AHA Walk

On September 23rd, Western Health Advantage will be promoting fun ways to be physically active and make healthier choices by participating as a sponsor and with a team in the 2017 Sacramento Heart & Stroke Walk. The event is put on by the American Heart Association, whose mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The 2017 Sacramento Heart & Stroke Walk will take place at 9 a.m. in William Land Park. There is also a State Capitol Walk on Thursday, September 21st. which starts at the State Capitol South Steps.

The Heart Walk is expected to draw about 10,000 participants who will take steps to be healthy for good on a non-competitive 1- or 3-mile walk while raising an estimated $1.5 million to fund research, education and community programs. Post walk entertainment includes a performance by The Ripoffs, covering hits from the ‘80’s with some current favorites.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No.1 and No. 5 leading causes of death – heart disease and stroke. AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provides critical tools and information to save and improve lives.

The American Heart Association has started a Healthy for Good™ movement which is designed to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea of making small, simple changes today which can create a difference in your health. It consists of four pillars: eat smart, add color, move more, and be well. WHA is the local Healthy for Good cause sponsor.

Learn more about the Sacramento Heart & Stroke Walk

Info on heart disease and stroke and the American Heart Association

WHA has information about improving your health and wellness, including cardiac health.

Healthy family on bikes
One in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. In honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Western Health Advantage encourages your family to make healthy changes together.

  • Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.
  • Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.
  • Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.

Taking small steps as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight.

For more information, visit the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s website.

Western Health Advantage also has information on adolescent health.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month so this is a good time to focus on that aspect of your health. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States. High cholesterol is asymptomatic; therefore, blood cholesterol screening is the only way to know one’s risk.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular cholesterol screening for men aged ≥35 years, women aged ≥45 years, and men aged 20–35 years and women aged 20–45 years who are at an increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Lowering high cholesterol or maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke. Health behaviors such as engaging in physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, following a heart-healthy diet, and using medication can all contribute to the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level and decreased risk for heart attack or stroke.

Educational materials and additional information are available on the CDC’s website.

Western Health Advantage also has tips for living more healthfully on our website.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month and is sponsored by FEMA. National Preparedness Month is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events.

The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care for at least a short period of time following an incident.

What you can do:

  1. Bookmark National Weather Service to stay informed on severe weather.
  2. Learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
  3. Get practical tips to prepare for a disaster.


Take Action
Make sure that you and your family are prepared for an emergency. Ensure that you can go for at least three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or other local services.

What you can do:

  1. Prepare a disaster supply kit with at least three days of food and water.
  2. Create a Family Emergency Plan so that your family knows how to communicate during an emergency.
  3. Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

FEMA’s Ready.gov website provides detailed information on what may be most important to you and your family. You can find specific information tailored to specific needs such as people with disabilities, seniors, assisting children, business readiness, and even information for your pets. For more information, see Ready.gov.

Fitness classWHA members interested in getting fit and staying healthy now have another choice: the Active&Fit Direct program, which allows you to work out at any fitness center in their network. The monthly cost is just $25 (plus tax where applicable) – that’s less than $1 a day!

The program offers:

  • Access to 8,000+ fitness centers nationwide
  • A free guest pass to try out a fitness center before enrolling (where available)
  • Online directory maps and locator for fitness centers (with responsive design for mobile devices)
  • Online fitness tracking via your choice of many wireless fitness devices, apps, and exercise equipment

Active&Fit Direct membership has a $25 enrollment fee and a monthly fee of $25 (plus tax where applicable) and requires an initial three-month commitment at $25 a month. After that it is month-to-month.

The Active&Fit Direct program is provided by American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., a subsidiary of American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). Active&Fit Direct is a trademark of ASH and used with permission herein.

Continuing Health Club Partnerships
In addition to adding Active&Fit Direct, WHA is continuing our partnerships with California Family Fitness, Spare Time Clubs, Crossfit ASAP in Dixon, Synergy Health Club in Petaluma, and HealthSpring Fitness in Vacaville. (Note: These fitness centers are not eligible for Active&Fit Direct at this time.)

Visit mywha.org/gyms for details on discounts for WHA members at these gyms, their locations, and links to their websites. You may also call WHA Member Services at 888.563.2250.

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with you doctor.

Nurse prepares young patient to receive a shotPrepare for the 2017-2018 Flu Season: Observe National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccinations. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on vaccines recommended for them.

These recommendations include an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a yearly flu vaccine is advised for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. The CDC recommends you get the flu vaccine as soon as it’s available each year; the vaccine’s protection lasts throughout the flu season.

The CDC has published a complete list of 2017 recommended immunizations for children from birth through six (6) years old.

At WHA, keeping you and your family healthy is our top priority. We encourage our physicians to use WHA’s preventive health guidelines to help promote and educate their patients about potentially life-saving preventive services and screenings. Preventive care services, such as immunizations, are part of your medical plan, at no additional cost to you! (Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of the service.)


It’s summer time and children are out of school, many folks are taking a vacation or planning one, and it’s probably hot outside! For hospitals and urgent care centers, however, this is a time of year to get ready. As people enjoy the outdoors and engage in more adventurous activities, the number of injuries and trauma incidents seen at hospitals double, compared to winter, according to Assist America. The most common causes of injuries during the summer include car accidents, severe sunburn, water-sports injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and falls.

While everyone should enjoy their summer to the fullest, you and your family can also stay safe and healthy by following these safety tips:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes to avoid dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, so avoid excessive consumption of them. As always, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those that have a lot of water; examples include grapefruits, peaches, eggplants and spinach.
  • Avoid Sunburns: Apply sunscreen containing the appropriate level of SPF to avoid sunburn. You should also stay in the shade between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., if possible, as those are the peak hours for sunburns. If you are out then, cover your skin and wear a hat. Don’t forget to look out for children, too, by keeping them in the shade as much as possible.
  • Prevent Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke: Avoid participating in physical activities during the hottest hours of the day to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you are on vacation, slowly increase the amount of time you spend outside so that you can get acclimated to the hot weather. Continue to drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes.
  • Water Safety: Always be with someone else when engaging in water sports and follow the lifeguard’s instructions. Do not drink alcohol before participating in water activities. You should also take the time to get acclimated to the water temperature, since current snow melts are causing rivers, lakes and streams to be much colder.
  • Road Trip Safety: Make sure all maintenance on your car is done before departing on your trip, to minimize the risks of car accidents. Drive during off-peak hours, if possible, and allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Take frequent breaks – stop every 100 miles or two hours – while driving, and alternate drivers if possible.



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