Staying in Motion
Lacy Wolff, Health Promotion Administrator
Health and wellness is a personal journey. No matter your age, sustained moderate physical activity improves cardiovascular health, brain health, and bone density and strength.
This month, we bring you the story of one retiree who has found that, more than 5,000 miles from Texas, her ERS health plan helps her embrace wellness.
Staying well in service to others
Lynn Denton’s commitment to health and wellness can be measured in the number of steps she takes climbing a mountain path in Switzerland—on her way to an exercise studio, no less. The path, by now, is well worn. Denton has made the trek three times a week for 11 years.
Denton has health benefits through the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP). “I am fortunate that I am able to get health insurance from ERS—I don’t need the expensive Swiss insurance,” Denton stated. Because her wellness regimen includes prevention, she takes full advantage of the annual screenings, exams and adult vaccinations her ERS plan offers. Her coverage through HealthSelectSM Secondary allows her to get health services in Switzerland. She can have the Swiss health care providers bill HealthSelect directly or she can pay the bills and file for reimbursement.
Denton served the state in different roles throughout her career, communicating public health information to her fellow Texans, and helping to provide access to both children’s health insurance and higher education. Working in the public sector brought many fulfilling and interesting career opportunities for Denton. The added incentive of a defined benefit retirement program encouraged her to spend her entire career with the State of Texas—and allowed her to pursue mission-oriented work as a retiree. Her professional experiences with the State of Texas prepared her for international aid work after she retired. Now she provides communications support to an international humanitarian organization with a mission “to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places.” While Denton is usually officebound, she was able to visit several places in South Sudan, where the organization delivers services. “It changed my perspective on life,” she said.
Staying healthy and fit as the years pass can take perseverance, observes Denton. She stays active in many ways, including snowshoeing and walking. “Switzerland is a very walkable place, with sidewalks and steps everywhere. I often walk to do my personal chores, such as going to the post office or store.” She has also taken multi-day hikes following various segments of the Camino de Santiago in both Switzerland and France. “You sometimes have to push yourself to get up and move, even if it would be easier and more comfortable to sit tight,” Denton said. “The older I get, the more wellness is a matter of not giving up.”
We would love to hear how you are staying active in retirement!
Please share your story and a photo via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.