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Humana Health Star of the Month Carlen

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Our Humana Health Star for the month of November is Carlen. She shared with us how she combats the cold Michigan winters and eats healthy. We hope you all can take inspiration from Carlen as the weather gets colder, Every Mile Matters.


Name: Carlen Seaver

Age: 26

State: Grand Rapids, MI

What’s your favorite way to stay active? I love to run. I also enjoy cross-training and doing hot yoga. My husband and I love to hike and ski when we can, especially in Northern Michigan

What charities do you like to support with Charity Miles? I mainly run with Stand Up to Cancer in honor of my mom, and grandmother who is currently battling cancer, but I enjoy running for other charities as well – I’ve done a lot of miles, especially for Feeding America and Autism Speaks.

Where is your favorite place to walk, run or bike? I grew up in Lake Michigan, which is where a lot of my family and friends still live. Every time I go back I try to get in a run to the lake. Running along the lakeshore is my happy place. Whether it’s in the summer or dead of winter, there’s nothing that beats it. The smell of the lake, the waves, and the beauty of Lake Michigan, in general, is incomparable – especially during sunset.

Where is one place you’d most like to walk, run or bike that you haven’t yet? I’ve never run along the ocean. I’d love to go for a run along the east coast and watch the sunrise! I feel like that would be such an awesome experience. Also, one thing on my bucket list is to run a marathon on all seven continents!

What do you do to help your family/community get active? I love being active with others. I love to encourage others to stay active whether it’s going for a walk or run, or to a fitness or yoga class. Working out with a friend is so much more fun and motivating than having to always do it alone. I am also a coach for our local Girls on the Run chapter. It is such an awesome experience to see the girls learn to love running!

Do you have any tips for others on how to take steps toward improving their well-being? Do what makes you feel good. Don’t stress about a certain weight, running pace, or new diet. Just start moving, eat fresh food, and you’ll find what feels best for your body and your mind.

Do you like to run alone or with friends? Both! I fell in love with running because it gave me my “alone time” which allowed me to get out of my head and away from reality for a bit. Even though I cherish my solo runs, I’ve learned that I love running with friends as well. It’s such a great way to catch up and chat, and makes the long runs for marathon training much more enjoyable!

Are you training for anything? I just ran the New York City Marathon on November 1st, which was my 5th marathon in the last 2 years. I’m going to take a break from marathon training for a few months, but I’m planning on running a few local half-marathons and a 25k race in the spring.

What are your health and fitness goals? My daily goal is to feel good. I like to stay active and try to exercise 4-5 times per week. I work to maintain endurance and strength, so weekly long runs and strength classes are key in order to do that. I try to stay in tune with how my body feels, so I’ll throw in an extra yoga class or start drinking more water if I feel like I might need it.

Do you have any favorite healthy recipes you can share? I love to make ‘sweet potato mash’ burritos. I cook mashed sweet potatoes and add black beans, chickpeas, spinach, corn, and peas. Throw it all in a tortilla and top with some hot sauce. It is the best dinner, and includes all fresh ingredients!

Are there any of the recipes that you would like to try? I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I’d love to try the Chocolate Brownie Pudding.

What is one thing that Humana can do to help you live a healthier lifestyle? The fact that Humana is a sponsor of Charity Miles is huge. Being able to use my Charity Miles app is a motivator for me to get outside and get in some miles. I know that not only am I doing my body and mind some good, but I am raising money and awareness for a good cause. The fact that Humana sponsors such an awesome program like Charity Miles is definitely a way that they encourage me to continue with my healthy lifestyle.

What’s the best health advice you have ever received? ‘Run in the rain’. Nothing worth having is ever easy, and I’ve found that it gets hard sometimes to wake up early and get outside to run, especially in the dead of a Michigan winter. ‘Run in the rain’ is a metaphor for remembering that when you push through and work hard during the most difficult times, you will grow even more and will feel even better for conquering that challenge. Running in the rain isn’t always fun, but it sure feels good to conquer that run.

Humana believes that everyone has a unique health and well-being story. What is yours? I have always struggled with being in control of my weight and being healthy. I’ve tried all the fad diets and workout programs, but it never made a lasting change. Until I fell in love with running and how it made me feel. Learning to love running, and yoga, and how they both impacted my life and well-being, allowed me to change my lifestyle, and look forward to being active. I started being more conscious of what I put into my body as well, which allowed me to realize that I can still eat what I love as long as I balance it with fresh nutritional food as well. I now feel strong and in control of my lifestyle and my health – there’s nothing better!

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