Health Benefits Program (HBP)

Harmony for Health: Health Benefit Program News

January is Fitness Month
Happy leap year!

January is synonymous with making a New Year’s resolution.  Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way.  Eat better, join a gym, exercise more, drink more water, drink less alcohol, get eight hours of sleep every night, and the list goes on.  Sound familiar?  Many of the most popular New Year’s resolutions are focused on living a healthier, more balanced life.

No matter what your resolution is this year, physical activity can go a long way in helping you focus on your goals.  Being active helps you be healthier and stronger and feel your best at every age.  Getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week helps to lower your risk of serious illness and improve your mood.  Whether you’re a couch potato imagining a more active life, a senior with a few aches, a busy parent, or a weekend warrior, it can be tough to start and keep moving.  Don’t beat yourself up.

Think baby steps if you’re just starting out.  Small changes – little by little – and incorporating others can make a difference.  And be creative!  The possibilities are endless.  Take a walk around your neighborhood or work place, invite a friend to go on a bike ride, join a local hiking club, or consider gardening.  Remember that you are a work in progress, which means you will get there a little at a time and not all at once.

Also, do the things you love to do, and you’ll never feel like your workout is work.  Make fitness more fun with these tips:

  1. Shake things up.  Try a Zumba or Latin dance for a great workout that’s sure to make you smile.
  2. Pat your back.  To stay motivated, set realistic goals and reward yourself for steps you take to reach them.
  3. Do it together.  Take advantage of group energy and plan activities that can get the whole household moving.  And try rallying colleagues for a quick recess or walk break.

January Tips:

Food for Thought

January Thrive Recipe

Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes your family consumes. This is important to help you stay healthy by maintaining your weight and reducing risk of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Cooking meals at home also saves money and can create an opportunity to teach your family members about healthy eating.

It may seem overwhelming at first to know where to start. Try to commit to cooking one healthy meal at home each week and build up from there. Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to change all your habits at once. Small changes can lead to building lifelong healthy habits.

This month’s Thrive recipe is Crunchy Maple Granola, which is easy to make, a great weekday breakfast or anytime treat, and customizable to satisfy your taste buds. You can add different combinations of nuts and seeds, different spices, or try honey or agave instead of maple syrup. The egg whites are added to make the oats clump together to form crunchy clusters. Perfect for popping in your mouth as a granola snack! If you prefer a vegan recipe, simply leave the egg whites out and it still turns out delicious and crunchy.

Serve it for breakfast with kefir (a fermented milk drink with a sour taste, made of a culture of yeasts and bacteria and full of vitamins and probiotics) or almond milk along with fresh seasonal fruit. It can also be a yummy snack made as a parfait, layered with different-colored fruit and plain yogurt, or as a dessert with apples and cinnamon cooked together and granola sprinkled on top! Kids can make this recipe mostly on their own with parents only needing to help with the hot pan and stirring. It also makes a great gift for kid’s teachers, coaches, colleagues, family, friends, and neighbors. It stays fresh at least 3-weeks if stored in a tight-sealed glass container, such as a Mason jar. So, here’s to an excellent way to kick-off 2020 and your day. Enjoy!

More Healthy Living Tips

A Tip to Kick-off the Year

If you haven’t tried a visit to your local farmers market lately, it’s a wonderful time to start.  Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture, eat fresher produce, select from an amazing variety of produce, and eat locally-grown foods that simply taste better and has optimum nutrients.  It’s also an excellent experience for the whole family.  Meeting your local community and talking to local farmers is an excellent way to learn about the produce around you and feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for your body, mind, and spirit.

Additional Resources

Vision Statement

The CCCSIG Health Benefits Committee vision is for health plan arrangements that provide locally-based solutions, improved quality and access for members, flexibility for school districts and superior cost management capabilities.