View All Articles
Where to Start With Your Health in 2011
January 08, 2011
New Year's resolutions, here we come! Do you ever feel like you can get off to a great start but don't know what to do a few weeks into the routine? Consider taking a health risk assessment. It helps determine your needs and how to set your goals. We've also included a week-by week guide to keep you going!
Start the year off right
Taking a health risk assessment is a great way to kick off a year of good health. A health risk assessment (HRA) will show your current health status. It will also show you where you can improve throughout the year.
An HRA gives you a health score and a report that has specific steps to help you improve your health. Overall, this tool is a great start to improving everyday habits like what you eat and how you manage stress.
Take advantage of your strengths - and weaknesses
Once you get your results, take some time to think about your score and recommendations. Pick out and commit to changing at least one lifestyle behavior over the next six months. Remember, when setting personal goals - you have to name it to claim it.
Write out your goal and set short-term realistic goals related to something bigger. This breaks it into easier steps to reach your vision. Remember your goal when you're faced with challenges - fast food, making excuses, neglecting healthy responsibilities, etc.
Where to take a health assessment
If you're looking for a health risk assessment, Humana has one just for you. The Humana Health Assessment is a brief online survey that records your medical history and current lifestyle. As soon as you're done, you'll get instant, tailored steps you can take to improve your health. It offers suggestions for programs you might be interested in. You can get one on-one support from a nurse or a program focused on healthy pregnancies.
Also, your information is completely confidential. The results are never shared with anyone and don't hurt your health coverage or rates. Sharing your information is against Humana's business practices - and it's illegal. To take the assessment:
- Log in to MyHumana - your secure Website on Humana.com
- Choose "Health Assessment" from the Health & Wellness pull-down tab at the top
- Start the assessment
Need some help with your eating habits?
The HRA will offer a customized solution for your specific health needs. For example, it may provide information on how you can eat better. Here's an example of a week by week guide you may receive from the HRA to get your diet on track. Check off each week over the next six months as you make a commitment to better nutrition:
- Week 1: Cut back on one sugary food and drink at least five days this week
- Week 2: Add a dark green vegetable to your lunch or dinner at least once a day
- Week 3: Have at least three colors at every meal
- Week 4: Add something orange - like an orange or cantaloupe - to your week, for 10 meals
- Week 5: Count your fruits and vegetables every day - and try to get five servings daily
- Week 6: Add a tomato or tomato-based product to one of your meals, every other day
- Week 8: Substitute beans or legumes, instead of meat, for three meals this week
- Week 9: Choose whole grain rice instead of white or refined grain for two-thirds of meals this week
- Week 10: Track whole grains this week
- Week 12: Reduce processed foods to three servings this entire week
- Week 13: Keep a food and drink journal this week; review it, and decide what you need to change
- Week 14: Focus on the area you need to improve the most - more greens, more legumes, less processed foods, less sugary foods, more whole grains
- Week 15 - 26: Repeat weeks 13 and 14
- Week 27: Decide if you feel sure you can keep eating a variety of foods. If yes, check your progress monthly. If your answer is no, start back at Week 1
Remember - even small changes in your daily habits can add up to big improvements in your health and well-being. Evaluate your health, create a plan, and stick with it. You will have more energy, feel better, and set a good example for the children in your life, significant others, and peers!
About the Author
Tonja is part of Humana's Clinical Strategies and Program Design Area and focuses on proactive care, preventive health measures, and self management. She has 15 years of experience on health promotion and health education initiatives and has worked with the health solutions industry, government, and higher education. Tonja has a master's in public health from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in health education from Penn State University. In her free time, Tonja enjoys being outdoors, running, hiking, and golfing as well as baking, traveling, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets.