Archive for October, 2015

Don’t Panic

Thursday, October 15th, 2015


charlie brown 1


I recently read people need to exercise up to 2 hours a day to prevent heart disease. Well, that’s just crazy. Who has time for that kind of daily commitment?

Here’s what I think they really mean to say. In the old days people were active all day long. Now many of us are not. If you are one of those who is not you have to fit bits of physical activity (not necessarily the sweaty kind) into your day.

There is nothing new to say, really. You’ve heard it before…
Walk your kids or grandkids to school (good for everyone); sweep the front porch; take the stairs at work; use the bathroom one flight up; walk during your lunch hour; put the baby in the stroller & take a walk; buy good boots (or cleats for the bottom of your boots) so you can walk in MI winter; stretch while you watch t.v., join a wellness center, gym or take advantage of school pool/gym during open hours; sit on a balance ball when you have to sit; park your car in the back of the parking lot; carry your groceries one bag at a time to increase the number of trips; fidget.

You get the idea. Don’t panic. Physical activity doesn’t require a huge investment in time or money. Just a bit of pre-planning and a commitment to fit more into a day.

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It’s About the People

Thursday, October 1st, 2015


One of the best things about the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (previously the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation) is our excitement about and commitment to engaging everyone, regardless of your current level of health or fitness. This column is about the people who use our four Wellness Centers (Stockbridge, Manchester, Chelsea and Dexter). It’s not about the centers. It’s about the people. I think that’s why I like it.

These are the ‘types’ of people we see. You may find yourself among these descriptions even though it’s not an exhaustive list.

Terribly out of shape and feeling it. Congratulations to those of you who overcame your discomfort (physical and emotional) by making a decision to work out and connect to your community in a healthy way.

Parents with young families who have little time for themselves but want to set a good example for their children. They are scraping out a few hours a week for a workout or group exercise class. It may be what keeps them sane.

Middle age, in decent shape but fighting to stay healthy and strong so they can actively enjoy their senior years. Smart. Very smart.

Recent patients taking advantage of a wellness center or the Next Steps program at the request of or with an order from their health care provider. They are setting goals and have accountability, which we know increases the chance of success.

Healthy teens, many with competitive goals, but not all. Those who aren’t competing often need and enjoy an outlet for physical activity.

Seniors who embrace their aging selves and want to maximize every day. They also find good company at their local wellness center. It’s hard to be lonely when you see people every day.

People with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease or depression. They know regular exercise is the difference between an accelerated downhill slide and sustained or improved daily functioning.

Fit and healthy folks who are preventing injuries in their daily life, preventing or delaying heart, lung or metabolic disease and feeling energized and youthful because of their efforts. You can be our inspiration.

Most of us don’t look like fitness models and almost all of us are overcoming something in our effort to be fit and healthy. It’s not easy (at least not at first), but it’s worth it.

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