An informational bulletin for members of the ELCIC Group Benefits Plan 
  January 2017   
In this Issue:
Toast to Your Health
taken from
Not sure what your New Year's resolution should be? Why not resolve to start the new year with one of these ideas from Canadian healthcare experts:      
■  Move for 30 minutes a day - Studies show that adding 30 minutes of easy to moderate exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, slow progression of dementia and Alzheimer,  reduce pain from knee arthritis, reduce anxiety and depression, slow the progression of diabetes, and much more. ■  Stop smoking - Without toxins from smoking in your bloodstream, your body is able to function better, deliver more oxygen and remove other toxins. ■  Get your teeth checked - Routine visits help detect potential problems such as gum disease early and help avoid unpleasant emergencies. ■  Get enough sleep - it makes a huge difference to mood and affects decision-making, productivity and metabolism. ■  Top up your Vitamin D levels - Vitamin D is important for more that bone health - it impacts blood sugar, immune function, heart health, hormone balance and even mood. ■  Protect your skin - Always use sun protection - it's the single most important way one can reduce the risk of skin cancer. ■  Sit up straight - Good posture not only helps you look better, it helps you feel better. ■  Stop and check-in - Taking time to acknowledge how you're feeling is one of the most powerful tools we have in our "emotional toolboxes" - it opens up the possibility of supporting yourself from the inside out.

Stop waiting to discover the perfect miracle workout or find the ideal day, week or moment to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Instead of planning for the new year, do something - anything - today! Think of your health like drops in a bucket. You accumulate drops every time you make a positive decision,  such as drinking a glass of water or eating a vegetable. If you are conscious of these actions whenever possible, eventually your bucket will be full.  And remember: a healthier lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
Fitness Tracker Rebate
To assist and support your personal wellness plan GSI is offering a rebate on the purchase of a fitness tracker. The rebate is up to $200 for those enrolled in single health coverage and up to $400 for two trackers in family health coverage.
Pick the fitness tracker that best suits you!
To receive your rebate you must complete the Fitness Tracker Rebate Form and submit it to GSI along with a copy of your receipt dated between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017. We prefer electronic submissions.
From this month's
Balance Newsletter
Click to read these helpful articles from Balance, a monthly newsletter from Shepell, your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
Professional Counseling Services Benefit Increased 
The combined professional counseling services insured by Manulife including:
■  Psychologist
■  Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
■  Master in Social Worker (MSW), and
■  Registered Social Worker (RSW) 
have been increased from $500 annual reimbursement to $5,000 annual reimbursement effective January 1, 2017.
Life Events

Alzheimer Awareness Month
Did you know that only 2% of cases of Alzheimer's Disease are genetic? 
It affects 6-8% of the population 65+ years and 47% of the population 85+ years.
The key factor is how you allow your brain to age:  diet & lifestyle.

Non-Smoking Week
January 15- 21st
Among Canadian males aged 15 and up, smoking has declined from a high of 61% in 1965 to 20% in 2010  
taken from presentation by James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP
Fear of Dementia  
by Lisa Thiessen
“Dementia is the most feared of afflictions and a true hardship on even the most loving of families.”
This sentence caught my attention in a recent Zoomer magazine article. It got me thinking… is it what I fear most when my prospect of living into my 90’s seems realistic? I sift through the names of my elderly or passed extended family members and consider my chances. Then I think about my generation and how they are coping. The Alzheimer Society of Canada published some statistics which point to a crisis in dementia care:
■  444 million  The number of unpaid hours family caregivers spend each year looking after someone with dementia.  ■  $11 billion  The amount this represents in lost income.  ■  227,760  The number of equivalent full-time employees lost to the workforce. 
The Zoomer article then makes a case, that like other degenerative diseases, studies show that there are lifestyle choices we can make that will make a difference to reduce the risk or slow the degeneration. Results of a study (by Dr. Peter Elwood and a team from Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University, United Kingdom) found that if men did four or five of the following behaviours, their risk for cognitive decline and dementia fell by 60%: 
■  Exercise - defined as vigorous exercise or walking at least two miles a day, or biking 10 miles a day. Exercise was the most powerful contributor to decreased risk. ■  Healthy Diet - as measured by eating at least three to four servings of fruits and vegetables a day. 
■  Normal Weight – as measured by having a body mass index between 18 and 25. ■  Low Alcohol Intake  ■ No Smoking

This is all stuff we have heard before. It’s a wonder to me that we keep needing to do more studies to prove the same thing again. The points are not a guarantee that you won’t experience dementia, but really, if you follow this …what’s the down side? 
How to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
taken from presentation by James Meschino DC, MS, ROHP
■  Fasting Blood Glucose - at or below 5.0 mmol per liter
■  Fasting Total Cholesterol - at or below 3.9 mmol per liter 
■  Don't Smoke - 45% increased risk of AD
■  Avoid or Reduce Brain-damaging Chemicals (alcohol, illicit drugs)
■  Decrease build-up of beta-amyloid plaque (Omega-3 fats, Vitamin D)
■  Prevent Brain Atrophy and Nerve Cell Death (Green Tea Catechins, B-Vitamins - folic acid, B12 and B6)
■  Prevent Head Injuries (helmets and high-risk activities)
■  Learn New Tasks (musical instrument, dance class, ping pong, foreign language)
■  Stay engaged in life (social dynamic and meaningful work)
■  Regular Endurance Exercise
■  Nutrients that increase memory chemical Acetycholine (CDP-choline, Phosphatidylserine, Huperzine A, Bacopa Monnieri)
■ Brain Specific Antioxidants - to decrease free radical damage to brain
GSI administers pension and benefits plans that enhance the well-being of employees who serve in the ELCIC and its affiliates.

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