The Rewards of a healthy, stress-free life
Are you overweight or obese? Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes? Are you depressed? Whatever you do, don't stress about it. Stress not only makes these conditions worse; it might well be the root cause. Read on to learn about resources to help carpenters and dependents manage stress while earning points for a $100 gift card.
Your body's reaction to stress is hard-wired to protect you against predators and other aggressors. When you encounter a perceived threat, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode. Your adrenal gland starts pumping out adrenaline, a stress hormone, to increase your heart rate, elevate your blood pressure, and boost energy supplies. Cortisol, another stress hormone, increases the flow of glucose into the bloodstream and tells your brain to start gobbling up glucose as fuel. Non-essential functions of your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems are suspended to conserve energy. Regular, restful sleep is the least of your priorities.
Chronic stress occurs when your body is stuck in this heightened state of alert. Over time, chronic stress wears out your body from the inside out. Heart disease, obesity, diabetes, digestive disorders, fertility problems, male impotence, Alzheimer's disease, and other serious health conditions are all linked to chronic stress. Not surprisingly, stress is the single most important variable in determining life expectancy.
The Carpenters EmbodyHealth website offers two programs to help you get a handle on stress. Participation can not only improve your health and quality of life; it can earn points toward a $100 gift card through the Carpenters Rewards program.
Mayo Clinic Health Coaching is a confidential, telephone-based counseling program available to eligible participants at no cost. It is designed to teach successful coping strategies that lead to life-changing improvements. Building on your desire to make positive lifestyle changes, you and your Health Coach will work together to set goals, overcome barriers, develop your knowledge and skills, and establish an ongoing support system.
Between phone sessions, you'll get help staying focused using My Coach, an online program that provides you with tools to help you log activity and track progress related to your goals. Your participation is worth up to 150 points through Carpenters Rewards. Keep in mind that you need to complete the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment to determine whether you qualify for Health Coaching (Carpenters Rewards: 200 points).
My Stress Solution is an online program to help you identify and cope with your stressors. It gives you access to in-depth tools and information, including videos about proven stress-reduction techniques. Each week gives you a key learning point and an easy-to-use action plan to help you assemble a toolbox of coping strategies you can rely on in the future. By participating in Carpenter Rewards, you can earn up to 150 points for completing this four-week program.
On the EmbodyHealth website, you'll also find a calculator to help you quickly assess your stress level. To locate this handy tool, just enter stress management in the search bar. When you complete your assessment, go to the My Rewards tab, locate the list of Carpenters Rewards activities, and click "Did it" to earn 25 points. Remember, you need 1,000 points by December 31, 2011 to qualify for your $100 gift card.