Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation

The More the Merrier

If you want to buy a pair of shoes, a corner with three shoe stores is the best place to look for that perfect pair.

If you want to work out, a community with a variety of fitness and wellness center options is a great community in which to live.

We all have ideas about what a ‘work out’ center should provide.  Some people like child care, certified trainers or the opportunity to swim laps.  Others are content to let themselves into a ‘turnkey’ operation and do a 30 minute circuit without assistance. 

The Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation’s goal is to get EVERYONE moving.  Somewhere in your community is just the right option for you.  Maybe it’s a full-service center with medical integration programs, diabetes education classes and open gym time like the new Dexter Wellness Center.  Or maybe it’s the body builder special at a local weight lifting gym, Pilates in a home studio or jogging on local walks and trails.  In our 5 healthy towns you have access to all kinds of options.  We just want you to find the one that works for you & have at it!

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Maybe Dennis the Menace’s Parents had it Right

Over the weekend I read about two interesting studies. 

 First, in one study, on average, for each additional hour of television a child watches on weeknights, their potential for incarceration as an adult increases by 30%. What?!  Yes, 30%. 

 Second, studies of school-age kids have found that regular aerobic exercise can expand their working memory—the capacity that allows us to manage facts and ideas to solve problems.  It improves the ability to pay attention and inhibits disruptive impulses. Regular exercise and overall physical fitness is consistently linked to academic achievement (the same is true for adults and our activities of daily living).

It’s an old-fashioned idea, but maybe playing outside is also a good idea.

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More on Grocery Shopping

I have a friend who lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Whenever he visits Chelsea (his home town) he marvels at the choices in the produce isle of the local grocery stores.  When I saw him at Christmas he said “What an amazing selection of greens!”

This week I read an editorial that started with a sentence something like “Every isle in the grocery store is filled with guilt producing choices.”

Yikes!  Our abundance – real, true abundance, should not be guilt producing.  We should be invigorated by it, like my friend from the UAE.  Embrace our good fortune to live in a place where we can find 2 or 3 kinds of kale, veggie chips, Canadian bacon, chicken raised without additives, milk & multiple milk substitutes, grains beyond imagination, fresh produce, organic produce, dried produce, frozen produce and sliced/diced & pre-washed produce. 

If you do need rules for grocery shopping to help you reduce the guilt, these were my Mom’s rules.

  1. Stay around the edges of the store where the food is real, less manufactured (produce, dairy, fresh protein, whole grain breads).
  2. Look high & low for the healthiest foods.  The more expensive, highly processed foods are often at eye level. 

That’s all there is to it. Happy, hearty, healthy eating.

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Healthy Groceries Can Go A Long Way

The other day I heard again that ‘healthy groceries are more expensive than unhealthy groceries’.  In the past year or two, prices on things like produce have gone up, a lot.  But guess what.  So have the prices on empty calories like macaroni & cheese, junky cereal & chips. 

Groceries are very expensive these days.  And it’s true – it’s cheaper to buy a box of mac & cheese than a whole chicken & a few vegetables to go with it.  But you eat a lot longer & healthier on a simple pot of soup than a box of mac & cheese.  A box of barely or brown rice to go with your soup is a pretty inexpensive way to fill the family up.

A bag of oranges, onions, potatoes, package of celery, and another of carrots can feed a family for days, along with some simple cuts of meat, dried or canned beans & rice.  I challenge anyone to find 3 days of pre-packaged dinners to feed that same family for less money – especially if we’re reading labels & you want your pre-packaged food to provide fruit, vegetable, lean protein, whole grains, low saturated fats & salt. 

 Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking we should have a shopping challenge!  It could be fun.

 p.s. Next we should take on the myth it takes a long time to prepare a healthy meal.  And after that, maybe we can talk about a problem that’s even tougher to conquer.  How many kids really prefer chicken & rice soup to mac & cheese?

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Don’t Give Up!

Are you thinking of giving up on those New Year’s resolutions?  Wait! How about a compromise?

 Maybe you were thinking too big when you decided if you just lost 40 pounds you could fit into your wedding dress from 30 years ago. 

 Before you give up completely, try a little goal (followed by another little goal).  Your new goal could be as simple as making time to replace walking shoes so worn it hurts your knees to wear them.  With new shoes you may find inspiration.

 There is no reason to give up.  Just make some amendments to lofty goals. One step at a time.  One day at a time.

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DWC Coming Soon

Don’t despair, all those who want concrete membership & opening information about the Dexter Wellness Center.  It’s just around the corner.

Do you remember in Chelsea we drove by a ‘Coming Soon’ sign at the site of the Chelsea Wellness Center for about a decade?  It might have been longer.  Now that was a long lead time! 

It takes time to build and pull together all the operating pieces of a state-of-the art Wellness Center.  Everyone involved is working as hard & as fast as we can. 

We don’t mind questions (www.dexterwellness.org to contact us or see pictures of A.R. Brouwer’s handiwork).  We’re gratified by your interest.  And like you, we feel like kids waiting for Christmas morning.  We can hardly wait!

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Who Wants to be Fit?

These are the types of people we see at our wellness centers, these days.  See if you fall into any of the categories, below.  By the way – they are all overcoming something to get or stay well.  Good for you if you’re already working toward a healthier you!

Terribly out of shape/NOT skinny and feeling it.  Congratulations to those who overcome their discomfort (physical & emotional) and make a decision to work out & connect in a healthy way. 

Parents with young families who have little time for themselves.  They are scraping out a few hours a week for a workout or 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.

Recent patients working with a medical professional (often a physical therapist) to get back to better functioning. 

Healthy teens, many with competitive goals.  But not always. 

Seniors who embrace their aging selves and want to maximize every day.  They also find good company at their local wellness center. 

There aren’t a lot of the ‘beautiful people’ in spandex at our wellness centers.  We’re kinda proud of that.  Of course, the extraordinarily fit are welcome too.  You serve as inspiration!

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Daily Workout

 Chipping ice off the driveway – abs & arm muscle workout

Up & down stairs to do laundry – thigh & calf workout

Loading & unloading dishwasher, vacuuming – oblique workout

Walking the dog, walking to the mailbox or in to work from the parking lot – core muscle strengthening

Painting the front door – shoulder strengthening

Lifting the baby (with good body mechanics) – back strengthening

Reading a good book – brain workout

Getting up & walking to the t.v. to change the channel – a lost art

 Embrace your daily activities.  They’re good for body, brain & soul!

Something Really Cool to Know about Weight Loss

Researchers at Stanford University discovered that practicing weight maintenance may be the key for weight loss.

Two groups of women were studied.  In the first group they started weight loss efforts right away.  In the second they spent 8 weeks practicing maintaining their weight (daily weighing, portion size awareness, reasonable snacks…).  After the 8 weeks they began weight loss efforts.  One year later both groups had lost about the same amount of weight but those who practiced weight maintenance before weight loss were more likely to maintain their losses than those who didn’t practice.

Practice, practice, practice.  Just like mother said.

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Enjoy the Day

Indian summer:

Does anyone really know the definition?  I don’t.  But I know it when I see it & I see it out my window right now.  I hope everyone can find a reason (or excuse) to get out & enjoy this week!

Thanksgiving:

Enjoy connecting with others if that’s what you’ll be doing.  Because even when there is pie, connecting with people we care about is healthy.