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What’s Best for You:
Medical Interventions vs. Lifestyle Changes

July 2012

For better or worse, we humans are creatures of habit. Sometimes this means we keep making the same unhealthy “lifestyle choices,” even though we know they aren’t good for us. Over time, as we continue these bad habits, we’re more likely to develop chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis or obesity. While genetics certainly play a role in your chances of developing these chronic conditions, your choices have a tremendous impact.

Did You Know?

Approximately seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases – many of them preventable – with heart disease, cancer and stroke accounting for more than 50% of all deaths each year.*

*

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012.

According to the CDC, the following lifestyle behaviors are commonly linked to the causes of chronic disease:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

The good news? Through lifestyle choices, you have the power to reduce your risk or even prevent a serious illness from happening. And kicking bad habits now can also help you cut back on future health care expenses. So, instead of relying on seemingly fast and easy solutions like prescription medications and surgeries to improve your health in the short term, modify your lifestyle so you can improve your health for the future.

Five Ways Lifestyle Changes Can Be Better for You

  1. They’re FREE. Eating healthier, adding more activity to your day, managing stress and getting more sleep don’t have to cost a dime.
  2. More “you” time. Just as a well-maintained car needs less time in the shop, you’ll spend less time at doctors’ offices and hospitals, and more time having fun, when you’re well maintained.
  3. No negative side effects. Carefully implemented lifestyle changes don’t cause dry mouth, insomnia, frequent urination, increased risk of heart attack or stroke…or any of the other scary side effects that drug advertisements often warn of.
  4. No recovery time. Don’t like the idea of weeks or months of recovery time after surgery? Healthy steps can help you avoid post-surgery recovery in bed and out of commission.
  5. You’re in control. Rather than creating a dependence on drugs, making healthy lifestyle changes nearly always provides increased self-confidence and an overall positive outlook.

Reality check: While the pros of an overall healthy lifestyle definitely outweigh the cons, it does require hard work. You’ll have to invest time, effort and willpower into lifestyle changes to make them stick and to see results. Healthy choices are rarely easy, but they’re generally pretty simple. Read on for ideas!

Simple Steps to a Healthier You

Check out these simple steps you can take to break your bad habits and improve your health over time:

  1. Stay active. This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon. Exercise can include all sorts of activities, like walking, playing sports and dancing. You can even sneak in physical activity as you do chores around the house like carrying groceries, vacuuming, sweeping and washing dishes.
  2. Manage your weight. Diets can be tough, so to lose weight and to help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, eat in moderation, drink more water, cut back on sugar and salt, and prepare food at home whenever possible.
  3. Get enough sleep. It’s suggested that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Difficulty sleeping can cause stress-related health disorders, so stay away from medication, caffeine and alcohol before bed, and clear your head with a good book.
  4. Kick your tobacco habit. Fight your urge to smoke by keeping yourself busy with new hobbies and activities, avoid triggers like alcohol and medication, and choose a reward (in addition to your health) to keep you motivated.

How ADP Resource® Can Help

Taking the first step toward making a lifestyle change can often be challenging, but ADP Resource® is here to provide the support you need. Life’s Solutions® Employee Assistance Program (available to all client employees and their qualified dependents) – provides free, confidential counseling and online health and wellness resources, including:

  • Stress management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight management
  • Preventive health
  • Emotional well-being

To learn more about Life’s Solutions, call (888) 231-7015 between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Let the customer service representative know that you're an ADP Resource client employee. Or, to learn more about this valuable benefit, visit Life's Solutions® EAP Web portal at www.lifessolutionseap.com and enter the following password: adprso.

HR. Payroll. Benefits.

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