Teaching Healthy Maintenance at the Icy Portland Auto Show

The 1986 Mercury Cougar: The Pinnacle of Automotive Achievement

My first car was a 1986 Mercury Cougar. She was big, she was old, and every time I reached 60 MPH, that beast shook like I was going back in time (the fact that it never exploded is miraculous). It’s safe to say the Cougar was NOT a pristine automobile, but I absolutely loved her. While the rest of the world saw a rusted out gas hog that would overheat if I didn’t turn the heater on in the middle of the summer (I called it “sauna driving”), I saw a hot rod. So I took great care of the Cougar. I changed the oil regularly, I washed and waxed her frequently, I rotated the tires, and gave that beat up V6 the maintenance she needed to continue firing. When I bought the Cougar, she was on her last legs. But thanks to some love, she ran like a champ for years.

The same concept holds for people. Just like the Cougar, most of us aren’t in pristine condition. But by exercising, eating well, and knowing your risk factors, you’ll run at your best for the long haul.

1606942_673688136010606_823856310_nThat’s why we sponsored the Healthy Life Garage at the Portland International Auto Show. We wanted to spread the word to “car nuts” that they’re probably taking better care of their automobile than they are themselves. At the show, we posted up with free apple slices (along with our healthy dip), a hydration station, injury risk assessments, blood pressure checks, and gave out some of our healthiest recipes. We also partnered with some clinics in the Portland area to come give biometric screenings on site. In theory, the event was a home run. However, Mother Nature wasn’t kind to us.

Carrying ice in an ice storm will get you some crazy looks. But the hydration station was delicious!

Carrying ice in an ice storm will get you some crazy looks. But the hydration station was delicious!

It snowed, then iced, then snowed again. That meant getting to the Auto Show was along the lines of an Icelandic adventure. But with a skeleton crew, the Healthy Life Garage went on! And, we owe a huge thank you to Rose City Vein Center and The Portland Clinic for braving the roads and giving health screenings to the folks that were able to trudge their way to the Oregon Convention Center. While the crowd was understandably smaller due to the weather (seriously, we’re talking ice rink roads), the folks that stopped by had a great experience in the Healthy Life Garage.

Despite the weather, we still had a great time talking wellness with the good people of Portland. Check out some snapshots from the icy weekend.

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10 Apps to Make Your 2014 Resolutions Stick

2014 ResolutionThere’s nothing better than a fresh start. That’s why new year’s resolutions are such a powerful way to kick start some healthy habits. It’s the time of year when you can quit smoking, lose weight, start exercising and significantly reduce your screen time. However, if you don’t stick to your resolutions, it can be a crushing blow. A failed resolution goes back on the list while you wallow in another year of disappointment.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the 10 most common new year’s resolutions (according to a Harris poll), and some apps that can make them achievable!

1. Lose weight (the app to make it happen: Nutrino)
Enter your current and target weights and food preferences and this app builds a personalized menu to bring you closer to your goal. (Free; iOS; Android coming soon)

2. Improve your finances (the app to make it happen: Budget Boss)
Create a budget quickly and effortlessly—then watch your predicted savings grow with easy-to-read graphs. ($0.99; iOS)

3. Exercise (the app to make it happen: Human)
Commit to moving at least 30 minutes every day with this simple app, which uses location tracking to measure your activity and notifies you when you’re done. (Free; iOS)

4. Get a new job (the app to make it happen: Job Search)
Find open positions near you and submit applications from your phone. (Free; iOS, Android)

5. Eat healthier (the app to make it happen: Fooducate)
Fooducate: Scan grocery barcodes and get a nutrition grade from A to D with this award-winning app. (Free; iOS, Android).

6. Manage stress better (the app to make it happen: Take a Break!)
Relax with 7- or 13-minute guided meditation audio tracks that let you choose between a voice, music, and nature sounds. (Free; iOS, Android)

7. Stop smoking (the app to make it happen: Quit Smoking)
Enter your current smoking habits and this app will design a unique, gradual schedule to wean you off cigarettes. (Free; Android)

8. Improve a relationship (the app to make it happen: Back in Touch)
Import your phone contacts and create settings on how frequently (montly, weekly, etc.) you’d like to touch base with each of them. Then, the app reminds you to give ‘em a call at the interval you chose. ($1.99; iOS)

9. Stop procrastinating (the app to make it happen: Finish)
Get stuff done with this app that lets you enter tasks and due dates (with flexible short term, mid term, and long term timelines), then reminds you until the job is done. ($0.99; iOS)

10. Set aside time for yourself (the app to make it happen: BRB)
Need to unplug? Download this app that lets you craft a message that notifies your contacts you’re taking a break from your phone, which is shareable via Facebook, Twitter, or text. (Free; iOS)

What’s your new year’s resolution and how do you plan on sticking to them?

If you are a PacificSource Health Plan member, check out the New Daily Victory exercise app designed to help you transform small steps into healthy habits.  To download the new Daily Victory app, log in to http://www.pacificsource.com/members/ and access your personal Health Manager for your authentication information, and then download the free app on your mobile device.


Thank You!

Thank you_MillionIdeas

Thank you so much for a year full of healthy ideas! For everyone who shared, read, and supported MillionIdeas.org in 2013, we sincerely thank you.

Have a safe and healthy 2014!