Finding the Time

One of the biggest struggles to consistently working out is finding the time. Eric, one of our operations specialists, looked at the problem only as an operations specialist could. After analyzing his schedule, he found he could create the time, but it required a change is the way he gets to and from the office. Here is his story:

EricLike many of us, it was a challenge for me to fit physical activity into my busy schedule. Between family, work, friends, and a myriad of miscellaneous responsibilities exercise often fell by the wayside. As the inevitable effects of this inactivity manifested themselves, it became apparent that I needed to find the time…….somehow.

Following a thorough analysis of my available time, I discovered that incorporating exercise into my daily commute was the solution. I was unwilling to sacrifice my time in others areas of my life i.e. kids, chores, sleep, recreational activities, etc. but my daily commute presented an opportunity. Given my proximity to work, walking, running, or some equivalent option was not viable. Those activities would have taken more additional time than I could afford. Though, I discovered that cycling to work add only 30 minutes to my commute, round-trip. Logically, it was an easy decision.

Despite the soundness of the logic, I still had some reservations. I had never been much of a cyclist. Of course, I learned to ride a bike when I was young and it was the preferred modus operandi for transportation before I was able to drive, but I never anticipated that it would become a large part of my life. I would see cyclists on the road and derisively snicker at their shorts and matching shirts (I have two sets now) or grumble about their brashness in traffic. Certainly, I never thought that I would become one of THEM.

Also, a major downside to this form of exercise is the initial cost; I had to come up with an initial investment for a quality (aka dependable) bike. Plus, I needed to acquire the necessities like a waterproof bag, lights, helmet, clothing, anti-theft protection, etc. I found it especially difficult to justify this cost because I didn’t have any evidence that I would really like it. Thankfully, I took the gamble and acquired the equipment so I could at least give it a shot. Again, given my time constraints I had to try.

My first few rides were wonderful: great weather, a feeling of accomplishment, the adulation of my friends/family. These were easy days to ride but life-style/routine changes are particularly tough and after the honeymoon stage wore off, it wasn’t always so easy to get excited in the morning for that ride……especially on days when it was cold or rainy.

Thankfully, the vast benefits of cycling daily motivated me through the difficult days and eventually the routine set-in. Now, I don’t even think about the commute – it’s just how I get to work. My energy level throughout the day is considerably higher, my mood is improved, and my productivity is enhanced. Each person is different and finding a physical activity that you enjoy is a challenge. Ultimately, for me, it is cycling and it has enriched my life infinitely………..and it only cost me an additional 30 minutes a day.

If you liked this story, check out Elaina’s story about her family’s decision to switch to bikes for their everyday transportation.

Give Your Kids a Lifetime of Smiles

True or False: Baby teeth need to be brushed.

2min2x

If you answered true, you’re correct! Not only are baby teeth needed to chew and talk, they also act as placeholders in the jaws for permanent teeth growing under the gums. Providing your kids with good dental care from the very start can help protect their teeth – and smiles — for decades to come!

 

In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month (February), here are some additional things to know about caring for your children’s teeth.

 

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday. What else can you do at home to foster healthy habits?

 

  • Start early. Clean your newborn’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. Start brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth (usually between six to 12 months). When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.
  • Brush for them. Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with the appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste (See “Quantity counts” below).
  • Think 2 x 2: Two minutes, two times per day.
  • Quantity counts. For children younger than three years, use a tiny dab of toothpaste — about the size of a grain of rice. For children three to six years of age, use a pea-sized amount.
  • Supervise. Watch you children brush to make sure they use of the right amount of toothpaste and that they brush for a full two minutes. Also remind them not to swallow the toothpaste!
  • Make it fun! Music makes everything better, right? Visit Mouthhealthy.org/en/kids-brushing-playlist for a variety of family-friendly brushing songs.

 

Remember, the time you spend now helping your kids develop good dental care habits will pay off in a lifetime of healthy smiles!

 

Resources:

Adapted from the ADA’s oral-health information public site: Mouthhealthy.org.

10 Tips to be Medication Savvy

pharmacy

Whether you occasionally wake up with a headache or you’re managing a chronic condition, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications play a big role in our day-to-day health and wellness. Use the following tips to safely stay on top of your medications and make the most of your prescription drug benefits.

  1. Organize your medications in a pill box – By keeping your medications organized, it’s easy to keep track of what you’re taking and when.
  2. Set refill reminders – Use a calendar, electronic reminders, or set up auto-refill for your medications to help you keep track of when you’re due for a refill. You can also take it one step further and set up regular reminders for when to take your medications.
  3. Save money with generic drugs – Generics are tested to make sure the active ingredients are the same as the brand. You’ll get the same treatment quality at a more affordable price.
  4. Take advantage of prescription mail-order opportunities – Having your maintenance medications delivered directly to your home will save you time—and often, money.
  5. Check formularies for preferred medications – Preferred medications can be pretty spendy, but formularies can help you keep the cost in check. Share the information with your provider for an opportunity to pay lower co-pays. You can find complete drug lists and prior authorization criteria on our website at PacificSource.com/drug-list.
  6. Use caution when choosing a new over-the-counter medication – Read the drug facts label, and ask your provider or pharmacist if the medication is right—and safe—for you.
  7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking – It’s important to provide this information every time you see your doctor. Remember to include over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
  8. Talk to your pharmacist – Your pharmacist is the expert and can answer questions you may have about side effects, drug interactions, and more.
  9. Take advantage of health services provided by your healthcare plan – Pharmacies offer flu shots and other immunizations, some of which may be covered by your plan at no cost to you.
  10. Read your explanation of benefits (EOB) – Your prescription medications are included on your EOB statements, which can help you understand your healthcare coverage and get the most value from your plan.