What does healthy living or a healthy lifestyle mean to you? If we ask 10 different people, we are likely to receive 10 different answers. While most of us say that we try to incorporate healthy activities into our lives, many of us would admit that we often fall short of this. Instead of beating ourselves up for this, it is important to show ourselves some compassion and remember that we all have to start somewhere.
Chenango County is a beautiful place to live and explore. This provides us an amazing opportunity to practice healthy living in multiple ways. We can get out and explore our surroundings by taking a hike, engaging in mindfulness as we look at the fall foliage, fishing our local rivers and ponds, etc. Below is the Commerce Chenango Tourism Page where you can find great information about Chenango County and all there is to do! Getting out and about is great for a healthy lifestyle.
Physical Activity is something that we all could use a little more of. There are multiple ways that we can incorporate physical activity into our daily lives for all ability levels. Some examples of this may be parking further away from stores so you have further to walk, go up and down your stairs, a few extra times per day, take a walk to start your day, complete a YouTube exercise video, etc.
Here is a list of local Gyms and Yoga Studios:
Norwich YMCA- https://www.norwichymca.com/
Scholarships are available
Evolve Fitness- https://evolvefitnessnorwichny.com/
The Pound- https://thepoundny.com/
My Home Gym- https://myhomegym.me/
Greene Community Fitness Center- https://www.greenefitnesscenter.com/
Black Horse Yoga & Wellness- http://www.blackhorseyogastudio.com/
Universal Prana Yoga- https://universalprana.com/
The Zen Den- https://www.thezendenwellness.com/
Access Fitness-Greene, NY
Rooted Soul Yoga-Afton, NY
Outside of engaging in activities that we see as typical for physical exercise ie. going to the gym, running, yoga, etc. There are also many other activities one can engage in to get our bodies moving and our minds working. Some of these activities include fishing, kayaking, hiking, snow-shoeing, skiing, cross-country skiing, geocaching, tubing-both in the summer and winter, playing tennis or pickleball, golfing, bowling, exploring waterfalls, visiting Rogers Center or State Parks, and so much more.
Self-Compassion is a concept that may be new to most of us but is incredibly important for us to engage in. We show compassion to others but often fail to show that same compassion to ourselves. Why is that? Don’t we deserve the same level of compassion we show others?
Self-Compassion is when we extend ourselves compassion for instances/situations in which we feel inadequate, are struggling, or when we feel we have failed. Individuals who practice self-compassion are kind to themselves when they recognize that they are suffering/struggling. Below are some links to obtain additional information regarding Self-Compassion.
Mindfulness seems to be the new buzz word but what does it mean? To be mindful means to take the time to slow down and really give something your complete attention. In our ever-moving world, many of us pride ourselves on our ability to multi-task which is a skill needed for our survival at times. While the ability to multi-task is important, I encourage you all to pick an activity at least once a day which you can engage in mindfully. This can be eating your meals, playing with your children, talking on the phone with your friends or family, taking a walk, exercising, reading a book, or just sitting still and enjoying the scenery around you. Being mindful helps us to become aware of our body, thoughts, and feelings which leads to improved emotion regulation, relationships, concentration, and memory. Practicing mindfulness not only benefits your mental health but has shown to improve your physical health as well. Mindfulness can help lower blood pressure, relieve stress, help treat heart disease, improve your sleep, assist with reducing chronic pain, and help alleviate gastrointestinal issues. Want to learn more about Mindfulness and its benefits? Below are some articles that have some great information for you about Mindfulness.
Meditation is a healthy activity that is on the rise and as such, more research has been done to highlight its benefits. Some of these benefits include reducing stress, reducing anxiety, and improving overall mental and physical health. When I speak with people about meditation they often think of what you see on TV where someone is sitting cross-legged with their hands on their knees and humming. This is not really what I am referring to although that way to practice does have a calming effect. Meditation is where we work on transforming our minds. In meditation, we work on giving our attention to only one thing which helps us create better awareness. Below are some good articles to provide more information about Meditation. There is no one right way to engage in meditation so try multiple meditation techniques to see which one is best for you. There is a great app called Headspace that can assist with mindfulness and meditation and they even provide you with a free trial.
We have all heard that saying, “You are what you eat”. While this may not be exactly true, it does make us look at the importance of what we are putting into our bodies. If we fill our bodies with unhealthy foods, we are going to have unhealthy results. This does not mean that we can never have those foods that make our sweet tooth squeal but rather, we should be enjoying those in moderation while fueling our bodies daily with fruits, vegetables, dairy, and healthy proteins. Here in Chenango County, we have the benefit of having some great programs that help us learn how to eat healthy as this is not something that all of us are used to or know how to do. Cornell Cooperative Extension houses many programs such as these and the information for them can be found on their website: http://ccechenango.org/nutrition-healthy-living They also have an amazing program called Grow-Cook-Eat that teaches you how to grow and harvest your own produce. I don’t know about you but I find it incredibly rewarding to watch my garden grow and then be able to prepare a meal with what I have grown. http://ccechenango.org/gardening-horticulture/grow-cook-eat
Additional programs available in Chenango County to assist with nutrition/healthy eating are:
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) provides nutrition education and counseling as well as vouchers for healthy foods.
The Office of the Aging provides Nutrition Services which include nutrition counseling, nutrition education, congregate dining, and home-delivered meals.
The link below provides emergency food resource information:
Family Meal Time
In our fast-paced world, family meals are no longer seen to the same extent as they once were. Maybe after hearing about all the positive benefits of family mealtime, you will decide to bring these back in your home even if it begins with just a few days a week.
Enjoying meals together has shown to improve mental health, reduce the incidence of substance use, improves the parent-child relationship, provides a sense of connectedness and stability to children, reduces behavioral concerns, improves literacy and self-esteem, and promote sensible eating habits and communication skills. Below are a few articles that highlight the benefits of Family Meal Time
Mental Wellness is just as important as our physical wellness; the two often go hand in hand. It is imperative that we all take the time to foster positive mental health within ourselves and those around us. While this may be therapy for some people, this is not the only avenue to work towards our mental wellness. Working on positive self-talk and affirmations, talking with close family and friends, meditation, practicing mindfulness, etc are some additional ways for us to work on our mental wellness. There is a multitude of mental health services available in Chenango County. Please refer to the mental health tab for additional information.