AlaskaCare Wellness News | August 2017

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August 2017 | #60

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Boy Getting Flu Shot

It’s back to school time, and immunizations aren’t just for kids! To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get vaccinated too. Immunization, or vaccination, helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Many other shots work best when given at certain ages.

  • Find out which shots adults and teenagers need by taking this quiz.
  • Check here to see if you, as an adult, are up to date on your shots.
  • If you are pregnant, check here to learn about vaccine safety before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need.

Don’t Wait—Vaccinate!

A recommendation of treatment is not a guarantee of coverage. Prior to getting care, always consult your AlaskaCare Health Plan Benefit Summary or contact the Aetna Concierge at (855) 784-8646.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

child eye exam

It's almost back-to-school time and you are likely prepared with your child's enrollment forms, orientation schedules, and immunizations—but what about their eyes? August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month—a great reminder for you to get your child’s eyes checked before school starts.

Visual screenings are covered under your AlaskaCare Employee plan for children every year from age 3 through 6, and at age 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18. If you have enrolled in the Managed Care Vision plan (VSP), you may have additional benefits. Please see your health plan booklet for coverage details.

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Healthy Aging and Your Cognitive Health

man in fireweed field

Healthy aging requires taking good care of your health throughout your lifetime. Cognitive health—the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember—is an important component of aging well and staying healthy. Did you know that although the brain is only 2 percent of the body’s weight, it receives 20 percent of the body’s blood supply? Properly managing chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and high cholesterol, with the help of your doctor, are important not only for overall health, but brain health as well. There are other actions you can take to help to protect your cognitive health as well.

Healthy Tips:

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you take and their possible side effects on memory, sleep, and brain function. Also, remember that some medicines can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol.
  • Reduce your risk for brain injuries due to falls and other accidents. Precautions you can take include:~ Removing trip hazards in your home (loose area rugs, slippery floor surfaces)

~ Being careful on ladders

~ Practicing safe driving—including not driving while sleepy or distracted

  • Join groups that involve doing exercise or physical activities to help you stay motivated to keep active and provide the added benefits of socialization. Connect with other people through social activities and community programs to keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated or depressed. Take up a hobby, such as hiking, photography, golfing, or joining a book club as a way to add to life satisfaction and have things to look forward to each week.
  • To keep healthy eating interesting and to help expand the variety of nutrients you eat, consider setting a goal of trying at least ONE new heart-healthy recipe, whole grain, fruit, vegetable, or side dish per week. If you do just that, you will have tried at least 52 new foods in a year! This is an easy way to chase away food boredom and make eating healthier an adventure.

Source: National Institute on Aging-Cognitive Health

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Online Wellness Series - Tune-In Tuesdays

Mindfulness yoga girl

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Have you ever thought about trying meditation, but didn’t know how to get started? Take the mystery out of mindfulness meditation through clear and simple guidelines.

Join Active Health Management's 5-week online mindfulness series to learn how to build your mindfulness muscle! Learn tips on formal and informal ways to live more mindfully.

View schedule and register…

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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: Seated Hamstring Stretch

Use this exercise to stretch and loosen tight hamstring muscles.

Try  it out...

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Seated Hamstring Stretch

Vitamin D and Your Health

Vitamin D salmon

Vitamin D is important for strong bones and may contribute to overall good health. Alaskans should select foods that are high in vitamin D, such as Alaska salmon, and should talk with their health care provider about vitamin D and the risks and benefits of supplementation.

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Recipe of the Month: Fruit Skewers wtih Yogurt Dip

fruit skewers with yogurt dip

Tangy fruit and sweet yogurt make a fantastic taste combination.This recipe is easy to make and is a perfect snack for kids and adults alike.

Get the recipe...

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