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Hi, I am very thrilled to have found you. My name is Patrick and I would like to introduce myself to you.

We know that you are teachers of wellness and we know that along with the physical and the emotional, that you have to  support the lifeforce.

We have created some very short cooking videos to help you to  re connect with your own vitality. Cooking is a great act of self care and knowing how to make delicious meals encourages you to want to keep going with your personal wellness as well as helping your clients.

I am inviting you to check out my short videos that I have started designed to really get you to love cooking again and by default love your lifeforce.

I would love it if you were able to look at the video and comment. If you could subscribe, then I would be able to  ask you what you might like to see. The point I am making is that I am really keen to create cooking tutorials that really help you to regain and maintain your wellbeing.

Many thanks,

oh by the way, If you are ever in London Bridge, you can find me at Borough market.

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How to keep motivated
Don't put away your gear.
Keep your Trainers next to the bed or in your room in plain sight.
Why it works: Visual cues are a wake-up call to your brain. We all have competing priorities like work, family, chores. Sometimes we need a reminder to keep exercise at the forefront.
Do it yourself: If you don't have the space to display your gear (or if it'll mess with your decor), choose just one or two prime locations that you'll never miss. Better yet, pick places where you spend a lot of time and can use the equipment, like by the TV or the phone.
Turn your commute into a workout.
stuffs your essentials — keys, cash, credit card, phone and ID — into a fanny pack and jog home from work instead. Running is a great workout, but it's also great transportation. Sometimes you’d even get home earlier than when you use a bus or a train
Why it works: Running, walking, or biking somewhere you have to go anyway makes exercise feel time-efficient, and you don't have to carve out another part of your day for it. It's an effective strategy for people who are busy from morning to night.
Do it yourself: Your logistics may be a bit more complex if you drive to work or don't have good public transportation at your disposal. Maybe you can carpool in the morning or park your car a mile from the office and speed walk the distance to and from your job. If you don't have a safe place at work to stash your stuff, invest in a lightweight backpack with waist and chest straps or swap your purse for a fanny pack on days that you plan to run home.
Invest in more workout clothes.
Some people use the excuse that they don’t own enough training gear or no training gear at all. Don’t let that be an excuse!
Why it works: Having the right clothing doesn't just remove a hurdle; it reinforces your identity as an exerciser and when exercising is an integral part of your identity, it isn't optional anymore. It's just part of your life. Plus, you've got to wear those adorable new workout clothes somewhere.
Do it yourself: Stock up on at least a week's worth of gym outfits to eliminate any last-minute hand washing in the sink. Think of it as spending now to save yourself grief later. To truly simplify your life, you may want to get several of the same tops and bottoms. Look for basics that are comfy and show off your assets — whether that's your shoulders or your abs — so you feel good just suiting up.
Log your workouts online.
A surprising thing that works is when you post your exercise routines on Facebook: At first they’ll congratulate you but then they may become your biggest cheerleaders. In fact, if you don’t post a workout update for a few days, they'll demand to know what's going on.
Why it works: Social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram offer an extra layer of social support.
Do it yourself: Choose a social platform or online fitness tool. Then get in the habit of chronicling your progress after your workout every day so that your friends know when you usually exercise — and when you've slacked off. Post your minutes, your miles, or whatever motivates you most.
Make friends with class regulars.
The thought of spending time with their Spinning buddies becomes motivation for most regular class go-ers. You become a tight knit group. Train together, gain together!
Why it works: It's smart time management. You get your social fix while doing physical activity.
Create an exercise contest.
Make a battle with your exercise buddies about who can lose the most weight. Every six weeks, call the winner.  It’s really the bragging rights that keep you returning to the treadmill.
Why it works: Competition turns a solitary pursuit into a fun group one. By trying to beat each other, you're actually pulling each other along, even playful heckling validates that you're working toward a similar goal.
Do it yourself: The contest can be for anything: most steps walked, most hours logged at the gym, highest percentage of body weight lost. Aim for anywhere from four to 10 participants. "Fewer than that and one person who's not really trying can hobble the group.
More than that and it's hard for everyone to interact. To keep group members engaged, limit the competition to six-week rounds and have weekly check-ins, when people put money in the jar. Your incentive is regularly refreshed in your mind that way. Once everyone has agreed to the rules, let the games begin!
For more info please contact our health team on 02032811004 or email

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Cigarette – The hidden dangers!
Cigarette smoking is the greatest single cause of illness and premature death in the UK. This page gives reasons why smoking is so harmful. It also lists the benefits of stopping, and where to go for help.
About 100,000 people in the UK die each year due to smoking. Smoking-related deaths are mainly due to cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease.
 About half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases. If you are a long-term smoker, on average, your life expectancy is about 10 years less than a non-smoker. Put another way, in the UK about 8 in 10 non-smokers live past the age of 70, but only about half of long-term smokers live past 70. The younger you are when you start smoking, the more likely you are to smoke for longer and to die early from smoking.
Many smoking-related deaths are not quick deaths. For example, if you develop COPD you can expect several years of illness and distressing symptoms before you die.
 Smoking increases the risk of developing a number of other diseases (listed below). Many of these may not be fatal, but they can cause years of unpleasant symptoms.
The good news is:
Stopping smoking can make a big difference to your health. It is never too late to stop smoking to greatly benefit your health. For example, if you stop smoking in middle age, before having cancer or some other serious disease, you avoid most of the increased risk of death due to smoking.
Many people have given up smoking. In 1972 just under half of adults in the UK were smokers. By 1990 this had fallen to just under a third. At present, about a sixth of UK adults are smokers.
Help is available if you want to stop smoking but are finding it difficult.
Cigarette smoke contains the following
Nicotine is a drug that stimulates the brain. If you are a regular smoker, when the blood level of nicotine falls, you usually develop withdrawal symptoms, such as craving, anxiety, restlessness, headaches, irritability, hunger, difficulty with concentration, or just feeling awful. These symptoms are relieved by the next cigarette. So, most smokers need to smoke regularly to feel normal, and to prevent nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Tar which contains many chemicals
These deposit in the lungs and can get into the blood vessels and be carried to other parts of the body. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including over 50 known carcinogens (causes of cancer) and other poisons.
Carbon monoxide
This chemical affects the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. In particular, in pregnant women who smoke, this causes a reduced amount of oxygen to get to the growing baby. This is thought to be the most important cause for the bad effects of smoking on the growing baby.
Which diseases are caused or made worse by smoking?
Lung cancer. About 30,000 people in the UK die from lung cancer each year. More than 8 in 10 cases are directly related to smoking.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). About 25,000 people in the UK die each year from this serious lung disease. More than 8 in 10 of these deaths are directly linked to smoking. People who die of COPD are usually quite unwell for several years before they die.
Heart disease. This is the biggest killer illness in the UK. About 120,000 people in the UK die each year from heart disease. About 1 in 6 of these is due to smoking.
Other cancers - of the mouth, nose, throat, larynx, gullet (oesophagus), pancreas, bladder, cervix, blood (leukaemia), and kidney are all more common in smokers.
Circulation. The chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of the blood vessels and affect the level of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. This increases the risk of atheroma forming (sometimes called hardening of the arteries). Atheroma is the main cause of heart disease, strokes, peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation of the legs), and aneurysms (swollen arteries which can burst causing internal bleeding). All of these atheroma-related diseases are more common in smokers.
Sexual problems. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to become impotent or have difficulty in maintaining an erection in middle life. This is thought to be due to smoking-related damage of the blood vessels to the penis.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking is known to be a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis. One research study estimated that smoking is responsible for about 1 in 5 cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Ageing. Smokers tend to develop more lines on their face at an earlier age than non-smokers. This often makes smokers look older than they really are.
Fertility is reduced in smokers (both male and female).
Menopause. On average, women who smoke have a menopause nearly two years earlier than non-smokers.
Other conditions where smoking often causes worse symptoms include: asthma, colds, flu, chest infections, tuberculosis, chronic rhinitis, diabetic retinopathy, hyperthyroidism, multiple sclerosis, optic neuritis, and Crohn's disease.
Smoking increases the risk of developing various other conditions including: dementia, optic neuropathy, cataracts, macular degeneration, pulmonary fibrosis, psoriasis, gum disease, tooth loss, osteoporosis and Raynaud's phenomenon.
Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of:
Complications of pregnancy, including bleeding during pregnancy, detachment of the placenta, premature birth, and ectopic pregnancy.
Low birthweight. Babies born to women who smoke are on average 200 grams (8 oz.) lighter than babies born to comparable non-smoking mothers. Premature and low birthweight babies are more prone to illness and infections.
Congenital defects in the baby - such as cleft palate.
Stillbirth or death within the first week of life - the risk is increased by about one-third.
Poorer growth, development, and health of the child. On average, compared with children born to non-smokers, children born to smokers are smaller, have lower achievements in reading and maths, and an increased risk of developing asthma.
How does smoking affect other people?
Children and babies who live in a home where there is a smoker:
Are more prone to asthma and ear, nose and chest infections. About 17,000 children under five years old in England and Wales are admitted to hospital each year due to illnesses caused by their parents' smoking.
Have an increased risk of dying from cot death (sudden infant death syndrome).
Are more likely than average to become smokers themselves when older.
On average, do less well at reading and reasoning skills compared with children in smoke-free homes, even at low levels of smoke exposure.
Are at increased risk of developing COPD and cancer as adults.
Passive smoking of adults
You have an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease if you are exposed to other people smoking for long periods of time. Tobacco smoke is also an irritant, and can make asthma and other conditions worse.
Other problems with smoking
Your breath, clothes, hair, skin, and home smell of stale tobacco. You do not notice the smell if you smoke, but to non-smokers the smell is obvious and unpleasant.
Your sense of taste and smell are dulled. Enjoyment of food may be reduced.
Smoking is expensive.
Life insurance is more expensive.
Finding a job may be more difficult as employers know that smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have sick leave. More than 34 million working days (1% of total) are lost each year because of smoking-related sick leave.
Potential friendships and romances may be at risk. (Smoking is not the attractive thing that cigarette advertisers portray.)
What are the benefits of stopping smoking?
The benefits begin straight away. You reduce your risk of getting serious disease no matter what age you give up. However, the sooner you stop, the greater the reduction in your risk.
 If you have smoked since being a teenager or young adult:
If you stop smoking before the age of about 35, your life expectancy is only slightly less than people who have never smoked.
If you stop smoking before the age of 50, you decrease the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by 50%.
But, it is never too late to stop smoking to gain health benefits. Even if you already have COPD or heart disease, your outlook (prognosis) is much improved if you stop smoking.
Timeline of health benefits after stopping smoking...
72 hours Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.
1 month Skin appearance improves, owing to improved skin perfusion.
3-9 months Cough, wheezing, and breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10%.
1 year risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
10 years risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
15 years risk of heart attack falls to the same level that it would be for someone who has never smoked.
Other benefits of stopping smoking include the following:
Chest infections and colds become less frequent.
The smell of stale tobacco goes from your breath, clothes, hair, and face.
Foods and drinks taste and smell much better.
Finances improve. You will save well over £1,000 per year if you smoked 20 a day.
You are likely to feel good about yourself.
How can I stop smoking?
About 2 in 3 smokers want to stop smoking. Some people can give up easily. Willpower and determination are the most important aspects when giving up smoking. However, nicotine is a drug of addiction and many people find giving up a struggle. Help is available:
GPs, practice nurses, or pharmacists can provide information, encouragement, and tips on stopping smoking. Also, throughout the country there are specialists NHS Stop Smoking Clinics which have a good success in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to stop smoking.
Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting. These include Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which comes as gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy NRT without a prescription.

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The importance of maintaining a healthy weight
Overweight and Obesity Prevention:
The Importance of a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is an extremely important part of overall health.  Being overweight or obese contributes to numerous health conditions that limit the quality and length of life, including:
Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
Type 2 diabetes
Coronary heart disease
Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
What we can do
Maintaining a healthy weight is not always easy. The key to success is making changes in daily eating and physical activity habits that can be maintained over one’s lifetime.
Our weight is a result of the combination of the energy one takes in (through foods and beverages) and the energy their body uses (through engaging in physical activity). To lose weight, an individual needs to use more calories than they consume. To maintain a healthy weight, one needs to balance the calories they use with those they take in. Some ways to create a caloric deficit are:
Spend less time in sedentary activities (e.g., watching television, internet surfing)
Engage in daily physical activities (e.g., walking, bicycling, gardening, housework)
Eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce food portion sizes
If you've achieved your target weight, well done! But don't undo all the good work by reverting to old habits
The effects of quick-fix diets often don't last, as many people fall back into old eating and activity habits after the weight is lost. If you find your weight is going back up again, it's time to take action.
 How to keep weight off
The key to reaching your ideal weight and keeping the weight off is to make long-term changes to your diet and lifestyle that you can stick to for life.
The following tips are likely to help keep weight off:
Stick to lower-calorie eating. A lower-fat, higher-protein diet has been shown to help maintain weight loss for some people. This could be because protein-rich meals make you feel fuller more quickly, making you less likely to snack between meals.
Plan ahead. Maintain your healthier eating habits regardless of changes in your routine, such as eating out, weekends or holidays. By planning ahead, you're less likely to slip up.
Eat breakfast. Research shows that breakfast can help people control their weight. Having breakfast can help you avoid getting too hungry and snacking later on.
Stay active. Build up your physical activity levels – if you've already been walking regularly, think about walking for longer, or start running.
Watch your weight. Weigh yourself regularly so you can keep a close eye on any changes to your weight.
Get support. If you have talked to Physique Trans4mers about your weight in the past, make sure you go back regularly to get support from them.
Keep it interesting. Variety is the spice of life, so if you feel yourself slipping back into old ways, mix things up a bit. Buy a new healthy cookbook, sign up for a healthy cooking course or try a new activity.
Set yourself goals. These can help motivate you into keeping up your healthy diet and exercise regime. For example, is there a special occasion coming up that you want to feel your best for?
What should I eat now?
As a guide, the average man needs about 2,500 calories and the average woman needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight. If you've been eating a lower calorie diet and you've now reached a healthy weight, you may want to increase your calorie intake. But do it by small amounts to avoid putting on weight again and remember to keep active.
More weight to lose?
A combination of diet changes and changes to your level of physical activity is the best method. The key is making small changes that you can keep for life, rather than drastic changes that you only stick to for a few weeks.
You don't need to achieve a healthy weight overnight. Losing even a few kilos can make a huge difference to the health of someone who is overweight
Give yourself enough time to work towards your goal – the safe rate of weight loss is between 1lb and 2lb (0.5kg and 1kg) a week.
Healthy food swaps
To start, you might decide to swap just one high-calorie snack a day with something healthier. For example, you could have a smoothie or a piece of fruit instead of a morning pastry. Or you could choose a drink that's lower in fat, sugar or alcohol and therefore contains fewer calories. For example, you could swap a sugary, fizzy drink for sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
When it comes to physical activity, find ways to fit more movement into your day. It's recommended that adults between 19 and 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity – such as fast walking or cycling – every week. If you are new to activity you should try to build up to this amount gradually.
Being physically active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and stroke.
For many, brisk walking is a great way to fit activity into daily life.
 Stick to the changes
Once you've identified the lifestyle changes you want to make, give yourself time to make them part of your life.
At some point, the weight loss that results from these changes will stop and your weight will stabilise. But it's important to remember that if you want to maintain your new, healthier weight, you need to stick to the changes.
This is where many people slip up! They feel as though the changes they've made 'aren't working any more, and so they go back to old habits. In fact, the changes are working, as they are keeping you at your new weight. If you let go of them, you'll put weight back on.
Really get those changes set into your lifestyle. Once you've done that and your weight has stayed the same for a while, if you're still not a healthy weight you can think about another set of small changes.
For more info on maintaining a healthy weight please contact our health team on 02032811004 or email
#weightwatchers   #weightlosstips   #healthyliving   #fitnesstips  

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Water & It's benefits
Whether you want shinier hair, younger skin, a healthier body (or all three!), pure, clear water is the world's best beauty elixir.
The benefits of water
Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more. 
Calorie control. Forget other diet tricks—drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds. The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. 
Muscle fuel. Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired . So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats. 
Clearer skin. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne. While science saying water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples. 
Kidney function. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need  enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let's drink to that! 
Productivity boost. In order to really focus, a glass of water could help people concentrate and stay refreshed and alert. 
Fatigue buster. Move over coffee—water can help fight those tired eyes too . One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.) 
Hangover help. If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache. 
Pain prevention. A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated . 
Keep things flowing. Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Luckily, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly. 
Sickness fighter. Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather. Just beware—drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beat colds in one swoop, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.
Brain boost. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!
Your Action Plan
The amount of water people need per day is up for debate, but studies suggest adults need nine to 16 cups of H2O. However this number varies depending on activity level, age, and how much water people are consuming in coffee, tea, or water-rich veggies and fruit.
Here’s how to keep yourself hydrated: Begin by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, and 30 minutes before eating any big meal. (This will help control appetite, too.) Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. And if the taste beings to bore, spice up the taste buds with a squeeze of citrus to the glass! Before you know it, all the benefits of water will be right at your fingertips… and in your body.
For more info please contact our health team on 02032811004 or email
#water   #hydration   #healthyliving   #fitnesstips  

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Sampling of May 2011 Survey's Employee Comments:
I always thought the Wellness Program was just a way to get monetary benefits until this year. At the Health Fair I found out that my blood pressure was very high, lot higher than ever. 

This information scared me and it lead to really positive stuff.  I have lost weight since the health fair and I continue to exercise on a regular basis.   The awareness I received was awesome and it proved to me that the Wellness Program is not just a monetary benefit; it is a life changing benefit which is more important than the monetary benefit.  Thanks for the awareness; it has changed my life in a very positive way.
I went to a nutritionist, and I changed my eating of food. I lost 29 lbs. I am so happy.
I have diabetes and this program has helped me.
Since I became involved in September of 2009 I have lost over 90…
Great motivational program, not only does it improve your health and attitude, you even get paid for it!  Can't get better than that!  Thank you…

Since I have been involved with the wellness program, I eat better, exercise more, quit smoking over 2 years ago and watch my blood pressure and cholesterol.
It has actually helped me to see that I need to take extra care of myself.  I go for a walk during lunch time…use of the stair in place of the elevator.
I learned I have high blood pressure and now I'm on two medications that help me tremendously and I eat so much better.  Thank you.
When my BMI was a just "a little" too high to receive that reward I joined the Weight Watchers at work program.
Lost 8 lbs and working hard to be more healthy.
I've lost 13 pounds, go to counseling and have a rare glass of wine, rather than nightly.
Lost 12 lbs, my cholesterol and blood pressure is lower, & exercising more.
The wellness program has been integral in making me more responsive and proactive with my well-being.  I now
walk 3-miles everyday rain or shine and have started yoga.  Thank you for providing the incentive!
It's been great and it's really helped me be proactive in taking care of my health and overall wellness; thank you
for a wonderful program.
Lost 45 Lbs and improved blood test results.
Loved health and wellness fair instrumental on my getting my blood pressure in check.
I went to a nutritionist just before the health fair with that and seeing my BMI and the hand outs and displays got me motivated, I am now exercising and eating more healthy.  My insulin levels and my weight are slowly coming down. Thanks.
 I really got a lot out of the program, it was there that I found out that my cholesterol was high, I went to my MD and after diet and exercise did not lower it, I began medication for the treatment of high cholesterol. Thanks.
General Testimonials:

February 20, 2009
The Wellness Program and UnitedHealthcare website have been great tools to help me manage my health. I have finally put my health on my priority list!
                                                                           - LouAnn
May 28, 2009
I was too busy to go for routine preventive tests suggested by my doctor. I was caring for aging parents and my mother was fighting breast cancer. Even knowing breast cancer was taking her life I still didn�t schedule an appointment for a mammogram. I felt healthy. After the Rewards for Wellness program was presented at one of my local union meetings, I promised my membership that I would participate 100% and asked that they do the same. A colonoscopy revealed a cluster of pre-cancerous cells, which were fortunately removed. The doctor told me how lucky I was because once pre-cancer clusters turn to cancer it can spread like wildfire. So I feel the wellness program saved my life! Please don�t sit there and say it couldn�t be me. Those were my words. I challenge you not to be afraid of what you may hear- be afraid of what you may not get to hear because you died a death that could have been prevented. Click here to listen to Lynn�s story.
                                                                           - Lynn Loveday
July 20, 2009
I have been a 1-pack a day smoker since 1967. I started at age 16, not knowing cigarette smoking was as bad as it is now. Thanks to the Rewards Program it gave me the incentive to quit. I started Chantix on April 4 and put the cigarettes down on April 8th and to my surprise I am still smoke free!! Who would think?!
                                                                           - Linda
September 22, 2009
When the Wellness Program started I weighed 200 pounds and was on medication for high blood pressure. I now weight 150 and I no longer take medication to control my blood pressure. I started running for exercise and I am now in training to run the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 10, 2010.
                                                                           - Robert
October 19, 2009
I just submitted my final week�s totals for the Physical Activity Challenge. It was a wonderful experience. As I completed the exit survey, I thought one other question might have been interesting to ask participants: �Do you plan on continuing the physical activity routine you developed over the past 5 weeks?� I know I will. This 5 week program was long enough to be incorporated into my daily schedule and become an activity I looked forward to, not just a fad or a class. I lost 12 pounds and feel great! I walked everyday and incorporated into my morning routine a 45 minute abdominal routine on a CD as well. Thanks for putting this wonderful program together. I got involved for the financial incentive and ended with the health benefit- as the icing on the cake, so to speak.
                                                                           - Susan

October 10, 2012
The physical activity challenge encouraged me to walk 1 million steps to better improve my health and stamina. I made it to 988,000 steps. I will definitely walk that million steps at the next challenge.
                                                                           - Melissa
#wellness   #stressrelief   #exercise   #emploeewellness   #teacherswellnessprogram  

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The National Union of Teachers has threatened more strike action unless the education secretary reduces teachers' workloads in England.

Nicky Morgan makes her first Conservative Party conference speech as education secretary on Tuesday.

About 90% of 16,379 NUT members who responded to a survey said they had considered quitting in the past two years over excessive work.

A spokesman for Mrs Morgan said her speech would not disappoint the NUT.

The union sent out an email survey to its members in England and Wales last weekend.
'Utterly depressing'
It says the responses make "for shocking and sobering reading" and demonstrate the scale of the "workload crisis" in schools.
90% had considered giving up teaching during the past two years because of workload.
87% said they knew one or more colleagues who had given up during the past two years
96.5% said their workload had negative consequences for their family or personal life.
NUT general secretary Christine Blower called the findings "utterly depressing".
"Nicky Morgan needs to address this in her speech today and in her talks with teacher unions."
Ms Blower said large numbers of teachers leaving the profession, combined with a possible shortfall in the recruitment of trainee teachers, could be "disastrous for children and young people".
The union says excessive and unnecessary "accountability measures" required by school leaders for Ofsted mean teachers have to spend hours making detailed records of work done by pupils in lessons.
"The general run of teachers doing a good job should not be put through this kind of evidencing," said deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney.
"This treats every teacher as if they were in trouble all the time."
'Change of tone'
Mr Courtney said he believed Mrs Morgan, who took over as education secretary in July, was aware of the extent to which teachers were struggling to cope with paperwork.
He said there had been a change of tone in the talks since she took over from Michael Gove.
The union highlights comments from teachers who responded to the survey and stressed these were "classroom teachers and not union activists".
"There is no such thing as work-life balance in this profession. It's so sad - I want to love this job but sometimes it's really hard to know how to," said one.
"This isn't why I became a teacher. This isn't what I want for my family. It's not fair on the pupils, it's not fair on my wife or child and it's not fair on me," said another.
More than a third said they thought about quitting "fairly constantly", with a further 46% saying they considered it from time to time.
One in 10 was actively seeking another job but 10% said they never thought about leaving.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said the government recognised teachers' workload could be "unnecessarily high" with "needless bureaucracy" stopping them spending time teaching.
"The Secretary of State has already made clear to unions that we have a common interest in tackling this."
The spokeswoman said the government had already cut over 21,000 pages of guidance, streamlined the inspection process and made it clear formal written plans are not expected for every lesson.
Labour's shadow schools minister, Kevin Brennan, said the government was responsible for "immense damage to school standards" by downgrading the teaching profession.
Mr Brennan said Labour would ensure all teachers become qualified and would open new career pathways to help the best remain in the classroom.

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300,000 teachers off sick last year

Half of teachers took almost two weeks’ sick leave last year amid continuing concerns over workload and red tape.

Figures show that 308,800 state school teachers in England were signed off sick in 2009 – some 56 per cent of the workforce.

School staff taking leave missed an average of almost nine days, representing a significant cost to the taxpayer in supply teacher costs.

The disclosure – in figures from the Department for Education – follows claims from union leaders that staff are struggling to cope under mounting workload.

The National Union of Teachers warned that Labour had failed to cut working hours, despite the introduction of high-profile reforms to give staff at least half a day outside the classroom every week to plan lessons and mark work.

Average secondary school teachers now worked 60 hours a week, it was claimed at the union's annual conference.

A report from the NASUWT union said that teachers were being driven to the brink of suicide by heavy workloads.
It blamed the “target culture” in the state education system coupled with bullying and a lack of support from senior managers and headteachers.
According to the latest figures, 56 per cent of all full and part-time teachers missed at least one day because of sickness last year, a drop of one percentage point compared with 2008.
Of those, the average teacher missed 8.7 days, a drop of 0.1 on a year earlier.
The equivalent of 783,200 full-time teachers were employed in England last year, a rise of 11,500 compared with 2008.
There are now 21.3 pupils for every teacher, compared with 21.4 a year earlier.
Overall, schools reported a drop in the number of vacancies, reflecting the extra demand for teaching jobs during the economic downturn.
It comes after Labour launched a high-profile drive to attract bankers to the classroom in the wake of the downturn.
Vacancies in all schools dropped by 670 to 1,570 in January this year compared with a year earlier. The number of empty post dropped sharply in secondaries – from 480 to 830.
Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, said: “The fall in the overall absence rate and small fall in unauthorised absences is very welcome but the overall level of absenteeism in schools is still too high.
“We need to do more to tackle the underlying factors that result in thousands of children being absent from school each day.
“We are determined to help schools raise standards of behaviour and to give teachers the clear powers they need to maintain a calm and safe environment for children and staff. We need to ensure that students starting secondary school have the basic skills of reading, writing and maths firmly embedded so they can cope with the demands of secondary education."
#Stress   #Wellness   #govermentstress  

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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It is mainly made by the liver but can also be found in some foods.

Cholesterol is carried in your blood by proteins, and when the two combine they are called lipoproteins. There are harmful and protective lipoproteins known as LDL and HDL, or 'bad' and 'good' cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL carries cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it. If there is too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in the artery walls, leading to disease of the arteries. For this reason, LDL cholesterol is known as "bad cholesterol".
High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it is either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product. For this reason, it is referred to as "good cholesterol" and higher levels are better.
High cholesterol
Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood (hyperlipidaemia) can have an effect on your health. High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, but it increases your risk of serious health conditions.

What causes high cholesterol?
There are many factors that can increase your chance of having heart problems or stroke if you have high cholesterol, including the following:
an unhealthy diet: some foods already contain cholesterol (known as dietary cholesterol) but it is the amount of saturated fat in your diet which is more important
smoking: a chemical found in cigarettes called acrolein stops HDL transporting fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
having diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension)
having a family history of stroke or heart disease
Why should I lower my cholesterol?
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) 
heart attack 
mini-stroke (TIA)
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the flow of blood to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the chance of a blood clot developing somewhere.

Your risk of coronary heart disease (when your heart's blood supply is blocked or disrupted) also rises as your blood's cholesterol level increases and this can cause pain in the front of the chest or arm (angina) during stress or physical activity.

Lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol
Lifestyle changes can help reduce cholesterol, keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications or enhance the effect of your medications. Here are five lifestyle changes to get you started.

High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. You can reduce cholesterol with medications, but if you'd rather make lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol, you can try these five healthy lifestyle changes. If you're already taking medications, these changes can also improve their cholesterol-lowering effect.
Lose weight
Carrying some extra pounds — even just a few — contributes to high cholesterol. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
Start by taking an honest, thorough look at your eating habits and daily routine. Consider your challenges to weight loss and ways to overcome them.

If you eat when you're bored or frustrated, take a walk instead. If you pick up fast food for lunch every day, pack something healthier from home. If you're sitting in front of the television, try munching on carrot sticks instead of potato chips as you watch. Take time and enjoy rather than "devouring" your food. Don't eat mindlessly.

And look for ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine, such as using the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Take stock of what you currently eat and your physical activity level and slowly work in changes.
Eat heart-healthy foods
Even if you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt, making a few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health.
Choose healthier fats. Saturated fats, found in red meat and dairy products, raise your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol. As a general rule, you should get less than 7 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat. Instead, choose leaner cuts of meat, low-fat dairy and monounsaturated fats — found in olive, peanut and canola oils — for a healthier option.
Eliminate trans fats. Trans fat can be found in fried foods and many commercial baked products, such as cookies, crackers and snack cakes.
Limit the cholesterol in your food. Aim for no more than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day — less than 200 mg if you have heart disease or diabetes. The most concentrated sources of cholesterol include organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk products. Use lean cuts of meat, egg substitutes and skim milk instead.
Select whole grains. Various nutrients found in whole grains promote heart health. Choose whole-grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour and brown rice.
Stock up on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Snack on seasonal fruits. Experiment with veggie-based casseroles, soups and stir-fries. If you prefer dried fruit to fresh fruit, limit yourself to no more than a handful (about an ounce or two). Dried fruit tends to have more calories than does fresh fruit.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Some types of fish — such as salmon, mackerel and herring — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseeds.
Exercise on most days of the week
Whether you're overweight or not, exercise can reduce cholesterol. Better yet, moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol. With your doctor's OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Remember that adding physical activity, even in 10-minute intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Just be sure that you can keep up the changes you decide to make. Consider:
Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
Riding your bike to work
Swimming laps
Playing a favorite sport
To stay motivated, find an exercise buddy or join an exercise group. And remember, any activity is helpful. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing a few situps while watching television can make a difference.

Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren't enough to lower cholesterol levels. Make sure the changes you choose to make are ones that you can continue, and don't be disappointed if you don't see results immediately. If your doctor recommends medication to help lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed, but continue your lifestyle changes.

For more info contact our healthcare team on 02032811004 or email

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What is a slipped disc?
A slipped disc – known as a prolapsed or herniated disc – occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) is damaged and presses on the nerves.

This can cause back pain and neck pain, as well as symptoms such as numbness, a tingling sensation, or weakness in other areas of the body.

The sciatic nerve is often affected in cases of slipped disc. It is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks and down both legs to the feet.
If pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve (sciatica), it can cause mild to severe pain in the leg, hip or buttocks.

What can cause a slipped disc
A slipped disc occurs when the circle of connective tissue surrounding the disc breaks down. This allows the soft, gel-like part of the disc to swell and protrude out.

It is not always clear what causes the connective tissue to break down. However, slipped discs are often the result of increasing age.

As you get older, your spinal discs start to lose their water content. This makes them less flexible and more likely to split.

There are a number of other factors that can put increased pressure and strain on your spine. These include:
bending awkwardly
jobs that involve heavy or awkward lifting
jobs that involve lots of sitting, particularly driving
being overweight or obese
weight bearing sports, such as weightlifting
a traumatic injury to your back, such as a fall or car accident
Situations such as these can weaken the disc tissue and can sometimes lead to a slipped disc.

Being active
In most cases, a slipped disc will slowly improve with rest, gentle exercise and medication. It can take up to four to six weeks to recover from a slipped disc.

It is very important that you keep active if you have a slipped disc.

Initially, it may be difficult to move around. If you are in severe pain, you may need to rest completely for the first couple of days.

However, after this period, you should start to move around as soon as you can. This will keep your back mobile and speed up your recovery.

You should ensure any exercise you do is gentle and does not put a strain on your back. Swimming is an ideal form of exercise because the water supports your eight and it puts very little strain on your joints.

Movement and exercise will also help strengthen any muscles that have become weak. Avoid any activities that could aggravate your condition, such as those that involve:
sitting for a prolonged period of time
You may find your pain increases at first when you start moving around.

This is normal and doesn't mean you are causing more damage to the spine or the slipped disc. This pain should settle quite quickly, allowing you to gradually increase the amount of exercise you are doing.

For more info contact our healthcare team on 02032811004 or email
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