Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The question on everyone's mind is should I get a flu shot?

Many employers struggle with the question "How important are flu shots for my employees?"  
Let's take a minute to weigh in on the subject.  

The CDC says this about Influenza (flu). It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The main way that influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. 

This is fun! CDC Influenza Incidence Weekly Updates   click here for U.S. map. 

You may not know this ...

There continues to be a controversy as to whether Influenza Immunization (flu shot) is a good idea. However there is no confusion flu is a health threat. Not along ago "old people and babies" by the thousands died every year during the flu season October - March. On any given day between 5% and 20% people have the flu. 

You may have missed this that was reported earlier this year in the news: 
The answer to the questions that are around "Should I get a flu shot?" is  maybe.  There continues to be a debate whether flu shots are a good idea. Depending on who you ask will determine the answer you receive. As with every concern about YOUR body, YOU are the ultimate decision maker. 

To read the rest of the article and the C2 Your Health LLC Wellness Wednesday Getting Healthier Every Week eNewsletter click here 

You partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Healthy Dose of Inspiration

Poor health is not caused by something you don't have; it's caused by disturbing something that you already have. Healthy is not something that you need to get, it's something you have already if you don't disturb it.  ~Dean Ornish

There are many definitions of inspiration however the one I like best is the “extraordinary influence to help a person take action to create or become creative”.  Using this definition when it comes to your health where do you look for inspiration?

Just a few short months ago were you most likely glued to your TV watching the Olympians demonstrate what health and fitness looks like in a larger than life way.  Just think to enter the competition it took millions of mico-decisions choosing the healthiest of foods and pushing for just one more minute of physical practice day in and day out for many years.  A level of commitment for many of us are inspired by.

Inspiration for good health is found in athletes such as soccer players, body builders and sport enthusiasts setting an example for all to see. And what are we seeing? We are seeing the results of a healthy lifestyle hobby or career that is the product of what a ramped up healthyeating and fitness program can do on a regular basis.

Inspiration can be found in overcoming. Lance Armstrong comes quickly to my mind. An example of a person filled with the commitment and persistence to overcome cancer and become a world class athlete. Suzanne Somers fight with cancer was very public and inspired others with her story of winning the fight with healthy lifestyle habits.

Or maybe it someone you know who is closer to home who is your inspiration? A relative, friend, neighbor or someone you work with who makes their good health a priority and disease prevention a goal.  You watch them make it look effortless. They are living the healthy life you wish you had, making choices that prevent disease.

Making healthy lifestyle choices is not an easy habit to develop. Each day we receive millions of messages from the media, our friends and family suggesting there is no real need for those healthy behavior changes we are just fine the way we are after all there is genetics to blame.

For this reason you are my inspiration. You get up every day knowing you need to do something about your health, looking for the truth and not knowing which way to turn. You who with each bite of food and each step you take know there is something better you can do for your health.

What? You are not an inspiration you say. I say you are. Think of this … you know some things that you can do to be healthier; you be one to share your good health habits and let others see you doing them. Do you teach one what you know to those around you? They are looking for answers too. The thing is you never know what you do inspires others that’s what so great about inspiration … it spreads quietly like a slow burning fire within then one day you are filled with it and boom! Something fantastic happens! You choose yogurt over ice cream!

So tomorrow when you go to work, with each conversation be the inspiration I see in you, share and teach others and together we can make our community a better place to live and work for all of us.

Your partner in health,

Wellness Consultant, Certified Health Coach

Don’t feel like you are doing enough and looking for a place to start improving your health? Ramp up you nutrition with Juice Plus+ Whole Food Nutrition. How about getting a group of people together a get healthy as a group, ask about our programs to help you get healthier during the work day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Slow Food is the New Fast Food - Menu Makeover

Each year C2 Your Health LLC conducts a cooking class for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Michiana BetterU Makeover Challenge which will be held this year May 8th. The Challenge is a 12 week program guiding 12 women through the struggles and successes as a result of developing strategies that work to lasting healthy behavior change for themselves and their families. This year the BetterU Challenger hail from Elkhart General Hospital.

The goal of a cooking class is to demonstrate fast food does not only exist at the drive through window. I am not so sure fast food is really that fast.  Think about this for a minute. Be the time you decide where to go to pick up food, get in your car, drive to the restaurant, order, then be served and drive home 30 – 45 minutes has passed. In the same amount of time you could have enjoyed a relaxing home cooked healthy meal with your family. 

The Michiana BetterU Challengers learned how to fight fast food with slow food (home cooked natural) by participating in an interactive healthy cooking class. You may have heard of the Slow Food Movement designed to combat the thinking that fast food is the only choice. 

The Slow Food Movement, like the American HeartAssociation focuses on choosing healthier food options. There is confusion about what healthy food is and where it comes from. To add to the confusion is media messages telling us home cooking is it is more expensive, takes too much time and has the same level of nutrition as manufactured foods. This is simply is not true. 

To read the rest of the article click here

 Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant
C2 Your Health LLC
Health-E 4 Life Worksite Wellness

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Healthy Life - Derailed?


According to Statistic Brain 45% of you made New Year’s Resolutions and by the end of January 71% of you have already forgotten about them.  Those of you who did make resolutions 85% of the resolutions included a resolution to improve health.  In fact the top 10 resolutions included losing weight, stay fit and healthy and quit smoking.  I am sure you have already noticed it’s easy to get derailed from your healthy life goals. So what derailed you?

Getting derailed from your goals generally happens with the occurrence of any big life change.  The more challenging the event the more thrown off track you become.  Perhaps a wedding or divorce has derailed your healthy eating plan. Maybe the birth of a child or a death in the family has thrown you off course. A major move to a new house or city may have derailed your from your fitness schedule.  The truth is that nearly everyone occasionally gets derailed.    

The first step is to notice you have become derailed.  Until you notice what’s happening you will continue to move further and further away from your goals.  Once you notice you are derailed you must get back on track as soon as possible. Being thrown off track for even a week or a month is certainly easier to recover from than unhealthy habits that go on for years. The second step is to forgive yourself.  Life happens!  It’s never too late to refocus and start fresh. 

Whatever the reason you became derailed, take the steps to get going in the right direction again. Remember you are your business. You don’t want your health to become your Number 1 priority because when it does, your business takes the back seat.  Just like you plan for success in your business you need to plan for success in your health and wellness

Take a few minutes to answer these critical questions to help get back on track: 
  • What is the problem? How did I get derailed from my healthy lifestyle habits?
  • Moving forward what is the most important course of action to take?
  • Taking small steps towards my personal health goals what is a reasonable timeline? 
  •  Who do I know who can help me develop strategies to stick to my plan?
As with all journeys this is about choices - you can CHOOSE to eat healthy and be fit which is best for you, or you can choose unhealthy behaviors that cause you to continue feel stressed, tired and eventually too sick to work.

To tackle the challenges consider the following:
  • Anticipate challenges and plan for them. 
  • Make a routine and follow it.  Routines become habits. The healthier your habits become the closer you will come to vitality.
  • Schedule success. Mark your calendar the days you will be meal planning and your fitness routine.
  • Be mindful. Keep your healthy life goals right in front of you.  Post on your refrigerator the new ChooseMyPlate.gov eating guidelines, refer back to it when choosing foods to eat.
  • Let yourself off the hook.  Forgive yourself and move forward.
  • Most importantly stay the course.  Developing healthy habits is a process not a onetime event. You are in it for the long haul. Just think, if you could make just one healthy life change and do it every day that will equal 365 healthy habits over 1 year. 
Seeking help from a health and wellness expert will take the guesswork out of healthy life planning. Most importantly hiring a health coach will help with accountability and strategizing for success. 

It's important not to get derailed by poor health experienced by you, a family member or an employee. No matter what size your business is, you can't afford it.

Your partner in health,
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Cosultant

This article was first published in Small Biz Forward magazine. To follow click here

Friday, February 14, 2014

Job Stress and Heart Disease

February is American Heart Month bringing into focus all things about heart disease. One question I have not heard answered is "Can my job stress cause me to have a heart attack?" The short answer is "Yes". Surprised? Let's take a quick  look at why that is. This question of is stress at work was explored in February's edition of  Wellness Wednesday Getting Healthier Every Week where experts weighed in about job stress and health.

WebMD published Is Your Job Wrecking Your Heart? How job stress may affect your heart's health, and what you can do about it where they reported since the U.S. unemployment rate high, most people today are happy just to have a job and a regular paycheck. Add to this the 2013 State of the American Workplace Report who estimates 70% of Americans are disinterested and unhappy at work.

The Right Management, a subsidiary ManpowerGroup,  released a snapshot survey that underlines the dissatisfaction among American workers including feeling stuck in their jobs and unable to consider a career move even if they’re unhappy.

In fact, the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Stress in America Survey found that work is cited as 1 of the top 3 contributors to stress, second only to worries about money and followed closely by fear about the state of the economy.  
You might be asking yourself "What does all this stress have to do with heart disease?" 
Job stress puts pressure on the heart by raising blood pressure, heart rate, and even cholesterol levels. When you are under job stress you may have the tendency to reduce your attentiveness to healthful lifestyle choices, increasing likelihood of risky behaviors like over eating, smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and sleeplessness, which all exacerbate known risk factors for cardiac disease. These unhealthy behaviors leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes.When you have diabetes, you are at least twice as likely as someone who does not have diabetes to have heart disease or a stroke.
What can you do?
When it comes to stress the answer is very individual. It's a trial and error until you find the strategy that works for you. Here is what WebMD has to say:
  • Add cardiovascular exercise, such as running, biking or brisk walking.
  • Try yoga, tai chi, massage and / or meditation.
  • Change your point of view, take a fresh look.
  • Focus on healthy behaviors such as eating heart healthy and stop smoking.
To read the full article click here

Your heart will thank you.

Your partner in health,


Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dispite Research Belief Remains Workplace Wellness Does Not Save Money But They Are Wrong

The conventional believe continues to be workplace wellness programs do not save company's money despite what the current research demonstrates. Many believe the return on investment is very low if at all. In fact the belief is it takes as long as 3 years to demonstrate any savings or employee health improvements.

Where does this belief come from? It was true in the past, but not any more. Why was it true?

It was true based on how wellness programs were delivered. In past the focus of wellness programing had been on trying to get the sick people healthy. This is known as disease management and not easy to do. To provide a disease management service requires persistent monitoring from a health coach, a close relationship with the primary care physician, medical specialists, medical testing, and pharmaceutical intervention. This requires a great deal of time and expense.

Previously when wellness programing was offered to the entire employee population improved health had not been required. These programs are fun, some get healthy but most do not.

Despite popular belief there is a good return on investment for wellness programs.  A recent study published February 2014 by Digital Access Harvard Review (DASH) Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings demonstrates this in their report:
  •  medical costs fall about $3.27 for every dollar spent
  • absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent
The environment is changing. Results oriented wellness programing is available, although according to Wellness Councils of America only 5% of companies in this country is results oriented, the other 95% are not. New research is underway to focus on results such as improved health and return on investment. Our best advise is to look for a qualified wellness consultant to help you find results oriented wellness options. 

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Employees with High Blood Pressure Jeopardize Your Bottom Line

We are off to a new year with higher sales goals, bigger and better business plans and of course more personal and business related stress. You may be surprised to know medical studies suggest cell phones raise blood pressure along with anger and stress increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack.
With National Heart Month is just around the corner so now is a great time to start thinking your blood pressure and your wellness. 

If you think what you don't know won't hurt you, then you are dead wrong. High blood pressure is known as the Silent Killer because you generally will not experience an signs or symptoms to let you know you have high blood pressure. This is what makes it so dangerous to you. 

You may KNOW this ...

If you have high blood pressure are at risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and renal failure. Untreated high blood pressure even shortens your lifespan and can happen at any age. Even children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure. 

You may NOT know this ...
  • 47% of us have high blood pressure according to the Center for Disease Control Blood Pressure Facts.
  • 25% are diagnosed with high blood pressure as reported in the study published in the January issue of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular and Quality Outcomes in December.
  • High blood pressure is the 1st leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death. 
  • 10 % recover almost completely, 25 % recover with minor impairments and 40 % moderate to severe impairments requiring special care. 
What will it cost you and your company? 
Sick day pay, missed work days, productivity and disability are just the start. Here is what the National Stroke Association projects as the lifetime medical costs: 

$147,525 average medical costs  
$5,392 yearly cost of medications 
$17,081 inpatient rehabilitation 1 year
$98,350 outpatient rehabilitation

The National Stroke Association data shows that with simple steps, lifestyle changes and minor medical treatment, 80% of strokes can be prevented. For this reason we recommend your company sponsor Wellness Clinics to identify who is at risk, provide medical intervention and continuous disease prevention wellness education. Blood Pressure Clinics along with a Obesity Prevention Program in the form of a series of educational exposures, health coaching, cooking classes, supermarket teaching and periodic weight checks are provided reduce medical spending and improves presenteeism

To begin your company's program consult with the National Institutes of Health who have developed Prevent and Control America’s High Blood Pressure new program Mission Impossible  a website which includes fact sheets on healthy activities in English and Spanish, posters for businesses, lists of potential community partners, and recommendations for action in employee populations. 

This leaves us with the question "what will it cost my employer if I get sick?" A better question might be "can my company survive after paying for my illness." If the answer is unsure, then seek the help of a wellness expert to get your company on the road to better health before it's too late. Health is either a pay now program via prevention or pay later with medical treatment. It's smart for business to pick the
low cost option which is wellness programing.

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

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