Healthy Living

Member Newsletter

Each quarter, we will recap our latest plan updates and include health tips, interactive games, and other resources for you to enjoy along your healthcare journey with Solis in our official Solis Member Newsletter.

Happy reading! Thank you for entrusting us with your care.

Member Newsletter

Health & Wellness Articles

Are Your Drinking Patterns Considered At-Risk?

Many would agree that consuming alcohol on occasion can be an enjoyable experience. Perhaps you spend time mingling with family and friends while enjoying beer, wine, or a cocktail. However, some patterns of consuming alcohol can be dangerous, especially as you age.

Aging and Alcohol Consumption

Your body changes over time, and with it, the effects of alcohol on your body can also adjust. According to the National Institute on Aging, some older adults (especially women) may “feel the effects of alcohol more strongly without increasing the amount they drink.” This can lead to a variety of concerns, including a lack of balance which is often linked to dangerous falls and car accidents.

Drinking Can Damage Your Health

Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to serious health issues. It can cause certain cancers, liver damage, worsen health conditions, and even cause memory problems. Furthermore, some medications should not ever be mixed with alcohol. There can be deadly consequences for mixing alcohol with certain medications such as sleeping pills or anti-depression medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is okay for alcohol to be consumed in moderation while taking your medication(s).

When Are You Considered “At-Risk”

Oftentimes, certain life events can lead to a development of addiction or reliance on alcohol. For example, the death of a spouse or discovering medical diagnoses can correlate with increased alcohol consumption as a harmful coping mechanism. This can lead to alcohol misuse or alcohol use disorder which has serious consequences, including injuries and health problems.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines heavy alcohol use as the following:

Heavy Alcohol Use – Adult Men: Consuming 5 or more drinks on any day
Consuming 15 or more drinks per week
Heavy Alcohol Use – Adult Women: Consuming 4 or more drinks on any day
Consuming 8 or more drinks per week

If you or someone you know may be an at-risk drinker, there are resources for recovery. Please see resources below:

Beyond the Scale - Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is an indirect measurement of body fat based on a person’s height and weight. While BMI does not directly measure body fat, “the correlation between the BMI and body fatness is fairly strong” (CDC, 2022). BMI levels can help you determine if you are underweight, overweight, obese, or at a normal weight. According to researchers at Harvard University, the higher your BMI levels are, generally you are more at risk for developing conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Liver disease
  • Several types of cancer (such as those of the breast, colon, and prostate)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea

What is a Normal BMI?

Typically, a normal BMI is considered between 18.5 and 25. Please see the chart below to see the categories of BMI:

BMI Category
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obesity

How to Calculate BMI

Calculating your BMI can be an easy at-home screening to assess if you are at a healthy weight. To measure your BMI, use this formula:

weight (lb) / [height (in)] ² x 703

Here is an example with the weight being 150 lbs and the height being 5’5” (65”):

[150 ÷ (65)²] x 703 = 24.96

You can also use an online calculator such as the one provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute by simply adding your height and weight:

Your Health Goes Beyond the Scale

While BMI levels can generally indicate your body fat category, there are limitations to this measurement. For example, some athletes may weigh more due to their muscle mass. Their BMI level may classify them as overweight when they simply have increased muscularity with low body fat levels. BMI does not take into account other health measures such as your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Your healthcare provider can perform other health assessments paired with the BMI measurement to see if you are at risk of obesity. Obesity can have serious consequences, especially for older adults. The CDC states that Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and other diseases are considered health problems associated with obesity. You can prevent obesity – and the associated risks – by exercising, dieting properly, and listening to the health advice given to you by your provider.

It’s Time to Quit – Smoking and Tobacco Cessation

Smoking is known to cause disease, disability, and harm to nearly every organ of the body. When you smoke, those toxins enter your bloodstream that travels throughout your whole body, putting all of your organs at risk for disease and various cancers. According to the CDC, “cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.” In Florida, 32,300 adults die from smoking-related illnesses each year.

Most smokers know the dangers of smoking firsthand and want to quit. We are here to help.

The Benefits of Quitting

The health benefits of quitting smoking and tobacco use increase overtime. Within the first 2 weeks to 3 months, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease, and the functionality of your lungs improves. Within 2 to 5 years, your risk of stroke is decreased to that of a non-smoker.

It’s clear that successfully quitting smoking can have health benefits, but it can also benefit you financially. According to Tobacco Free Florida, “the average pack-a-day smoker in Florida spends more than $2,000 a year on cigarettes.” You can calculate the estimated amount of money you’ve spent on smoking here: It’s time to free yourself from this financial, emotional, and physical burden. It is time to actively quit for your own health and future.

How Solis is Here to Help

We know that quitting smoking is easier said than done. Yet, we are confident that with the proper resources the resolve to quit can become more feasible. Solis Health Plans is committed to helping you lead a healthier life, which includes smoking and tobacco cessation. See resources below:

  • Solis Health Plans OTC: All of our plans offer an Over-the-Counter (OTC) benefit that includes over 60% brand name products, no quantity limits, home delivery within days, and more. Within our catalog of products, we dedicate a section to Smoking Cessation Products. No matter what stage of quitting you are in, we offer products to assist you. More information can be found here:
  • Solis Member Rewards Program: Solis has a Member Rewards Program that compensates members for completing certain health screenings and activities. Members can earn $20 for completing a Smoking Cessation Program Ask your doctor to see if you qualify for this program. Once completed, send your Member Reward coupon in by mail, online, or over the phone. More information can be found here:

Additional Resources:

Tobacco Free Florida offers resources, assistance, and programs to help you quit smoking. Visit their site here:

For the latest health updates, statistics, and additional resources about smoking and tobacco use including cessation tips from former smokers, visit the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention here:


What is Depression (Hint- It’s not the Same as Sadness)

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Older adults may struggle with mental health disorders as circumstances and various potential physical health concerns can take a toll on the psyche. Feelings of sadness or loneliness may arise as older adults experience death of loved ones, reduced mobility, illnesses, chronic pain, and/or other challenges. It is essential to bring awareness to the importance of mental health, as it impacts our overall sense of wellbeing and even our physical health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common mental health conditions for older adults are depression and anxiety. Depression is defined by Mayo Clinic as, “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest… it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.” In other words, depression is not the same as sadness. It is a condition that affects your everyday life and requires attention, medication, and/or psychotherapy. It can last weeks, months, or years and can come and go in waves.

What are Depressive Symptoms?

Mental Health America states that “more than two million of the 34 million Americans aged 65 and older suffer from some form of depression.” While depression is common among older adults, it is not a normal part of aging. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems than most younger people. Knowing the warning signs of depression is essential.

Depression can often have subtle symptoms and may go undiagnosed and untreated. Some symptoms are common among other health issues; therefore, it is best practice to get a medical professional to determine if you have depression or anxiety disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you experience the following symptoms of depression regularly, talk to your doctor and seek help.

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and/or anxiety
  • Difficulty remembering or concentrating
  • Personality changes
  • Physical aches and pains that are unexplainable
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of interest for sex, socializing, or doing new activities
  • Self-harm and suicidal thoughts or feelings

Help is Available

If you think you may have depression, you are not alone. There are treatments, programs, and resources available. Ask your doctor about what medications are best for you. Help is always available. If you or a loved one is experiencing depressive suicidal thoughts, please contact a suicide hotline.

Call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services are free and confidential.

U.S. veterans or service members who are in crisis can call 988 and then press “1” for the Veterans Crisis Line, or text 838255.

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline in the U.S. has a Spanish language phone line at 1-888-628-9454 (toll-free).


Why all the Stress - The Toll That Stress can Take on Your Health and Wellbeing

We can’t stress it enough – Stress can be detrimental to your overall health.

April is National Stress Awareness Month. You have probably heard, or have likely even said yourself, “I’m so stressed out!” But what exactly is stress?

What is Stress?

According to the American Psychological Association, “stress can be brief, situational, and a positive force motivating performance, but if experienced over an extended period of time it can become chronic stress, which negatively impacts health and well-being.” In other words, stress can be a natural reaction in certain situations such as navigating traffic, preparing to host an event, or even going to a doctor’s appointment. But what happens to your body when you experience stress?

When stressed, our body activates fight or flight responses. In this state, our body is flooded “with stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that elevate your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, boost your energy, and prepare you to deal with the problem.” While this may be nothing to worry about in occasional bouses, repeated acute stress can contribute to inflammation in your coronary arteries which can lead to heart attacks and increased cholesterol levels over time.

Chronic stress is considered long-lasting stress levels that interfere with your ability to perform normal tasks. Common symptoms include fatigue, inability to concentrate, or irritability. Chronic stress can take a toll on your health and wellbeing. It can cause disease, increase the risk of coronary disease, and a suppressed immune system.

Does Stress Affect Older Adults More?

The short answer is yes.

As previously mentioned, there is a link between stress and increased inflammation. According to a report in the American Institute of Stress, the inflammation can cause a variety of issues in older adults such as

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Dementia
  • Some cancers

The same report states that chronic stress also can reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines in older adults, and that stress accelerates the aging process itself.

Stay Stress-Free

Taking measures to reduce and manage stress is pivotal for your long-term health. While stress may be a natural response in certain situations, its best to recognize this feeling of stress and reduce it the best you can. The National Council on Aging recommends these 6 tips for mitigating stress:

  1. If possible, remove the source of stress.
  2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet to reduce the effects of inflammation.
  3. Drink the recommended amount of water to help boost your energy and stabilize your emotions.
  4. Physical activity can help reduce stress as your body releases endorphins and other chemicals that boost your overall sense of wellbeing.
  5. Get enough sleep. While asleep, your body “repairs itself and the mind takes a break.” In REM sleep, your body relaxes and promotes good memory and mood to your brain.
  6. Meditate or practice mindfulness activities. Meditation can help reduce stress by allowing you to “calm racing thoughts, slow a rapid heart rate, relax tensed-up muscles, and create a sense of wellbeing.”

Everyone gets stressed from time to time. It’s how we react, cope, and prevent stress that makes a true difference in our health.


Working Out Works Wonders for Your Health

Older adults can receive a variety of benefits from engaging in regular physical activity. In fact, it is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

Physical Activity Can…

  1. Prevent and/or delay certain health issues that come with aging such as bone and joint issues.
  2. Relieve stress and reduce feelings of depression as your body releases endorphins and other chemicals that boost your overall sense of wellbeing.
  3. Increase independence because exercise helps your muscles grow stronger, thus allowing you to perform daily activities without assistance for longer periods of time.

And more!

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

According to the CDC, adults aged 65 and older need:

  • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. This can include a brisk walk, swimming, or a moderate bike ride, for example. Or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity. This can include jogging, running, or other similar activities.
  • At least 2 days a week of muscle strengthening activities. You should focus on all major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
  • Activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot or walking heel-to-toe.

Where do I Start?

Maybe you haven’t been active in a long time. You may be overwhelmed thinking about where to begin your fitness journey. Remember that some physical activity is always better than none! You can start small and achieve your exercise benchmarks day by day. The CDC offers a sample of weekly physical activity schedules online. See their examples below, or visit

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers an online activity planner so you can set your own goals according to your needs and accomplish them.

Visit the Activity Planner here:

There are a variety of options for older adults to work out and stay active at any level. You can even start from the comfort of your own home! All Solis Health Plans members have access to Silver&Fit®, a flexible fitness program designed for older adults. Every Solis plan has a $0 copay for a Silver&Fit® membership which gives you access to a variety of tools to help you stay active. This includes at-home resources such as a fitness kit with equipment like weights and yoga mats, digital workouts, a customized workout plan, and much more! Members can also earn up to $20 per quarter for participation through the Solis Member Rewards Program – That's up to $80 per year! Members can call Member Services to recieve the Silver&Fit® ID number to enjoy this benefit: 844-447-6547 (TTY: 711). For more information, visit

No matter where you are in your level of physical activity, there are options to exercise and improve your health outcomes.


You Are What You Eat

The phrase “you are what you eat” has some weight to it… literally. The diet you maintain can affect your overall health including your weight, blood pressure, vitamin intake, and other health measures. What you choose to consume – and not consume – has an impact on your body.

Older adults should aim to have a healthy and balanced diet to ensure they are meeting nutritional needs. Adults over 65 may need to give extra attention to their diet. Your appetite, metabolism, digestion, and more can change as you age, especially if chronic conditions become present. While these ever-changing circumstances can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy diet, making healthy choices is even more important for overall health and wellness. The Cleveland Clinic recommends focusing on key nutritional elements for a balanced diet, including the items below:

Dietary Need: Purpose: Examples:
Fiber Helps digestion and aids in heart health. A high fiber diet can also help prevent some cancers, such as colorectal cancer (Bemis, 2013). Whole grains
Raw fruit
Healthy Fats Can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. Olive oil
Reducing Salt Diets that are too high in sodium can cause health issues such as high blood pressure. Consider seasoning with alternatives such as:
Fresh spices
Limiting “White Foods” White foods often provide little nutritional value. Limit:
White bread
Vitamin D Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain good blood levels. Promotes strong bones, healthy muscles, and more (UCLA Health, 2023). Fatty fish
Canned tuna
Egg yolks
Fortified milk
Hydration Aging can put you at risk for dehydration compared to younger individuals. Stay hydrated daily. Drink at least six 8oz glasses of water per day.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water-content such as watermelon and spinach.

Step up to the Plate

What you put on your plate matters. The food you choose can give you energy, vitamins, and nutrients.

The Harvard University School of Public Health recommends the following Healthy Eating Plate Guide for balanced meals:

Visit to download a copy. Print it out and place it on your refrigerator as a reminder of your healthy eating goals.

Next steps

Ask your doctor about what dietary needs you should consider to boost your health and well-being. All Solis members can earn $20 by completing nutritional education through our Member Rewards Program. Ask your doctor about nutritional education. You can complete this health activity, and submit your Member Rewards coupon via the mail, over the phone, or online at