Tag Archive for: tips

Spring is in the air. This means it’s time to spring clean not only your home but also your healthy habits. By focusing on simple ways to improve your health, you are setting yourself up to take advantage of lifelong health benefits. Implementing healthy habits is simpler than you’d think. 

Use Your Health Plan to Your Advantage 

Your health plan is a resource to be used to your advantage. Using your plan helps you stay healthy, and find any potential chronic illnesses before they become dangerous. 

Basic health insurance plans, like Minimum Essential Coverage plans, include ACA-compliant services that cover wellness, preventative services, prescription discounts, and telehealth services.  

How can you use your health insurance to spring clean your health? 

First, visit your primary care provider. Plans offer coverage for an annual checkup with your primary care physician. This annual checkup helps keep you and your healthcare team ahead of potential chronic illnesses by catching a diagnosis early. This visit allows your provider to consistently monitor your health year after year. Anything found during this visit can be addressed and monitored before it becomes more serious. 

Next, use your plan to cover routine vaccinations. They protect your body and keep you strong against viral and bacterial illnesses. It helps you reduce the risk of contracting disease or spreading disease. 

Your health plan may offer prescription discounts that make medication more affordable. If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication, stay healthy by taking your medication as directed, and save money in the process.  

Lab work and screenings act similarly to your annual physical. If the lab work or screenings flag your doctor of potential illness, catching it early can help you stay healthy, longer. 

Use Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine supports your health by providing you with cost-effective access to your medical resources. Oftentimes, telehealth copays are less expensive than an office co-pay. 

Use telehealth as an opportunity to speak with your health care team regarding:

  • Medical test results 
  • Lifestyle coaching 
  • Health coaching 
  • Consultation visits 
  • Medication management 
  • Chronic disease management 


Patients receive the same quality of care with telehealth visits as they do in a provider’s office. Taking advantage of telemedicine services supports your health, reduces time spent at the doctor’s office, and saves money. Learn more about the top reasons why you should use telehealth here

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

A well-balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, especially those in season, help promote your health. A few of the positive effects they have on your body include: 

  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Reducing the risk of stroke 
  • Cancer prevention 
  • Reduce digestive issues 
  • Support your vision 
  • Promote weight loss
  • And more 


Easy ways to add fruits and vegetables into your daily diet are by keeping them where you can see them, and by incorporating them into a meal itself (i.e. soups, salads, and stir-fries). 

Instead of turning towards a sugary treat after a meal, try an in-season fruit. It’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and support your body’s overall health simultaneously. 

Curious if the foods you think are actually healthy for you, are? Take our quiz here to find out if the foods marketed as “healthy” are actually good for you. 

Drink Water 

Oftentimes, the answer seems to be “drink more water.”  This may be one of the best ways to spring clean your health this season because of how much it can positively impact your wellbeing. 

At a basic level, water helps your body function by: 

  • Eliminating waste through urination, and perspiration
  • Temperature regulation 
  • Lubricating and cushioning joints 
  • Protecting sensitive tissues 

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and a reduction in your body’s ability to perform the way it needs to. 

Other ways water supports your health is through:

  • Supporting brain functions 
  • Supporting your kidneys 
  • Aiding with digestion 
  • Promoting clearer skin and skin elasticity 

How much water should you drink a day? According to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine men should drink at least 15.5 cups a day and women should drink at least 11.5 cups a day. One way you can increase your liquid intake is by swapping out sugary drinks for water. Your body will thank you for it.  

Walk 11 Minutes A Day 

Ideally, physicians recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.  Unfortunately, the increase in more sedentary lifestyles hinders the amount of physical activity people take daily. Forbes found that the average stay-at-home employee sits for about 15 hours a day. 

Sitting for the majority of the day has detrimental effects on the body. In fact, the Mayo Clinic analyzed 13 studies and found that all found, “sitting time and activity levels found in those who sat for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.” 

A way to combat the negative effects sitting has on your health is by taking at least an 11-minute walk a day. The positive impact it has on your health is lifelong according to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They found that walking for at least 11 minutes a day actually combats the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time. 


Take Standing Breaks

As previously mentioned, sitting for long periods of time has detrimental effects on your body. Its impact is so great that it is now coined “the new smoking.” 

A few ways it hurts your body is through:

  • Leading to weight gain 
  • Muscle loss 
  • Links to lung, uterine, and colon cancer 

Learn more about the long and short-term effects here

A way to combat the negative effects of sitting is to support your health is by taking standing breaks. Ways you can do this is through:

  • Standing while working 
  • Walking during meetings 
  • Taking movement breaks
  • Stretch during the day
  • Take walks 
  • Set timers to move around 

A Final Word

Spring clean your healthy habits by implementing these habits. Together, they have a lifelong impact on supporting your overall wellbeing. For more healthy habit tips, read our article giving tips on using your health insurance to meet your health goals. 

use the resources you have, like your health plan, to spring clean your health

Article originally published on SBMA Benefits.

Sitting is now one of the most common daily activities. Increased desk jobs and a bigger than ever stay-at-home workforce have contributed to more sedentary lives.


In fact, over a quarter of Americans sit for more than eight hours a day, and most sit for six to eight hours a day according to a report by TIME.


They call the results of sitting “the new smoking” because of the negative impacts it can have on your body. Do you sit all day? Are you tired of tight hamstrings or back pain?


Let’s dive into what sitting does to your body and how you can combat those negative effects daily.

What Does Sitting Do to Your Body? 

Sitting doesn’t seem like it should or would be such a dangerous activity for your body. After all, you aren’t doing much—but that could be the point.


There are both long and short-term effects that sitting for long periods of time can have on your body. After all, they don’t call it the “new smoking” for no reason. Below are some details.


  1. Sitting can lead to weight gain because you spend less time moving/ exercising.
  2. Use it or lose it! You start to lose muscle in your legs and glutes because they don’t have to work to hold you up, which can cause muscle atrophy.
  3. Sitting is linked to increased lung, uterine, and colon cancer.
  4. Those who sit for longer periods of time are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
  5. Sitting can lead to tight muscles, especially tightness in your hamstrings.
  6. Your body can experience back pain from poor posture (i.e. hunching over a computer screen for prolonged periods of time).
  7. You can also experience stiff shoulders and neck pain from bad posture.
  8. There is a higher risk for heart diseases like strokes and heart attacks. 
  9. Sitting for long periods of time is linked to an increased risk of diabetes and can also lead to varicose veins. 
  10. Sitting can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT).


There are many negative effects of sitting that can be detrimental to your health. But how do you combat them when you have to work a desk job?

Combatting the Effects of Sitting 

Just because you’re sitting all day doesn’t mean that you can’t combat its negative effects —you can. (After all, this article was written while standing!)


Here’s our guide on how you can combat the negative effects of sitting all day.

1. Stand While You Work

As mentioned before, you can stand while you work. Take advantage of standing desks so you can alternate from a seated to a standing position throughout the day. This will help get blood flowing through and also build muscle.

2. Walk During Meetings 

If you can, walk or stand during your scheduled meetings or calls if you don’t have to be at your desk. Plug in earbuds to move while the call takes place.

3. Take Movement Breaks 

Use your breaks to walk around and help avoid staying sedentary. It’s okay to start small and work your way up to longer breaks. This might look like walking up and down your stairs, around your office, or going for a quick stroll outside. Use your best judgment to find out what type of movement you like the most.

4. Stretch During the Day 

Plug in a quick and easy stretch when you wake up, take your lunch break, or take a few minutes in the middle of your day. Here’s a link from healthline for an easy five minute stretch.


Stretching can help you recenter and refocus, boosting your productivity during the day. 

5. Take Walks

Working straight throughout the day without breaks isn’t healthy or productive. Schedule time to take a quick walk.

6. Keep Yourself Hydrated 

While you’re reading this, drink a glass of water. Staying hydrated is great for your health and refilling your water bottle forces you to get up and move. 

7. Set Timers to Stand and Move  

Yes, it’s easy to start on a project and then look up only to realize a few hours have flown by. During that time, you were probably sitting hunched over your laptop or workspace.


So, consider setting a timer on your computer, phone, or watch to remind yourself to get up and move!

A Final Note

Adding walking as a healthy habit can take time and practice. It’s okay that it may not come naturally or immediately. As you slowly integrate it into your life, have patience if it doesn’t happen immediately. Little movements daily will benefit your health in the long run.


Did you know that people who use their health insurance are healthier than those who don’t? Read the different minimum essential coverage options available to you to continue making health habit choices. 


Sitting has been dubbed the “new smoking.” Add walks throughout your day to combat the negative effects of a sedentary life.

Original article published on SBMA Benefits.