LifeSynch

Humana’s dream of helping people achieve lifelong well-being has fostered a corporate culture where Humana associates are willing to take steps to improve their own health – about 7.2 billion steps.

Humana associates logged that many steps on their pedometers during Humana’s recent 100-Day Dash, an annual company-wide effort to encourage associates to literally walk the talk in terms of promoting health and well-being. Associates form and choose names for their own teams, competing for rewards such as Vitality Bucks for those enrolled in the HumanaVitality incentive program. Every competing associate wears a pedometer and uploads the results, which are tallied into individual, team and company totals.

Overall, associates averaged 9,330 steps per day while the dashers at the top of the 100-Day Dash leaderboard managed 30,000 per day. Chastity Palmer, a specialist for Humana subsidiary LifeSynch in Irving, Texas said, “Being a part of the 100-Day Dash motivates me to get moving!”

“Over those 100 days, we inspired each other’s health by coming together through this friendly competition,” said Tim Huval, Humana Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Hearing the stories of how people are changing their lives – and enlisting their co-workers and families – is a great example of how we at Humana are living our values.”

From June 3 to September 10, 11,635 associates found numerous ways to get steps in. Some organized team walks during lunch breaks, others trained and competed in organized events in their communities.

“I did my first half-marathon ever,” said Humana MarketPoint coordinator Zoilabella Calo of Phoenix, AZ. “It was so inspiring!”

“We can all be proud of the steps we’ve taken together,” said Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard, who participated in the Dash. “It’s great to be part of such an inspiring program that continues to grow each year. And I enjoyed being part of Team Inspire Health which really encouraged me to rethink my routine to get my steps in.”

Humana’s 7.2 billion-step total is enough to walk around the Earth 145 times and represents a 1.5 billion-step increase over the 100-Day Dash total for 2012.

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LifeSynch, a Humana subsidiary, offers extensive health behavior resources, including behavioral healthcare, employee assistance program (EAP)/work-life services, behavioral pharmacy services, health coaches and Web-based wellness tools. As part of their commitment to change health behaviors and improve lives, LifeSynch’s health coaches will be contributing a series of articles that demonstrate how easy it can be to make a healthy change.

Did you make a new year’s resolution to be more active? We are more than half way through the year so if you have stuck to it so far, congratulations and keep it up! If you stalled, it’s not too late to get back on track and meet the goals you set in January. It is easier to stay active if you make exercise fun rather than a chore. Healthy things can be fun, and fun things can be healthy. Here are 10 suggestions to get you started:

1. Join a team: Check out adult sport leagues offered in your area. There is usually something for everyone – from basketball and volleyball to kickball and dodge ball.

2. Get involved: Sign up for road races, biking events or fun walks. Some of these events also provide opportunities for helping others by raising money for charities.

3. Family fun: The whole family can enjoy interactive video games no matter the weather, skills, or fitness level. For example, Humana has partnered with leading video game developer Ubisoft to offer Your Shape®: Fitness Evolved 2012, a fun workout program to support healthy living for people of all fitness levels. And many cable providers offer exercise videos on demand free of charge.

4. Challenge yourself: If you are repeating the same easy workouts, you will cease to see results and become bored. If you run, try running a mile as fast as you can (without pain!) then try again two months later to see if you can beat your own time. You can do the same thing for pushups, holding a plank and so on. Reward yourself if you reach your goal!

5. Create a boot camp: Write out a list of things you can do for two minutes to raise your heart rate: push-ups, running in place, dancing, hula hooping or squats. Turn up the music and get a stop watch so you know when to rotate. Ask your kids to think of their own two-minute exercise ideas.

6. Start a friendly competition: Challenge your co-workers, friends or family to a contest that encourages you to increase your activity level and have fun doing it. For example, Humana associates are currently participating in their second 100-Day Dash, a companywide competition to track steps with a pedometer for 100 days. Learn more about how it works and the positive impact it has had by clicking here.

7. Help someone else succeed: Are you losing your commitment to walk three days a week? Invite a buddy along. Not only can you motivate someone else, you can re-energize yourself.

8. Check out your local parks: Take a nature walk with your kids and bring along a picnic basket for a fun, inexpensive meal.

9. Change your playlist: Find a new genre of music or add audio books and podcasts.

10. Make a game of it: Instead of sitting down to help your kids with their homework, take a walk while you quiz them – or make a game of it. For example, if they spell a word correctly, you have to run a lap around the house or do 10 jumping jacks. If they get it wrong, it is their turn!

Even small behavioral changes can make a big difference in your efforts to lead a healthier, happier life.

Lacey-pic-webLacey Starkey, a learning facilitator and personal health coach/mentor at LifeSynch, a subsidiary of Humana, has a bachelor’s degree in wellness science and a master’s degree in health education. She is also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, exercising and staying active in her local community garden.

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Humana will open a RightSource® mail-order pharmacy call center and support operation in Irving, Texas, in August, bringing more than 620 new jobs to the area over the next three years.

RightSource is Humana’s pharmacy management company providing mail-order delivery to members’ homes. The convenience of mail-order delivery and the lower cost of obtaining drugs by mail-order pharmacy have created tremendous demand for RightSource’s services. Humana RightSource, which has similar operations in Arizona and Ohio, serves 1.5 million people and filled nearly 20 million scripts in 2012, making it one of the nation’s largest mail-order pharmacies.

“The continuing growth of Humana’s mail-order pharmacy business shows us that we are improving our members’ health-care experience by making prescriptions more affordable,” said William Fleming, Pharm.D., President of Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “The opening of this new front-end operations facility is a testament to our commitment to provide outstanding service to our customers and a credit to the quality of the Irving-area workforce and excellent business climate.”

Positions to be hired will include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, customer service representatives, and data-entry clerks. For information about employment opportunities at the Irving facility, 2001 W. John Carpenter Freeway, please visit careers.humana.com.

With its subsidiary companies Concentra and LifeSynch, and the addition of the employees being hired at the RightSource facility, Humana will have more than 2,500 employees in North Texas.

To learn more, read our news release.

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LifeSynch, a Humana subsidiary, offers extensive health behavior resources, including behavioral healthcare, employee assistance program (EAP)/work-life services, behavioral pharmacy services, health coaches and Web-based wellness tools. As part of their commitment to change health behaviors and improve lives, LifeSynch’s health coaches will be contributing a series of articles that demonstrate how easy it can be to make a healthy change.

November is a month to give special recognition to those who devote their time, energy and emotional support to the well-being and safety of their loved ones. While caregiving can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, there are times when the caregiver needs support, recognition, or celebration.

Caregiving can be an ever-changing role. There are several stages of caregiving ranging from the moment when you realize that you may need to help to recognizing that your role as a caregiver will soon end. No matter what stage you find yourself, know that there are resources available to you including commonly asked questions, legal advice, community health care options, and conversations to have with the loved you are helping. You can also download a caregiver’s toolkit at http://www.humana.com/

If you are a family caregiver, it is not uncommon to feel out of your element, overwhelmed, and stressed. Most caregivers are not trained for the types of duties that are required of them. In order to provide the love and best care you can to the one you are looking after, it is important to take care of yourself. As a caregiver, you must strive to be at your best—this includes giving yourself a break:

  • Set aside a minimum of 30 minutes every day for yourself. Do whatever you enjoy, whether it’s reading, working in the garden, tinkering in your workshop, knitting, playing with the dogs, or watching a sports event.
  • Find ways to pamper yourself. Small luxuries can go a long way in relieving stress and boosting your spirits. Light candles and take a long bath. Ask your spouse for a back rub. Get a manicure. Buy fresh flowers for the house. Do whatever makes you feel special.
  • Make yourself laugh. Laughter is an excellent antidote to stress—and a little goes a long way. Read a funny book, watch a comedy, or call a friend who makes you laugh. Try to find the humor in everyday situations.
  • Get out of the house. Ask friends and family to step in and help with caregiving periodically so you can have time away from the home – and the stress.
  • Visit with friends. If it is difficult to leave the house, invite friends over to visit with you over coffee, tea, or dinner. It’s important to interact with others.

Taking time for yourself will allow you to relax, recharge your batteries and de-stress. Once you reach a point of burnout, it can be very difficult to serve the needs of your loved one. If you or someone you know is showing or experiencing signs of stress or burnout, seek support.

Caregiving can also make you face situations and feelings that you may not expect such as loss, anger, and family conflict. Balancing work, family, and finances may be difficult at times. In order to keep your sanity and achieve boundaries, recognize the challenges that are causing problems and seek support and help to overcome them. Websites such as AgingCare.com and Caregiving.com can bring caregivers together to find solutions to commonly experienced issues. These resources offer webinars, activities, support groups, and forums. Remember, caregiving is two-fold job – taking care of yourself and your loved one.

Katie Rowe, a learning facilitator and personal health coach/mentor at LifeSynch, a subsidiary of Humana, has an associates degree in healthcare business services and a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management. She is an active volunteer in her community, focusing on public health initiatives. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, vegan blogging, traveling, cooking, and any outdoor activity.

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LifeSynch, a Humana subsidiary, offers extensive health behavior resources, including behavioral healthcare, employee assistance program (EAP)/work-life services, behavioral pharmacy services, health coaches and Web-based wellness tools. As part of their commitment to change health behaviors and improve lives, LifeSynch’s health coaches will be contributing a series of articles that demonstrate how easy it can be to make a healthy change.

Are you looking for a way to be more physically active and more active in your community? Volunteerism could be the answer. By becoming a volunteer, you can develop new interests, help people in your own backyard, meet new people, increase your physical activity and expand your skill-set.

It’s not as difficult as it might sound.

  • Bike, road and other races are held almost every weekend in many areas of the country. If you cannot compete in a race, you can still be a part of the action. There is always a need for volunteers to hand out water, direct traffic, clean up after the race or simply cheer on the participants from the sidelines. Many of these races also raise money for charitable organizations.
  • Volunteer with kids to help them develop healthier habits. One great example is Girls on the Run. This program combines training for a 5K with lessons that help develop life skills and build self-esteem. The goal of the program is to encourage emotional, social, mental, spiritual, and physical development. Other examples of working to help children build healthier lives – while becoming more physically active yourself – are the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and local community centers.
  • Habitat for Humanity is another organization that can help you get active physically while increasing your community involvement. The organization invites people of all backgrounds, races, and religions to build houses together for families in need.
  • How about volunteering with your local parks and recreation department? Many parks depend upon volunteers to build trails and bridges, remove trash and invasive plants, plant trees, and restore water resources.
  • You can also spend time at an animal shelter. Playing with and walking dogs is a great workout, and animal shelters need volunteers to keep them running.
  •  Looking for a way to support your community in a way that fosters healthy change? Consider supporting local farming. Farmer markets, community-supported agriculture, and online markets are growing. Products that can be bought locally have less impact on the environment, and you can get to know the farmers that are growing your food! Find out what is available in your area by going to http://www.localharvest.org/.

Lacey Starkey, a learning facilitator and personal health coach/mentor at LifeSynch, a subsidiary of Humana, has a bachelor’s degree in wellness science and a master’s degree in health education. She is also a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, exercising and staying active in her local community garden.

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