AlaskaCare Wellness News | December 2016

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December 2016 | #52

Winter Health and Safety

Winter safety

December is an action-packed month with holidays, travel, family events and outdoor winter activities. Whether you are headed out for an extended weekend in the backcountry or walking across the parking lot, take precautions to ensure your and your family’s safety. Taking simple steps like wearing traction devices in icy conditions and stretching before shoveling the driveway can help avoid an accident. The little steps you take can help ensure an enjoyable, injury-free holiday season with family and friends.

Get more winter health and safety tips...

Holiday Festivities Tips

Holiday tips

Don’t skip meals throughout the day. Instead, choose high-fiber foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains that will help you feel full to avoid overeating later.

Practice portion control. If dining buffet style, set a goal to have only one plate of food and try to fill half the plate with lower calorie options.

Be a social butterfly. After your meal, distract yourself away from the buffet table by mingling with guests while sipping a calorie-free beverage such as sparkling water with lemon or lime.

Source: USDA

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AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Changes for 2017


Significant plan changes that take effect on 1/1/2017 will make it more important than ever to use a network provider in Anchorage and outside Alaska. When you select your medical provider, it is extremely important that you understand which providers and facilities are in the AlaskaCare network and the considerable cost impacts of choosing to use an out-of-network provider or facility. There are also changes to pharmacy benefits and members will be able to save by choosing generic drug options and filling maintenance prescriptions by mail order. You should ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about generic equivalent options to help minimize your out of pocket costs for prescription drugs. The following videos should help to explain the changes:

Preferred Provider Network 

Prescription Drug Benefits

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Weight Watchers - Give Yourself a Gift This Season

Weight Watcher's at Work

Ring in the New Year with a commitment to Y-O-U! Several Weight Watchers meeting series end in December (see below). The last meeting in the series is the perfect time to check out a meeting, meet the team leader and get signed up for the next 18-week series for 2017. More than a weight loss program, Beyond the Scale focuses on eating better, moving more and shifting your mindset. The new program results speak for themselves with members losing 15% more weight in the first two months!

Juneau: Thursday, December 8, 12pm, Goldbelt Building
Anchorage: Thursday, December 15, 11:30am, Snowden Building & Friday, December 30, 11:45am, AOGC
Fairbanks: Wednesday, December 21, 5pm, OCS

Get more information on our website.

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Health Talk 'n' Walk


Join Ruth Townsend, MS on December 15 at 5:45pm at Goose Lake Park in Anchorage (2811 UAA Drive) for a brief outdoor seminar followed by a 30-minute walk on the Chester Creek Trail. Events are free and planned to continue on the third Thursday of each month, so mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information about upcoming opportunities to participate.

Reserve your space at (907) 264-1722 or on the Alaska Regional Hospital website.

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Wellness Events


If you are looking for wellness events in your area, check out our calendar. Check back regularly for new opportunities to get involved and improve your health!

If you know of an event or activity in your area, please email us at

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December Group Coaching

Health Risk Assessment

MyActiveHealth is offering a free online group coaching program for stress management: Eat, Drink and Be Healthy.

This program is a six-week series with two remaining sessions on December 6 and December 13. Provided registration is still open, you can join in at any time.

Please register here.

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December Webinar


Battling Holiday Stress | December 7

Learn ways to enjoy the holidays this year, including the food, family, and celebrations, without the annual feelings of guilt and stress. Join in at 5:30am, 9:30am or 12:30pm Alaska Time.


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Exercise of the Month: Cat Stretch

Cat stretch

Stretching is a great way to destress and loosen up your muscles, particularly after several hours of sitting at a desk. Try the cat stretch to help loosen and strengthen your back muscles after a long day.

Try it out...

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Healthy Recipe: Candied Yams


Yams are a tasty and nutritional vegetable for the holiday season. They make a fantastic, colorful side dish that compliments just about every main dish.  As an added benefit, yams are an excellent source of vitamin C, which can help support your immune system during the cold and flu season! They are also a good source of fiber, potassium, manganese and other vitamins.

Get the recipe...

Source: What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

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