Starting in 2013, states will be required to have a full service health insurance exchange operating and functional. By 2014, people will be mandated to have health insurance in the United States. Their have been many critics of the new health reform laws. Many say that it is unconstitutional to force people to purchase health insurance against their will. Additionally, many believe that the cost of health insurance premiums will rise as a result of the new laws. Why is that? A deeper look helps uncover some possible reasons.
First, the federal government will be getting huge tax revenues from the drug companies as a result of the new health reforms laws. Most agree, that these additional costs imposed by the government on drug companies will be passed along to the consumers. Second, the plans inside the exchange have to be government approved. Meaning, many plans will be more generic in nature and cannot be customizable for the needs of the consumers. Some people may have maternity coverage when they do not want to have kids, or drug coverage when they do not take prescription drugs.
Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will start to take more shape and the results will be evident. We will have to wait and see what happens to health insurance premiums and the cost of health care moving forward.
Do you want to improve your health and get fit? Try running! People who are active not only feel better and have more energy than their couch-potato friends, but are more likely to be healthier.
Running reduces your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, several types of cancer, and even the common cold. It improves your cardio respiratory health, making it easier to do everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or keeping up with an active child.
And if it's weight you're worried about, running can burn that excess body fat and create a leaner you!
1. Caring enough to treat your body really well.
2. Choice to take small steps in a new direction.
3. Creativity to find a variety of food and fitness options.
4. Courage for new adventures and everyday challenges.
5. Comfort through tough times with relaxation (or even pampering).
6. Confidence to take risks and to make normal mistakes.
7. Celebration of the progress toward a strong and healthy you.
Try the Stealth Health Approach
Tempted to give Stealth Health a try? David Katz recommends picking any three of the following 12 changes and incorporating them into your life for four days. When you feel comfortable with those changes, pick three others. Once you've incorporate all dozen changes, you should start to feel a difference within a couple of weeks, he says.
To Improve Nutrition:
1. Buy whole foods -- whether canned, frozen, or fresh from the farm -- and use them in place of processed foods whenever possible.
2. Reject foods and drinks made with corn syrup, a calorie-dense, nutritionally empty sweetener that many believe is worse for the body than sugar, says Katz.
3. Start each dinner with a mixed green salad. Not only will it help reduce your appetite for more caloric foods, but it also will automatically add veggies to your meal.
To Improve Physical Fitness:
1. Do a squat every time you pick something up. Instead of bending over in the usual way, which stresses the lower back, bend your knees and squat. This forces you to use your leg muscles and will build strength.
2. Every time you stop at a traffic light (or the bus does), tighten your thighs and butt muscles and release as many times as you can. (Don't worry, no one will see it!) This will firm leg and buttock muscles, improve blood flow -- and keep you mildly amused!
3. Whenever you're standing on a line, lift one foot a half-inch off the ground. The extra stress on your opposite foot, ankle, calf and thigh, plus your buttocks, will help firm and tone muscles. Switch feet every few minutes.
To Improve Stress Control:
1. Give your partner a hug every day before work. Studies show this simple act can help you remain calm when chaos ensues during your day, Katz says.
2. Have a good cry. It can boost your immune system, reduce levels of stress hormones, eliminate depression, and help you think more clearly.
3. Twice a day, breathe deeply for three to five minutes
To Improve Sleep:
1. Sprinkle just-washed sheets and pillowcases with lavender water. The scent has been shown in studies to promote relaxation, which can lead to better sleep.
2. Buy a new pillow. Katz says that studies show that pillows with an indent in the center can enhance sleep quality and reduce neck pain. Also, try a &amp;amp;quot;cool&amp;amp;quot; pillow -- one containing either all-natural fibers or a combination of sodium sulfate and ceramic fibers that help keep your head cool.
3. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed. You'll be giving yourself a boost of fiber and essential fatty acids along with the amino acid tryptophan -- a natural sleep-inducer.
SOURCES: Archives of Internal Medicine. 2004; vol 164: pp 31-39. Medicine &amp;amp; Science in Sports &amp;amp; Exercise, September 2002. David Katz, MD, MPH, director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University; co-author, Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age- Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits into Your Life without Really Trying. Fran Grossman, MS, RD, CDE, nutrition counselor, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Helene Glassberg, MD, director, Preventive Cardiology and Lipid Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Marc Siegel, MD, clinical associate professor, New York University School of Medicine; author, False Alarm, The Truth about the Epidemic of Fear. http://www.medicinenet.com/health_tips/article.htm
©2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
Did you know that Lower Chronic Back Pain has an annual total economic impact of approximately $200 billion for businesses?
Chronic pain is a major health issue in America. Often times obesity plays a big role in chronic pain issues. As an example, the second most common cause of disability in the United States, chronic low back pain, has risen in prevalence from 3.9% in 1992 to 10.2% in 2006.
This one chronic pain condition alone is estimated to have an annual total economic impact of approximately $200 billion, primarily in lost wages and productivity.
Source: Freburger JK, Holmes GM, Agans RP, et al. The rising prevalence of chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009.
What goes into a healthy lifestyle? Certainly diet and exercise do. Some might add stress management to the list. But did you know that adequate sleep is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of health? Research is just beginning to explore the links between chronic sleep loss and health, but we already know that for good health you need adequate sleep. How much sleep do we need? Experts believe that seven to nine hours is about right.
The goal is to wake up feeling refreshed and to stay awake and alert throughout the day without relying on stimulants or other pick-me-ups.
Source: Harvard Medical School offers special reports on over 50 health topics. Visit our website at www.health.harvard.edu to find reports of interest to you and your family.
Copyright 2006 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Make that heart-friendly bowl of oatmeal even better for your cholesterol by mixing in some fresh berries instead of sugar. A recent study showed that too much added sugar in the diet could contribute to high cholesterol level.
People who averaged about 90 grams of added sugar a day tended to have higher triglyceride levels and less of the good HDL cholesterol than did the people who typically ate less sugar. Other studies suggest that one of the monosaccharides in sugar may inhibit the removal of lipids from the blood levels. But trading sugar for fresh fruit is a sweet way to cut back on the white stuff.
Source: Caloric sweetener consumption and dyslipidemia among U.S. adults. Welsh, J. A. et al., JAMA 2010 Apr 21;303(15):1490-1497; Actively patrolling your health can make your RealAge as much as 12 years younger. Take the RealAge Test Copyright 2009 RealAge
Did you know that after only fifteen minutes in the sun your skin can begin to burn?
Excessive sun exposure is a leading cause of adult skin cancer. With three different types of UV (ultraviolet) rays causing significant damage to our skin each summer, there are a variety of methods we can use for protection. While avoiding sun is the best way to prevent sun damage to our skin, summer is the time of year in which we all enjoy soaking up the summer sun.
The most effective method to sun protection is to use a sunscreen to help protect your skin while you are in the sun. The following tips provided will help aid you in correctly using an effective sunscreen:
· Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going in the sun.
· Apply sunscreen to all the skin that will be exposed to the sun, including the nose, ears, neck, scalp, and lips. Sunscreen needs to be applied evenly over the skin and in the amount recommended on the label. Most sunscreens are not completely effective because they are not applied correctly. It usually takes about 1 fl oz to cover an adult's body.
· Apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours while in the sun and after swimming or sweating a lot. The SPF value decreases if a person sweats heavily or is in water, because water on the skin reduces the amount of protection the sunscreen provides. Sunscreen effectiveness is also affected by the wind, humidity, and altitude.
· Use lip balm or cream that has SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips from getting sunburned or developing cold sores.
One of the most difficult aspects of time management is controlling your day when others around you want to steal your time. Interruptions can eat up literally hours of precious, productive time each day.
Staying focused on the task at hand will get you a lot further along with accomplishing your tasks for the day. If you have a door on your office, enforce the closed door policy to discourage visitors. A closed door sends the message that you do not want to be disturbed.
Also keep in mind, when you want to get away from your desk and take a break, seek out others who are doing the same and talk and socialize with them. Respect the time of others who are working and avoid being the person who interrupts them.
Source: Copyright © 2001-10 Carol Halsey • All Rights Reserved
Take a look around your workplace and office kitchen. Do you see big pink boxes that held doughnuts for a morning meeting, jars of candy for sharing, packaging from fast food lunches that your employees picked up, or a vending machine full of candy bars and chips? If so, don’t be too embarrassed – you are in the typical workplace. But it may also be worsening your health and your coworkers’ health.
Temptation is always hard to resist, but here is a simple step that will help you reorient your workplace environment:
Drop the Doughnuts. “The worst food in the world is high-trans fat doughnuts,” says Dr. Maring. If you traditionally bring food to meeting, he suggests replacing junk food with whole grain bagels or other low-fat baked goods, yogurt, granola, and fresh or dried fruit.
Source: Dr.Preston Maring, Healthy Employees, Healthy Business – Chapter 5 – Healthy Eating and Nutrition
A new study suggests that eating a small piece of chocolate every day may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Researchers in Germany say that people who ate the equivalent of one square of a 100 gram (3.5 oz) chocolate bar per day had a 39% lower risk of having heart attack or stroke than people who ate much less chocolate.
But before you stock up on chocolate, researchers warn that the key to reaping the health benefits of chocolate is moderation. A single 100-gram bar of chocolate contains about 500 calories, and eating too much can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.
“Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable,” researcher Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, Germany, says in a news release.
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a landmark legislation reforming health care in the U.S. While this newly-enacted law will affect healthcare insurance coverage for millions of workers, many companies are wondering what is to be expected. Some of the elements of the law will not take place for a few years, but other features will take place almost immediately. Small business owners need to consider a number of provisions and implications, such as:
* Employers with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from coverage provisions, but those that do offer health insurance coverage could get tax credits to offset their costs.
* Employers with 50 or more employees are not obligated to offer health insurance coverage; however, the new law would place tax penalties on businesses that do not provide coverage.
* Note: Each state may define a small business differently; so, check with your state to confirm.
Effective This Year
* 35% tax credit for employers with 10 or fewer employees earning an average of less than $25,000.
* A smaller tax credit for employers with 25 or fewer employees with an average wage $50,000 or less.
* No tax credit for employers with more than 25 employees.