A good football coach can harness the talent of a team and help players focus on the intricacies of the game. The same is true of health coaches. They provide a pathway for clients to achieve personal goals and live healthier lives. Health coaches like Taylor Kohr are available to members of the Allegheny County Schools Health Insurance Consortium. Kohr, who works with Highmark Blue Shield, helps clients set lifestyle goals, including exercise, nutrition, weight control, improved sleep habits, smoking cessation. Kohr, who has a background in exercise physiology, chronic disease, cardiac rehabilitation and nutrition, spends time on the telephone with her client,s and guides them through their health journey by providing insights and establishing attainable goals. Kohr has been with Highmark for a little more than a year. She arrived prior to the beginning of the pandemic. Over the course of the pandemic, Kohr says people have been receptive to the guidance provided by the health coaches. “Having this real person on the line is beneficial. Once people talk to us, hear our voice and expertise, they tend to respond better to what we provide,” she says. “We create a personal connection and that helps a lot.” For those clients who want to lose weight, Highmark coaches use the “My Weight Management Journey” program. The coaches use this program to help their clients establish nutritional guidelines, an exercise plan and even an accountability program. Kohr checks in with her clients every two weeks. From that conversation, she will provide them with certain challenges over the next two weeks in order to hit their goals. “The coaches are here to help with these challenges along their journey and the members are typically receptive to them. It’s pretty helpful to have someone call in and check in with you periodically,” Kohr explains. A weight loss journey begins with a baseline of an individual’s height, weight and body mass index. A client’s progress is measured against the baseline and trends are shown in an analytics report, Kohr says. Leslie Ferrari, a reading specialist at Butler Intermediate High School, has been a client of Kohr for the past several months. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with a broken hip led to some weight gain for Ferrari. She wanted to get a handle on her weight before it became a problem and turned to Kohr. “The health coaching program is great,” says Ferrari, 61. “I look forward to the calls with Taylor. We talk for 25 or 30 minutes and it’s so helpful. She provides an objective, supportive source of encouragement. She’s there to guide me along this weight loss journey.” Using the weight management plan, Kohr has set goals for Ferrari and helped her address one of her key weaknesses, what Ferrari calls “mindless eating.” That mindless eating, in addition to the sedentary lifestyle that set in while she recovered from her surgery, led to weight gain. Before the pandemic and accident, Ferrari says she was “super skinny” and wants to get back into her clothing. In addition to her guidance on mindless eating and other nutritional advice, Kohr has also helped Ferrari with some exercise goals. “I’m not as fast as I used to be,” she says. “I exercise the best as I can, given the limitations of my hip.” Under Kohr’s guidance, Ferrari has already lost about six pounds and has her eye on losing about 10 more. “The clothes I wanted to get into were an important motivator,” she says. “If I lose a few more pounds I won’t look like a stuffed sausage in them.” Ferrari’s injury, combined with the pandemic are part of contributing determinants of health that Highmark notes can impact our daily lives. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of those determinants of health include stable housing, access to food, transportation and the like. In a Highmark YouTube video, Highmark Health Coach Terra Delia, a registered nurse, shares some typical social and economic obstructions to health that people may not consider on their own journey. “What are in people’s environments that affect their health,” she asks. Delia says people will often think they have what they need for good health, but once a health coach begins probing and asking questions, those determinants will begin to come to light. Delia shares a story of a Highmark client who was a high risk pregnancy. The woman and her boyfriend had both lost their jobs, and had no income and little food to eat. As a coach, Delia was able to bring a Highmark social worker onto the case who was able to provide some guidance and direction to find financial resources, food assistance and how to apply for WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. That assistance was able to tide the woman over until she found a new job. Delia explains that beyond advice, a Highmark health coach can provide a client with the resources they need to reach a goal or get through a difficult season in life. “It’s very rewarding to have such a positive impact on our members,” she says. For Ferrari, Kohr’s guidance has had an enormous impact. She says she is always excited to talk with Kohr about her goals. While the relationship is professional, Ferrari says she developed a personal bond with Kohr, as well. “She’s a calming influence,” Ferrari says of Kohr.

After a long and cold winter, spring is finally here, and many people are eager to get outside to exercise. Whether you’re looking to incorporate a brisk walk during your lunch break or prefer to start your day with a long-distance run, Allegheny Health Network primary care sports medicine physician Jared Ramsey, DO, shares advice on how to safely re-boot your spring workout routine.

No matter what’s going on or where it might be going on, time is often of the essence when it comes to just about anything. The clock can be one of the biggest barriers to finding consistent routines, especially when it comes to exercising on a regular basis. But it doesn’t have to be. Check out how to squeeze in a quick yet still-effective workout that can generate real results, even if only 30 minutes are up for grabs.

Caring for plants yields more than beautiful flowers and tasty produce. As they plan, dig, prune and harvest, gardeners are cultivating better physical and mental health. It’s good news that interest in gardening surged during the pandemic. That trend may continue to bloom and bear fruit.

Yoga practitioners know that a daily dose of sun can help focus the mind, improve circulation and tone muscles. Now the face can get in on the action, as well, thanks to face yoga, an anti-aging exercise regime for the face.

Oatmeal, garlic, flax seeds, beans, almonds and apples — these foods may sound odd when grouped together, but for balancing cholesterol levels they are a recipe for successful health.

No matter what’s going on or where it might be going on, time is often of the essence when it comes to just about anything. The clock can be one of the biggest barriers to finding consistent routines, especially when it comes to exercising on a regular basis. But it doesn’t have to be. Check out how to squeeze in a quick yet still-effective workout that can generate real results, even if only 30 minutes are up for grabs.

Yoga practitioners know that a daily dose of sun can help focus the mind, improve circulation and tone muscles. Now the face can get in on the action, as well, thanks to face yoga, an anti-aging exercise regime for the face.

Muscle pain and muscle aches are part of life and can happen to just about everyone. Whether they’re from tension, stress, a sports injury or a medical condition, everyday living can sometimes be a literal pain in the neck — and exacerbate related bodily aches, too. These aches usually affect the support structures that allow movement in daily life: the bones, the muscles, the ligaments and the tendons.

Winter is the customary cold and flu season, and a time during which many people aren’t as vigilant about maintaining their health as they might be at other times of the year. This winter has the additional variable of the coronavirus pandemic, which surged into 2021 with a second wave of spread and infection.

Barbara Bell knows the importance of medical care and regular visits to the doctor, and why they’re vital for her during the pandemic. Bell, a retired teacher, has rheumatoid arthritis and takes medication that suppresses her immune system.

A natural drug once seen as taboo by mainstream America may now be poised to help battle the country’s opioid crisis.

Getting a yearly physical in the middle of the deadliest pandemic in a century may seem low on the priority list, but keeping up with personal health in small ways throughout the year may save some trouble down the road.

The holiday season is one that – even during the coronavirus pandemic – will be sure to include plenty of calorie-rich goodies.

As challenging as the pandemic made spring and summer, it promises to make flu season significantly more difficult than usual, some in the medical community are saying.

The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out countless events and altered many more since March.

As the population health and well-being consultant for the Finger Lakes Area School Health Plan, Ken Foresti’s goal is to find ways to better the lives of his clients.

Angela Ballard knows sweat. She is an educator and advocate of hyperhidrosis, in which the sweat glands produce more sweat than usual. She’s also a wife and mother.

It was once thought that eating a meat-based diet was the only way to add some meat to the bones. However, many health and fitness experts are now touting the benefits of a plant-based diet to bulk up, build muscle and improve athletic performance. Learn how proteins work, the difference between proteins derived from meat and plants, and what plants pack a powerful punch for playing sports and growing muscle.

After a couple weeks of feeling overwhelmed and even a bit blue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the U.S., staff members at Penn Yan Central School District received some advice on how to feel better, thanks to Blue Zones; or, more specifically, to a four-week Blue Zones challenge.

The question of how much liquid to consume daily basis has no simple answer. Several studies have shown differing recommendations. However, specific fluid needs depend on several factors, which include overall health, location and even level of activeness. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but knowing more about the body’s need for liquids can help in estimating how much ought to be sipped up.

For those looking to get out of the house without wandering away from their property, cultivating a home garden can provide a welcome escape. As an added bonus, you can incorporate the vegetables you grow into your next home-cooked meals. There are many options for Midwest gardeners to choose from to grow at home.

Nick Setta once trained Tyler Jay, a left-handed baseball pitcher who was selected in the first round – sixth overall – of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins.

Building and maintaining a strong immune system is not exactly a walk in the park under normal circumstances.

Gyms and fitness centers across the U.S. are closed amidst the coronavirus outbreak, but there are many exercises that can be done at home to help people who are sheltering and maintain their fitness goals. Some gyms are even offering free live-streaming classes.

Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak can help you avoid contracting the potentially deadly pathogen. Arming your immune system and creating a natural shield by eating foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help you fight off an infection, whether it is COVID-19 or other viruses and bacterium.

It’s a no-brainer that exercise and physical activity benefits our bodies in countless ways. But for parents, it can sometimes be a challenge to get the kids off the couch or out of their bedrooms, especially in today’s tablet-obsessed and streaming-television-filled world of technology.

Overeating during the holidays and New Year’s may now be in the rearview mirror. But that doesn’t necessarily make losing or maintaining weight easier for everyone — even if you resolved to make healthier food choices. It may be a tough work to keep a healthy weight and diet. For some people, it can be especially difficult.

It is healthy for the bodies to take probiotics. They cleanse the body and the gut system. The “good bacteria” helps keep the gut healthy. Instead of buying expensive probiotic products, nature offers some organic choices for you that you can use daily for a better gut health. The name itself is derived from the Latin 'pro-' 'for' and the Greek '-biotic' 'life. The discovery of the probiotics came in the early 20th century and was found in Bulgaria where the bacteria Bacillus Bulgarikus was found in milk.

When you picture people from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden dining at breakfast, lunch or dinner, what may come to mind is a big plate of Swedish meatballs, potatoes covered in gravy and deliciously flaky Danish pastries. But a relatively new way of eating is clearing off those meals from the table: the Nordic Diet.

In the wake of the recent opioid crisis, cannabidiol appears to have become a promising super drug that may lower opioid dependence. Now, CBD, the nonpsychoactive molecule in the cannabis plant and one of the two main components in marijuana has garnered several advocates in other industries, including the world of sports.

The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is a season filled with food and drinks that — although very tasty — threaten to increase your waistline.

Whether you’re out with family eating dinner, celebrating a promotion with co-workers after hours, or just looking for a quick-fix of caffeine or an energy boost in the morning, sugary drinks are just about everywhere — and they often can be hard to avoid.

For anyone considering a plant-based diet as part of a healthier lifestyle, you might want to hear what Sarah Goodenough has to say.

Project Fit America is a charity that works alongside educators to create opportunities for kids to stay active and healthy. It offers fitness grants and programs to help fund resources such as equipment, teacher training and curriculum. The goal is not only to get students involved physically, but also nurture an environment in which children enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. For the past five years at Homer-Center Elementary, in Homer City, Pennsylvania, that opportunity to stay active has been the Lub Dub Run Club.

Whether you’re out with family eating dinner, celebrating a promotion with co-workers after hours, or just looking for a quick-fix of caffeine or an energy boost in the morning, sugary drinks are just about everywhere — and they often can be hard to avoid.

There are several well-known factors that contribute to aging: smoking, stress, sun exposure and genetics, among them. But what you may not realize is what you put on your plate can also cause you to look beyond your year. 

During this past winter, there seemed to be three types of weather in Bucks and Montgomery counties – cold, icy and snowy. Sometimes it was a combo platter. Cold mixed with snow. Cold mixed with ice. Cold mixed with snow and ice.