Document 179715

Yo u r G u i d e t o H e a l t h , W e l l n e s s & F i t n e s s
Summer 2014 • Vol. XXIX No. 3
How to keep your brain in shape
Cindy Richards, Editor
Just about everyone has experienced it – that
moment when you walk into a room and can’t
remember why you went. Or being unable to
remember where you left the car keys. Or what
you needed from the grocery store.
Those “senior moments” are a normal part
of the aging process (and a phenomenon
that is not limited to people over 65). Just
like other parts of our bodies, our brains lose
capacity as we age.
It might be normal, but it can still be scary
when you notice you are being more forgetful.
How do you know when it’s just a senior
moment and not something more serious?
The Alzheimer’s Association has a list of 10
early signs of Alzheimer’s to help distinguish
between forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s. Among
them: Have you forgotten where you put
your car keys, or have you forgotten how to
get home from your favorite restaurant? Did
you make a math mistake when balancing
your checkbook, or have you forgotten the
steps to balance a checkbook – a task you
have done every month for umpteen years?
Depending on the answers, it might be time
to see a doctor who can diagnose whether
the symptoms are a normal part of aging or
something more serious.
There are more than 150 research studies
going on right now aimed at learning more
about Alzheimer’s disease. While there
are no definitive results that show what
can be done to prevent Alzheimer’s,
Heather Snyder, director of Medical
and Scientific Operations for the
Alzheimer’s Association, says that in
general, things that are good for your
body, especially your heart, also may be
good for your brain.
That includes a hearthealthy diet rich in
Omega-3 fatty acids
(found in fish, nuts,
oatmeal) and the
nutrients found in
richly colored fruits and
vegetables (blueberries,
carrots, broccoli,
bell peppers, spinach
and other green leafy
vegetables). Physical
activity also seems to be
important, although
it’s unclear what
type of activities are
most helpful and
Find us online at
exactly how much. Some studies suggest a link
between aerobic exercise (work-outs that raise
your heart rate) and improved brain functions
while others point to resistance or weighttraining (work-outs that build your muscles)
as good for your brain.
Exercise your brain
In addition to exercising your body, it’s
important to keep your brain active. If you
are having trouble remembering important
dates or funny stories from the past, it might
mean that the neurons in your brain that first
formed those memories aren’t being exercised.
Among the mental push-ups you can try:
■ Travel, which challenges you to adapt to
new experiences and surroundings
■ Learning something new, such as
studying a new language, to engage a
different part of your brain
■ Brain games such as Sudoku, crossword
puzzles and word games
It’s important to “continue to learn and
experience new things. When we do, we form
circuits in our brains, ultimately increasing
functional power,” says Takara Wallace, lead
nurse at Chicagoland Methodist Senior
Services’ Hartwell, which serves Alzheimer’s
and dementia patients.
Continued on Page 2
More ways to exercise your
brain, now online only at
Each week we give you a new
crossword puzzle, Sudoku puzzle
and word search game.
While you’re there, sign up to be
notified each week when we post
a new puzzle.
“LifeTimes” is published quarterly by
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois,
300 East Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.
Writers’ views don’t necessarily reflect those
of “LifeTimes” or Health Care Service
Corporation. ©2014. All rights reserved.
Executive Editor . . . . . . . . . Thomas E. Laue
Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cindy Richards
Medical Editor . . . . . Stephanie Vomvouras
Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Angie Brumley
Printed by Blue Island Newspaper Printing
Contact Us
Send us comments on “LifeTimes,” change of
address requests, and other communication
by email to [email protected]
or by mail to “LifeTimes,” Blue Cross and
Blue Shield of Illinois, 300 E. Randolph St.,
Chicago, IL 60601.
When reading LifeTimes...
“LifeTimes” articles are for educational and
informational purposes and are not intended
to diagnose any disease or condition, or
substitute for professional medical advice.
Consult your physician about any health
concerns. Inclusion in “LifeTimes” does not
constitute endorsement of any product,
business, or service mentioned in
“LifeTimes” articles.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a
Division of Health Care Service Corporation,
a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an
Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross and
Shield Symbols are registered service marks
of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association, an association of independent
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.
Prescription drug plan provided by Blue Cross
and Blue Shield of Illinois, which refers to
HCSC Insurance Services Company (HISC),
an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association. A Medicare-approved
Part D sponsor. Enrollment in HISC’s plan
depends on contract renewal.
HMO and HMO-POS plans provided by
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a
Division of Health Care Service Corporation,
a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC),
an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield Association. HCSC is a
Medicare Advantage organization with a
Medicare contract. Enrollment in HCSC’s
plans depends on contract renewal.
Medical IDs: Jewelry that
could save your life
In an emergency, seconds become crucial.
For example, someone with diabetes
could experience a serious drop in
blood sugar that would demand an
immediate medical response. But
the patient would be slurring his or
her words and seem woozy and slow –
symptoms that an observer might attribute
to a few too many drinks.
However, when patients wear a medical
alert bracelet, it signals anyone coming to
their rescue to look for a medical condition
as the possible cause of those symptoms.
Medical identification speaks for patients
who are unable to speak for themselves,
providing important information to first
responders and other medical personnel.
Knowing that information could save a
life by leading to a prompt diagnosis and
proper treatment.
Who should wear a medical ID?
First responders are trained to check for
medical ID jewelry upon arrival. The ID
tells first responders that you may require
different or additional care in an emergency.
People who should wear a medical ID
include those who:
■ have been diagnosed with a chronic
■ are allergic to food, drugs or insects.
■ have a medical implant or take
Save with Blue365®
Medical ID jewelry doesn’t have to look
clinical. One company, Hope Paige Designs,
a Blue365® partner, makes medical ID
bracelets that combine safety with style.
The company offers more than 100 different
styles, all available to Blue Cross and
Blue Shield of Illinois members at a 30
percent discount with free shipping. For
details, visit ■
From page 1:
Memory tips
Change can be difficult. Paul Nussbaum,
senior brain health advisor to the Alzheimer’s
Foundation of America and president of
the Brain Health Center in Wexford, Pa.,
recommends taking baby steps. Rather than
changing your whole diet overnight, decide
to add two to three ounces of Omega-3-rich
fish to your diet once a week. Or commit to
joining one new club this month to meet
new people. Or sign up for a class at the local
community college. All of those small steps
will add up to a healthier brain.
So long as your brain is healthy, it is capable
of learning new things and remembering
what you want to remember, Nussbaum says.
The key is to give your brain a little help:
Write lists. If you need something from
the grocery, write it down. If you have
appointments, keep a written calendar. Post
the lists and calendar on the refrigerator so
you are more likely to see them regularly.
Follow routines. Get in the habit of
always putting your car keys on the table
near the back door. Or keeping your reading
glasses on the table next to your bed. If you
put things in their place, finding them will
be easier.
Set alarms. If you have to take several
different pills at several different times each
day, organize them in a pill box and set an
alarm to go off on your phone, your watch,
or your alarm clock to remind you that it’s
time to take your medicine.
Slow down. Stress can wreak havoc
on our bodies and our brains. Take a deep
breath (or several), slow down, and focus on
one thing at a time.
Be social. Spending time with others
having fun, talking, playing cards, or simply
having a conversation are all ways to help
your brain and your memory. ■
How to have the vacation you want
on the budget you have
Cindy Richards, Editor
Like almost everything else, the cost of
travel continues to rise. But that doesn’t mean
you have to forgo those long-cherished plans
for the trip of a lifetime. Nor does it mean
you have to sleep in hostels or eat only one
meal a day.
But it does mean you have to do a little
more research and decide where you’re
willing to compromise. The first step is to
make a list of the things you must do so it
really is the trip of a lifetime. If you’re going
to the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque
because you always wanted to ride in a hot air
balloon, then budget for that balloon ride. If
you don’t, you might regret it.
Once you have decided which vacation
features are non-negotiable, look for other
ways to cut costs to ensure the entire trip is
affordable. The three biggest travel expenses
are transportation, lodging, and food. These
tips will help you save on all three.
are promotions that offer 50,000 or more
bonus miles if you spend a certain amount in
the first few months as a card member. Just
remember to pay off the balance each month
or the interest charges could eat up any
potential savings.
If you are driving to your destination, apps
like GasBuddy will help you find the cheapest
gas nearby. And it’s important to make sure
your car is in shape for the drive before you
leave home. Get the oil changed and the tires
checked. Nothing can blow a vacation budget
faster than an emergency car repair.
Where to stay
Finally, if you forget something, ask at the
front desk before heading out to buy it. Most
hotels have stashes of toiletries and a box
of umbrellas and cell phone charging cords
previous guests left behind. They will be
happy to lend one to you during your stay –
or even give it to you to take home.
Eat better for less
Before you leave, scope out the restaurants
you really must try. Then plan to have lunch
there. It will be the same great food in smaller
luncheon portions at correspondingly smaller
luncheon prices.
Splurge on one meal a day but save on
the other two by stopping at the grocery to
pick up the makings for a picnic and daily
When you go to a restaurant, go easy on the
drinks, which can easily double the cost of
your total bill. If having a drink is a key part
of your dining experience, look for a BYOB
restaurant where you can bring in your own
bottle of wine – bought at a grocery or liquor
store for a fraction of what you would have
paid at the restaurant. ■
Hotels are not the only option. Far from
it. With the Internet making it so easy to
connect around the world, it’s possible to rent
a house, apartment, or condo, house sit, or
swap houses with someone else.
If you prefer to stay in hotels, there are ways
to get more for your money. For example,
consider an extended stay hotel such as a
Residence Inn that caters to long-term business
Getting there
clients. You’ll have more space to spread out,
Is it cheaper to drive or fly? You can find out free hot breakfast each morning, and free
by going online to the Fly or Drive Calculator dinners a couple of nights during the week.
To get the best hotel rate, search online sites
If you will be flying to your destination,
such as or Before
flexibility is the key to lower cost airfares.
you book, call the hotel directly (not the
Be adaptable on the dates you’ll fly, the time
800 number call center) to see if the hotel
you’ll fly, and even where you’ll fly.
will match the price. That way, if there’s a
Mid-week plane fares tend to be less
problem, you won’t have to deal with a third
expensive, as are off-season fares for travel in party to resolve the issue.
the fall and winter when kids are in school.
Always book the basic room, then check
If possible, be flexible on the cities you fly
in late, be very nice to the tired front desk
in and out of. For example, if you can’t find a clerk, and ask whether any room upgrades
good deal flying in or out of St. Louis or New are available. Chances are there will be
York City, check the cost of flying in or out of and you can snag the ocean view room at
Chicago and Newark. In exchange for buying parking lot view rates.
a tank of gas to reach your final city, you
Always sign up for loyalty programs.
might find a significantly cheaper flight.
In return for giving up some personal
There are all sorts of opinions about how
information, you can get perks such as
early to book a flight, but the general rule of
free wifi, free breakfast, free happy hour,
thumb is to book at least 29 days before you
and free upgrades.
fly, according to an analysis of 2013 ticket
prices by CheapAir.
See China’s Terra Cotta Warriors on a
If you have good credit, chances are you
can snag a free plane ticket by signing up
budget – by visiting Indianapolis. Details
for a travel rewards credit card. There often
online at
Summer 2014 LifeTimes
Bold bid: 10 drug firms pool talent, test data
seeking faster treatments and cures
Tom Laue, Executive Editor
Say Ford, Chevy, and VW jointly build a car better than any can
alone. Unlikely. Now picture 10 fiercely competitive drug firms
uniting to develop medications brought to market faster to fight Type
2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Unthinkable? Think again. A five-year, $230 million National
Institutes of Health (NIH) pact unveiled Feb. 4, 2014, will test the
idea. NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins says, “Patients and caregivers
rely on science to find better and faster ways to detect and treat
disease. We invest a great deal of money and time in drug tests with
high failure rates. Meanwhile, patients and families wait.”
So starting in fall 2011, Collins devised the “Accelerating Medicines
Partnership” (AMP). After long, difficult meetings, these 10 drug
companies agreed to take part: AbbVie, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers
Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer,
Sanofi, and Takeda, along with the FDA, NIH, and non-profits.
The goal
Despite advances in basic therapeutic research, Collins says breakthrough drugs still take too much time and cost too much when
one drug company seeks drug targets. “It’s time to work together to
increase our collective odds of success.”
The NIH says researchers have identified thousands of changes in
genes, proteins, and other molecules that “predispose to disease and
influence disease progression.” But the NIH says “only a small number
have been pursued.” Picking the wrong target can cause a 95 percent
failure rate.
Here are participant tasks:
■ Drug companies and NIH contribute scientists for each disease
and clinical trial data.
■ NIH, drug firms, and academic research centers run lab tests and
conduct studies. Companies find test patients and do analysis.
■ NIH reviews progress and helps make scientific decisions.
■ The AMP maps molecular paths for each disease. It then focuses
on treatment targets. For example, Type 2 diabetes researchers
hope to chart genetic changes that raise or lower the risk of
getting the disease.
Sharing data
The agreement sets assessment mileposts for each disease. After
discoveries go public or a project ends, companies may compete based
on findings.
NIH says data and analyses will be publicly available to the
broad biomedical community. This could set the stage for eventual
expansion of AMP to other diseases and conditions.
Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., head of Pfizer’s worldwide research
and development group, expects speedier translation of scientific
knowledge into next-generation therapies.
Collins cautions against quick cures. “Though some researchers
have started using new technology to decipher the biology behind
certain diseases, efforts are relatively unproven. It can take a decade to
develop a drug and get federal approval after finding a target.”
Online only: Learn about the discovery of a human gene mutation
that decreases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 65 percent.
The right way to take your medicine
Taking medication the way your doctor
intended you to is key to getting the most
benefit from the drugs you take.
When you miss a dose or don’t take
medication as prescribed, it may not work
as well in treating your condition.
Even if you don’t feel “sick,” always take
your medication. Many conditions, such as
diabetes or high blood pressure, may not
have any noticeable symptoms.
Misusing the medication may lead to
worsening of your condition or dangerous
side effects. Or your doctor may believe that
it is not working and add another medication
Tips to help you:
■ Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a
written description of how to take your
■ If you’re uncertain about anything, ask
questions until you understand clearly
how the drug works, what it treats, and
how to take it correctly.
■ Always carry a current list of your
medications. The list should include the
drug name, strength of dosage, how you
take it, and what you are taking it for.
■ Ask whether there are other
drugs (including over the counter
medications) or foods you should
not mix with the drug you have been
prescribed. For more about that, see
“LifeTimes” online.
Staying on the right track
■ Set a daily routine for taking your
medication as prescribed. For example,
set an alarm before a meal so you
remember to take drugs that should be
taken on an empty stomach.
■ Use a calendar and mark off the day
after you have taken your medication.
■ Use a medication box that you fill
weekly to remind you to take your
medications each day.
■ Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you
need help organizing your medications.
Nutrition and diabetes:
Don’t let your sugars get you down
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you
may be wondering what kinds of changes
you’ll need to make to your diet. Of course,
some of those adjustments will depend on
what type of diabetes you have – Type 1 or
Type 2 – but in either case there are certain
things to know to keep yourself healthy.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your
body uses sugar, or glucose, for growth and
energy. As a result, your blood sugar becomes
too high, which can, over time, cause harm to
your heart, kidneys, eyes and feet.
One of the best ways to help control
diabetes is through a healthy, balanced diet
and by staying as close as possible to your
ideal weight. Your doctor or dietitian will
help you determine that as well as giving you
guidance about which foods they recommend
and which ones you should stay away from.
Understanding carbohydrates
While being aware of your entire diet
is important, understanding the role of
carbohydrates, or “carbs,” is critical. There are
two types of carbohydrates:
1. Simple carbohydrates, found in
cakes, soda, candy
2. Complex carbohydrates, found in
fruits, vegetables, whole grains
In general, complex carbohydrates satisfy
your hunger over a longer period of time
and are more consistent in maintaining your
blood sugar level. They promote better health
by providing vitamins, minerals, fibers and
other nutrients.
One common
method of keeping
your blood sugar at
the proper level is
through “counting
carbs.” Develop
your plan with your physician, nurse or
dietitian. It involves three steps:
1. Establishing a meal plan
2. Understanding how to read
food labels
3. Learning how to accurately
measure and weigh your food
Sounds like a lot of work, right? But the
good news is that the more you do it, the
easier it gets. And after a while, you’ll be
managing your blood sugar and eating great
tasting food! ■
Added benefits for Blue Cross Medicare AdvantageSM members
“An ounce of prevention,” the old saying goes, “is worth a pound of cure.”
For a Blue Cross Medicare AdvantageSM member, that statement carries a lot of truth. From wellness
checkups to vaccinations, you have access to a broad range of preventive services that can help you and
your provider catch health problems in the early stages, when they are easier to treat. Let’s look at a few:
Annual wellness visit
As a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage member,
you receive one wellness visit every 12 months.
This is a great opportunity to develop or update a
personalized prevention plan based on your current
health and risk factors. It can also help establish a
baseline for future care. The visit includes:
■ a health risk assessment.
■ a review of medical and family
■ detection of any cognitive
■ a list of risk factors and treatment
options for you.
■ a screening schedule for appropriate
preventive services.
In addition to the annual wellness visit, here are some more screenings and other
services that are available to Blue Cross Medicare Advantage members:
■ Colorectal cancer screening: a test once
every 12 months for the detection of colon cancer.
■ Diabetes screening: a blood glucose test
for people who are at risk for diabetes.
■ Mammogram screening: once every
12 months for women over the age of 40.
■ Eye exam: once every 12 months.
■ Cholesterol screening: twice a year
or per the instructions of your provider.
■ Flu shot: one shot every flu season.
■ Pneumonia shot: Most people only
need this shot once in their lifetime.
Note: The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Plans are available in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties.
Summer 2014 LifeTimes
Get moving for a longer, healthier life
Inactivity can contribute to poor health. Studies
show that sitting for more than three hours at a
time may increase your risk for kidney disease, Type
2 diabetes, even nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Activity is the key to building stronger muscles
that let us keep doing what we like to do without
having to depend on others.
Guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that
each week healthy older adults get at least two
hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise such
as brisk walking. That’s about the same amount
of time you would spend watching a movie.
The guidelines also suggest doing strengthening
exercises that work the muscles in the legs, hips,
back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms on two
or more days per week.
There’s no need to do all 150 minutes of
exercise at the same time. You can see benefits
from short bursts of activity, even as little as 10
minutes at a time, so long as you exert some
effort during those 10 minutes, the CDC says.
Remember to check first with your doctor if you
have medical problems and are starting a new
exercise regimen.
Once you become physically active, you’ll start to
feel much better. Being physically active can help
you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight,
have better balance, feel more content, sleep better,
and increase your energy. In addition, regular
exercise may help you avoid or better manage
health conditions such as heart disease, Type 2
diabetes, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and
certain types of cancer.
Blue365 can help you reach your exercise goals
through savings on a number of health care
and wellness products and services,
including a discount on the
Walkadoo pedometer and social
walking program. To learn more,
see the ad on Page 7 or visit ■
‘LifeTimes’ cited
for outstanding
in-house design
If you like the look and
readability of your “LifeTimes,”
so does Graphic Design USA.
This nationwide organization
of graphic designers and layout
artists awarded “LifeTimes” a
“certificate of excellence” in its
annual American In-House
Design Awards competition.
The contest was launched 50
years ago to recognize designers
for their talent and the value
they bring to the businesses
and institutions for which they
work. This year, there were 4,000
submissions. Just 15 percent
received the coveted “certificate
of excellence.” ■
Save with Preferred Pharmacies*
Get the most out of your prescription drug benefit. Use a Preferred
Pharmacy for lower copays on many of the drugs you need, with
most generics available for copays of $0 and $2.
Simply present your Member ID card at these participating preferred
pharmacies and save more!
CVS/Pharmacy logo
horizontal 4-color process uncoated
File Name: CVS_H_CMYK_uncoat.eps
• Nationwide:
• Grocer:
• Independents:
Other pharmacies are available in our network.
* Pharmacy benefits apply to Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (HMO)SM, Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (HMO-POS)SM and Blue Cross
MedicareRx (PDP)SM members. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more
information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider
network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year.
Medicare Part D Plan Notice: Prescription drug plan provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, which refers to HCSC Insurance
Services Company (HISC), an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A Medicare-approved Part D
sponsor. Enrollment in HISC’s plan depends on contract renewal.
Medicare Advantage Plan Notice: Plans available in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will counties. HMO and HMO-POS plans provided by
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC), an
Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare
contract. Enrollment in HCSC’s plans depends on contract renewal.
Y0096_MRK_TMP_IL_LIFETIMESJEWEL14 Accepted 06072014
So much more ‘LifeTimes’ on the web
Be a sleuth!
Read ‘LifeTimes’
carefully – you could
win a pedometer!
Thanks to everyone who played our Spring 2014 Mystery
Game. The tulip was hidden upside down in the vase in the
photo on Page 5. Raymond Crawshaw of Murphysboro, Ill.,
submitted the winning entry, selected in a random drawing.
To play, look for the sunglasses (shown in the
magnifying glass). When you spot them, email us at
[email protected] with your name, mailing
address and the page number. Or mail the page number along
with your name and address to: “LifeTimes” Mystery Game,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, 300 E. Randolph St.,
36th Floor, Chicago IL 60601-5099
One winner will be drawn from all correct entries received by
Aug. 8. Winner will receive a pedometer. Entrants must be 18
or older, legal U.S. residents and current Blue Cross and Blue
Shield members. Winner’s name will appear in the Fall 2014
“LifeTimes.” Contest is not open to employees of Health Care
Service Corporation. ■
We’re growing our online presence and giving you more “LifeTimes”
all the time. Visit this quarter to read about:
■ The Terra Cotta Warriors from China on display at The
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis through Nov. 2, 2014
■ How to protect your eyes from UV rays
■ The health benefits of antioxidants and which foods are
■ What you need to know about generic drugs
■ How to avoid potentially dangerous food-drug
■ Your stories about finding your passion
after retiring from work
As always, our website offers
enrichment exercises for your brain
in the form of crossword, Sudoku
and word search puzzles. New
health-themed puzzles are
posted each week at
You can work the
interactive puzzles
online or print
out a copy to take
with you. ■
Made available through:
The right steps for you.
Walkadoo, by MeYou Health,
is the quick and easy way
to get moving and improve
your health.
A social walking program
for seniors.
Walkadoo is a new walking program
that uses a wireless FitLinxx Pebble™
pedometer to track your steps and sends
you individualized daily walking goals.
These goals are realistically attainable and
make it easy to incorporate more activity
into your life. Share your progress with
your online community and have playful
competitions with friends to stay motivated.
Special Price $49.99*
Sign up for Walkadoo today!
1. Go to or
call (888) 824-9344
2. Use your Blue365 login credentials or
register for a new Blue365 account
3. Browse and select the Walkadoo discount
4. Click on “Redeem Now” and then “Continue”
5. Complete the Walkadoo enrollment form
* Normally priced at $54.99. Offer valid through July 31, 2014. Taxes may apply.
Enter coupon code “LIFETIMES” to redeem promotional offer.
The relationship between Healthways and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is that of independent contractors. BCBSIL makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding any products or services
offered by the above-mentioned vendor.
Blue365 is a discount program only for BCBSIL members. This is NOT insurance. Some of the services offered through this program may be covered under your health plan. Please check your benefit booklet or call the customer
service number on the back of your ID card for specific benefit facts. Use of Blue365 does not change your monthly payment, nor do costs of the services or products count toward any maximums and/or plan deductibles.
Discounts are only given through vendors who take part in this program. BCBSIL does not guarantee or make any claims or recommendations about the program’s services or products. You may want to talk to your doctor
before using these services and products. BCBSIL reserves the right to stop or change this program at any time without notice.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
MeYou Health, LLC, an independent company, is a Healthways subsidiary providing fitness products and services.
Summer 2014 LifeTimes
Free workout booklet
Blue Cross Medicare Advantage
members will soon receive a free copy
of “Workout to Go,” a booklet published
by the National Institutes of Health, that
includes a handful of great exercises for
strength, balance, and flexibility. If you
are not a Blue Medicare Advantage
Member, you can still download a
free copy at
300 East Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Chicago, IL
Permit No. 581
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Health or wellness or prevention information
Can you choose to be happier?
It can be easy to fall into a funk. Your daughter didn’t call last week. Your spouse left a
sink full of dirty dishes. Your neighbor left the garbage cans out for three days. Again.
Focusing on the not-so-great things that happen regularly can add
6. Try meditating. When you quiet
up to a lot of unhappiness – if you let it.
your brain and focus on taking
“What people spend their time and mental energy on becomes their
long, slow breaths in and out, it
reality, and unfortunately, so many people get in the habit of focusing
changes electrical brain impulses
on the negative,” says Suzi Murphy, a wellness specialist who works for
and calms your mind and body.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Sound easy? Then why is it so hard for people to choose to be
But she says it can be just as easy to choose to be happy. She offers
happy? Because there are so many barriers that can trip us up along
these paths to more happiness:
the way, Murphy says.
For example, writing in a journal requires having a notebook and
1. Each morning for 21 days, write down five things you’re grateful
for. By the end of three weeks, you will have retrained your brain a pen or pencil handy when the mood strikes. If you have to find
a notebook or sharpen a pencil, it suddenly can seem like a chore.
to focus on gratitude.
She recommends figuring out what barriers are keeping you from
2. At the end of each day, jot down a positive experience you had
choosing to be happy, then creating ways around them.
that day. Repeat for 30 days.
If you want to write down five things to be grateful for each
3. Simplify your life. We are all so busy, we feel like we have to do
morning, keep a notebook and pen by your bed. You can reach the
two or more things at once. Slow down. Focus on one thing
notebook and start writing before your feet even hit the floor. If
at a time. This will lessen your stress, which is sure to make
you are reluctant to exercise, find an activity you like – walking,
you happier.
biking, swimming, dancing – and find someone to do it with you.
4. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
You’ll be more likely to go if you know a partner is waiting for you.
5. Exercise. Research shows that people who have just finished
You’re also likely to have more fun, yet another good reason to
exercising can solve problems better and are more creative
choose to be happier. ■
and focused.