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Dodging Diabetes

How you can dodge diabetes

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes and 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different causes, but there are two factors that are important in both: you inherit a predisposition to the disease, then something in your environment triggers it. You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with proven, achievable lifestyle changes such as losing a small amount of weight and getting more physically active.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas does not make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone
made by your pancreas that lets blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy.

Type 1 diabetes can be developed at any age and can be inherited genetically. Controlling type 1 diabetes means checking your blood sugar regularly, taking insulin shots, managing stress levels, and monitoring your cholesterol and blood pressure by making healthy nutrition and activity choices.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, where your cells do not respond normally to
insulin in your body. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond.

Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises. Healthy choices to control your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include managing your weight, participating in regular exercise, and keeping glucose in normal ranges such as 100-125 mg/dl can help you dodge diabetes.

Research shows that you can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by 58% by losing 7%
of your body weight, or 15 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds, and exercising moderately, such as brisk walking, 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Don’t worry if you can’t get to your ideal body weight. Losing even 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference.

Source: American Diabetes

Uncontrollable risk factors:

  • Age (> 45 years)
  • Family history
  • Race (African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, and Native Alaskan individuals may all be at greater risk for type 2 diabetes)
  • History of gestational diabetes

Prevent the development of type 2 diabetes with healthy choices:

  • Consume fewer artificial sugars Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Be physically active (150 minutes each week)
  • Manage stress
  • Replace juices and soda with water
  • Talk to your doctor about your family history and get regular biometric screenings to know your numbers.

For more information, visit the
American Diabetes Association website at



Isaac Mielke

Isaac Mielke

City of Saint Paul – Library Associate Riverview Library

Tell us about the pillar of wellbeing you are thriving in and what you are doing?

My pillars are physical and social. I am both a manager and player of my adult recreational soccer team!

I have cofacilitated an antiracist book club at the City of Saint Paul where we work on body practices, including breathing exercises. This has really helped me in my work at the library, to deescalate any incidents.

What do you aspire to improve in your wellbeing over the next year?

I need to exercise more, especially in the winter. I am looking for a gym to play basketball!

How has the Healthy Saint Paul program improved your quality of life, worklife balance, or job

The newsletters always share really helpful tips! I didn’t know about the new National Suicide Prevention Line dialing code until I saw it in the May newsletter.

Thank you for sharing, Isaac!

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Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

Based on recent Gallup research, only 32% of full- and part-time employees are engaged at work, while 17% are actively disengaged. That means almost
two-thirds of employees are on autopilot and performing their job without passion or energy. Improving your engagement at work can positively impact your productivity, relationships, happiness, and can motivate you to prioritize this as a work/life balance goal.

If you find yourself disengaged at work, here are some tips to reengage:


Have a strong purpose and connection to company goals.


Ask yourself, “What can I do to better align my work with the company’s goals and strategy?”

Feel heard within the organization.


Bring forth improvement ideas to your team or manager by stating “I’d like to share my ideas with you and also get your recommendations about who else I should share them with.”

Are accountable to accomplishing their goals and tasks.


Tell your team or manager, “I want to do a better job of being accountable for the work I’m doing.” Then ask them, “What would be the best way for me to proactively update you?”

Feel appreciated for the work they are doing.


Ask for regular feedback from your manager. If appreciation still is not felt, build a compelling case for what you need and deserve, and ask for it.

Feel challenged in the work that they are responsible for.


Share with your team or manager that you are looking for more challenging work and present project ideas that you’d like to start working on.

From technology disruptors, the rise of remote work, and the need for greater agility, the workplace has changed. But the measure of what makes a great workplace hasn’t. The best workplace is the one that cares for its employees, then positions employee engagement as the catalyst for improving important business outcomes.



“Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline in the percentage of engaged
employees was evident across all three groups — exclusively remote, hybrid, and
exclusively on-site — but highest for employees who are exclusively remote.”
— G A L LU P . C OM

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Nutrition Resources

  • Virgin Pulse Nutrition Guide: Employees pick their nutrition profile and the Nutrition Guide serves up personalized healthy tips, such as what to eat if you have a sweet tooth or easy cooking ideas.
  • Monj: This online food and lifestyle programs helps employees improve the way they eat. Employees set goals, learn how to create healthy meals, and get help understanding restaurant menus.
  • Foodsmart by Zipongo: Foodsmart makes healthy eating simple and affordable. Employees can explore recipes; build digital grocery lists; and order groceries online for home delivery.
  • Eat Fit Go: Employees get healthy, ready-to-eat meals delivered straight to their homes or offices with Eat Fit Go. Made with high-quality, allergy-friendly ingredients, the flavor-packed meals stay fresh for at least 10 days in a refrigerator.
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Luisana S. Mendez Escalante

Luisana S. Mendez Escalante

City of Saint Paul Public Works – Traffic Engineering Division

Tell us about the pillar of wellbeing you are thriving in and what you are doing?

  • My pillars are physical and emotional health.  Anxiety formed as a consequence of COVID 19. I discovered that when I walked outside, my anxiety decreased, so I incorporated outdoor activities to keep myself physically and emotionally healthy, mainly hiking.
  • During 2022, I have had the opportunity to share this activity with my friends, family, and members of the Latino community in MN. I have completed challenges and I created my own Hiking Club as a space to walk and promote physical and emotional health. So far, I have done 58 hikes and have covered about 216.3 miles. I also train at the gym at least 4 times a week.

What do you aspire to improve in your wellbeing over the next year?

  • I want to build up my cardiovascular health and continue hiking more miles than this year.

How has the Healthy Saint Paul program improved your quality of life, worklife balance, or job satisfaction?

  • The program offers information and tools that have motivated me to follow my healthy habits more consciously.
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Sun Safety

Sun Safety

Feeling the warm sun can feel like a dream compared to freezing Minnesota winters. But it is important to prevent exposure to ultraviolet
rays, the biggest risk factor for skin cancer:

  • Minimize your time in the sun when rays are the strongest, between 10am- 4p and don’t use tanning beds or lamps
  • Select a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection to guard against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays
  • Re-apply sunscreen with at least (SPF) 30 or higher every two hours, after sweating or being in the water
  • Wear dark, dry, tightly woven clothes, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV-protective lenses


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Summer Fun Challenge

Summer Fun Challenge

Think of how many steps you can rack up during your activities and summer getaways!

  • Register: July 1 July 13
  • Challenge Dates: July 11 July 25

Watch for email reminders from My Health Rewards and messages on the My Health Rewards portal and app under the Social/Challenges section.

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Summer Survival

Summer Survival

Summer can be cold, hot, buggy, stormy, AND a lot of fun! It’s a good idea to be prepared for most situations and create a summer survival kit for your vehicle to protect yourself and your family. Whether it’s a cross-country vacation or a day at the beach, have items handy for your personal needs wherever you travel. These ideas are just a few to get your summer survival kit started


  • Plan ahead for vehicle service for brakes,fluids, belts, hoses, and oil.
  • Check tire condition and pressure. Have a tire pressure gauge, a working spare tire,and a jack.
  • Keep a car emergency kit that includes a flashlight, fresh batteries, first-aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks, car battery jumper cables, emergency flares or reflectors, rain poncho, basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves,and rags or paper towels.
  • Don’t rely on GPS alone. Have a map or print out the destination directions in case cellular coverage is spotty.
  • Stay gassed up. Always fill up —even if you have half a tank.
  • Consider purchasing a roadside assistance membership.


  • Medications for pain, nausea, and easing itching discomfort.
  • Snacks that can handle the heat.
    Chargers for all electronics. Include as solar-powered charger.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.
  • Bug spray and repellent.
  • Umbrella for rain or shade.
  • Soft-sided insulated bag to hold frozen or refrigerated items, or for anything you want to keep from getting too hot.
  • Large beach bag or clothes basket to store and carry all of your summer survival kit items in your car.


  • Water bottles for everyone that can easily be refilled.
  • Folding camp chairs for outdoor events or gatherings.
  • A beach towel or blanket for cooler days,sitting on the beach or grass, or covering your car seats when you have a wet dog or kids.
  • Tissues – especially if you have allergies.
  • Wet wipes to clean up dirty fingers and messes.
  • Hand sanitizer. The pumps fit nicely in each door pocket or cup holders.
  • Reuse grocery bags or add a small garbage bin to your back seat for collecting trash in your car.

45% of Americans take a summer vacation. They average 568 roundtrip miles. 657 million trips are taken between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.


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Race Running

Race Running

Train your way to a 5k.


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Brain Health

Brain Health

Alzheimer’s  Disease & Dementia

According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes brain cells to die and the brain to shrink. This disease is the most common cause of dementia, a brain disease which also causes mental, behavioral, and social decline.

In the United States, nearly 6.2 million people age 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s disease and 2/3 of those diagnosed are women.

Many people experience symptoms much earlier in life and their brain figures out a way to compromise and be fully functional despite the new  challenges that arise. This  compensation often leads to a late diagnosis and irreversible brain damage. Therefore,
recognizing early signs is very important for preventing or delaying dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.

Early Signs

  • Forgetting recent conversations or events
  • Repeating statements and
    questions multiple times
  • Routinely misplacing items in odd locations
  • Having trouble finding the right words to identify objects or express thoughts


More research is needed to confirm strategies to prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimer’s, but living a life that
promotes good overall health is a great place to start.

  • Regular physical activity
  • A healthy diet
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Keeping your brain active and sharp


Playing brain games can be an engaging
way for anyone — especially those who
are aging — to improve memory, mental
health, attention span, and reduce the risk
of Alzheimer’s. Check out the following links
for a variety of FREE online brain games!

Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss. Deaths from Alzheimer’s have more than doubled between 2000 and 2019, while those from heart disease — the leading cause of death — have decreased.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association