices, being physically active, taking the steps instead of the elevator, scheduling a check-up with your doctor or nurse practitioner, practicing safe habits (e.g., wearing a helmet when bike riding), becoming tobacco-free, implementing strategies to decrease stress, or getting more sleep. Setting a realistic and specific goal will help you to make just 1 change for your health

For more information about healthy resolutions for the New Year, see:
http://www.cdc.gov/features/healthynewyear


Buckeye Wellness Tip 11
December: Avoid colds and the flu with hand washing

Hand washing is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection, especially with cold and flu season upon us. It is important to wash your hands frequently, such as before eating and before and after caring for someone who is sick. Even though there is evidence to support the benefits of hand washing, it is not a routine habit for many people. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Teach and encourage those around you to wash their hands frequently as well.

For more information, see:
www.cdc.gov/handwashing
www.mayoclinic.com/health/hand-washing/HQ00407


Buckeye Wellness Tip 10
November: Be active to lower your risk of diabetes

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes over the past three decades has tripled and the Centers for Disease Control predict that 1 out of 3 people will have diabetes by 2050. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to health complications, including heart disease, loss of vision, and kidney damage. Being active can help lower your risk for diabetes. Join a fun exercise class, have a walking meeting, swim at an indoor pool, or take the stairs more often. There are 1,440 minutes in every day—make a decision today to spend at least 20 to 30 of them in some type of physical activity.

For more information, see:
http://www.diabetes.org/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 9
October is Health Literacy Month

Health literacy is not just about being able to read health information—it’s about your ability to understand and process it so that you can make the best decisions for your health. It is estimated that approximately half of adults in the US lack effective health literacy skills. If you do not fully understand health information, you may be placing yourself at risk for poor health outcomes. To improve your health literacy, try repeating your health care provider’s information in your own words. Keep asking questions if you don’t understand something you have been told.

For more information about health literacy, see:
http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/cc/cc090710.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy


Buckeye Wellness Tip 8
Take active steps to lower your cholesterol

High blood cholesterol affects 65 million Americans. The higher your cholesterol, especially the low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in your blood, the greater is your risk for developing heart disease. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which is a good time to get your cholesterol checked and to take steps to lower it if it is high. Lifestyle behaviors, such as healthy eating, exercise, and managing stress can help lower elevated cholesterol levels, which reduces the chance of having a heart attack or developing cardiovascular disease.

For more information, see: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/cholmonth


Buckeye Wellness Tip 7
Back to school tips for parents

Getting the school year off to a good start can influence children’s social and academic performance. Here are a few suggestions to ease the summer-to-school transition:
• Schedule well child  and dental checkups; discuss concerns you have over your child’s emotional or psychological development with your doctor or nurse practitioner
• Re-establish consistent bedtime and mealtime routines at least one week before school starts
• Purchase school supplies as early as possible and fill backpacks a week before school starts
• Encourage your child to play quietly, color or read as early morning activities instead of watching television
• Visit school with your child to reduce anxiety, especially if it is a new school or your child is just starting school

For more information, see: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/home_school/b2shandout.aspx


Buckeye Wellness Tip 6
July is UV Safety Month

Summer is a great time of year to think about skin safety. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer and vision damage. Anyone can get skin cancer, but the risk is greatest for people with light-colored skin, blond or red hair and blue or green eyes. Take these steps to help prevent skin cancer:
•    Stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
•    Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
•    Cover up with long sleeves, a hat and wear sunglasses
•    Check your skin regularly for changes

For more information, see: http://healthfinder.gov/nho/jultoolkit.aspx


Buckeye Wellness Tip 5
Men's health: Take action

June is National Men's Health Month, and June 11-17 is Men's Health Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely to visit their doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men. On average, men die almost six years earlier than women and are four times as likely to commit suicide (CDC, 2009). Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings for men, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and prostate exams can improve your health and reduce premature death and disability.

For more information, see:

www.menshealthmonth.org
www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/menshealthfacts.pdf
www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mens_health.htm


Buckeye Wellness Tip 4
Keeping cool while active in hot weather

Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body, so stay safe while exercising in hot weather by drinking enough fluids; don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes to help sweat evaporate and keep cooler. Avoid mid-day sun by exercising in the morning or evening and wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, such as muscle cramps, weakness and nausea. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition could worsen and result in a medical emergency.

For more information, see: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ00316


Buckeye Wellness Tip 3
Stress: A little is healthy, too much isn’t

Too much stress puts your health at risk, including heart disease, digestive problems, depression, weight gain and sleep problems. It’s important to learn healthy ways to cope with stress. Strategies to manage your stress include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, practicing simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing, fostering healthy friendships, finding humor in everyday life, and seeking professional counseling when needed. Managing stress brings peace of mind and a healthier life.

For more information, see: www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001


Buckeye Wellness Tip 2
Eat “five a day” for March National Nutrition Month

Eating a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day is critical to promoting good health. People who eat a diet with generous amounts of produce are likely to reduce their risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. If you are eating two servings a day, commit to eating three (or five!)—and just make ONE change for your health. To get a variety, think of the colors of the rainbow. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber.

For more information, see: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/


Buckeye Wellness Tip 1
Resolve to make “Just ONE Change” in the New Year

Forming a healthy habit, like increasing physical activity, can be challenging. You may wonder what to do, how often, and for how long. Why not make just ONE change? Take a 15-minute walk twice a week or the stairs instead of the elevator, but resolve to make just ONE change in 2012. Studies support that even small increases in activity can improve your health. RPAC also offers you a variety of activity options.

For more information, see: http://exercise.about.com/od/fittinginexercise/a/priority.htm.

All About.com content focusing on diseases, conditions or containing health claims is reviewed by a team of board certified physicians and certified health professionals from leading institutions. The Medical Review Board was formed in October 2006 and all content created from that date forward has been closely reviewed for medical accuracy and consistency with source material. Meet the experts at http://www.about.com/health/review.htm