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Our HealthBY HELEN GUZZO, MSW, Manager, Calhoun County Senior ServicesThe message is clear on how to be healthier – be ac- tive, drink more water, increase eat- ing of vegetables and fruit, reduce meal portions, re- duce sugar intake,and eliminate sugary drinks like pop from your diet. The challenge is making the commitment each day to a healthy lifestyle to prioritize regular exercise and nutritious eating.At my last health assessment, my doctor said each birthday is now an eat- less anniversary. In an age of abundance with good food all around, I am working on recognizing proper portion sizes and saying no to second helpings.As we age we need fewer calories. When my husband and I were in our twenties, we would visit his grand- mother who lived in an assisted living apartment; she would take us out to eat. While we devoured our full meal, she would order a cherry pie and hot tea. She said she wanted to enjoy the simple things in life, while watching her portion sizes. She said she just needed to eat less. At the time I didn’t understand, but now I see my 80-year-old Mom also eat- ing much smaller portion sizes.The Calhoun County Senior Millage funds a wide variety of health program- ing designed to help Calhoun Coun- ty residents age 60 and over be more active and healthy. The mission of Senior Services is to enhance, promote, and ensure the availability of neededquality services for Calhoun County seniors through effective and efficient allocation of County Senior Millage resources. The vision is to fund choic- es for seniors, while promoting safety, dignity, and independence.We know that regular exercise reduc- es illness and improves health. As a re- sult, Senior Millage funds Senior Health Partners to conduct Senior Fitness and Fun exercise classes throughout Cal- houn County. The cost is free and medi- cal supervision is offered. Sessions focus on stretching, flexibility, balance, and strength exercises that anyone can do. Along with the guided exercise, health screenings are also offered to check blood pressures, blood sugars, and pulse ox, as well as providing wellness educa- tion and medication management. Par- ticipating regularly leads to making new friends, increasing community, getting fit, and having fun. Better yet, making small changes in your diet and activity level, can add up to having a big impact on your long-term health.Senior Millage also funds senior cen- ters in Albion and Marshall. The Kool Family Community Center also offers programing in Battle Creek. Senior cen- ters offer all sorts of health education sessions, exercise classes, and opportu- nities to volunteer to help others. Most senior centers offer three free visits be- fore you make a commitment to join as a member. They are full of friendly people who would like to play cards with you or work a puzzle together.Have a plan to get more active and get a buddy to join you to make it more fun and to hold you accountable for exercis- ing regularly. Have fun learning to cook new foods like kale and bulgar. Eat more vegetables, add fiber to your diet, and eat lean meats and fish, while limiting pro- cessed food, simple sugars, and alcohol. If you slip up and have a weekend of do- nuts, forgive yourself and don’t let it stop your momentum to improve your health by being more active.Helen Guzzo, MSW, is the Manager of Calhoun County Senior Services, which funds a variety of services for residents age 60 and over with Senior Millage tax dollars. To learn more, call (269) 781-0846.Little Changes Can Make a Big ImpactSenior Fitness & Fun!The Kool Family Community Center Urbandale-Christ United Methodist Clarence Township HallHomer First Presbyterian Church Tekonsha Community HallCherry HillHickory Hills VillageBattle Creek Eagles #299Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi The Village at Mill CreekTrinity Episcopal Church MarshallAthens Town HallForks Senior CenterTai Chi at Kool Family Community Center *Mon & Wed Mondays Mondays Tuesdays Tuesdays Tuesdays Tuesdays Tuesdays Wednesdays Wednesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Thursdays Fridays10:30 am 10:30 am 10:30 am 9:00 am 10:00 am 10:30 am 10:00 am 1:00 pm 11:00 am 10:30 am 1:30 pm 10:00 am 11:00 am 10:30 amFitness classes funded by Senior Millage. Provided by Senior Health Partners, (269) 441-0948*Exercise only, no nurse for marked classes14 SCENE 4302 I HEALTH & FITNESS

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