Mar 26

Employee Spotlight – Galina Davidson

CPH & Associates, Employee SpotlightCPH & Associates Employee Spotlight for March features Galina Davidson, licensed agent and fun coworker!

 

1. Why did you choose, and how long have you worked with CPH?
I joined CPH team in a summer of 2012. I have a major in journalism but at that point I decided to switch the field of my expertise 180 degrees and try something completely different. Glad I made that decision.

 

2. What is your role at CPH?
I’m a licensed agent and through the course of my employment I have had wide variety of responsibilities from customer service to underwriting to processing etc. In my opinion this is great as you get to know how the company operates on all levels.

 

3. Why would customers need to interact with you?
I’m on the front line of assisting our clients with any questions they can possibly have about their policies whether it’s an additional information they need about coverage, how to make policy changes, how to renew etc.

 

4. How would you describe the company culture?
At CPH, we implement a lot of technology to make our day to day operations more effective and efficient however we always keep in mind that nothing will replace a live person that can talk you through all the questions that’s why our team is always ready to help with a second phone ring. We are almost like 911 hot line it’s just instead we say “CPH & Associates – what’s your emergency…”

 

5. What do you like most about working for CPH?
The team, of course. Everyone is very hardworking and helpful. We all understand how to work as a group and I think we are doing a great job!

 

Galina, you are absolutely right! You are doing a great job. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Keep at it!

Mar 24

3 Moves For Sexy Toned Abs

Fitness young woman doing abdominal crunch on beach and looking on copy spaceEveryone wants a sexy, toned stomach, but we all know how difficult that can be. We have all tried crunches in an effort to lose that bit of weight we all tend to carry above our belt buckles but crunches are difficult and can be painful to do. So what if we told you that we know of some fantastic exercises that you can do from home without ever doing a crunch again? If you’re sick of pumping out crunches without seeing any results, you should definitely try these exercises out:

Yoga

Do you enjoy doing yoga to relax? Perhaps you use yoga as a workout. Try this out while you’re doing yoga for a flatter tummy! While doing the plank position (pushup position with forearms on the ground), try moving your body from your waist. By twisting your body, you should be able to feel the burn in your abs. Make sure that this movement is effecting the muscles located from the bottom of your ribcage. While doing this, make sure you tighten the muscles with every motion. This should be felt on each side of your body as you move. You can also exhale deeply while doing this to increase the strength in your abs as well as protect your lower back from injury.

Leg Reaches

Slim that tummy down with this waist-size reducing exercise! Lay down with your face towards the ceiling. Leave your left leg bent and your left foot flat on the floor. Lift your right leg up towards the ceiling and leave it there. Take your left arm and reach towards the ceiling while making sure that your right arm is still tucked to your side. If you cannot keep your arm at your side, try putting your hand in your pocket! After you are in position, open the leg that is raised to the right and raised arm to the left. While you do this, make sure to concentrate on your abdominal muscles. Try doing 6 reps at first, and if you can do more, go for 12!

Donkey Kickers

Not burning enough yet?! Try Donkey Kickers! Please do not actually kick donkeys… this is just an exercise with a strange name… try it out and you’ll be sure to feel the inferno in your belly! Get down on all fours and get your right leg off of the ground. Bring your knee to your nose and follow this with a kick straight out behind you like a donkey. While doing this move, make sure to keep your butt tight. If you feel this in your lower abs, you are doing the move properly. Do this in sets of eight and switch legs for each set.

Using these exercises to get a flatter belly is quite possible, so try them out! Pair these exercises with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet to watch that belly shrink away!

Mar 19

World Water Day 2015

Water, World Water Day, HealthOK Baby Boomers, bet many of you once felt you had the monopoly on peace, love and understanding, bringing harmony to the world, dating all the way back to Earth Day and Woodstock. Well much has changed in 40 plus years, and we are rapidly coming up on a different kind of annual celebration that may still sound very familiar.

Slated each year for March 22nd for more than two decades, World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro from the next generation. The UN General Assembly has since marked this day as an opportunity to bring global water issues to worldwide attention. It documents, diagnoses and details how water links us all to the future we want.

Never heard of World Water Day?

A quick Google search reveals numerous articles and videos championing the cause. The WWW we commonly know as websites and addresses is cleverly repositioned as the World Wide Well, where we understand that water flows through rivers and streams, just as it flows through each and every one of us. A bit of Mother Earth hyperbole to be sure, but observers of World Water Day are correct to point out that unsafe water kills more people than war, and more than 95% of available fresh water on the planet is polluted.

If you are new to the March 22nd observance, each year the United Nations brings renewed focus to the issues of the day from a different vantage point, raising and exploring different themes. Previous themes have included:

 

 – The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry (2012)

 – International Year of Water Cooperation (2013)

 – Water and Energy (2014)

 

For 2015, it is Water and Sustainable Development. The theme is meant to bring to light the many uses of water in all its aspects:

 

As stated on the current www.unwater.org site, “Water is Health; Water is Nature; Water is Urbanization; Industry; Energy; Food; Equality, and so on. Humanity Needs Water, A drop of water is flexible. A drop of water is powerful. A drop of water is in demand. Water is at the core of sustainable development.”

Baby Boomers know these mantras very well. In a sense, they are ideals worthy of discussion, but perhaps more to the point, water is also a very real global problem like flood and drought. To the UN’s credit, these crises are not ignored. There are publications readily available from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) highlighted on the unwater.org website.

 

Mar 12

5 Ways To Exercise At Home

Dance, Exercise, Home, HealthWouldn’t it be stupendous to be able to enjoy all of the benefits of going to the gym without actually having to go to the gym and use that sweat-soaked equipment? As awesome as this might sound, this is possible when working out at home. Since exercise is a necessity for a healthy body and mind, many people are using exercises that do not require equipment in order to get those flat tummies and toned legs.

With these 5 easy-to-do exercises that you can do from home, you will no longer have an excuse to avoid working out!

Pushups – Most people think pushups are for people who are being punished after all of the movies that have associated them with the quote, “Drop down and give me 50.” The truth is that pushups are great for anyone who wants to tone up and build a bit of muscle. If you’re a beginner, just do what works for you; you don’t need to be a powerhouse to benefit from pushups. Do them on your knees if you have to. Eventually, you will build up your arm strength and your chest will get a pump as well.

Jumping Jacks – We remember as kids we would always be doing jumping jacks. They look easy, but they will give you one heck of a cardio workout! Try doing jumping jacks for increments of ten seconds and work your way up from there. If you really want to make it interesting, try doing a double-clap jumping jack!

Crunches- Do you want abs? Who doesn’t? Those sexy toned flat-bellied abs… Oh yes! This is the best exercise for anyone who wants to strengthen their core and burn the fat off of their tummy. If you can’t get your whole body off of the ground, don’t worry. As long as you are feeling the burn in your belly, you’ll still get the benefits of this exercise.

Dancing- Salsa? Mamba? Dare we say… twerking?! So you think you can dance? Well, that’s exercise! Dance around a bit! That’s cardio! Move that body and shake what your mamma gave ya! Not only will you get the cardio benefits of dancing, but you will also work out muscles throughout your body as well.

Light Weight Lifting – You want to be strong like Arnold? No need to buy heavy iron dumbbells when you have household items that can be made into makeshift weights. Save your milk containers or gallon what jugs and fill them up to the appropriate weight you need. Laundry detergent bottles will work too!

 

Mar 10

No Cure for the Couch Potato, Really?

entrepreneur-593371_1280Ok, so let’s talk about exercise for little bit… Not the crazy weightlifting, scary marathon exercise but something much simpler. As cold as it has been in most of the country, it’s harder and harder to find motivation to get off the couch. What to do? You learned to do it during your first year or two in life, and for the vast majority of us, we have our parents to thank for diligently teaching us until we mastered it…

 

WALKING!

 

Up on two legs, homo-erectus, all by ourselves, fully separated from the animal kingdom.

 

Turns out it was no small achievement. We thought we were set for life. No one forgets how, but those afflicted with the “Sitting Disease” can often forget TO do it. Keep in mind, being sedentary for too long has dire consequences. High blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes and a whole host of nasty ailments should be enough to scare multitudes into getting off the couch and on their feet.

 

Couch Potatoes Unite — Any doctor will tell you this is serious stuff!

 

There are two ways back from the sedentary abyss… Door #1, the hard way — the dreaded soul searching through the seven stages of grief, or Door #2, the easy way — whether its Nike’s Just do it! or Hoffman‘s Midnight Cowboy - “I’m Walking Here!.”

 

OK, if you have somehow chosen the first door because “Woe is Me” is your mantra while problem solving, let’s walk it through — keep in mind, it’s not too late to skip to Door #2 if you are already set to join the walkathon!

 

Stage 1 – Denial

The daily recommended allowance is 10,000 steps per day. Not sure if you do at least half that?

 

Stage 2 – Pain and Guilt

Maybe your doctor has told you to make some changes or else, or you got winded doing yard work, or the last time lifting heavy things was a complete disaster.

 

Stage 3 – Anger and Bargaining

What happened to that peppy person full of enthusiasm that used to stare back at me in the mirror?

 

Stage 4 – Depression

Oh, the shame. When did putting one foot in front of the other become such a challenge?

 

Stage 5 – The Upward Turn

Turn off the TV, computer, and stop texting for awhile (texting and walking is not nearly as dangerous as texting and driving, but just to be sure to enjoy and focus on the experience, put the phone away).

 

Stage 6 – Working it Through

Did I really not have any time for the most basic of physical activity?

 

Stage 7 – Acceptance

Eureka! Door #2 here at least.

 

Before you set out, a few well-known pointers to keep in mind. Hydrate both before and during, as needed. Wear comfortable clothing, especially footwear. Find your ideal space – neighborhood, park, beach, shopping mall – and take advantage of some refection time.

 

Like forming any good habit, start slow and develop some stamina for distance and frequency. Keep it light, keep it fun and remember to keep at it! Eventually you could transition to running! Too soon?

 

Mar 03

Has This Winter Been a Real Downer?

Winter, SAD, Winter BluesThis Winter has been nothing short of brutal. Colder-than-usual temperatures across the nation, numerous heavy snowstorms and just-plain-miserable winter weather has descended on us in November, and has barely let go since.

Most of the Northern states have been hovering at or below freezing for weeks. Snowstorms have pummeled New England, the Mid-Atlantic and especially the Midwest. Even tropical South Florida, the typical object of envy for most of the country in the winter months, dipped to a bone-chilling 39°F a couple of weeks ago! For flip-flop and short-wearing local Floridians, that may as well be -39°F.

In addition to the obvious health hazards of winter weather: cold temperatures, compromised immune systems from jumping between freezing and warm and dry indoor temperatures, icy roads, heavy snow and the strenuous physical activity needed to be exerted to clear it, wintertime also has some pretty bizarre psychological effects on some of us.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a recognized, albeit uncommon, medical condition that affects how sufferers behave during winter versus summer months. Those afflicted with SAD tend to experience significant mood changes, specifically decreased happiness, ambition and social desire, in the cold months. Although SAD is relatively rare, slight changes in seasonal mood can also be observed in many people who are not diagnosed with SAD.

Bottom line is, wintertime seems to effect the mood of a lot of different people. Causes of these strange seasonal mood changes can stem from a number of factors:

 

Sunlight

We are very much affected by warmth and UV rays from the Sun, both physically and psychologically. The farther North you live, the less sun you get in the winter, both because of the Sun’s angle throughout the day, and because of the short daylight and long nights.

 

Cold

Cold temperatures prevent us from enjoying the same outdoor activities we typically enjoy in warmer months. Being outside, running, hiking, playing sports and being social outdoors is something we take for granted in warm weather, but do miss in the winter.

 

Weather

Aside from tropical climates where the Summer months actually see more rain and inclement weather, most climates throughout the United States experience much more cloudy, dark days in the Winter, robbing us of the little sunlight we do get.

To battle the wintertime blues, try to transition most of the same routines you did in the summer. If you ran, exercised or played sports in the Summer, substitute the outdoors with a local gym, and continue your workout routine. Substitute your outdoor special activities with local events, get-togethers or parties. Keep in touch with your friends, and don’t let cold weather discourage you from having a good time! While you can’t control sunlight and the weather, these are a few factors you can!

Feb 26

Employee Spotlight – Charlie Hodson

FullSizeRenderFor our second Thankful Thursday Employee Spotlight of 2015, we are featuring Customer Service Representative Charlie Hodson. Here is what he had to say:

 

Why did you choose, and how long have you worked with CPH?

I graduated from college from Wittenberg University in the summer of 2012 and I came home to Chicago in search of my next journey.  I choose to begin working at CPH in July of 2012 because I wanted to learn from the best, my father, and President of CPH & Associates.

 

What is your role at CPH?

Like all of the employees at CPH & Associates, my first and most important role is as a customer service representative, answering phone calls and emails to our valued clients.  My other main objective is as a sale representative and underwriter for our group policies.

 

Why would customers need to interact with you?

Our main goal is to educate the insured individuals about our policies and their coverage as a customer service representative.  Another large aspect of my job is to help Group/Corporate policy holders understand their coverage and try to reduce their risk and exposures, while trying to keep their premiums as low as possible.

 

How would you describe the company culture?

CPH & Associates is an exceptional place to work, and I am extremely lucky to work here.  It has the feel of a small company where you really get to know your coworkers on a face-to-face level.  Which is rare in this day and age in a world of technology and emails.

 

What do you like most about working for CPH?

I love my interaction with my fellow employees and the hard-work that everyone puts forth every day.  I know if there is ever a conflict or issue, my fellow co-workers are always ready and willing to assist.  

 

Charlie, thank you for your dedication and hard work!

Feb 24

Diabetes Prevention During Black History Month

Diabetes, Black History Month, HealthFebruary is Black History Month, and a time when the American Diabetes Association is striving to raise awareness about Type 2 Diabetes among African Americans. Studies have shown that “13.2% of African Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 7.6% of non-Hispanic whites.” Diabetes is a problem that should be taken seriously, and the right preventative techniques can help.

 

Eat a Proper Diet

The food you consume plays a major role in your likelihood of getting diabetes. One of the best things you can eat is grains rather than highly-processed foods. There is a large body of evidence that supports a correlation between foods like pasta, breads and cereal and a lower likelihood of suffering from diabetes.

While there’s still a bit of mystery as to the specifics behind this correlation, research has found that grains help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It’s also recommended to get plenty of fiber via foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. This also improves your blood sugar level and lowers your chances of heart disease.

Foods high in saturated fats such, especially foods that have been fried tend to be the worst for keeping a healthy heart and a healthy blood sugar level. Unfortunately, these also happen to be the most accessible food around, with fast-food restaurants virtually on every corner. Start with your work lunch habit — instead of your usual lunch spot, stretch your legs, explore the area — maybe you’ll be able to find a place you love that serves healthy food and get exercise in the process!

 

Exercise

Staying active and engaging in activities like running, weight training and various recreational activities are also vital for keeping diabetes at bay. Exercising on a consistent basis prevents weight gain, keeps your blood sugar at a healthy level and makes you feel good. This doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but striving to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can lower the odds of getting diabetes dramatically.

 

Drink Plenty of Water

Many people have developed an unhealthy love for soft drinks that are jam-packed with sugar. Consuming sugar-loaded drinks can adversely affect your health in many ways and will not do your blood sugar any favors. Consequently, you should try to replace soft drinks with water, and try to drink more water throughout the day.

By joining the American Diabetes Association in celebrating Black History Month and raising diabetes awareness, you can promote healthier living and hopefully reduce the number of diabetes cases.

Feb 19

Post-Valentine’s Day Blues? Be Your Own Favorite Valentine!

Valentine's Day, Love, PositivityWhen you think of Valentine’s Day, your first thought is probably giving love and affection to that special someone. While loving others is obviously important, it’s also important to love yourself. We often confuse “loving yourself” with negative connotations such as self-centeredness vainness or selfishness, but in fact, science-backed research has found that loving yourself via having a healthy self-esteem is integral to a happy and fulfilling life. Here are some specific reasons why you should make it a point to boost self-esteem and love yourself.

 

It Can Improve Your Mental Health

If you’re always down and beat yourself up for every little mistake, it can take a toll on your mental health. Years of self-negative reinforcement can ultimately lead to depression, anxiety and other mental illness. However, having self-compassion has the opposite effect and tends to make you much more optimistic about life. In turn, this lowers your odds of having depression or anxiety significantly.

 

It Can Improve Your Physical Health

When you feel good about yourself, it’s often a natural catalyst for getting off the couch and going out to exercise. You’re also more likely to ditch unhealthy habits like smoking and eating unhealthy comfort foods. Research has shown that loving your body and having plenty of self-esteem often leads to better health decisions!

 

You Can Make it Through Tough Times Easier

Everyone is going to face some type of adversity from time to time. If you’re a well-adjusted person with a healthy amount of self-esteem, it makes it much easier to persevere and keep going when things just can’t seem to go your way. On the other hand, being a “downer,” engaging in self-loathing and self-doubt tends to prolong problems because we tend to focus so much on the problem, we fail to focus on a solution. Basically, bouncing back from adversity has a lot to do with your self-compassion.

 

You’ll Reach a Deeper Level of Happiness

Studies also suggest that there is a correlation between self-acceptance and your overall happiness. When you’re kind to yourself, you’re likely to experience a higher level of satisfaction in life and attain a healthier, care-free  attitude towards insignificant problems. Without worrying about, and letting the “little things” bring you down, you can view life as something to be enjoyed instead of endured.

 

Like the old adage goes, loving another starts with loving oneself. So, if you are down, or just having a tough week, try these tips for loving yourself more, and witness the experience the effects!

Feb 17

Parent Leadership Month – How School Counselors Can Help Parents

Parenting, Counselor, ChildFebruary is National Parent Leadership Month and a time to recognize the importance that parents play in the lives of their children and community. It’s also the perfect time for parents to learn how they can be more of a positive influence in their children’s lives and help them become upstanding citizens. One way to improve parent leadership is to get input and support from school counselors, which can have the following benefits.

 

Provides Insight on Child Behavior

A child spends a large portion of their time at school, and it’s impossible for parents to fully understand their behaviors when they’re not at home. Because a school counselor is surrounding by the school environment, they can gain an in depth understanding of a child’s behavior and share it with the parents. If there is a pattern of problem behavior, parents can better address it with the knowledge they gain.

 

Improves Parent/Child Relationships

Sometimes a child lacks the ability to fully express their feelings to their parents, teachers and other adults. When this happens, it can put a strain on relationships, and the child may need some guidance to maintain effective communication. A school counselor specializes in getting through to kids and helping them develop the skills they need to thrive in life. If there is a specific problem between a child and their parents, a counselor can assess the situation and help resolve it. In turn, this can improve relationships considerably.

 

Learn Parenting Strategies

Being a parent can be difficult at times. And as the saying goes, there’s no manual for raising a child. Fortunately, a school counselor interacts with children on a constant basis and possesses a high level of knowledge about child behavior. They can use that knowledge to educate parents on how to better connect with their child and understand why they do what they do. This can be incredibly valuable and help parents steer their child down the right path. Parents will also be better equipped to handle bad behavior in the future; so minor problems don’t escalate to more serious ones.

Parent Leadership Month is the perfect time to get better educated on effective parenting. Reaching out to a school counselor can increase parent leadership and have a positive impact on both the parent and child.

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