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Category : Healthy Lifestyle

HIV and Your Overall Health – POZ

As people with HIV live longer thanks to effective antiretroviral treatmentnearly half are now 50 or olderthey are prone to a host of additional health problems, known as comorbidities.

Common comorbidities among people with HIV include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic conditions, liver and kidney problems, chronic lung disease, nonAIDS-related cancers, neurological conditions and frailty. HIV can also have a detrimental affect on mental health (see Your Mental Health).

People who have been living with HIV for many yearsespecially those who have experienced advanced immune suppression and those who have taken many antiretroviral medicationsare at greater risk for comorbidities. But these conditions also affect people with well-controlled HIV.

Some of these problems are associated with normal aging, but studies show that HIV-positive people tend to develop age-related conditions as much as a decade earlier than their HIV-negative counterparts.

Theres evidence that cardiovascular disease is more advanced in HIV patientssome estimates have said five to 10 years more advanced, says Steven Grinspoon, MD, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard. Frailty is associated with senescence and may increase vulnerability to aging-related processes, and reductions in physical function suggestive of early frailty seem to be very common in HIV patients.

Frailty is characterized by muscle and bone loss, weakness and decreased energy, and it can lead to reduced strength and endurance, heightened risk of fractures and progressive difficulty carrying out activities of daily life.

HIV and Inflammation

Chronic immune activation and inflammation appear to be a common thread tying together the various coexisting conditions seen in people living with HIV.

Even in people with sustained viral suppression and a near-normal CD4 T-cell count, chronic HIV infection triggers ongoing immune activation and persistent inflammation, which can take its toll throughout the body.

Even among patients with clinically well-controlled HIV, persistent virus in T-cell and macrophage reservoirs may lead to low-grade immune activation. Chronic immune activation may be associated with more generalized inflammation as well, Grinspoon says. Immune activation and inflammation may be appropriate mechanisms by which the immune system targets HIV, but these processes may cause collateral damage in multiple organs.

Persistently activated immune cells, including macrophages and monocytes, produce inflammatory cytokines, which can alter metabolism and blood vessel function and play a role in feedback loops that further increase inflammation.

Several comorbidities commonly seen in people with HIV are associated with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditionsinsulin resistance, abnormal blood lipid levels (dyslipidemia), high blood pressure (hypertension) and abdominal obesitythat raise the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Whats more, some HIV-positive people develop a form of abdominal fat accumulation known as lipohypertrophy, which involves the buildup of visceral fat inside the abdomen surrounding the internal organs. This fat is metabolically active tissue that produces cytokines and hormones of its own.

With central fat accumulation, you can get inflammatory cells like macrophages that reside in the fat and release excess cytokines, which can draw in further monocytes and macrophages that produce substances that cause insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, Grinspoon explains. So the inflammation begets metabolic problems, and those metabolic problems beget further inflammation. These processes are intimately intertwined.

Conversely, although much less common in the age of effective antiretroviral treatment, some people with HIV may still develop wasting, which involved the unintentional loss of both fat and lean body mass (see What About Wasting?).

Heart, Liver and Kidney Disease

Numerous studies over the course of the epidemic have shown that people with HIV have a 50% to 100% greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and its complications, including heart attacks and strokes.

Over time, plaquea combination of fat, cholesterol, calcium and immune cellscan build up on artery walls, a process known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. This narrows the vessels and restricts the flow of blood. Research suggests that plaque buildup happens at younger ages in people with HIV.

Whats more, bits of plaque can break off and lodge as clots in the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle, leading to a heart attack, or in small blood vessels in the brain, causing a stroke. Plaque associated with ongoing inflammation appears especially prone to rupture, according to Grinspoon.

Inflammation can also wreak havoc on the liver. As antiretroviral treatment has dramatically reduced AIDS-related mortality, liver disease has become a leading cause of death for people living with HIV. Now that hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine and hepatitis C can be easily cured, fatty liver disease is becoming a major driver of advanced liver disease in HIV-positive and HIV-negative people alike.

Fatty liver disease goes along with obesity and excess weight, and it is also seen among those with diabetes and insulin resistance, as well as those with poor diet, says Grinspoon.

Chronic hepatitis B or C, fatty liver disease, heavy alcohol use and other causes of liver injury can trigger liver inflammation followed by fibrosis, or the buildup of scar tissue, as the organ tries to repair itself. Over years or decades, this can lead to serious complications, including cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for a liver transplant. Studies have shown that this process seems to occur faster in people with HIV.

The kidneys, too, are vulnerable to the effects of inflammation. HIV-positive people have a higher rate of chronic kidney disease than their HIV-negative peers, with African Americans having the greatest risk. Certain antiretroviral medicationsin particular the older form of tenofovircan cause kidney problems in susceptible individuals. But even people who dont use this drug have a higher likelihood of impaired kidney function. Diabetes and high blood pressure, two components of metabolic syndrome, are the leading causes of kidney disease; hepatitis C coinfection also raises the risk.

Optimizing Overall Health

Regardless of which comorbidities you may have, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to optimizing your overall health.

Beyond HIV and the resulting inflammation, traditional risk factorsincluding smoking, high cholesterol, obesity and family historyare major contributors to elevated rates of heart disease and other comorbidities among people living with HIV. One study found that such traditional factors account for about a quarter of the excess risk of cardiovascular disease in this population.

Fortunately, many of these risk factors are under your control. Smoking, in particular, substantially raises the risk of heart disease, chronic lung disease and several types of cancer.

I want to emphasize that traditional risk factors matter, says Grinspoon. Stopping smoking is the number one most important thing you can do. Its really important because smoking may interact with inflammation and cause particularly severe disease.

Grinspoon is the principal investigator for a large trial called REPRIEVE that aims to learn more about cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV. The primary goal is to see whether a statin medication can prevent heart disease in this population. Statins not only lower cholesterol but also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they may offer a two-for-one benefit for people with HIV. Sub-studies will look at the effects of the statin on frailty and kidney function.

With 7,700 participants from 12 countries, REPRIEVE also has the potential to shed light on many other questions about the health of people living, and aging, with HIV. The study is now fully enrolled, and the primary results are expected in 2023.

In the meantime, to minimize the risk of heart disease, liver disease and other comorbidities, Grinspoon recommends a healthy diet, weight management, exercise and using medications to control hypertension, blood glucose and lipids. He suggests a balanced diet that includes polyunsaturated fatsfor example a Mediterranean dietand one that is low in salt and fructose, as fructose contributes significantly to fatty liver disease.

Exercise is important in two ways, he continues. One, it helps reduce weight, and two, its anti-inflammatory. It will help your blood pressure and help your glucose. Getting some exercise every day would be great.

Last but not least, its essential to start or stay on effective antiretroviral therapy to keep viral loadand the resulting inflammationas low as possible, he advises. I think thats the state of the art right now.

Tips for Your Overall Health

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HIV and Your Overall Health - POZ

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Actress and Comedian Tiffany Haddish joins vitafusion Gummy Vitamins as Brand Ambassador –

vitafusion, Americas #1 gummy vitamin brand, announces today that Emmy-Award winning actress, comedian and author, Tiffany Haddish, will be joining the vitafusion team as a brand ambassador. Haddish will join vitafusion in highlighting both the importance of holistic wellness and a happy, healthy lifestyle and the significance of equal access to nutritious food choices for underserved communities.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Actress and Comedian Tiffany Haddish joins vitafusion Gummy Vitamins as Brand Ambassador (Photo: Business Wire)

Tiffany Haddish has a long-term dedication and passion for creating positive change in communities and her undeniable wit complements vitafusions values perfectly. We are thrilled to work with someone who uses her personality and platform to educate and help others, shares Michael Vercelletto, Marketing Director for vitafusion. Our mission extends beyond offering great tasting vitaminswe are excited that Tiffany is joining us to encourage people to take a healthier step towards a happier tomorrow.

Haddish will be participating in vitafusions Fruit Tree Project, an eco-initiative which began in 2017 alongside the Fruit Tree Foundation to plant orchards which will provide nutrient-rich fresh fruit to underserved communities with limited or no access to fresh produce all with added benefits for the environment. In addition, Haddish will work on special projects for the remainder of the year increasing public awareness on the value of good nutrition as well as the importance of access to healthy, sustainable food.

What people eat and what they do can have a huge impact on their overall health. I'm excited to work with vitafusion to educate people about their health and remind them that not every child has equal access to healthy food which together we can help change, adds Tiffany Haddish.

Haddish, a New York Times Best Selling author and comedian, is best known for her roles in Girls Trip, Like a Boss, Night School and more. Haddishs journey and life experiences have inspired her comedy and sense of humor both on and off the stage.

About vitafusion:

vitafusion, Americas #1 Gummy Vitamin Brand, is the only gummy vitamin brand with a fusion of natural fruit flavors and ChefsBest award winning taste1 for select products.

For over 12 years, vitafusion has been supporting a happy and healthy lifestyle with our gummy vitamins and supplements. With more than 30 types of gummy vitamins available, vitafusion has been advancing the dietary supplement industry with two simple words: Vitamin Better.

[1] The ChefsBest Excellence Award is awarded to brands that surpass quality standards established by independent professional chefs.

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Looking to get healthy? Powell Nutrition has shakes, juices and teas for better lifestyle – Knoxville News Sentinel

Al Lesar, Shopper News Published 7:00 a.m. ET Sept. 9, 2020

Powell Nutrition offers shakes and teas for healthier lifestyle Knoxville News Sentinel

Had the coronavirus pandemic hit three years ago, Tonya Wilde probably would have been a mess.

Thats when Wilde was opening her two gyms Total Fitness Kickboxing in Powell and on Kingston Pike.

But, having run those two businesses since 2018, she understands that she can only do so much.

Thats why the delays in getting the doors open to Powell Nutrition (3533 W. Emory Road, in the strip mall near KARM) havent worn on her.


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The Powell community is excited for us to be open, said Wilde, who finally got things going in early August. The COVID situation held up our product. There really wasnt anything we were able to do about it, so we couldnt stress out.

Powell Nutrition will feature high-quality plant-based protein shakes, juices and teas serving as meal substitutes. Whether its gaining muscle, losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Powell Nutrition has the product to help.

The most important part of the experience is for our staff to ask the right questions, Wilde said. When we know your objective, we can find the right product. Its all about building a relationship.

Wilde, who has an athletic background dating back to her high school days in Karns, has been a believer in protein supplements. Some current clients in her gyms have had weight-loss success.

Kenna Lyle of Knoxville gets started on a healthy concoction.(Photo: Submitted)

Add in more than 100 flavors from which to choose and the possibilities abound.

Ive always believed that you cant outwork a bad diet, Wilde said. Were going to be here to give everyone a healthier choice.

Wildes favorite is the cookies and cream shake. Then theres the Vanilla Elvis, the Dolly Parton, and a banana nut bread that smells just like the real thing.

Ive seen the change in attitude that comes with the changes with the body, Wilde said. Before I got involved with this, I did my own research. I tested the product and I love it.

No matter the nature of the business, whether its service-oriented like a gym or product-oriented like Powell Nutrition, the basic premise doesnt change.

Not only are the options at Powell Nutrition tasty, they're colorful.(Photo: Submitted)

It takes the same work ethic in both places, Wilde said. The goal is to make the customer happy. If someone walks in the door, somebody better say welcome.

With her staff of at least five employees, Wilde spent July in the training mode. They visited Bearden Nutrition, a sister store, and learned how that established business functions.

I learned how important the flow is, said Wilde. The whole flow of the process has to be comfortable for the customer to feel good about the experience. When you can get everything set up the right way, and have your staff in the right places, the whole flow will work.

Wilde has leaned on a mentor, Lori Case, who is from out of the area but has experience in making a place like Powell Nutrition work smoothly.

Shea Coker serves a customer at Powell Nutrition. "The most important part of the experience is for our staff to ask the right questions, Tonya Wilde said. When we know your objective, we can find the right product. Its all about building a relationship.(Photo: Ruth White/Shopper News)

Lori stressed that I need to be patient, especially during COVID, Wilde said. Everything will happen, its just a matter of making it fall into place.

Powell Nutrition is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

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2020 Virtual LIV conference featuring Dr. Oz and AdventHealth experts aims to inspire KC to embrace wellness – Shawnee Mission Post

No matter who you are, one thing is certain the COVID pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. Maybe you are a parent feeling stressed with kids learning from home or an older adult feeling lonely as a result of avoiding family and friends. Regardless of your personal situation, there is no better time to pay attention to your whole health and embrace a lifestyle of wellness.

For 23 years, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission has been helping the Kansas City community live healthier lives physically, mentally and spiritually with the Living in Vitality (LIV) Conference. An annual in-person event, LIV will look slightly different this year. It will take the format of a virtual conference on Friday, Sept. 25th from 9 am to noon. This years event will feature presentations from the nationally renowned Dr. Mehmet Oz as well as health experts from AdventHealth Shawnee Mission.

One of those experts is Tereza Hubkova, MD, an integrative medicine physician who will be speaking about what is necessary for a healthy immune system. No doubt, the best way to help your immune system is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy lifestyle is the most powerful medicine, said Dr. Hubkova. If we could put it in a capsule, it would be the biggest blockbuster drug of all times.

Unfortunately, its not that easy. For many of us, improving health means changing daily habits and habits are hard to change.

But the stakes have never been this high, said Dr. Hubkova. We must change because our current way of living leads to chronic diseases and these, in turn, put us at a higher risk of getting sick with COVID.

A healthy immune system is not just about healthy lifestyle, but also about our environment.

Our vulnerability to new, emergent infections goes hand in hand with the destruction of natural environment, pollution, adulteration of our food and climate change, said Dr. Hubkova.

Regardless of these obstacles, Dr. Hubkova encourages patients to change behaviors within their control so they can live healthier lives. And its working.

I have seen people with severe diseases go into remission after changing their diet, said Dr. Hubkova. I have seen people get off their antidepressants after fixing their nutrition and sleep and learning how to manage stress. I have seen people shed dozens of pounds, their memory improve, energy return and pain melt away. When these success stories happen, almost invariably, the miraculous medicine that helped those people get their lives back was always there within reach a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Hubkova is passionate about her work and considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming virtual LIV event.

I love learning, so I cant wait to hear the other speakers and learn from the feedback of the audience, said Dr. Hubkova. Of all the lectures I have ever given in my life, this one will be the most important. I am excited to be part of the change we need, part of the fight for better, healthier and happier lives for us and future generations. And I hope you will join me in it.

Other presentations at LIV will include:

Tickets to the 2020 LIV Virtual Conference cost $20. To learn more or purchase tickets, call 913-676-7694 or visit

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Stand Up To Cancer and Rally Health Announce "Make the Healthy Call" Campaign to Raise Awareness For Cancer Prevention and Screening -…

The"Make the Healthy Call" campaign kicks off on Sept. 8 with broadcast, print and digital PSAs featuring CBS' James Brown and Bill Cowher, as well as digital and print PSAs featuring TNT's Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson, with additional PSAs to follow in 2021. In addition to highlighting everyday ways to reduce cancer risk, the campaign drives the public to TakeAHealthyStand.orgto take a pledge to get screened for cancer. When taking the online pledge, users are provided with a personalized list of screenings, such as cervical or colon cancer screening, as well as preventive care options and tips for healthy living.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how critical it is for all of us to maintain a healthy lifestyle," said James Brown, award-winning CBS Sportsbroadcaster. "Making healthy choices is key to overall well-being. That is why I'm so passionate, now more than ever, to join Stand Up To Cancer and Rally to highlight the importance of healthy behaviors and preventive cancer screening."

"The pandemic's impact on the sports community has been challenging to say the least," said Stand Up To Cancer co-founder Lisa Paulsen. "But the strength, passion and resiliency of this community is second to none. While we've certainly missed game days, it's wonderful to haveour incredible Stand Up To Cancer Ambassadors lend their voice during this difficult time to empower fans to take control of their personal health."

Cancer screenings can help identify a cancer diagnosis early, before symptoms appear, which can save lives. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular screenings for certain types of cancers, including cervical, breast and colon cancers. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many cancer screenings being put on hold to conserve essential medical resources and to lower the risk of spreading the virus. For example, there has been a 94% drop in screening rates for cervical, breast and colon cancers compared to the same timeframe in previous years. As stay-at-home orders start to relax in many parts of the country, medical centers have begun providing routine cancer screenings again and patients are encouraged to speak with their physician to see if cancer screening is right for them at this time.

"Early screening and detection can be a vital tool in saving lives by catching cancer before it progresses and we are immensely grateful for our ongoing collaboration with Rally Health," said Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO, Stand Up To Cancer. "Since screenings were delayed in the early days of the pandemic, it's now more important than ever for people to prioritize having a conversation about preventive cancer screenings with their physician."

"Cancer isn't taking a break during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that's why Rally's collaboration with SU2C and its dedicated ambassadors is critical to sharing our message that taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle can lower the risk of developing cancer," saidBrenda Yang, COO, Rally Health, which is part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Group. "As Americans focus on keeping themselves and their loved ones safe from COVID, it's important also to remember to speak with your doctor about your regular health care maintenance, including getting screened for cancer."

Stand Up To Cancer and Rally's "Make the Healthy Call" campaign was developed and produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic by Wondros Global, a creative solutions agency with a mission to inspire passion, incite action, and propel change. The TNT and CBS spots were directedby seasoned comedy director Lee Farber, who joined Wondros Collective, Wondros' commercial/branded content division, earlier this year.

Visit to learn more about the campaign and follow @SU2C (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), @Rally_Health (Twitter) and @RallyHealth (Facebook, Instagram) for the latest campaign and collaboration updates.

About Stand Up To CancerStand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities' resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of August 2020, more than 1,950 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.

Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C operates rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.

Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C's CEO. For more information, visit

About Rally Health, Inc.Rally Health, Inc. is a consumer-centric digital health company that makes it easy for individuals to take charge of their health and collaborates with health plans, health care providers, and employers to engage consumers. The company's flagship offering is Rally, a leading digital health platform that delivers web and mobile solutions to help people manage their employee benefits, health and well-being, and health care needs. Nearly 55 million consumers have access to the Rally platform through more than 200,000 employers, and health plans, including UnitedHealthcare and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. With seven offices across the U.S., Rally Health has been working since 2010 to transform the consumer health experience. Rally Health is part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Group. For more information, please visit

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UK researcher partners with churches on COVID, health disparities issues – ABC 36 News – WTVQ

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Affairs) A lack of access to proper care can heavily impact a communitys health.

Recent studies have shed light on an areas socioeconomic status being one of the most impactful social determinants of health in both urban and rural communities throughout Kentucky.

Whether looking at the rural Appalachian regions of the Commonwealth, or the outskirts of a metropolitan city such as Lexington, its community members share a commonality; prevalent health-related disparities.

Lovoria Williams, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of KentuckyCollege of Nursing, has two recent interventional studies that highlight health disparities among minority and medically underserved populations in both Appalachia and predominately African American communities in Lexington.

Both COVID-19 & Impact on Church and Enhancing the Diabetes Prevention Program to Promote Weight Loss Among Non-Responders in a Community-Based Lifestyle Intervention seek recruitment through local churches due to their motivations to collaborate, a longing to build partnerships for a greater cause, and a passion to combat the health disparities their congregants may face.

We chose to partner with them because they are a cohesive group that we can approach, said Williams. Theyre all from different walks of life with various lived experiences and many churches have health as a part of their mission.

Both projects share a key role of influence. Williams explains that by training individuals within each of the sites that it will provide a chance to continue the interventions once the grant periods have concluded.

The enhanced diabetes prevention program is an extension from a previous study and will involve 20 African American churches and community sites throughout Central Kentucky. This program will deliver a healthy lifestyle intervention to 500 community members and will offer extra support to those who do not initially see results.

We want to focus on giving them this added attention in order to help them work through any barriers or challenges they may face toward changing their lifestyle, Williams said.

She attributes her urgency to improve the health of Kentuckians to the COVID-19 disparities and the information that she learned about the health inequities in Fayette County while she was serving as vice-chairof the Health Disparities Committee on Mayor Linda Gordons Commission for Racial Justice and Equality.

For the six-month COVID-19 related project, Williams hopes the data will result in obtaining information that can be used to inform officials about the unique barriers experienced by Appalachian and Black Kentuckians.

This information can be used to influence public health decisions regarding the allocation of resources from local healthcare departments, develop stronger communicative efforts to educate community members on available preventative practices, COVID-19 testing and vaccination updates.

If we know what the barriers in these communities are, then when we can head it off and move resources around to overcome them, she said.

Although active recruitment for the COVID-19 study has concluded, Williams encourages local churches and community sites to join the diabetes prevention intervention. More information about Williamsresearch can be found on theUK College of Nursingpage.

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Cigna Expands Offerings for Individuals – Increasing Access to Quality Care in More Communities Across the Country – BioSpace

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna Corp, a global health service company, is enhancing its offerings to customers who access health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, frequently referred to as the individual exchange. Cigna's plans will include a number of features that increase access to quality health care all while holding down out-of-pocket costs.

These offerings will be available in 80 new counties in 2021 representing a 27 percent growth in customer reach. This growth will enable Cigna to make health care more affordable, predictable and simple for more people across the country.

"Our first priority is to ensure that our customers have access to the care they need especially in this unprecedented time," said Brian Evanko, president of Cigna's government business. "We have maintained a continuous and growing presence in the individual exchanges since their launch in 2014, and are excited by the opportunity to serve even more customers in 2021 and beyond."

In 2021, Cigna is offering individual and family plans on the individual exchanges for more than 300 counties spanning 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.

Key features that Cigna customers will enjoy include:

Enhancements added last year such as the Patient Assurance Program*** to cap insulin costs at $25 per month for a 30-day supply of covered eligible insulin, and access to a customer loyalty program in most markets that rewards healthy lifestyle activities are included as well.

Cigna's 2021 plans will also include smarter digital interactions to better connect customers to care and medications, including access to the myCigna mobile app and Cigna One Guide to help customers navigate the highest quality and cost-effective providers, best sites of care and health tools.

Cigna's real time benefit check program will increase financial predictability for customers. With this program, doctors can quickly and easily know the cost of treatment options during an appointment with a Cigna customer, which helps facilitate more informed and meaningful discussions among doctors and patients.

"Cigna remains deeply committed to providing affordable access to quality care when and where our customers want to use their benefits with offerings that encourage and support whole-person health," said Lisa Lough, president of Cigna's Individual and Family Plans business. "Our plans on the individual exchange are designed with an understanding of our customers' needs and preferences for their health care, delivered in a collaborative relationship with physician partners across the country many of whom are in value-based care arrangements."

People interested in enrolling in a health plan on the individual exchange may do so during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that begins Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 15. Health plans purchased during OEP are effective Jan. 1, 2021. People in Colorado may enroll in a plan on the state's health insurance marketplace, where open enrollment continues through Jan. 15, 2021.

For more details about Cigna health plans for individuals and families, click here.

*Cigna provides access to virtual care through national telehealth providers as part of your health plan. $0 telehealth benefit not available for all plans in CO. Some plans may apply a copay, coinsurance or deductible. Refer to plan documents for a complete description of virtual care services and costs, including other telehealth/telemedicine benefits.**Refer to plan documents for a complete description and list of diabetes equipment and supplies that are covered at $0.***Discounts available with the Cigna Patient Assurance Program. $25 is the maximum out-of-pocket cost for a 30-day supply.

About CignaCigna Corporation is a global health service company dedicated to improving the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve. Cigna delivers choice, predictability, affordability and access to quality care through integrated capabilities and connected, personalized solutions that advance whole person health. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Express Scripts companies or their affiliates, and Life Insurance Company of North America. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 185 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

Media ContactEllie Polack1 (860)

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Cigna Expands Offerings for Individuals - Increasing Access to Quality Care in More Communities Across the Country - BioSpace

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How one perfect, healthy day changed this Meyerland womans life – Houston Chronicle

Jan Huff was well aware of all the 28-day weight-loss plans and 30-day diets already out there but she didnt want to wait that long for results.

And the Meyerland resident wasnt sure she could commit to a months time. How about 24 hours? she thought. Thats something I can do.

Huff created her own full-day challenge, and it turned her life around.

The journey was prompted by a 2017 trip to the doctor, in which her lab results revealed she was prediabetic, with high cholesterol not to mention about 40 pounds overweight.

I didnt realize how bad I had gotten, she said. That was my wake-up call. Enough was enough.

The results came as a shock. Huff had always been fairly active, loved cycling and competed five times in the MS 150 bike ride.

I was athletically fit, but I wasnt necessarily eating healthy, not well-rounded or balanced, she said.

Occasionally, she would change her diet, but only to drop a few pounds. I then gained it all back and then some, she said.

In addition, Huff was working full time, taking care of her mother and also her three then-teenage boys.

There was a whole lot on my plate, she recalled. I was pretty much putting everybody before me. And I wasnt my normal, chipper self. I was just going through the motions.

Her doctor offered to prescribe her medication to lower her numbers, but she wanted to research natural options.

Huff realized her approach in the past was flawed. Im not focusing on losing weight, she decided. Instead, it should be about how do I get healthy.

All of her research pointed to four important healthy habits eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep.

Huff wasnt making any of them a priority. Instead, she had a sweet tooth and lived off coffee and tea. Because of the caffeine intake, she was not getting good sleep.

She wanted to exercise more but didnt feel like she had enough time for bike rides.

Huff pledged to make an adjustment: In the next 24 hours, she would do everything differently. Basically, she would have a perfect, healthy day.

Thats the key making up your mind, she said.

The night before, she made vegetable soup and succumbed to her usual craving for sweets. She knew she would have no sugar the next day.

Huff woke up and had a large glass of water, right off the bat. She then ate a healthy breakfast.

The indoor bicycle that was unused was put to work literally. Huff placed a table and computer in front of the bicycle so she could pedal while doing her job.

I wouldnt have an excuse that I didnt have time to exercise, Huff said.

She also went for a 20-minute walk outside and ate healthy meals all day. By 9:30 p.m., she was ready for bed.

I was actually tired, because I wasnt drinking caffeine all day, she recalled. Within 15 minutes, I was asleep.

The following morning, Huff woke up early, before her alarm sounded.

And I felt really good, she said. I knew that if I felt so good after just 24 hours, I didnt want to go back.

Huff decided to expand her day and make it more of an everyday lifestyle.

Four months later, she went to her primary care doctor to retest her previous lab results. Her numbers lowered, and her cholesterol was now moderate instead of high. She was also no longer prediabetic and was losing weight.

My doctor said you have to get this out to help others, Huff recalled. It was unbelievable.

A friend helped her build a website, and she chose a name for her plan Save Your Own Life.

You can change your life, Huff said. This is not a complicated method. Its so simple. You just have to put in the work.

On the website, Huff shares recipes, offers tips and outlines her 24-hour challenge, as well as lifestyle changes that have helped her.

I want to get my message out to anyone I possibly can, she said. And Im not stopping. Im not going to give up. I want to reach more people so they can live a better and healthier life.

Becky Mitchell turned to the website for information about anti-inflammatory foods.

Mitchell has known Huff for the past 22 years. They raised their children together, and Mitchell taught all three of Huffs sons.

Huff also volunteers at the before- and after-school care on the campus where Mitchell works.

When Huffs health started to improve, Mitchell noticed right away. She looked completely transformed, Mitchell said.

Huff was eager to share her website and her new lifestyle.

Mitchell has osteoarthritis, which led to severe pain in her left knee. As a teacher, she spends a lot of time on her feet. Even navigating the long hallways at school could be torturous for her joints.

There were so many days, I was just dragging myself in, and looking down the hallway thinking, I wont be able to make it, Mitchell recalled.

She decided to check out Save Your Own Life and started making smoothies out of the vegetables Huff recommended. She also brewed turmeric and ginger tea to ease inflammation, reduced her sugar intake and started carrying water with her.

I dont even remember when it happened, but soon, I wasnt looking down the hall thinking I cant do it anymore, Mitchell said.

Huff is her inspiration, Mitchell explained.

How can you not believe in her when you see her? Mitchell said. And its in her heart to help. She wants to share with anybody who wants better health.

Huffs own health has only continued to get better. She no longer craves sugar, and she continues to pedal her way through Zoom meetings and conference calls. After a year, she lost the extra 40 pounds and has kept it off.

Its just being healthy, Huff said. No more diets, no more craziness.

Huffs plan foregoes strict rules, except cutting processed foods and sugars as much as possible. A balance of proteins, vegetables and whole grains makes up the menu. She recommends taking note of how different foods make you feel. When you eat junk food, you feel bad, she said. When you eat healthy, you feel much better.

One requirement is to keep snacks and water always on hand. Huff recommends slicing an apple and throwing it in a Ziploc bag, carrying an orange or hummus and pretzels.

Whenever youre hungry, you have something healthy on you and you dont ruin your nutrition plan, she said.

She also recommends regular exercise, like a 30-minute cardio session or walk outside. Since she enjoys dancing, sometimes, shell turn up the music and get her steps that way.

Youre going to be more successful if you do something that you enjoy, said Huff, who is also creating her own line of activewear leggings and T-shirts, which she hopes will be something cute, comfortable and practical to help women get out there and be more active.

The whole point, Huff explained, is making lasting, healthy lifestyle adjustments.

Just make a small change, and then gradually, take another step, she said.

After all, it was only a matter of taking those first four small steps for Huff to make a major transformation.

I feel like I saved my own life by doing this, she said. Ive been there, and now Im here to show how to do it. I can vouch that this works. You literally have the power to save your own life, too.

Lindsay Peyton is a Houston-based freelance writer.

Original post:
How one perfect, healthy day changed this Meyerland womans life - Houston Chronicle

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Weight Loss: 8 Healthy habits every weight watcher should have – PINKVILLA

Even after doing intense workout and strict diet control, we often tend to gain more weight. This happens generally due to bad lifestyle habits. So, stop them and instead adopt the new and healthy ones.

Weight loss is not only possible with diet control and intense workout but we also need to change our entire lifestyle and include healthy habits in our daily life to lose and manage weight. Often it has been seen that people after doing diet control and workout, tend to gain weight.

It happens because certain bad habits contribute to weight gain. As a result, no matter how much we reduce our calorie intake, we tend to put on weight. Hence, we need to eliminate those bad habits and practise new ones to stay healthy.

Daily habits to practise for weight loss:

1.Stop having diet sodas. They are packed with artificial sweeteners that affect metabolism, spike insulin levels and prevent the fat-burning process. Research has also seen that people who drink two to three diet sodas in a day tend to increase weight.

2.Snacking between meals is another bad habit that needs to be stopped. Three balanced meals are the best way to control your weight.

3.Include walnuts in your diet plan. Its polyunsaturated fat reduces fat storage and improves insulin metabolism.

4.Instead of doing high-intensity interval training three days a week, do traditional aerobic exercises for 45 minutes three days a week. It is more effective for losing abdominal fat.

5.Include whole grains in your diet like wheat, quinoa, oats, brown rice, etc. and eliminate refined carbs like bread, rice pasta to reduce more weight.

6.Have black pepper in your meals. Piperine, found in black pepper, helps to ease inflammation and tummy troubles.

7.Coconut oil is a great option to opt for weight loss. So, replace your cooking oils with this to lead a healthy lifestyle. It regulates your cholesterol levels.

8.Instead of having normal chocolates, have dark chocolates as they have flavonoids which have important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Also Read:9 Smart ways to maintain a fast metabolism as you age

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Weight Loss: 8 Healthy habits every weight watcher should have - PINKVILLA

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The sports nutrition market is projected to record a CAGR of 11.74% during the forecast period (2020-2025 – GlobeNewswire

New York, Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Sports Nutrition Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)" - Thus, the growth rate of the sports nutrition market is attributed to not just sportspersons, but to casual athletes and dieters as well, who are joining the general health and wellness movement. Indulgence buying and product knowledge are the key factors driving the growth rate.- By type, the sports supplement segment occupied a major share, due to the increased regularized usage of sports nutrition products by sportspersons in the form of supplements. The growing preference for personalized nutrition is one of the key market trends, which may further stimulate market growth.

Key Market TrendsIncreasing Demand for Sports Drinks

The sports drink segment is lifestyle-driven. The increasing concerns about physical well-being and leading a healthy lifestyle are the major growth drivers for the sports drink segment. Also, the increasing fitness trend across the world is further expected to drive the sales of sports drinks. With the growing popularity of fitness programs, due to the increased emphasis on leading a healthy lifestyle, the consumption of sports drinks is rising substantially, as they help in rehydrating the body. Moreover, in recent years, health clubs and fitness centers have witnessed consistent growth, due to an increase in health concerns and changes in lifestyle. The rise in health awareness and the need for adequate nutritional content in food have also fostered the demand for sports nutrition products.

Asia-Pacific is the Fastest-growing Market

The strong fitness culture across countries, such as China, Japan, and Australia, and the wide availability of sports nutrition products, with a plethora of brands on the market and constant new product launches, are some of the factors contributing toward increasing the market for sports nutrition products across Asia-Pacific. Additionally, the increasing dependency on social media is a significant factor in the success of sports nutrition brands, with the use of social media channels, including Instagram and Facebook, as well as brand ambassadors, having a strong influence on sales. Furthermore, the increasing government efforts to educate consumers on the importance of fitness are further adding to the overall revenues in the Asia-Pacific sports nutrition market. In this regard, in 2016, the Chinese government introduced the National Fitness Programme, encouraging consumers to take part in various sports activities being held throughout the country, such as marathons, thus, in turn, boosting the sports nutrition market in the region.

Competitive LandscapeThe sports nutrition market is highly competitive and fragmented, with the presence of various international and domestic players. Though there are many local players in the sports nutrition market, brand value, high distribution network, and the demand for clean label products give the global players an upper edge over the regional players. Major players in the sports nutrition market are Glanbia PLC, PepsiCo Inc., MusclePharm Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, Clif Bar & Compan, Multipower, etc.

Reasons to Purchase this report:- The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format- 3 months of analyst supportRead the full report:

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The sports nutrition market is projected to record a CAGR of 11.74% during the forecast period (2020-2025 - GlobeNewswire

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

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