Participants in the Uniform Medical Plan can enroll in the Health Counts! wellness program to earn a $30 rebate. Points are earned for healthy behaviors like getting preventive screenings, exercising and eating right. Once you score 100 points, UMP will mail you $30.
Register for Health Counts! by logging on to the UMP home page ONLINE @ www.ump.hca.wa.gov/healthcounts.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Vegetables and fruit. According to the American Cancer Society, a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer and possibly other diseases. Here are some easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:
• Serve fresh fruit and raw vegetables at meetings for work instead of cookies.
• Add fruit or veggies on almost anything you eat. Add raspberries, blueberries, cranberries or bananas to your breakfast cereal; spinach and peppers to your pizza; lettuce and tomatoes to your sandwich.
• Choose smart snacks such as carrots, apples, broccoli, sugar peas, peppers, etc.
• Buy fresh produce in season for peak flavor and value.
2) High fiber. These help maintain your intestinal system:
• Raw fruits and vegetables, as well as some dried fruits
• Whole wheat breads
• Nuts, beans, lentils, grains
3) Water. The International Sports Medicine Institute offers this formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you’re not active (that’s 10 eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and up to 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletically active (13-14 glasses at the same weight).
4) Preventive exams. Here’s a guide to help you stay on track:
• Physical exam every 12 months. Early detection of problems can save your health and save you money.
• Cholesterol test every 5 years. High cholesterol increases your risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
• Colorectal screening starting at age 50, then every 10 years. This screening can identify colon and rectal cancers before you notice symptoms.
• Mammograms. These tests help detect tumors when they are small and more treatable.
• Cervical screenings. Prevent cervical cancer with regular Pap tests by identifying cervical cell changes before they become cancerous.
5) Exercise. Get more exercise into your day — three 30-minute sessions a week, if possible. Here are a few ideas on how to inject a bit more exercise into your schedule:
• Grab a co-worker and take a quick walk around the block.
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
• If you take the bus, get off at a stop several blocks from your destination.
• Exercise while watching TV.