DID YOU KNOW - City of Colorado Springs

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					                         Benefits & Wellness
DID YOU KNOW?         V O L U M E      5 ,   I S S U E    2                          A P R I L - J U N E       2 0 1 1

Studies have found

                                     Reach Your Peak Information
     that eating
    breakfast may
   improve short-
term memory and
 attention. Foods       Have you had your Health Screening for the Year 7 Reach Your Peak :3 Step Wellness
                      Program? Health Screenings will be available throughout the rest of the program year which
  at the top of the
                      ends on October 31, 2011. You do not need to have more than one Health Screening unless
    brain fuel list   you had a risk factor and you need to determine if you had a 10% improvement or moved below
 include high-fiber   the Risk Factor guideline. You may also get a Health Screening in the Occupational Health Clinic
whole grains, dairy   (385-5965) or the City Employee Medical Clinic (385-5841) by appointment only. The City
      and fruits.     Health Screening schedule for the remainder of the program year is listed on the Benefits and
                      Wellness section of You can check for an appointment by clicking here or
                      going to>City Agencies>Human Resources>Benefits and Wellness and
                      clicking on the link to the 2011 Health Screening Schedule. Remember, you can skip the finger
                      stick station if you bring a faxed or original typed copy of your lab results that include glucose,
                      total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and are not older than 6 months at
                      the time of your screening.
                        Once you’ve had your screening, be sure to log in to and take the
    ISSUE:            Personal Health Assessment.
                      New Challenge for April:
 Ameriben Info   2
                        The new Stress Busters Challenge will run from April 1-April 30. Log on to your Healthyroads
                      account, mouse over “My Programs,” and click on “Challenges” to get started. You will see the
 Heart Attack
                 2    new Challenge and you may enroll. How will the Challenge work? Practice one of the four
 Warning Signs        stress reducing activities: relaxation imagery, present moment awareness, body scan relaxation
 Keep Your
                      or belly breathing, at least 5 times a week and you will earn 1 Health Improvement Program
                 2    credit in the Year 7 Reach Your Peak Program.
 Brain Sharp
                      Need other ways to earn points besides the Challenges?
                       Did you know your Wellness Rep can ask a City Health Coach or Physical Therapist to
 Profile EAP     3         come do a class for your department for one HIP credit?
                       You can also earn a credit if you have a Department Level Activity with a group of
 Food Cravings   3
                           people (not necessarily all from your department). There are several groups that do “The
 Benefits                  Biggest Loser,” approved walks, or other activities. All you have to do is have the activity
 Change Forms    3         approved before you start. Need a form? (Click here.)
                       If you were in the middle of Fitness Tracking when the City changed wellness vendors, you
 Diet Myths      4         can continue to track your progress on the Fitness Tracking form. (Click here.) When
                           completed, turn in the form to the Benefits and Wellness office and we will let you know
                           how to receive your HIP credit.
                       Remember, you can take four free Healthlink classes per year at Memorial and you can earn
                           up to 4 HIP credits for taking the activity classes.
                       Healthyroads has an Exercise Planner and you can earn a HIP credit for using that as well.
                       Is your department represented by a Wellness Rep? If not, you can earn a point for
                           volunteering and helping set up some departmental activities. If you are interested, contact
                           a UCCS City Health Coach at
                       The UCCS Health Coaches can help you if you have some questions or personal health
                           needs that need to be addressed in a meeting. You can earn a HIP credit by meeting with a
                           UCCS City Health Coach.
                        Get started today and you will still have time to earn the taxable $300 reward for December.
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2                                                                                                       PAGE 2

                       Letters from Ameriben                                    Heart Attack Warning Signs
                     What do you do when you get a letter from                  A heart attack is a frightening event, and you
                   Ameriben? Don’t throw it away! Ameriben                    probably don’t want to think about it. But, if you
                   frequently sends letters to participants asking for        learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to
                   additional information. Claims cannot be paid until        take, you can save a life.
    ER VS.
                   the information is received, but frequently employees        Many people think a heart attack is sudden and
                   never respond to the letters. Here are some reasons        intense, like a “movie” heart attack, where a person
                   Ameriben may pend a claim and send a letter asking         clutches his or her chest and falls over. The truth is
                   for additional information:                                that many heart attacks start slowly as a mild pain or
                    Accident details - this has the potential of a      discomfort. If you feel such a symptom, you may not
                         third party being involved. If you have been in an   be sure what’s wrong. Your symptoms may even
 Room Costs:
                         accident, Ameriben needs additional details from     come and go. Even those who have previously had a
                         you on the form they send out, or in a written       heart attack may not recognize their symptoms
  City pays:
                         letter form that you send to them.                   because the next attack can have entirely different
                    Other coverage update - Ameriben needs to           ones.
Employee pays:
                         know if you have other coverage with another           It is vital that everyone learn the warning signs of a
   $150 plus
                         insurance company. That is why they need a           heart attack which are:
diagnostic and
 coinsurance             Coordination of Benefits (COB) form filled out        Chest Discomfort. Most heart attacks involve
      fees               annually. If you don’t fill out the form every          discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for
                         year, Ameriben won’t pay your claims!                   more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes
  Average           Medicare Explanation of Benefits (EOB)/                back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable
 Urgent Care             primary carrier EOB - If Ameriben is your               pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
   Costs:                secondary insurance, they can’t pay the claim         Discomfort in other areas of the upper
                         until they have a copy of the primary carrier’s         body. This can include pain or discomfort in one
  City pays:             EOB because they have to coordinate benefits.           or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
   $118.25            So don’t throw those letters from Ameriben in the        Shortness of breath. This often comes along
Employee pays:     trash. Please open, read and respond to them so that          with chest discomfort, but it can also occur before
     $30           you can insure that your claims are paid in a timely          any chest discomfort.
                   manner.                                                     Other symptoms. These may include breaking
 Employees can        Did you know you can get copies of COB forms,              out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.
save money for     accident letters, claim forms and other information          Remember, even if you’re not sure it’s a heart
      both         on line? All of these and more are available at:           attack, you should still have it checked out. Fast
themselves and                                        action can save lives—maybe even your own.
    the City                                                                                                  From:
Medical Plan by
using an Urgent
   Care when
                                                    Keep Your Brain Sharp
instead of going   Want to keep your brain sharp? Make friends. Does that sound strange? For years doctors have been
     to the        telling people to work mind puzzles to keep the brain sharp. Some recent studies have shown that being
  Emergency        social can work just as well at boosting your brain power. In fact, getting together with friends, family, or
     Room.         neighbors can improve memory and test scores.
                    People who are more social tend to have:
                              Longer lives
                              Less pain
                              Stronger immune systems and few illnesses
                              Lower risk of heart disease
                              Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
                              Less alcohol and drug abuse
                              More optimism and less depression
                              Overall higher quality of life

                    Help your body and your mind by taking the time to get social. Set aside time each day to chat with those
                   you care about. Don’t be afraid to meet new people. Join a club, start a new hobby, or volunteer. You can
                   consider the friends you make a dose of good health.
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2                                                                                                               PAGE 3

                       Profile EAP                                                     Cut the Cravings
  Employees and their families may                                        Food cravings can be a vulnerable dieter’s worst enemy.
experience personal difficulties that can                               Different from hunger in their specificity, cravings are a common
seriously affect their lives. If these                                  but potentially risky phenomenon. Whether triggered by physical
difficulties go unresolved for a period                                 needs like low blood sugar, emotions such as stress and anxiety,
of time, they are likely to impair a                                    or sensory cues like the smell of a co-worker’s popcorn, food
person’s ability to cope as effectively at                              cravings are impossible to avoid completely.
home and on the job. Employees can seek help from EAP to help             Serious food cravings have been linked to episodes of binge-
prevent small problems from getting out of hand and creating            eating, which can lead to obesity and its associated health risks, as
greater problems. What goes on at home affects jobs and what            well as eating disorders. And what happens when someone who
goes on at work affects families. All City of Colorado Springs          is working hard to achieve fitness and nutrition goals gives in to
benefits eligible employees and their spouses and dependent             the call of the drive-thru? Dietary slip-ups like this are
children are eligible for six free counseling sessions per person,      discouraging and can derail even the most noble efforts to get
per problem, per year.                                                  healthy.
  Profile EAP is a group of well-trained professional counselors          According to Science Daily, new research examining the
that utilize a short-term therapy approach designed to bring            psychological aspect of food cravings suggests it may be possible
helpful results in a short period of time. The counselors can help      to reduce the power of cravings through mental imagery.
employees outline what goals they have and what they believe            Participants in one study reported a reduction in their craving for
needs to change. If the counselor determines that an issue will         a certain food when instructed to envision something unrelated
require more in-depth counseling, then they can make an                 such as a rainbow or the scent of eucalyptus. Another study
appropriate referral. EAP services are strictly confidential and        found similar successful results when participants experiencing a
free of charge. The use of EAP is not reported to anyone at the         food craving watched a pattern of flickering black and white dots.
City.                                                                     Giving in every once in a while is not a crime, nor will it undo all
  Profile EAP is adept at helping with marital and family problems,     the progress you’ve made toward your health goals; but if you
anxiety and depression, chemical dependency and co-dependency,          find the craving is more about seeking comfort than satisfying
grief and loss, job stress and co-worker conflict, as well as other     hunger, there are some things you can do to cope.
issues. They can also provide counseling and resources on                 WebMD offers these suggestions:
work-life issues such as childcare, elder care, and financial issues.   1. Brush your teeth and gargle with antiseptic mouthwash. This
Almost any personal or work-related problem is appropriate for               will take care of the sense of taste that is a factor in the
seeking assistance through EAP.                                              desire to eat.
  Profile EAP is located away from the workplace at 961 E.              2. Distract yourself for a while and see if the craving diminishes.
Colorado Ave. in order to maintain privacy and create a                      Use the opportunity to get in some exercise. Take a walk
comfortable atmosphere to discuss difficult issues. Office                   around the office building if the craving strikes at work, or
appointments can be made Monday - Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to                 climb a few flights of stairs.
7:00 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 719-634-         3. Choose a healthy substitute for the food you’re craving.
1825. Should a need arise for help in handling a crisis, a                   Baked potato chips might not hit the spot quite as well, but
counselor can be reached 24 hours a day at the same number.                  indulging in the healthier alternative can take the edge off the
Employees who feel like they need help should take advantage of              craving.
this free service. Anyone who is unable to make an appointment,         4. Pay attention to what you’re craving. If you want salt, for
should call 24 hours in advance to cancel or reschedule. No                  example, it’s possible that your body needs it.
shows and late cancellations will count as one of the free              5. Drink lots of water. Hunger can actually be a signal that you
sessions. Patients should arrive 15 minutes in advance for the               are thirsty.
first appointment so that paperwork can be filled out.                                                 From: Corporate Wellness Advisor

                                When to Fill Out a Benefits Change Form
 Did you know that you can make changes to some of your                             Entering into or returning from FMLA or LWOP for
benefit elections during the year if you have a Qualified Family                      more than 30 days.
Status Change? The IRS allows mid-year changes for employees              In order to make the change, a Benefits Change Form must
who have one of the following changes as long as the change             reach the Benefits and Wellness Office within 30 days of the
being made is consistent with the event:                                event. Completed and signed forms can be faxed to 385-5160,
          Marriage/Divorce                                            emailed to, or sent via
          Birth/Adoption                                              interoffice mail to MC620. If the form does not reach our office
          Loss of other coverage                                      within that timeframe, changes will not be allowed until Open
          Death                                                       Enrollment and would be effective on January 1 of the following
          Some changes in employment                                  year.
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2                                                                                                       PAGE 4

                                                       Diet Myths                           By David Zinczenko/Men’s Health

  A well-balanced diet, combined with some smart choices, is all you need to lose pounds and keep most of our greatest health
worries at bay. But many food and nutrition “myths” persist, confusing our food choices and making weight-loss harder and eating
less enjoyable. So relax, and start enjoying food again. Here are some food fallacies you can forget for good:

Myth #1: Too much protein hurts your kidneys.
Reality: Protein helps burn fat, build muscle, and won’t harm your kidneys. Way back in 1983, researchers discovered that eating
more protein increases the amount of blood your kidneys filter per minute. Many scientists immediately made the leap that a high-
protein diet places your kidneys under greater stress. They were proven wrong. Over the past two decades, several studies have
found that while protein-rich meals do increase blood flow to the kidneys, this doesn't have an adverse effect on overall kidney
Put the truth to work for you: Eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you are a chubby 180
pound woman and want to be a lean 160, have 160 grams of protein a day. If you are a 160 pound guy hoping to pack on 20
pounds of muscle, aim for 180 grams of protein each day.

Myth #2: Sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes.
Reality: They are both healthy! Sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential
minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked
white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter—all toppings that contain fat, which lowers the
glycemic index of a meal.
Put the truth to work for you: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a
processed potato that’s used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.

Myth #3: High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar.
Reality: They are equally fattening so beware! Recent research has shown that fructose may cause an increase in weight by
interfering with leptin, the hormone that tells us when we’re full. But both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—
contain similar amounts of fructose. There’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause
weight gain when consumed in excess. The only particular evil regarding HFCS is that it’s cheaper, and commonly shows up
everywhere from bread to ketchup to soda.
Put the truth to work for you: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited
amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.

Myth #4: Chocolate bars are empty calories.
Reality: Dark chocolate is a health food. Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and
green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate
containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving blood flow to your heart.
Put the truth to work for you: Milk chocolate isn’t as rich in flavonoids as dark, so develop a taste for the dark.

Myth #5: Saturated fat will clog your heart.
Reality: Fat has gotten a bum rap. Most people consider turkey, chicken, and fish healthy, yet think they should avoid red meat—
or only choose very lean cuts—since they’ve always been told that it’s high in saturated fat. A closer look at beef reveals the truth.
Almost half of its fat is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that’s found in olive oil. Second, most
of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing
your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.
Put the truth to work for you: We’re not giving you permission to gorge on butter, bacon, and cheese. No, the point is this:
Don’t freak out about saturated fat. There’s no scientific reason that natural foods containing saturated fat can’t, or shouldn’t, be
part of a healthy diet.

Myth #6: Diet soda is better for you.
Reality: It may lead to even greater weight gain. Just because diet soda is low in calories doesn’t mean it can’t lead to weight gain.
It may have only 5 or fewer calories per serving, but emerging research suggests that consuming sugary-tasting beverages-even if
they’re artificially sweetened—may lead to a high preference for sweetness overall. That means sweeter cereal, bread, and
dessert. In fact, new research found that people who drink diet soda on a daily basis have an increase risk of developing type 2
diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Put the truth to work for you: Knowledge is power, so drink more water!

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