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Our HealthBY MARY PETERSON, Program Coordinator, CareWell Services SWKeeping yourself healthy and fit can seem overwhelming, time consuming and like a full time job.Why? Why should I care? Why should I want to? Taking care of our- selves improves our mental and physical being. It is proven to improve mood and happiness, reduces stress, and reduce loneliness!What do you need to do? Become a partner in your health care, and openly communicate with your doctor about how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Let the doctor know about any major changes or stresses in your life. What else can help? Keep active and engaged.Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. With your doctor’s approval, you can exercise even if you have a health condition like heart disease or diabetes. Include four differ- ent types of activities:1) Endurance: Try five or ten minutes at a time a few times a day and build up to 30 minutes of activity on most or all days of the week.2) Strength: Use your muscles with weight bearing activities. Start with one pound hand or leg weights and increase weights as you improve. No weights handy? Try using cans of soup, a water bottle, or bag of rice!3) Balance: Try standing on one foot, then the other. If you can, don’t hold on to anything for support. Get up from a chair without using your hands or arms. Try walking heel-to-toe. You are less likely to fall when your leg and hip mus- cles are strong.4) Flexibility: Stretch up on your tip toes for a few seconds. Reach towards the sky, roll your shoulders, twist your torso – this stretching can improve your flexibility. Stretch when your muscles are warmed up. Don’t stretch so far that it hurts.Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You might feel some soreness, a little discomfort, or a bit wea- ry, but you should not feel pain. In fact,Exercise – An Easy Callingbeing active will probably make you feel better. Unless your doctor has asked you to limit fluids, be sure to hydrate when you are doing activities.Getting started is as easy as calling CareWell Services Southwest (CWS) to sign up for one of our educational Evidence Based Programs (EBP). EBP have proven that participating, learning, and being active in any group setting is beneficial to your health with many pos- itive outcomes. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs focuses on arthritis, pain, and diabetes. These are fun, interactive two and a half hour small- group workshops held for six weeks in community settings. Another EBP is MaineHealth’s, A Matter of Balance (MOB) fall prevention program. MOB reduces the fear of falling and increases activity levels among older adults. This class meets for eight weeks, for two hour sessions. It helps one to overcome obsta- cles, set goals for increasing activity, andto make changes to reduce fall risks at home.Lastly, if you have a family member, friend, or relative experiencing memo- ry issues, our EBP Creating Confident Caregivers (CCC) class or the Savvy Caregiver Program might be helpful. These programs make caregiving easier and more rewarding by reducing care- giver related stress, improving caregiv- er confidence, and creating a positive caregiving environment. You’ll learn to plan daily activities for your loved one based on their strengths and how to rec- ognize and deal with behaviors caused by dementia and its effects on the brain. Plus, free respite care is available to your loved one so you can attend caregiving classes.Please call Mary Peterson of Care- Well Services Southwest for more infor- mation or to sign up for any of our EBP at (269) 968-7343. Call us, we’re here to help!PROMOTINGHEALTH  INDEPENDENCE  CHOICE• Information & Referral/Assistance• Medicare/Medicaid & Assistance Program – MMAP• MI Choice Medicaid Waiver regarding Long Term Supports and Services for Home and Community Based Services• Assistance With Housing OptionsResource Line 1-800-626-6719• Case/Care Management• Personal Emergency ResponseSystem – PERS• Options Counseling/Person Centered Counseling• Senior Project Fresh/Market FreshProduce Vouchers• Elder Abuse Prevention/EducationMain Office (269) 966-2450200 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 102 • Battle Creek, MI 49017 • www.carewellservicessw.orgHEALTH & FITNESS I SCENE 4302 21

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