Living Healthy

The best health care happens before you get sick. It’s called preventive care. To help you and your family
stay healthy, WellSense put together this special guide to wellness. You’ll find information
on all of the tests and shots you should have, tips on eating right and exercising, signs and symptoms of
health problems, and more. 

Beat These 5 Common Excuses Not to Exercise

You have a family to take care of, you have too much work to do, the weather isn’t perfect — it seems like there’s always something getting in the way of getting fit. Take a look at some of the most common excuses for not moving your body — and our tips on how to beat them!

1. I’m too busy

Life moves fast sometimes, and it’s not always easy to keep up. But if you don’t put aside time to keep yourself healthy, keeping up can get even harder. When you take care of yourself, you’re making it easier to keep taking care of the important people in your life. A quick walk before you start your busy day can help you wake up and build energy. Or, a walk before supper can help you unwind when you’re tired after a long day.

2. It’s too hard

When you’re new to it, exercise can seem really difficult. But the more you do today, the more you will be able to do tomorrow. As you build your strength and endurance, it will get easier. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you are older or have health challenges — he or she will likely tell you to start with gentle, low-impact movements and progress at your own pace, as your health allows.

3. It’s too hot

We do have more than our share of hot, muggy days in August. And in New England, many of us don’t have central air conditioning since it’s only really hot a small part of the year. So on those really hot days, while you don’t want to push yourself too hard (exercising too hard in the heat can be dangerous!) you can still get exercise by swimming at your local public pool.
That’s good exercise, too — and as long as you wear the proper sunscreen and drink plenty of water, it’s a safe bet for those extra-hot days.

4. It’s too cold

In winter months, you can still get outside for some exercise. Just wear clothes that will keep your hands, feet, and head warm, and shoes that won’t slip on patches of ice. If you plan to exercise hard, dress in layers, so you can take something off if you get too warm. You’re never too grown up to play in the snow, as long as you stay aware of your surroundings and keep warm.

5. I can’t afford a gym membership or exercise class

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to exercise that are low-cost or free. All you need is a good pair of sneakers to walk indoors at a mall — so you can stay cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. A milk jug filled with water makes a great hand weight — and you can make it heavier or lighter by adding water in or pouring some out. And if it fits your budget, there are many local gyms that offer low-cost or no entry fees, plus low-monthly rates.

Walk your way to health!

Did you know that walking benefits both your mind and body? In addition to helping you stay at a healthy weight, walking just thirty minutes a day can lower your stress level. It can also raise your spirits and your energy! And, because walking is low-impact — which means it isn’t hard on your body — the risk of getting hurt is low. So, almost anyone can walk daily, and walking is a great low-cost way to spend time with friends and family.

Results within weeks

Walking for at least thirty minutes a day — that’s about 1.5 to 2 miles, depending on your speed — is great for your heart and your waist. Within weeks, you’ll notice your clothes fit better, and you may lose weight. It’s easy to get started. Add walking into your day by:

  • Walking instead of driving to the place where you are going
  • Parking the car further from the door of your apartment, home or office building
  • If you take the bus or train to your home or work, getting off a stop earlier
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or using the restroom on another floor

Your guide to staying healthy

Juggling a busy schedule can make it hard to take time out to care for yourself. But it is especially important for women to make room your lives for the special healthcare you need.

To stay healthy and strong, remember:

  • Screenings for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases should be done regularly. Some infections like chlamydia can harm your reproductive health without ever causing any symptoms – but are treated easily if caught early. Ask your doctor for a screening at your next regular visit.
  • HPV vaccines are given as a series of three shots over six months to protect against HPV infection and the health problems that HPV infection can cause. The HPV vaccination is most effective for girls and boys aged 11-12, but is also recommended for males 13-21 and females 13-26 who did not get the vaccine when they were younger.
  • See your primary care provider (PCP) for a well visit (annual physical) once a year to make sure your overall health is the best it can be. At these visits, you can discuss any concerns you may have about your health, or what to expect at each new stage of your life. You can also discuss things like diet and exercise or domestic situations that may make you feel unsafe in your home.
  • If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, see your obstetrician to talk about the care you need to help you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy, strong baby. It’s important that you go to all scheduled appointments to get the nutrition, exercise and care you need. Be sure to schedule and keep your post-partum visit (3-8 weeks after delivery).
  • Get a Pap test (also known as the Pap Smear). It’s one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests a woman can get. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you should have your first Pap test and how often you should be tested based on your health needs and history.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about when you should have your first mammogram and how often you should have them. Mammograms help to find signs of breast cancer early. You should get mammograms regularly, because the test works best when it can be compared to previous results to check for any changes in breast tissue.

No matter what your age, it’s important to see your PCP or gynecologist for care that will keep you healthy, in addition to any time you have unexpected symptoms or have questions or concerns you want to discuss. You’re never too busy to put good health on your calendar.

Pregnancy and baby tips to your cell phone

Sign up for free pregnancy and baby tips to your cell phone. The Text4Baby service is also available in Spanish. Get free text messages on:

  • Prenatal care
  • Baby health
  • Parenting and more
Sign up for Text4Baby

Keep your kids healthy

Raising a young child is a lot of work. We know it's easy to fall behind on regular health check-ups, especially when your child seems healthy. But even children who are doing well should see their PCP once a year to make sure they're growing and developing the way they should. A doctor who knows your child well is more likely to catch health problems early.

Why take your child for a check-up once a year?

  • You can continue or catch up on your child's vaccinations. Use this schedule as a reference.
  • To ask questions about common concerns like sleeping, eating, screen times, toilet training, activities and social behaviors.
  • To get your child important screenings for things like hearing, vision, lead exposure, and attention or learning difficulties.
  • To check on your child's dental health, and get a referral to a dentist if needed.
  • To build a good relationship with your child's PCP.

Call your child's PCP today to schedule a yearly check-up

Your child's yearly check-up is at no cost to you, and WellSense can provide rides to and from the visit if you need it. We can also help you find a PCP for your child. Visit our provider directory, or call us at 877-957-1300 to learn more.

Child health resources for parents

Keep your child on track with tips on child development and safety, and learn what to expect at each yearly check-up. Learn more

Pregnancy and baby tips to your cell phone

Sign up for free pregnancy and baby tips to your cell phone. The Text4Baby service is also available in Spanish. Get free text messages on:

  • Prenatal care
  • Baby health
  • Parenting and more

Sign up for Text4Baby

Diapers for new moms

Members who have delivered a baby and had a postpartum visit within 1-12 weeks after delivery can get diapers at no cost to them. Learn more