by Monika Salvage
Published in The Citizen
Remember how in planes they advise you, in case of an emergency, to put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others? It makes sense because if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to help others. It also applies to our daily lives. If we don’t pay attention to our own health, we may miss out on memorable family events, a fulfilling job, spending time with friends, enjoying our hobbies, or helping others.
Thankfully, there is a myriad of organizations in our community that can help us stay fit, prevent us from getting sick, and deal with sickness.
In recent years, many studios have sprung up in the area that offer various fitness classes, including yoga, cross-fit, or personal training options, whatever fits your training style. The YMCA remains a staple in this community where you can swim, skate, box, train on your own and with a trainer, or join adult sports leagues. There is something for every age group, fitness level, interest, and schedule. You’ll find classes at 5:30 am for the early birds, morning or noon classes if you can take a break from work, or evening classes if you prefer exercising after work.
If you are on a tight budget or time schedule, you can still make working out part of your life. Peruse YouTube and find a gazillion workout programs and channels, from full-body workouts to weight training, or exercises to strengthen specific body parts. You can also use the parks in our community to get your sweat on. Take a power walk, run or, this time of the year, do a round of snowshoeing and enjoy the outdoors. Soon, watch out for new fitness equipment at Casey Park to complement your cardio.
Now we just have to find the motivation to use some of these resources and the commitment to stick with it! For me, the trick for working out routinely is to set aside a certain time on my calendar, just like scheduling a meeting. During the warmer months when it is light out early, I like to exercise before work and get it out of the way. During the winter I have a hard time getting up when it’s still pitch-black out, so I shifted my routine to classes at the Y since my office is right there. I mix strengthening workouts during the day that require minimal clean up with cardio and bodyweight classes before I go home. Some say it takes three to six weeks to form a new habit, so why not get in the habit of taking care of your whole body this year?
Prevention is an important factor that is often overlooked, and frankly, not nearly as heavily advertised as medications and treatments. Annual physicals are a good way to start detecting changes in your physical health early. When you have a family history of certain diseases or display any risk factors, it is a good idea to discuss with your physician or nutritionist what you can do on a daily basis to stay healthy. Diabetes, for instance, is a longterm disease that may get worse over time and lead to a whole lot of other health problems. If you think you are at risk for developing diabetes or are already pre-diabetic (nearly 1 out of 3 Americans are), contact the Cayuga County Health Network for more information on their free Diabetes Prevention Program. Lead by a certified life coach, the weekly workshops help participants develop strategies for adding more physical activity to their lives and eating healthy.
When people suffer from long-term or chronic diseases, they often feel isolated and helpless, which makes support groups such a vital service in our community.
- Hope after Stroke and a Diabetes Support Group meet at Auburn Community Hospital.
- The Cayuga County Health Network offers a 6-week Chronic Disease Self-Management Program at different times throughout the year.
Diseases do not just affect the people suffering from it, but also their surrounding family and friends.
- The Heroin Epidemic Action League works to prevent substance abuse and assist those affected by addiction. There are various local support groups for substance abuse listed on their website.
- A Caregiver Support Group meets at Westminster Presbyterian Church for people who want to exchange experiences of caring for aging family members.
For more listings of support group meetings, please consult the calendar in The Citizen or check the websites of the various organizations.