Kristen Lippencott, Manager, Well-being and Health Strategies
For many of us, health and wellness tend to fall to the end of our list of priorities. Although finding time to take care of yourself is difficult when you have other responsibilities, making your own wellness a priority is necessary to take good care of your family and your loved ones. Through small, consistent changes, you can incorporate healthy habits into your daily life and commit to your own wellness easily! Our hope at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is that by incorporating healthier habits, you’ll be able to help yourself and those you love to stay happy, healthy and well.
Developing and Implementing Healthy Habits
Implementing healthy habits doesn’t need to be uncomfortable or completely focused on physical health. If you’ve joined our Blue & You Fitness Challenge, you may already be aware of my belief that wellness encompasses your entire self. Even though the mind and body are two separate entities, they collaborate to ensure our whole health. Therefore, it is important to develop habits that will have a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being. Below are some tips to help you make meaningful changes to your daily routine.
- Aim for Realistic Habits: Be realistic when trying to establish healthy habits and make sure you have the time and resources available to fulfill them. Habits that are unrealistic become unachievable, and unachievable habits ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration.
- Create a Schedule: Making a daily schedule allows you to manage your regular obligations while also finding time to concentrate specifically on enhancing wellness habits. The more routine this schedule becomes, the easier it will be to incorporate healthy habits into your day-to-day life.
- Find Healthy Alternatives: It can be challenging to maintain any dietary habits you set for yourself when you’re a “snacker” like me. Luckily, there are many alternatives to the foods you enjoy eating so you don’t have to eliminate them altogether. And you don’t have to worry about flavor (most of the time) because the whole purpose of alternatives is to taste pretty close to, if not better than, the unhealthy snack options. For example, instead of a candy bar you can have a protein bar. Not only are protein bars less calories but the protein in them will actually make you feel fuller, helping you cut down on how much snacking you do in a day.
- Meditate: Meditation or simple breathing exercises can be a good place to start if you’ve been trying to find a way to help with stress and anxiety reduction. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. Taking just five to ten minutes a day to clear your head and reset for your next to-do is a great way to start incorporating meditation into your routine.
- Make Time to Move: We spend a lot of time sitting down, whether we’re working or just relaxing, so finding new ways to move is crucial. There are numerous ways to incorporate movement or exercise into your day that have positive effects on your physical and mental health. You should find a form of movement that you enjoy and schedule time for it each day, whether it’s walking, working out at the gym, or simply doing some standing stretches.
- Get a Hobby: Learning new skills can keep your brain in good health and help alleviate stress. Not to mention that it can boost your self-esteem and serve as a great topic of conversation! Start planting a small garden in your yard, learn how to knit, visit a nature trail, or perhaps tap into your artistic side!
How We’re Helping Arkansans Take Good Care
At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we’re committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of Arkansas. By taking small steps to increase our physical activity and incorporating healthy habits into our daily lives, we move toward a healthier, stronger Arkansas where we can all show up as our best selves. We recognize that achieving and maintaining a complete, healthy lifestyle can be easier said than done, which is why we are proud to have implemented programs that provide opportunities for our members and our community to access resources and support for their whole health.
- Blue & You Fitness Challenge: The Blue & You Fitness Challenge is a free three-month challenge open to everyone in the community. Participants are encouraged to exercise and take part in healthy habits, such as drinking water, to earn points for their team. By participating, team members are also provided access to the online wellness platform, Wellable. The free site provides users on-demand exercise programs, meal plans and educational webinars.
- ArkansasBlue Welcome Center Wellness Events: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield operates eight ArkansasBlue Welcome Centers throughout the state. In addition to providing members face-to-face assistance with claims and policy information, the Welcome Centers provide free community classes open to members and non-members. Events include free fitness, self-defense, financial wellness and maternal health classes. Upcoming events are easy to access by visiting Arkansas Blue Cross’ community calendar.
- Blue365 Deals: Blue365 Deals is an exclusive, free member program delivering discounts from your favorite national and local lifestyle retailers on commonly used items such as prescription lenses, hearing aids, dental hygiene products, healthy meal kits, gym memberships, hotels and athletic wear. These savings are designed to make an impact on your wellness goals.
- Online Health Portal: Arkansas Blue Cross’ online health portal can also be utilized by fully-insured members and is available to other groups as well. It acts as an engagement portal, promoting all areas of wellbeing – financial, nutrition, sleep, stress, preventive and dental health. By filling out a health survey, users can create a customized experience enabling them to engage in specific, relevant activities to encourage healthier behavior and help them achieve their goals. Social communities within the portal also provide a peer-to-peer setting for participants to connect, learn and inspire one another.
You Can Start Today
Understanding your health conditions and potential treatment options is, in our opinion, a crucial first step in enhancing your overall health. We’re dedicated to the well-being of every Arkansan and proud to be our members’ champions. Learn more about our commitment to take good care of Arkansas.