What is so Special About Wellness?

By Guest Author Al Schiebel of ShopBenefits

It seems that everywhere I go, everything I read, everything I hear is talk about wellness. Wellness here, wellness there, wellness everywhere! What is that all about?

Dictionary.com defines “wellness” as the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as a result of deliberate effort. An approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

Historically, the medical industry is about treating disease and dealing with the symptoms and not about preventing them. Wellness is about preventing, monitoring and treating habits that can cause disease. Insurance costs have been steadily increasing and managing employee health has a proven record in reducing rate increases. Our habits affect not only our own but also our co-workers’ costs because if insurance is used to treat disease that translates into claims, claims cause rate increases. As my friend and colleague Victoria Braden says, “Insurance is simple. Premiums are paid in and claims are paid out. Control claims and you will control premiums”

Let’s face it we all have bad habits such as inactivity, obesity even smoking which can have an impact. To say nothing about our stress levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) inactivity drives 40% of the cost of lifestyle related chronic diseases.

There are many types of wellness programs. Many of them are free. Some, offered through employers have incentives for participation. The whole idea is to get us moving, becoming deliberate and taking action. Use our resources. Ask questions. Don’t over complicate it. There are many places to get started. Get a physical. Know your numbers (Weight, blood pressure and cholesterol). Do some research with your insurance plan about free wellness programs.

My Own Wellness Program (a start) …

All my life I have struggled with my weight. I have tried every diet possible. I exercise regularly, but I still struggle. When my friend Erica, who is diabetic, found out that diabetes exists in both sides of my family, she told me ” Honey, you are on the diabetes bus” and if I continued upon the same path I would get there sooner rather than later. I have been in denial about that, but she made me take it seriously. She has been fighting diabetes for a long time and has learned lots of things. She agreed to help me and keep me accountable.

Initially, here are a few things she suggested Write down everything that goes inside my mouth.

  1. Cut 1/3 of my meals – This works on portion control. When I have gone out to eat, I have asked for a to go box when they served the food. That way, I take the 1/3 off the plate. Out of sight out of mind. This exercise is helping me visually and physically understands the importance of portion control.
  2. Eat more frequently – I am eating about 2 to 3 hours apart. Not full meals but maybe the 1/3 that I did not eat for lunch.
  3. Cut down overeating – I overate one time this week and I did not like how I felt
  4. Get moving – I find the parking spaces at the far end of the parking lot so that I can walk to my destination; take the stairs rather than the lift; and my best kept secret – I dance when I am home alone!

So far I have been doing this for 9 days and have lost 3-4 pounds without being on a diet. The bottom line, there are lots of tools and resources available to us that can help us be on our way to feeling well and impacting costs positively.

Al Schiebel

Contact Al Schiebel of Schiebel and Associates
Phone: 404-256-2171  and Fax: 404-256-2161

Leave a Reply