Members Wellness Area:
Everything you need to get the most out of your policy...and your life.
Welcome to the Members Area.
Here you’ll find a lot of helpful information, including program changes, health- and wellness-related information, and forms that you may need as your employee force changes.
Healthy Weight - It's not a diet - It's a lifestyle!
Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Physical Activity for a Healthly Weight
10 Tips Nutrition Education Series!
Visit United States Department of Agriculture.
Blood Pressure Q & A:
What is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force created as the blood pumps into the blood vessels and through the body and force when the blood vessels resist the blood flow. It is made up of two parts:
• The first or the top number is the pressure when the heart is beating (systolic).
• The second or bottom number is the pressure when the heart is resting between beats (diastolic).
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, means that the pressure in your blood vessels is above the normal range.
• A blood pressure that stays between 120-139/80-89 is pre-hypertension.
• A blood pressure greater than 140/90 means you have high blood pressure.
Why Should I Care if I Have High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure can hurt your body in many ways without you knowing that it. It makes extra work for your heart. This can cause the heart to become larger and, if it becomes too large, it can not work well enough to meet your body’s needs.
People with high blood pressure are:
• Three times more likely to get coronary artery disease.
• Six times more likely to get congestive heart failure.
• Seven times more likely to have a stroke.
Am I at Risk for High Blood Pressure?
Here are the risk factors you can’t control:
• Age – the older you get the more likely you are to have high blood pressure.
• Race – African Americans develop high blood pressure more often than whites, and it tends to occur
earlier and be more severe.
• Heredity – it seems to run in families. If your parents or a close blood relative has it, you are more likely to
These are the risk factors you can change:
• Obesity – people who are overweight are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
• Eating too much salt – using or cooking with a large amount of salt can increase blood pressure in some
• Alcohol – Heavy regular use of alcohol can dramatically increase blood pressure.
• Lack of exercise – this can help to increase a person’s weight and increase the chance of high blood
How Do I Know I Have High Blood Pressure?
You may not realize for a long time that any symptoms you experience are related to your blood pressure. You need to have your blood pressure checked on a routine basis by your healthcare provider. Symptoms can range from headaches and getting tired easily to dizziness, nosebleeds, chest pain and shortness of breath.
What Can I Do to Lower My Blood Pressure?
• Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Cut down on the amount of salt you eat.
• Exercise regularly. Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol.
• Take the medicines your healthcare provider has prescribed.
Remember what can happen if you don’t lower your blood pressure!
• Heart Attack
• Heart Failure
• Kidney Damage
What is my Pulse Ox?
Pulse oximetry is a test in which a device that clips on the finger measures the oxygen level in the blood, which provides an easy way to partly assess someone’s breathing. Acceptable normal ranges are from 95 to 100 percent, although values down to 90% are common. If your Pulse Ox is low, you should consider consultation with a health professional to fully evaluate your breathing.
Body Mass Index Q & A
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. If the calculated number is too low, you are considered underweight. If the number is a too high, then you are considered overweight or obese.
How do I calculate my BMI?
• Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.
• Divide that number by your height in inches.
• Divide the result again by your height in inches.
The resulting number is your BMI.
Is my BMI Healthy?
Here is a listing of BMI Weight Status categories:
Underweight: BMI less than 18.5
Morbidly obese: BMI greater than 40
Why is BMI important?
Overweight and obese people are at increased risk for many diseases and serious health conditions. Some of these conditions are:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Heart disease
• Sleep apnea
• Respiratory problems
• Emotional suffering
• Orthopedic conditions
What can you do to have a healthy BMI?
• Aim for a healthy weight. Lose weight gradually by eating healthy foods and increasing physical activity.
• Be active. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.
• Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
• Eat smaller portions.
• Limit fast food.
• Seek the advice of a dietitian or other weight loss professional.
BMI is not a perfect tool for every body type. If you are very tall, very short or an athlete with extra muscle mass, your BMI may not be accurate.
Cholesterol Q & A
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in your body. Your body needs cholesterol to work properly and actually produces the needed amounts. Cholesterol is also found in food that you eat; food that comes from animals such as eggs, meat and dairy products.
Too much cholesterol in your body causes fatty build-up in your blood vessels. This increases your risk for a heart attack, stroke and other serious diseases. This build-up is a silent process that can happen without knowing it. The best way to decrease your risk is to choose healthy lifestyle behaviors, monitor your levels through screenings and seek treatment early.
What do my cholesterol numbers mean?
The total cholesterol number is the amount of cholesterol in your blood stream. A good total cholesterol level is less than 200. Some blood test results divide your total cholesterol into two parts:
• The LDL (low density lipoproteins) is often called the “bad cholesterol”. It is very sticky and can clog up all
the blood vessels. A level of less than 100 is best.
• HDL (high density lipoproteins) is known as the “good” cholesterol. It helps to unclog the blood vessels. It
is best if it is greater than 40.
When your LDL is greater than 130 and your HDL is less than 40, there is a fear that you might have a heart attack or stroke. Triglycerides are a type of fat the body uses to store energy. Only small amounts are found in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level along with high LDL cholesterol may increase your chances of having heart disease more than having only a high LDL cholesterol level.
What can I do to lower my numbers?
• Eat more foods that come from plants and fewer high-fat foods that come from animals (eggs, red meat,
whole milk, cheese, sour cream, etc.).
• Eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables and 6 or more servings of cereals, breads and pasta and whole grain
products every day.
• Eat fish, chicken or turkey without the skin and eat low-fat dairy products.
• Maintain a healthy weight and exercise for 30 minutes or more at least 3-4 days a week.
• See your healthcare provider. Medications are available to help lower your numbers.
*If your numbers are outside of the desirable range, consult with your doctor.
What does my cholesterol level mean?
The desirable range is less than 200 md/dL. A borderline high risk reading would be 200 mg/dL to 239 mg/dL, while a cholesterol level of 239 mg/dL and over is considered high risk.