Health and wellness tips from a Blue Care Network health educator
When first meeting Miki Della-Moretta, a Blue Care Network Health Educator, I was surprised to learn that Miki, on average, conducts over 800 on-site visits a year, sharing health and wellness information with our BCN groups and members. Her busy and in-demand schedule is a testament to the quality of advice and level of insight she provides when it comes to all things health-related.
Needless to say, I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Miki about what she sees in the field, her thoughts on challenges to health and wellness in general and tips on how to overcome those difficulties.
LA: In your experience, what are the most challenging health and wellness barriers that our members face?
MDM: “Time” seems to be what I hear the most. When someone says “I don’t have time to exercise,” my response is usually “it isn’t that you do not have the time, it’s that health and wellness are not a priority in your life. If you make it a priority, you will find the time.”
LA: What cultural trends, positive or negative, do you see impacting our members’ health?
MDM: The increase in technology keeps us tied to our computers at work and at home and children seemed to be more interested in gaming, when they should be outside playing and running around. It being that there are so many fast food restaurants doesn’t help either. Also, we now can by a large candy bar at the checkout at Macy’s. We can shop at Target and get a grande latte to drink while shopping. The opportunities to eat are everywhere.
LA: Are there any health tips you can provide to parents of school-aged children?
MDM: Children do as they see parents doing. So eat right, exercise, play and be happy.
LA: What are some healthy habits anyone could adopt to make changes to their overall health?
MDM: If you are overweight, try to walk more every day. Getting a pedometer is helpful in accomplishing this. Also, using a smaller, 9-inch plate for meals and making half of the plate vegetables can decrease the amount of calories and bad carbs. Another way to adopt healthy changes is to lower stress and to learn how to deal with it in a healthy way. Exercising and eating right can help with do this.
LA: What do you think is the single-most important factor when trying to change a habit and improve health?
MDM: What is most helpful, but the hardest thing to do, is to change a habit. We are creatures of habit and we tend to do the same things around the same time every day. When that is interrupted, the whole day seems off. For instance, a smoker will have a cigarette about the same time every day. When they decide to quit, they have to start thinking of changing their daily habit and think as a non-smoker. If successful in making this change, they’re usually successful in quitting.
LA: What motivational advice would you provide to members hoping to transform their lives?
MDM: That you can do whatever you put your mind to do. By doing, you will be successful.
Photo credit: Miki Della-Moretta