wellness online header
  June is Men's Health Month

· Men’s Health: With a Little Help From Friends

· Get-in-Shape Tips

· Health4Me App Is Better Than Ever!

· Dr. Oz Video: Men’s Health – Don’t Ignore the Doctor

· Source4Women: Men’s Health - Power Up Your Energy and Physique with Good Nutrition

· June Dare: Enter to win a Le Creuset French Oven, an Apple iPad Mini or a $400 gift card!

· Monthly Health Tip

· Monthly Recipe

wellness online header
challenge

Men’s Health: With a Little Help From Friends

Want to live longer? Keep exercising and eating your vegetables, but make lunch plans with an old friend, too.

Numerous studies have shown that people with strong social networks live longer and recover more quickly from illness than those without these ties.


Men – who tend to have fewer close friends than women – stand to gain the most from developing relationships. Some researchers suggest that loneliness is a risk factor for heart disease, just like high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol. People without many friends are also more prone to depression.


Social isolation – a risk factor for men
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health studied more than 28,000 men to see if social ties had an impact on their health. Half enjoyed a large social network of family, friends, and community connections; the other half did not. After 10 years:

  • Deaths in the group with few social ties were 20 percent higher than in the highly social group.
  • The more isolated men were 53 percent more likely to die from a heart-related disease than the others.
  • Of those who developed heart disease, the less social men had an 82 percent higher risk of death than the other group.
  • Men with the fewest social contacts had more than double the risk of dying from accidents and suicides than  men in the other group.
  • Married men had a lower risk of death from any cause and half the risk of death from accidents and suicides than the unmarried men.

 

In addition, an American Heart Association study looked at 3,267 men (average age 62). The study reported that those with few social ties had much higher levels of a blood marker for inflammation – known to be associated with heart disease – than did men with bigger social circles. Known risk factors for heart disease were taken into account.

 

All the same, choose your friends wisely. Other studies show your risk of heart disease can go up if your relationships are stressful.


People need people
As many as one in four Americans say they have no one to confide in about personal problems. For them, making more friends could have clinical benefits similar to making lifestyle changes.


How do friends help us stay healthy? No one can say for sure, but theories include:

  • Close friends and relatives encourage you to take care of yourself. They may get you to give up smoking, heavy drinking, or a poor diet.
  • Having friends may boost self-esteem and ward off depression.
  • Having social support may reduce stress and hormone levels tied to high blood pressure. You’re more likely to be physically active if you have people to do things with.
  • Some men see doctors only because a wife, partner, or friend convinces them to.
  • A social circle is a valuable resource when you are sick. Friends can take you to the doctor or help out while you recover.


Generally, women are better at sharing their feelings and maintaining friendships than men. But anyone can increase their social network with a little effort. Joining a book club, bowling league, or poker group can widen your contacts; so can taking a class or doing volunteer work. Building good relationships can help keep you healthy in much the same way as a daily walk or a low-fat diet.

wellness online header

alcohol

white spacer

Get-in-Shape Tips

 

Want to get into shape, but don't know where or how to begin? Start out on the right foot by considering these simple tips:

  • Consult your doctor. This will give you a chance to get a physical if needed. Your doctor also may help you craft an exercise routine that is least likely to aggravate any medical conditions or physical limitations you might have.
  • Keep your goals realistic. If you are just starting a walking program, don't expect to be an Olympic speed walker by the end of the week. If all you realistically can achieve is walking for 20 minutes twice a week, then make that your goal for now. Be willing to adjust your goal as you go. If you overdo it and push yourself by running when all that you are really ready for is walking, then you're just setting yourself up for failure or even injury. Success is motivating, so set a goal that you know you can reach.
  • Set short-term goals. If becoming a lean, mean fitness machine is your goal, it can be discouraging to find your endurance and strength are not yet where you hope to be. Instead of dreaming of athletic excellence right away, aim for small achievements such as increasing every other workout by one to two minutes (until you reach at least 30 minutes total). Or aim to increase your flexibility so you can reach your toes more comfortably by your next birthday. Once you reach one short-term fitness goal, set another one, such as adding two more reps (at the same weight) or five more pounds to each exercise in your strength-training program. Of course, make sure your doctor agrees that the kind and amount of exercise you do is right for you.
  • Make it complete. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults should try to exercise most days of the week and preferably every day. The Center also states that adults should strive to meet either of the following physical activity goals:
    • Do moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking, gardening) for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week
    • Get vigorous-intensity activity (such as running) on 3 or more days of the week for 20 or more minutes each time
  • Drink up. How much fluid you should drink depends upon the type and intensity of the exercise you are doing, as well as such variables as your individual metabolic rate, body mass, size, and the environmental conditions. As a rule, drink 4 to 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise. Drink before and after exercise as well. Don't wait until you're thirsty to start drinking. Thirst is a sign that your body has already been without fluids for a while.
  • Up the intensity. As your body gets used to a particular exercise, your strength and endurance will increase. To stay challenged and to progress toward your goals, gradually increase the intensity of your workout. If you are a beginner who usually walks for 20 minutes three times a week, consider increasing the duration or frequency of your walks or walk faster and swing your arms. For strength training, add one or two pounds every few weeks, increase your repetitions or sets, or reduce or eliminate the rest period between sets. In general, you should lift a weight until you cannot complete any more repetitions using proper form.
  • Listen to your body. A burning sensation in your muscles or fatigue is normal during exercise; sharp pain is not. If you feel pain, stop exercising at once. Then consult a doctor if pain persists for more than a day or two.
  • Reward yourself. Whenever you meet a short- or long-term goal, do something nice for yourself. For example, buy that new CD you've been pining for. (Don't reward yourself with an ice cream sundae, of course.)
  • Have fun. Vary your workouts so you don't get bored. Find forms of exercise that you truly enjoy.
wellness online header
toasting

Health4Me App Is Better Than Ever!

 

Since UnitedHealthcare’s Health4Me™ launched in January 2012, more than one million consumers have downloaded the app. Health4Me provides instant access to you and your family's critical health information – anytime/anywhere. Whether you want to find physicians near you, check the status of a claim or speak directly with a nurse, Health4Me is your go-to resource for everything related to your health.


The Health4Me™ app now offers several new features, including a secure electronic bill payment service available through myClaims Manager, that enables UnitedHealthcare plan participants to pay their medical bills and manage their health care claims and related expenses from their smartphones. Other new Health4Me features include connectivity with Fitbit® devices and live streaming of UHC TV℠, an Internet TV channel with health and wellness information.

  • Fast. Use the Easy Connect service to tell us how we can help you. Simple navigation allows you to quickly tell us you'd like us to give you a call. A representative will get back to you with answers about claims, benefits and more without having to wait on hold.
  • Everywhere. Use the location search feature to find a physician or facility near you. Whether you need a specialist or general practice, one of the largest selections of network doctors is at your command.
  • Easy. Add your most commonly used contacts to the "Favorites" tab. Searching for your child's pediatrician or your nearest Urgent Care clinic is simply a touch away. You can even add notes.
  • Personal. From emailing your Member health plan ID card information to checking on medical spending accounts, Health4Me is the resource that works for you. And with optimum level security, you can rest assured that your information is absolutely confidential.

 

Health4Me is available to all consumers on iPhone® and Android® devices and enables anyone to locate nearby health care providers, as well as convenience care, urgent care and emergency care facilities. Consumers can review market average prices for more than 755 medical services across 500 episodes of care, providing a comprehensive view of what to expect throughout their course of treatment. For UnitedHealthcare plan participants, the estimates are based on actual contracted rates with care providers and take into account an individual’s real-time account balances, when applicable.

wellness online header
multivitamins
multivitamins

Better Health with Dr. Oz: Men’s Health – Don’t Ignore the Doctor   


Check out the video library on the Better Health with Dr. Oz section of the uhc.com website! In these short videos, best-selling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz, provides practical, easy-to-follow advice on a variety of health topics. To view the program click here: http://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/better-health-with-dr-oz

wellness online header
mens nutrition

Source4Women Online Seminar

 

Men’s Health: Power Up Your Energy and Physique with Good Nutrition
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD
June 9, 2015, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT, 10:30 a.m. MT, 9:30 a.m. PT

 

This seminar is just for men, tackling issues from choosing supplements, alcohol and belly fat, foods that may help promote fertility, wellness, and pack on muscle, to improving athletic performances before and after workouts. Specific nutritional needs for men to help enhance energy and promote health, which may help to avoid chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease will be featured.


To register for an upcoming Source4Women seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

wellness online header
we dare you

We Dare You!


June means the beginning of summer and a new set of dares from UnitedHealthcare!

 

This month, We Dare You to:

1. Share a photo of your fresh vegetables using #freshveggiesWDY.
2. Take our health IQ quiz.
3. Make a #healthyselfie avatar.

 

Enter for your chance to win a Le Creuset French Oven, an Apple iPad Mini or a $400 gift card! Check out the dares here: www.wedareyoutoshare.com.

 

To register for We Dare You, click here: www.wedareyoutoshare.com

wellness online header
we dare you

June Health Tip: Plan Ahead

 

With a little planning, it’s easy to be more active.  Lay out your exercise clothes and sneakers the night before or pack a gym bag for after work, so you’ll be ready to go when you wake up.

wellness online header
recipe

Monthly Recipe: Veggie Frittata

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup cooked, peeled diced red potato
2 large onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach (can substitute drained, frozen spinach)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) part-skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded
            

Directions:

  • Coat a 10-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes until wilted.
  • Sauté onion in olive oil for 8-10 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Add red bell pepper; continue cooking 2-3 more minutes until soft.
  • Combine eggs, salt, pepper; whisk to thoroughly combine. Add onion mix, spinach and potato to egg mixture; stir well.
  • Wipe the nonstick skillet and coat with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture into the pan and cook over medium-high heat about 7-9 minutes or until bottom of frittata is browned.
  • Preheat oven broiler. Wrap handle of skillet with foil. Sprinkle cheeses over frittata and broil 5 minutes or lightly browned.
  • Cut into six wedges

 

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 180
Calories from fat: 80
Fat: 8.9g
Saturated Fat: 2.6g
Cholesterol: 188mg

Sodium: 307mg

Carbohydrate: 13g
Fiber: 3.4g
Sugars: .4g
Protein: 14.4g

© 2015, UnitedHealthcare. Please contact your employer if you do not wish to receive these e-mail notifications.