NGH Communities

Success Story Shoutout: Linda Weber

N Good Health is designed to help you improve or maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Over the past several years, employees from all over the organization have used the program to help make their health a priority. These individuals come from various backgrounds and stages in their wellness journeys, but the N Good Health team is always in awe of the dedication they show.  Recently, we received an email with an awesome story and we are so excited to share with you today.

This email is from Linda Weber in Security, Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In this email, Linda goes into detail about how her N Good Health Physical and preventative screenings alerted her to significant health issues and possibly saved her life as a result. From Linda:

Prior to working for Norton Healthcare I was never good about going to the doctor unless I was really sick.  This February will be my ten year anniversary with Norton Healthcare.  I’ve been getting my annual wellness exams every year since I’ve been employed with Norton.  In August of 2020 it was determined during my wellness exam that I had Type 2 Diabetes.  I took advantage of Norton’s RX for Better Health program and received free supplies and my medication for next to nothing.  Without this program, the cost of the supplies and medication wouldn’t have been affordable, even with our insurance.   

In August of 2021 I had my annual mammogram and they saw something that warranted a second visit.  We did a follow up mammogram in September along with an ultrasound.  They saw something suspicious and scheduled me for a biopsy.  I was lucky enough to get an appointment the next day for the biopsy and then anxiously waited three days for the results.  Three days later I got the news that no one wants to get, I had Cancer!  The good news was they caught it early.  The following month I had the tumor removed and was cancer free!  My boob tried to kill me, but because NHC promotes healthy living and incentivizes their employees to get their annual check-ups,  my breast cancer was caught and removed in a 2 month time span. 

I didn’t have any symptoms to let me know something was wrong with me.  Without my annual checkups I never would have known that I had diabetes or breast cancer.  I’m grateful that I work for an organization that prioritizes their employee’s health because it literally saved my life.    

Do YOU have a story to share?  Please send your wellness success stories to N Good Health by reaching out to Lacey Nelson at lacey.nelson@nortonhealthcare.org with the subject line “Success Story”. You never know who may hear your story and get inspired to make their health a priority!

Bring the fight against heart disease!

February is American Heart Month and Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s number one killer; causing 1 in 3 deaths in the US population each year, according to the CDC.  Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that includes a variety of conditions that effect both the heart (cardio) and function of blood vessels (vascular) in the body.

If you had a killer on your doorstep, wouldn’t you fight for your life and protect those you love?  Well you can win the fight against heart disease before you are diagnosed and do just that.  You could be at an elevated risk for CVD if you have been told by a doctor that you have any of these key risk factors:   high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, diabetes and/or tobacco use in any form.  Other risk factors include obesity/overweight, pre-diabetes, unhealthy nutrition and not getting enough physical activity. 

Physical activity is an important example of how you can put your dukes up and fight this killer.  Here are 10 key facts about fighting cardiovascular disease with heart-healthy exercise:

  1. To improve your cardiovascular fitness, incorporate 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity into your life each week, the equivalent of 150 minutes per week.  You can break it up into 10 or 15 minute segments at a time and still reap some benefits.
  2. Moderate intensity activity gets your heart rate up and you breathe harder.  Ideally you can still talk but not sing at this level of exertion.
  3. All types of physical activity will improve heart health even in small doses.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator, briskly walk around the block, kayak, dance, cycle, hike, etc.
  4. No matter your size, shape or ability – you can benefit from movement.
  5. Doing SOME activity is better than doing NO activity whether you have heart disease or not.
  6. Walking is the simplest activity and it costs nothing.  Just lace up a pair of comfy shoes and go!
  7. If it’s been a while since you’ve been active, start out at a comfortable pace and build up intensity and duration gradually.
  8. If you have been diagnosed with CVD or any type of heart disease, talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise to determine which types and amounts are best for you.
  9. According to this article, the chances of developing cardiovascular disease increase with a sedentary lifestyle.  Participants in a study reporting more than 23 hours per week of sedentary behavior had a 37% greater risk of CVD morbidity than those participants reporting less than 11 hours/week.
  10. Wearing a heart rate monitor can help optimize your efforts and track your progress.  You can also connect your tracker at NGoodHealth.com.

Your best line of defense against cardiovascular disease is to be more active, maintain a healthy weight and eat a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, includes lean protein sources and avoid added sugars, saturated fat and processed food. If you need help getting started, please feel free to reach out to your team of wellness specialists at N Good Health; we are always happy to help!

Food tips for these times of high stress

When it comes to food while hunkering down at home, a little prep can go a long way. Here are a few tips to help stay nourished and healthy.

Stick to planned meal and snack times
If you are at home throughout the day, you may have noticed the constant access to your pantry. Just because you have access to food all day doesn’t mean the kitchen is open all day. Write down your preferred meal/snack times and stick to them.

Spend this extra time cooking
Bringing more ingredients home instead of prepackaged, processed foods means you’ll be cooking more. Bring out the crockpot, or get some more use out of the Instant Pot gift. Use extra time at home for cooking.

Use cooking as daily activity for kids
What a great time to include kids — they need something to do. Include kids in the rituals of eating — setting the table, etc. Add in an extra baking session of homemade cookies. This is a much healthier alternative to store-bought cookies with unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.

Cook in bulk
In the planning process, you may want to think about cooking in bulk, so that one cooking session leaves you with meals for several days. This can be very important if you are still going into your workplace and need to take meals with you. Think chili, soups, lasagnas, enchiladas, etc.

Think simple
It doesn’t need to be fancy. Pack a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread and piece of fruit if going to work.

Buy things you will eventually eat
We won’t be social distancing forever. When shopping, be mindful of staples that will last beyond this time. Think about whole-wheat dried noodles; jarred marinara sauce; canned tuna; no-sugar-added cereals like Cheerios; canned or frozen fruits and vegetables; and frozen meats and seafood.

Be prepared to make your own coffee and tea at home
Don’t forget honey, creamer, etc., for your at-home beverages.

Refrigerate your grains
Refrigerate breads, tortillas, buns, etc., to help them last.

Have sick-day items
Be sure to have the things you need if anyone gets sick — crackers, soups, sports drinks, pain relievers, etc.

Avoid snacks you can’t resist
This is not an excuse to eat large amounts of processed foods throughout the day. Avoid bringing snacks with low nutritional value into the house. Grab healthier snacks like microwave popcorn or baking items for an afternoon activity.

Carryout and delivery
Remember that carryout and delivery is still available, so plan ahead, think healthy and remember those whose jobs depend on you.

Making it easier to walk your way to better health!

Walking is one of the easiest, yet most beneficial forms of exercise. Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve heart and lung fitness, support bone health, alleviate joint pain, fight stress and burn fat.

With so many great health benefits at stake, we want walking to be accessible to employees 365 days a year. That’s why our N Good Health team is excited to announce the completion of updates to three indoor walking paths conveniently located at Norton Healthcare facilities.

Click below for the indoor walking paths at the following facilities. For any questions, please reach out to one of your facility Wellness Champions or Dannielle Hadaway of the N Good Health team at Dannielle.Hadaway@Nortonhealthcare.org.

Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital Walking Path

Downtown Campus Walking Path

CPA Lab on Breckenridge Ln. Walking Path

Track your hard work!

Whether walking through your neighborhood, a nearby park or along one of our facility walking paths, track your steps on NGoodHealth.com to measure progress and help you reach goals. The N Good Health website also includes instructions for synching your fitness devices for even easier step tracking. ​

We know it’s good for us so let’s talk about how to incorporate it into our days. Everyone is different so if your baseline is 2000 steps, trying to shoot for 7500 steps tomorrow may feel daunting and could possibly lead to injury.  Set reasonable goals and progress slowly to your ultimate target of 7500 daily steps.  If you are already achieving a minimum of 7500 steps daily, think of what level you would like to reach and start increasing your steps by 10 to 20% each day to reach a higher goal.  

Don’t have time to walk the walking path at work? Here are some ideas to increase your daily steps:

  1. Park your car far from the entrance of work or the store
  2. After loading your groceries in the car, walk your cart all the way back into the store instead of parking it in the corral
  3. Schedule a “walking meeting” with an associate and take a clipboard or small notebook to take notes on if needed
  4. Walk to your coworker’s desk to ask a question instead of sending an email and stroll to the printer to pick up your copies
  5. Pick the restroom or water fountain that is farthest from your work station
  6. Enjoy a pre- or post-dinner walk around the neighborhood
  7. Put on your favorite tunes and shake your groovy to the beat of the music
  8. Walk along while the kids ride their bikes or walk around the field while they play their sport
  9. Meet for a coffee/drink date and take it for a walk
  10. Volunteer at a local animal shelter/veterinarian/doggy day care and walk dogs for them if you don’t  have your own dog to walk
  11. If you ride the bus, get off a stop early or get on a stop later
  12. Walk around the house during commercials if you watch television

Looking for a change of scenery? 

Explore the many parks and trails Louisville has to offer.  Maybe pick one from this list to visit each weekend.  Get creative, break any sedentary habits and enjoy the health benefits of walking each day.

Kicking 2022 off with a BANG- and a chance to win!

You may have noticed that NGoodHealth.com looks a little different right now- that’s because we listened to your feedback and we have made some BIG changes for 2022!  These changes include:

  • An easy-to-use well-being portal
  • Interactive tools and resources
  • Group and personal challenges
  • Video courses you can use throughout your well-being journey

Accessing your account is easy by using the mobile app, allowing seamless syncing of steps, activity, sleep hours, nutrition and more — even with Apple devices!

Earn real time rewards, through the rewards mall, for your engagement in the well-being portal*.  The choice is yours.  Choose from merchandise items, gift cards, wellness credits or give back to the community with charitable donation options.

Get started NOW!

Starting NOW, all employees need to visit NGoodHealth.com to create a new account. NGoodHealth.com is accessible on all devices with internet access. In addition, all employees should download the Navigate Wellbeing app on their mobile devices.

WIN BIG!

Create your account on the new NGoodHealth.com by Jan. 31, 2022, to be entered to win 200 points to redeem in the N Good Health rewards mall. Five winners will be chosen. There are challenges EVERY SINGLE MONTH from January – August. Click HERE for a listing of every opportunity to win prizes this year.

Who can participate?

All employees have access to the N Good Health wellness program, the well-being portal and mobile app. Spouses on a Norton Healthcare medical plan will have the same access.

The N Good Health team truly cares about your well-being and is available to help you along your path of creating a healthier you. In addition to our exciting program changes, we also offer a number of wellness opportunities and discounts; our team of wellness experts can provide you with in-person or virtual assessments to help guide you to resources that best meet your needs.

Have questions?

You can reach our team by calling (502) 629-2162 or submitting a self-service ticket. Go to Nsite, click on Departments, then N Good Health and select the Contact Us button.

*Employees and spouses enrolled in a Norton Healthcare medical plan will be able to earn points to redeem rewards.

Get steps and stay warm with our updated indoor walking paths!

Walking is one of the easiest, yet most beneficial forms of exercise. Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can improve heart and lung fitness, support bone health, alleviate joint pain, fight stress and burn fat.

With so many great health benefits at stake, we want walking to be accessible to employees 365 days a year. That’s why our N Good Health team is excited to announce the completion of updates to three indoor walking paths conveniently located at Norton Healthcare facilities.

Do you need some quick steps to walk off stress? Are you looking to hit your daily step count goal on a cold, winter day? Or maybe you just want to take note of the distance you’ve traveled along your normal workday route. You’re in luck!

For any questions, please reach out to one of your facility Wellness Champions or Dannielle Hadaway of the N Good Health team at Dannielle.Hadaway@Nortonhealthcare.org.

Click below for the indoor walking paths at the following facilities:

Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital Walking Path

Downtown Campus Walking Path

CPA Lab on Breckenridge Ln. Walking Path

Photo challenge

Explore the new indoor paths, or any of the eight path options across Norton Healthcare campuses, with some friends or on your own and take your photo in front of one of the signs. Submit the photo (along with the names of all employees pictured) to NGoodHealth@nortonhealthcare.org between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20 to be entered to win a Fitbit Versa. Double up on prize opportunities and use your photo challenge steps for Holiday Hop too!


Find your own path!

Whether walking through your neighborhood, a nearby park or along one of our facility walking paths, track your steps on NGoodHealth.com to measure progress and help you reach goals. The N Good Health website also includes instructions for synching your fitness devices for even easier step tracking. ​


Enjoy this quick workspace workout!

Feeling droopy?  Don’t grab that afternoon soda or sweet — take a break from your day and get your blood flowing for a natural energy boost.  This 5 minute workout requires no equipment and only a small space in your office. 

Calf raises x 20 – feet hip width apart, press evenly across the front of the foot then slowly lower down

Lunges x 10/leg – standing with feet hip width apart, step forward with one foot into an elongated stride.  Keeping torso upright, dip back knee towards the floor so front knee is close to parallel to the floor and push back to start

Standing hamstring curl x 15 – using a wall or chair for support, stand with knees in line with each other, bend knee and bring heel towards buttock.  Lower back down with control

Wall pushups x 15 — Stand in front of wall with arms extended in front of you and palms on wall.  Next, bend elbows and slowly bring chest towards the wall maintaining your feet on the ground and body in a straight line.  When nose is close to wall, push into the wall back to starting position.

Chair knee to arm reach x 15/side – sit close to the edge of a sturdy chair, brace your core and place your fingers behind your ears keeping your elbows back.  With control, raise a leg and extend the opposite arm towards the knee of the raised leg.  Gently lower the leg and bring arm back to starting position. 

Depending on the amount of time you have on your break to complete this, these moves can be repeated to fill the duration of your break time! You can also use online resources to get your blood pumping at home, in the group fitness room, or even in your office! 

Pinterest also has some amazing resources as well- try searching for at home workouts, printable workouts or if you have a type of workout in mind, like “HIIT workout”, “body weight workout”, the more specific you are with your search terms, the better. 🙂

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Winter arrives every year and with it comes colder temperatures and changes in the daylight schedule.  You don’t have to bring your outdoor workouts inside in the colder months, you just have to take some things into consideration.  Here are some tips to keep you moving outside through the colder months:

  • Plan ahead – look at the weather report and remember the wind chill is a serious factor.  A sunny winter day can be deceiving if the wind brings the cold temperatures to a dangerous level.
  • Dress appropriately – layer, layer, layer!  Consider 3 layers when exercising in the cold.  A base layer should be a moisture wicking material to keep you dry.  A mid-layer provides insulation to keep you warm and the outer layer should block wind and repel any water.  A zipper is ideal so you can let some cool air in if you begin to feel hot.  Be sure to cover your head and hands with appropriate weight hat and gloves/mittens.  If conditions are slick, consider putting traction cleats like Yak Tracks on your shoes for added stability.
  • Stay hydrated – it’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re not sweating in the heat but it’s easier to dehydrate in the winter as your body has to work harder to humidify the drier winter air. 
  • Pack a phone – putting your phone in a jacket pocket or a waistband pack provides security in case you need to call for help.  If you must listen to something while exercising, consider leaving one earbud out so you can hear and be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Light yourself up – there’s less sunlight this time of year so if you are trekking out in the dark before sunrise or after sunset, be sure to wear reflective gear and lights.  Runners and road cyclists should wear light-colored clothing plus a lighted and/or reflective vest and headlamp to be seen by traffic.  A headlamp helps you see potential hazards in your path as well.  If cycling, a bike should be outfitted with at least two lights, a headlight and a flashing tail light.  Always ride with the flow of traffic and run against the flow of traffic if a sidewalk is not available. 
  • Warm up – include dynamic warmup exercises before heading out to make sure your muscles are ready for the work.  These low intensity pre-workout exercises like leg swings, bodyweight squats, lunges, knee hugs, arm and hip circles get the blood flowing and help prevent injury any time of the year but most especially when it’s cold. 

Don’t forget to wear an activity tracker or use your phone to track your steps and link to your N Good Health account.  Learn more at www.ngoodhealth.com.

How to enjoy the holiday season WITHOUT the guilt

It’s the holidays and for most Americans, that means eating – lots of eating – followed by weight gain and a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

But why not take a healthier approach to what we eat during this holiday season and beyond?

According to a recent website survey, about 18 percent of people say it’s hard for them to eat healthy because they don’t want to stop eating their favorite foods. The good news is you don’t have to.

You can still enjoy your favorite occasional indulgences, but in moderation. It’s all about being mindful of what you eat.

Mindless Eating

Mindless eating is consuming food just because it’s there. It’s eating while distracted – watching TV, working at a computer or texting on our smartphones. It’s eating for emotional comfort instead of for hunger. Simply put, it’s not paying attention to what we eat which can lead to being overweight and even obesity.

“Mindless eating has always been an issue,” said Riska Platt, M.S., a registered dietitian and certified nutritionist for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. “The key to mindful eating is awareness. Just by paying more attention to what you eat, you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.”

Awareness

When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you can make small changes that make a big difference. Here are some tips toward a more mindful approach:

  • Control portions. Especially during the holidays, know that you’ll have more opportunities to eat festive snacks and desserts. You don’t have to deprive yourself, just eat smaller portions and less often.
     
  • Eat when you’re hungry. Just because the clock says noon doesn’t mean you have to eat. If you’re not hungry, wait until you are – just don’t wait until you’re famished because you might overeat. Also, don’t eat just because the food is available. Learn more about why you might be eating when not hungry.
     
  • Plan. Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. If you tend to get hungry between meals, bring along a 200-calorie, whole grain, high-fiber snack. Fiber keeps you feeling full longer. Learn how a little planning helps your heart, and your budget.
     
  • Slow down. Enjoy each bite and put your fork down while chewing, then take a drink between each bite. This gives your body enough time to trigger your brain that you are satisfied (not necessarily full).
     
  • Pay attention. Do not eat in front of the TV or computer, or while standing in the kitchen or talking on the phone. When you do these things, you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
     
  • Use technology. As we continue to become increasingly distracted by modern technology, our focus on health can fall to the back burner. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “We can actually use our smartphones and other electronic devices to help us,” said Platt, a volunteer with the American Heart Association. “There are now apps that manage food records, count calories, help you track what you eat and even provide guidance on healthy food choices at the grocery store and restaurants.”
     
  • Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat, look at it, then identify why you ate it – was it hunger, stress, boredom? Then look for areas you can make adjustments and incorporate healthy changes. “Keeping a food diary is really key to awareness,” Platt said. “Most people are surprised at all they’ve consumed when they review what they’ve eaten.”

Remember- you don’t have to avoid the foods you love and look forward to all year- by using the tips above, you can enjoy yourself in moderation and make this the year that you have zero regrets when it comes to indulgences. You got this!

November is National Diabetes Month- we’re here to help!

About 10.5% of the American population has diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association and nearly 1 in 5 adults live with the disease unknowingly.  Diabetes (type 2) is a chronic, long-lasting metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar levels because the body is not effectively making or using its own insulin. 

November is National Diabetes Month with this year’s focus on prediabetes and preventing diabetes.  The diagnosis of prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be at diabetes level.  According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 1 in 3 US adults have prediabetes but the majority don’t know they have it as many do not display symptoms. 

Those with prediabetes do not automatically develop type 2 diabetes.  Early treatment can actually return blood sugar levels to the normal range so having annual check-ups with your primary care provider is important.  Lifestyle changes like choosing to eat more vegetables and less processed foods, drinking water rather than soda and incorporating more movement into your day make it possible to reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes.

If you have high blood glucose levels or you have previously been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, you have options through N Good Health, your employee wellness program:

  • Prevention:  if you have prediabetes or just want to take preventive action, you can make small changes that can have huge impact (CLICK HERE for how you can do that). Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by losing 7% of your body weight and exercising moderately for 150 minutes per week (30 minutes per day, 5 days per week).  With Omada, a free benefit through Norton Healthcare medical insurance, you can connect with a health coach and learn how to build healthy habits to help you lose weight.  Click here to learn more and determine if you are eligible. 
  • Maintenance:  N Good Health has two options to help diabetics manage symptoms and blood sugar levels.  Omada, mentioned above, also offers tools to keep glucose levels in check through nutrition, manage stress and move more.   A plan is designed for you to help you build routines, manage medications and be supported.  Additionally, Rx For Better Health is your diabetes management program created specifically for employees and their family members.   Meet with a Norton Healthcare pharmacist, nutritionist and/or counselor to save you money on your prescriptions while empowering you to take care of your health.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help along your journey in preventing or managing diabetes.  Your doctor combined with resources available through N Good Health are vital connections to support and guide you to better health.

Sources:  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; American Diabetes Association; Center for Disease Control