The Impact of Alcohol

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1 A Newsletter From Your EAP and WorkLife Service The Impact of Alcohol Why is it that two people can drink the same amount of alcohol and one will seem fine while the other will appear buzzed? Many factors impact how alcohol affects a person. Here are some of the most common: Body weight. A larger person has more capacity to absorb alcohol due to increased blood volume. Gender. Women tend to have higher blood alcohol levels than men after drinking the same amount due to differences in body size and chemistry. Age. Older people have greater difficulty metabolizing alcohol because they typically have a greater fat to muscle ratio than younger people of similar size or weight. Speed. A typical adult is capable of metabolizing one alcoholic beverage (12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of hard liquor) per hour. If you have more than one drink an hour, you will feel the alcohol s effects more strongly. Drink composition. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the faster you will feel its effects. Check the label to determine the percentage of alcohol in a drink or ask the bartender how many shots are in a mixed drink. Food. If you eat prior to or while drinking, it will slow down the alcohol absorption rate and dilute its effects. Medications. Medications may impact your body s ability to absorb alcohol. Check with your doctor before drinking when you are taking a prescribed or over-thecounter medication. While many people can use alcohol on an occasional basis without concern, others may find that they are drinking with more frequency or to deal with problems. When thinking about your use of alcohol (or any other drug), it is important to consider these questions: Have you ever called in sick because of alcohol/drug use? Are you more likely to attend a social gathering if alcohol or drugs will be available? Have you ever had legal difficulties due to alcohol/drugs? When sober, do you regret your behavior while under the influence? Once you start using alcohol or drugs, do you find it difficult to stop? Do you have difficulty remembering your actions while under the influence?

2 Answering yes to one or more of these questions may indicate a problem with alcohol or another drug. Call LifeMatters for confidential assistance. Source: Krames Staywell Creating a Balanced Fitness Program A balanced fitness program is one that works your entire body. While a single activity (such as running) may help keep your weight down, it works a limited set of muscles. A good way to make sure you are maintaining a balanced fitness program is to vary your exercise routine. There are three primary areas that should be addressed: Endurance exercises (aka aerobic or cardio exercises) boost your heart rate and breathing over a period of time and benefit the heart, lungs, and circulation. Studies suggest that regular endurance workouts may prevent or delay some diseases, including heart disease or diabetes. Examples include: - Walking - Running - Biking - Cross-country skiing - Swimming - Dancing - Aerobic exercise routines - Stair climbing - Any other activity done without stopping for a period of time Strength training helps maintain muscle mass and bone strength. Some examples are: - Weight training - Resistance training - Body weight exercises, such as push-ups or pull-ups Stretching increases the range of motion in a joint and helps to maintain flexibility and prevent injury. Some forms of stretching may also improve balance, which is key to avoiding debilitating falls as people get older. Examples include: - Yoga - Tai chi - Pilates

3 When planning your exercise routine, consider varying these three types of activities for a total of at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Keep in mind that it s important to stretch before and after engaging in either strength or endurance activities to avoid injury. In addition, these points may help to improve the effectiveness of your workout routine: Consider adding high-intensity intervals to your workout, such as jogging for short stretches during a brisk walk or including some hills or stairs on your route. Short bursts of high intensity exercise will help you burn more calories. Avoid fasting or skipping meals. Not eating regular, balanced meals may make it harder to stay fit because your body will burn fewer calories to protect itself. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is a better choice for maintaining an appropriate energy level. Your body burns more calories when digesting certain types of foods or beverages. These include: - High protein foods such as skinless chicken or low-fat yogurt - Whole grains - Fresh fruits and vegetables - Milk, green tea, or coffee - Spicy foods Incorporating more of these foods into your diet and cutting back on processed carbohydrates such as white bread or pasta may help with making your digestion work for you. Finding the right balance between diet and exercise is the key to both mental and physical fitness and your overall health. For more tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, contact LifeMatters. The above information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please contact your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Source: Krames Staywell Get Your Finances in Order with These Apps Do you want to get your finances in better shape or manage your expenses more accurately? Fortunately, there are plenty of free apps that can help you do just that. All the options listed below are free and available for ios or Android (with some available for Windows too). Personal Finance

4 No surprise that Mint.com is one of the most popular personal finance sites available. Its app offers a secure way to track all of your accounts and credit cards in one location and on the go. You can slice and dice account data to create graphs that show you the bigger money picture and set alerts and reminders. Dollarbird (dollarbird.co) is a calendar-based app that tracks expenses and income. It also allows you to set up recurring transactions and bill reminders. Other perks include getting a snapshot of where your money is going and creating a five-year financial projection plan. Credit Cards and Check Management Billguard (billguard.com) monitors gray charges on your credit card statements. It flags questionable or unwanted purchases and highlights merchants who frequently charge for products or services that are unnecessary or oddball fees. MintBills (mintbills.com) lets you pay bills from your mobile phone, either manually or by scheduling automatic payments. It also monitors bank or credit card accounts and notifies you if your checking account balance or credit limit is at risk. Monitor everything about your credit score with the CreditKarma (creditkarma.com) app. Get notifications if and when there are changes to your credit report and a report card on factors impacting your credit score number. Mobile Payments Sick of the hassle of splitting the check when you re out with friends? Square Cash (square.com/cash) makes it easy to link your debit card to the software and securely send and request money via . You can beef up online protection with a security code too. Transactions typically take one to two business days. Another big player in this market is Google Wallet (google.com/wallet). It allows you to send money to any user in the U.S. You can also track online orders and view your purchase history when you have the free Google Wallet Card. Other Tools Hate keeping track of your work expenses? Expensify (expensify.com) makes it easier with the ability to scan receipts, track mileage, and even link debit and credit cards. You can view usage and create expense reports. Travel bonus: it allows you to set up currency converters and flight alerts. Slice (slice.com) offers its own version of one stop shopping for all of your online purchasing needs: track packages, view your spending habits, and find out if there are

5 price reductions that you can claim with a merchant after the purchase date. It also provides shopping insights and consumer recall information. So get ready, set, and app up for your personal finance needs in 2015! Tips for Cutting Credit Use 1. Opt out of new credit offers. Call OPTOUT or visit optoutprescreen.com to stop offers. 2. Keep your credit cards in a safe place at your house. Only get your card out if you intend to make a specific purchase. 3. Shop sales and look for discounts. Get discount cards or apps from stores you shop frequently. For big purchases, do your homework and wait until there s a sale to buy. 4. Cut clutter. Have a yard sale or list items you no longer need online. Put the proceeds toward paying off debt. 5. Save every month. It s important to pay yourself first, even if you have debt. 6. Exercise, eat right, and get enough rest. Engaging in healthy behavior will decrease your risk of illness and prevent the associated costs. 7. Consider your choices and values. Understanding why you may have overused credit in the past will help prevent you from using it improperly in the future. 8. Learn to put yourself first. Putting your own finances at risk to help someone else is liable to end with both of you in financial trouble. 9. Manage your stress. It s important to acknowledge that too much debt is a problem. Having concrete steps to address the issue will ease your stress and worry about the future. Money is a great servant but a bad master. ~ Francis Bacon LifeMatters by Empathia is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year to assist with a variety of concerns. Call or visit mylifematters.com. Language assistance services in your preferred spoken and written languages are available at no cost by calling Empathia, Inc EP

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