Health Tip: Get your zeeeees.

Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by two things, a circadian clock, and our body's need to maintain a habitual sleep schedule. By simply maintaining a regular bedtime schedule and by establishing a relaxing nighttime routine you can improve your quality of sleep drastically. Whatever relaxing routine you choose to help you fall asleep make sure that you create a routine that you can continue every night to establish that habitual sleep schedule that your body so desires. Check out this website to learn more about sleep and its beneficial results!

yoga, laughter, feasting, chocolate

February 14 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
At Ecotrust 721 NW 9th Av. Portland, OR 97209
$40 per person

Deepen your bond as you deepen your stretch. Partner yoga is an easy & spontaneous way to share laughter & joy.

Create fond memories that form the bedrock of a fulfilling relationship.

Delight your taste buds with a lovingly prepared organic, seasonal feast including wine & chocolate from the Blossoming Lotus Cafe.

Register online at

For other Recess events that are open to the public click here.

Beach Body Boot Camp - What you said

Power to the people! What you had to say...

We asked for your input on a survey (if you still haven't taken it then do so by clicking here) about a Beach Body Boot Camp. Here is what you had to say:

Your ideal camp would be indoor and outdoor and would definitely include: yoga, core and body sculpting, walking or jogging, and weight resistance training.

Additionally you'd be interested in trying: pilates, Tai Chi, nutrition seminars, surfing, snowboarding, and biking.

You're most interested in training on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings (between 5 and 8 p.m.) as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings (9-11 a.m.).

You want to train 3 times per week for at least an hour in downtown or close-in Portland.

Most of you consider yourselves beginner or intermediate.

The concept?

Why swelter away in a boring gym when the Pacific Northwest offers so many fun, exciting ways to get and stay healthy? Recess and Oregon Surf Adventures offer a three-month, intensive swimsuit weather prep course that focuses on making you healthy from the inside out and getting you ready for a two-day surf camp in May.

We still want your input into how the ideal swimsuit ready bootcamp would be for you. Take just a second to fill out a survey by clicking here. All who complete the survey will receive a coupon for one free admission to any Recess public class (good for one year).

Aw shucks! Nice things that clients say.

See what our customers have to say about us in their own words:

"I gained 50 pounds over the last 3 years and had been starting to suffer from various health problems such as high blood pressure.

Keeping a food log...and looking at substitutions for some of the higher calorie foods I eat was really helpful. I also had a food sensitivity test and Recess helped me incorporate the suggested changes into my diet.

I feel much more in control of my eating habits. I have been making small gradual changes that I can stick to."

- Sarah in Portland, OR

Healthy lifestyle D.I.Y. - Smokers quit and employers save

Swoop up the dollars other employers have left lying on the table.

Are you trying to quit and looking for help? Let your employer know that helping you kick the habit helps their business cut costs.

Think that offering programs like smoking cessation are a soft benefit?

Think again. Simply put, smoking cessation is one of the most cost effective, preventative health measures an employer can provide.

To date, employers interested in offering smoking cessation programs might have been dissuaded by the up front cost; however, the facts suggest that those who forgo such programs pay higher costs down the road.

Consider the impact on bottom line.

When Conkling Fiskum and McCormick conducted a 2005 survey of Oregon employers, they asked employers what two issues had the biggest impact on their ability to hire new employees. Employers answered that cost of health care and lack of qualified workers (70% and 49% respectively) presented the largest problems.

Smoking, then, creates a double whammy. It not only drives up health claims, impacting the cost of employer sponsored insurance, but also means that those qualified workers who smoke spend fewer hours at work.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that about 23% of American adults smoke. According to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:

- Men who smoke incur $15,800 (in 2002 dollars) more in lifetime medical expenses and are absent from work 4 days more per year than men who do not smoke.
- Women who smoke incur $17,500 (in 2002 dollars) more in lifetime medical expenses and are absent from work 2 days more each year than nonsmoking women.

CDC statistics show that 70% of smoker's would like to quit, but few are able to do so on their own. The irony is that even though the National Business Group on Health reports that 82% of employers state they should take steps to help employees quit smoking, only 24% of employers actually offer such benefits.

Smoking bans alone don't work.

The numbers show that simply banning smoking in the workplace is not an effective means of enticing smokers to quit. Even though 67% of employers enforce a smoke-free workplace policy, employees of such workplaces say:

-78 percent state the company's policy is not effective in motivating them to quit
- A mere 14 percent claimed to attempt quitting because of their employer's smoke-free workplace policy.
-Another 15 percent report starting to smoke more while not at work.

Where is the return?

The US Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Practice Guidelines state that tobacco use treatment doubles the chance that smokers will manage to kick the habit. They recommend counseling, medications, or a combination of both as the most effective means to combat smoking in the workplace.

On the counseling side, some programs are more effective than others. Research suggests that face-to-face counseling and interactive phone counseling produce better results than educational materials and efforts that put most of information gathering onus on the smoker. In addition as the number and length of counseling sessions increases, so, too do the effectiveness of such programs.

The FDA has also approved various nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patch, and lozenges to help relieve smokers' withdrawal symptoms during recovery. FDA Approved non-nicotine drug treatment, Bupropion SR, affects brain neurotransmitters that stimulate the urge to smoke.

Provide incentives

The US Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Practice Guidelines suggest that the most effective programs will cover a minimum of four - 30 minute counseling sessions plus drug coverage per quitting attempt and cover at least two attempts per year. Reward quitters by either offering lowered health care premiums, health account savings bonuses, or, other tiered incentives upon 7, 14, 21 and 30-45 days of successful non-smoking.

Any program you offer should include the buy-in and support of top executives and management - who announce the program several months prior to its start.

On the horizon

How likely are lawmakers to help ease the burden that smoker's place on employer sponsored insurance? Currently the American Lung Association gives the state of Oregon an "F" grade when it comes to Tobacco Prevention and Control spending.

Legislative trends in states like Rhode Island, New Mexico and Maryland show lawmakers requiring that under some conditions, employer health plans cover smoking cessation programs. If the trend continues then ultimately employers will be forced to absorb such costs through employer sponsored insurance.

Other states are taking a lighter touch. Michigan health insurers are able to offer incentives for covered employees who participate in some wellness programs.

Innovate and benefit

Early and voluntary participation in a well-designed, implemented, documented and measured smoking cessation program should help employers reduce claims experience, increase worker productivity and health, and avoid jumps in premiums should legislation move in the direction of mandating such programs.

An American Journal of Health Promotion article showed that tobacco cessation program benefits tend to equalize at 3 years and exceed costs by 5 years. Innovators of such programs can harness the savings potential early - leveraging the money saved into growing their business.

If you have a health topic that interests you and you would like to see it in the next D.I.Y. Healthy Lifestyle then write to with your request.