AlaskaCare Wellness News | April 2017

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April 2017 | #56

April is Alcohol Awareness Month


The facts about alcoholism in our country are striking: more than 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol-use disorders and 25% of American children have been exposed to such disorders in their families. Alcoholism also impacts our communities; the economic cost of alcohol abuse is estimated to be $223.5 billion ($746 per person). Participate in Alcoholism Awareness Month by:

Alcohol Use and Your Health

Choosing to drink alcohol should include taking a responsible approach. The key is to keep your drinking at low to moderate levels.

One drink = 1 12 oz can of beer OR 1 5 oz glass of wine OR 1 mixed drink with 1.5 oz liquor

How much is drinking in moderation?

alcohol use table

How do I know if my relationship with alcohol is not healthy?

  • Your relationships with others take second place to alcohol.
  • You find it hard to be productive at work, school or home due to your need to drink.
  • Drinking too much and thinking it’s okay to drive.
  • Having withdrawal or uncomfortable side effects when you stop drinking.
  • Mixing some medications with drinking—talk with your provider or pharmacist.

I think I have a problem with alcohol. How do I find help?

  • List your reasons for wanting to quit or cut down on alcohol.
  • Make a specific plan to stop drinking and share it with a friend or family member.
  • Track your success and journal what benefits you see from no longer using alcohol.
  • Use your experiences to get you through relapses.
  • Practice new behaviors and find healthier ways to spend your time.
  • Find self-help groups for support from others who have similar issues.
  • Be positive and reward yourself with the money you save from not drinking.

Source: Healthwise

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AlaskaCare Employee Assistance Program

AlaskaCare Employee Health Plan Logo

The AlaskaCare Employee Assistance Program, administered by Aetna, provides responsive, caring and effective services to help balance your personal and professional life. Check out resources available to help with stress management and alcohol and drug issues, as well as emotional wellness, marital/relationship issues, financial and legal concerns, and more.

Visit the AlaskaCare EAP web page for more information.

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Getting Active as a Family

family soccer

When the whole family is involved in physical activities together, children learn that being active is fun and makes you feel good. And busy parents can combine family time with exercise time.

Try these tips for getting everyone in the family up and moving together:

Getting started

  • As a family, make a list of activities you'd like to do together.
  • Make sure the activities are things everyone can do and enjoy.
  • Keep a family physical activity log, or hang a calendar on the wall.
  • Try to plan one or two family activities a week. For ideas, see the suggestions below.
  • Once a month, plan something special that involves being active, like a trip to the zoo, a day hike, or camping.
  • Use a safe backpack, stroller, or bike trailer so that smaller children can be included in family activities.


When family schedules get really busy, going for a walk may be the easiest thing you can do together.

  • Start with short walks that everyone in the family can do. Add more distance gradually. Younger children can ride a bike or a tricycle. You can pull a wagon in case little ones get tired.
  • Scavenger hunts can keep children from being bored on a walk. Keep in mind a list of "treasures" they can find, such as a red leaf, a blue house, a black dog, or an out-of-state license plate.
  • Use a phone app or get pedometers, and work on increasing the number of steps you take on your family walks. Start with a goal of 10,000 steps a day.
  • Register the whole family in a family fun run/walk in your community. If the event is for charity, have your family walk through your neighborhood to collect pledges.

Consult with your health care provider before starting a new exercise program.

Source: Healthwise

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Physical Activity Can Lower Stress

running legs

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. It can help in many ways, including promoting a feeling of well-being.

Experts recommend 2-1/2 hours of aerobic activity every week. You might want to talk to your doctor before starting a physical activity program.

Upcoming Community Physical Activity Events and Resources:

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    Stress Management – Mindfulness in the Workplace

    relaxing at desk

    When your work life and personal life are out of balance, your stress level is likely to soar.  Use these practical strategies to restore harmony.

    Source: Mayo Clinic

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    Wellness Events

    Looking for wellness events in your area? Check our Wellness Events and Community Activity Calendar  regularly for new opportunities to get involved and improve your health! You can find onsite health coaching, webinars, and more.

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


    Stress Less, Live More

    Begins Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Learn how to manage your stress and start living the healthier life you deserve. The six-week program will help you learn to manage your stress over time to avoid negative effects on your health. Register today!

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    Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

    Active Health

    Maybe you’ve had your eye on some new running shoes—they could be yours if you win! Log in to and complete a Digital Coaching module (reported in Heart Beats). Each time you complete Heart Beats of Digital Coaching, you get another chance to win. Choose from almost 200 category topics and start working towards your personal health goals today with Digital Coaching—available 24 hours per day!

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    Exercise of the Month: Bridges

    bridge exercise

    The Bridges exercise improves performance, posture, and reduces knee and back pain. Strengthening your core helps maintain proper posture when sitting or standing for long periods of time.

    Try it out...

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    Recipe of the Month: Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

    Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

    Liven up the breakfast routine with this Southwestern quinoa bowl. Quinoa contains a hefty amount of protein, making this a great morning option. Add other items to turn this into your own creation— cucumber, radishes, black beans, and more. The eggs can also be cooked however you prefer—over-easy, poached, or even scrambled.

    Get the recipe...

    Source: American Heart Association

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