Tag - prevention

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Keeping Your Knees Healthy
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Become a Live Well Lamoille Blogger!
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The Jeffersonville Culvert Program
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Family Health History
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The Power of Habit
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How to Get Started Mountain Biking
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An Invitation to Participate
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Be Tick Smart
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Spring Caution
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Stress and Your Health

Keeping Your Knees Healthy

By: Leah Hollenberger

Copley recently hosted a seminar on Knee Health. A key piece of new information for several of the attendees was that exercise helps you build bone and maintain bone density. If you spend most of your time sitting down, your body gets the message that you aren’t using your bones, so your bones stop absorbing the calcium and minerals they need to become and stay strong. So to avoid problems with your knees, the best thing to do is to move more.

Here are some tips from the National Institutes of Health to help:

Think about all the movements you do every day: walking, climbing stairs, typing, turning doorknobs and lifting. Your bones, muscles, and joints all work together to make your body an amazingly movable machine. Like any machine, your body can suffer some wear and tear. It needs regular care and maintenance to keep moving with ease.

The main moving parts of your body include the solid bones, the joint tissues that link bones together, and the muscles that attach to your bones. Your body has about 200 bones and more than 600 muscles. These parts all work together to help you move throughout the day.

Muscle strengthening and proper joint alignment are important for just about anyone who wants to stay flexible and mobile. Exercises that improve your balance and strengthen your muscles can help to prevent falls.

Tips for Body Maintenance

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. A knee sees 3–5 times body weight with every step.
  2. Engage in muscle-strengthening (resistance) exercises. Activities that involve all your major muscle groups 2 or more times a week.
  3. Stay active all week long. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, such as brisk walking.
  4. Wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes.
  5. Eat a well-balanced diet. Focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein.
  6. Get enough calcium and vitamin D daily to protect your bones.
  • 80-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily
  • 1,200 mg calcium daily for women age 51–70, and men and women age >70
  • 1,000 mg calcium daily for men age 51–70

Copley’s Rehabilitation Services created a free downloadable guide to the best exercises you can do to keep your knees strong. See it online here.


Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.

Become a Live Well Lamoille Blogger!

The Live Well Lamoille blog is a joint community effort to share information and encourage one another to make healthy choices, and now YOU have the opportunity to be a part of it! This month, we are beginning our search for new bloggers to join the conversation about how to live well and build a healthier community.

So many factors contribute to “health.” Medical care is certainly important; however, many of the other factors that shape our health reside outside the doctor’s office, such as access to nutritious food, economic stability, and the policies and laws that shape the choices available to us.

Too often, the clinical aspects of healthy living are considered separate from the more social aspects. Live Well Lamoille attempts to create a shared space where our community can come together for a more holistic conversation. We bring together bloggers from health organizations, local government, advocacy groups, educational institutions, and local businesses to contribute blog posts sharing resources, activities, and ideas to help readers make healthy choices.

This year, we hope to feature even more perspectives and approaches to improving health. Adults over the age of 18 in the Lamoille Valley are invited to enter our contest to become a new Live Well Lamoille blogger. Entering is simple:

  1. Visit Copley Hospital’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CopleyHospitalVT
  2. Comment on the blog contest announcement (link above) discussing why you would be a great blogger to represent and inspire people in our community to make healthy choices.

Use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself and let your personality shine. Who are you? What is your approach to health? Do you enjoy cooking, exercising, or practicing mindfulness? Do you work to improve quality life for children and families through your career?

We are looking for a variety of backgrounds and approaches to health and wellness. In the past, bloggers have written about both traditional healthcare topics (such as heart health and managing a chronic disease), as well as topics not traditionally thought of in health discussions, such as:

  • neighborhood walkability
  • preventing substance abuse
  • addiction recovery
  • early childhood education
  • coping with grief
  • local recreational resources

Every blogger will bring their own unique voice and stories to the blog. Each Live Well Lamoille blogger will be responsible for writing 2 to 3 blog posts per year.

Head on over to Copley Hospital’s Facebook page and tell us why you would make a great blogger!

The Jeffersonville Culvert Program

By: Lea Kilvádyová, Lamoille County Planning Commission

This is a story of one community’s dedication to improving the health of its residents by reducing the occurrence of flooding in the historic core of their village. Read about the intent behind installing a new large culvert under VT Route 15 in Jeffersonville.

Due to its location at the confluence of the Brewster and Lamoille Rivers, the Village of Jeffersonville lies within the 100-year floodplain and is prone to severe flooding. During 2011, Jeffersonville was inundated with floodwaters three times and experienced extensive damage to roads, culverts, businesses, and homes. Mann’s Meadow, housing for families and seniors, was evacuated due to road closure, power outage, and building flooding.

Arial photo of Jeffersonville’s 2011 flooding with an approximate location of flood mitigation improvements (in red).

 

Following the 2011 floods, the community worked with regional planners from Lamoille County Planning Commission and Milone & McBroom Engineers to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the flooding in Jeffersonville. One part of the plan, and the most recent improvement implemented in November 2018, was the construction of a large flood bypass culvert under Route 15. (A culvert is a structure that allows water to flow under a road, trail, or similar obstruction from one side to the other side.)

The culvert is located between the new Union Bank building and the Joinery/Jeffersonville Automotive. The culvert is designed to reduce flood damages in the Village of Jeffersonville by allowing floodwaters from the Brewster River to flow out of the Village before impacting structures and property. Based on the detailed flood modeling completed after the spring 2011 flooding, the culvert – along with the larger Greenway Bridge installed last year – will significantly reduce flood levels and greatly reduce the need for road closures or evacuations of Village residents in the future.

New flood bypass culvert under Route 15 in Jeffersonville

 

The culvert construction has been made possible in part by funding provided by FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Vermont’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program. For more information, contact Lamoille County Planning Commission at 888-4548.

Family Health History

By: Leah Hollenberger

Thanksgiving Day, November 22, is also Family Health History Day. As you gather with family this holiday, why not spend a few minutes with your loved ones exchanging medical histories?

There are several diseases that commonly run in families, including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer osteoporosis, and sickle cell anemia.

Not many of us have detailed and precise information about other family members’ health histories. But any information can be helpful. Creating a Family Health History, and sharing it with your doctor and other healthcare practitioners, will help your provider recommend actions for reducing your personal risk of disease or help in looking for early warning signs of disease.

Reaching out to other family members to share your family health history, can help develop a more inclusive, larger family health history. And in doing so, talking about your family health history can help each of you stay healthy.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has an online tool,  “My Family Health Portrait,” that makes it easy to capture and save your family medical history. You can share the document with other family members and easily update it. The tool is available online at https://phgkb.cdc.gov/FHH/html/index.html.

Pen and paper works just fine as well. The March of Dimes also has downloadable PDF health history form you can use at marchofdimes.org/family-health-history-form.pdf.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a form too, at www.hhs.gov/programs/prevention-and-wellness/family-health-history/family-health-portrait-tool/printable/index.html.

However you decide to record your family health history, it should include:

  • Health history of your parents, your brothers, and sisters, and your children; next in importance are grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, and any half-brothers or half-sisters. Finally, it is helpful to include great aunts, great uncles, and cousins.
  • Age for all relatives, including age at time of death for the deceased and what caused their death.
  • Ethnicity/Ancestory, as some genetic diseases are more common in certain ethnic groups.
  • Presence of chronic diseases.

The HHS suggests these questions to help get the conversation going:

  • Do you have any chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes?
  • Have you had any other serious illnesses, such as cancer or stroke?
  • How old were you when you developed these illnesses?
  • Have you or your partner had any difficulties with pregnancies, such as miscarriages?
  • What medications are you currently taking?
  • Do you have, or have you had, any learning or developmental disabilities?

You should be prepared to ask some follow up questions. For example, if an uncle tells you he has heart disease you will want to ask:

  • How old were you when you developed the disease?
  • Did you have a heart attack?
  • Have you had any procedures done related to your heart? If so, what and when?
  • Do you have other medical problems, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure?
  • What medications are you taking to help with any of the above?

Please realize that this conversation could be difficult for some members of your family. Not everyone may want to share their personal health information or it could bring up some difficult emotions. Being respectful and sensitive to their feelings is important. It may help to share in advance why you are asking these questions and what you plan to do with the information.

So this Thanksgiving, in addition to asking for the recipe for that delicious side dish, ask them to also share their health history and anything they know about other family members’ past health.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.


Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.

The Power of Habit

By: Rorie Dunphey

Have you ever ‘decided’ to make changes to your health (lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising…), only to be disappointed in yourself days or weeks later having ‘failed’? You may feel disappointed in yourself due to a ‘lack of willpower’ or simply feel overwhelmed by how hard it is to change. In fact, change is not a ‘decision’, but rather it is a process that takes time and patience.

Don’t underestimate the power of habit! Habit formation (whether starting or stopping a behavior) is both physical and psychological. Our brain actually creates neural pathways for new behaviors. Our body and mind are in the habit of behaving in a certain way, and it can take time for a new habit to form or an old habit to diminish.

Change is a process, not an event. Here are some tips to help create healthy habits:

  • Practice patience. Research tells us that it takes as much as 180 days to truly let go of an old habit and adopt a new one. So hang in there!
  • Stop beating yourself up! Putting yourself down if you find yourself engaged in the old habit can damage our confidence. Instead, practice positive thinking and be compassionate with yourself.
  • Celebrate catching yourself. Instead of putting yourself down for ‘being weak’, congratulate yourself for being aware. Each time you catch yourself and become aware, you will build confidence and motivation.
  • Use structures to help remind yourself about the new behavior or goal. For example, put sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, set an alarm on your phone, or link the new behavior to something you already do (like walking right after breakfast).
  • Involve others in your goal. Let family, friends or co-workers know you are working to change. Enlist support and feedback to help. Find a partner with a similar goal to help motivate each other!
  • Work with a health coach or healthcare provider. They can provide support and accountability during the process of habit formation.

Don’t wait until New Years to make healthy changes in your life. Habits can be changed or created any time of year!


Rorie Dunphey works under Vermont’s Blueprint for Health as the RN Chronic Care Coordinator at Family Practice Associates in Cambridge. She works one-on-one with people and also leads classes to promote health and help people better manage their chronic diseases. She also assists patients in accessing community and state resources to better coordinate their health and wellness needs. Rorie has a particular passion for promoting a healthy diet and exercise routine to inspire people to live their best life.

 

How to Get Started Mountain Biking

By: Bonnie Strong, Copley Hospital Authorization Coordinator

Mountain bikes are a great way to exercise and get out into the woods. Compared to road bikes, they have bigger tires with rugged tread and suspension to absorb shock. Trails vary from smooth and flowy to technical single track.

After you figure out what kind of riding you want to do (trail, x-country, enduro, downhill) head to your local bike shop and they will fit you to the appropriate type of bike. There are different types of riding and bikes to match. Trail bikes are good for all purposes and most riders around here have these. Cross-country bikes are lightweight and good for smoother trails (they have no rear suspension); enduro bikes are ok for uphill and good for downhill, while downhill bikes are specific for lift assisted mountains and bike parks.

Ride some demo bikes or rent them and check out some bike swaps. Ask your bike friends what they’re into; it’s a great way to socialize. Grab some biking shorts, gloves, and a helmet. There are plenty of clinics at mountain bike centers (often free!) that will get you started and they’ll rent you a bike. Learn the basics and you’ll be on your way.

Most towns with mountain biking trails have a club that does a weekly group ride. If you’re not riding with others yet, it’s a great way to learn where the trails are, improve your riding and meet other riders. The rides are divided into different levels and you won’t be left behind. Meet up with the riders at your level on other days or head out on your own and keep learning and improving. Go to other bike shops in other towns for maps and ideas, and ride everywhere. Soon, you’ll be hooked!


Bonnie Strong is Authorization Coordinator at Copley Hospital and volunteers with Stowe Trails Partnership. When not biking, you can find her doing trail work and leading group rides.

An Invitation to Participate

By: Jessica Bickford

Everyone reading this post has at least one thing in common: We are all part of a community. We can choose our level of interaction, but that does not change the fact that we are still members of a community. Living in a community provides us with opportunities to participate in making that community better. This occurs at several levels:

Individually … We can be our best self. What can you do to take care of you today?

In our homes … We look out for those with whom we live and work together to create a safe and loving home environment. Did you know that spending just one hour a day with our kids can have major positive impacts on their overall well-being? (These don’t have to be big things… think meal-times – preparing, eating, and cleaning up together… playing a game, reading a book, folding laundry together, taking a walk.)

In our neighborhood… We can choose to be good neighbors, watching out for others and being helpful, considerate, and caring for those around us. When was the last time you checked in on a neighbor?

In our towns… We can volunteer on a community board, coach a youth sports team, show up to vote, obey the laws, etc. How might you get involved in your town?

In general, we can be active community members by learning about our community and doing what we can to make it a better place to live, work, and play.  We can choose to make a positive difference.

Healthy Lamoille Valley, our community substance prevention coalition, invites you to come on Tuesday, September 25th to learn more about what the middle and high school students in our region are experiencing. We will look at the bi-annual Youth Risk Behavior Data for our region and some of the work that is currently happening to reduce risk factors. Once we take a look at the data, we will talk about where risks are for youth are in our community and find ways, in our own circles of influence, to support youth. Visit https://healthylamoillevalley-coalition2018.eventbrite.com to see more information about the event and preregister.

Hope to see you there!


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Be Tick Smart

From the websites of the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Vermont Department of Health has an active campaign to help educate people about ticks and how to avoid being bitten which in turn prevents the spread of tickborne diseases. In Vermont, ticks are most active between early spring and late fall.

Before You Go Outdoors

Know where to expect ticks: Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas. They may live on animals as well, including your pet dog or cat.

Treat clothing and gear, if you can, with products containing 0.5% permethrin: It remains protective through several washings.

Cover up: Wear long sleeves, long pants and tuck your pants into your socks.  Wearing a hat and a bandana around your neck helps, too.

Use EPA-registered insect repellent: It should contain one of the following: DEET, picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Caution!  Don’t use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Don’t use products containing OLE or PMD on children 3 years old and younger.

When Outdoors

Try to avoid ticks: Ticks don’t jump, they grab on when you brush against them.

Avoid wooded & brushy areas with high grass & leaf litter. Or at least cover up exposed skin when you do. Walk in the center of trails.

After You Come Indoors

Check your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks.
Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within 2 hours of being outdoors may reduce your risk of getting tickborne diseases.  Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it’s a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Use a hand-held or full-length mirror and your hands to check:

  • In and around your hair
  • In and around your ears
  • Under your arms
  • Inside your belly button
  • Between your legs
  • Behind your knees

Check your pets for ticks. 

If You Find a Tick Attached to You

Remove it. The best way to remove a tick is to use fine-tipped tweezers to pull straight up until all parts of the tick are removed.

Watch for symptoms. Symptoms may include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue or a rash soon after a tick bite. You may see symptoms as soon as three days after a tick bite, but they can appear as long as 30 days after.

Call your health care provider immediately if you do get symptoms. Tell them about the tick.

The Vermont Health Department has a number of free, evidence-based materials available. You can download them here.

 

Spring Caution

By: Caleb Magoon

spring sports_Live Well Lamoille

It’s spring and boy is it nice to have some wonderful sunny days, even if it’s only a few. Our inkling is generally to get right out there and get after our favorite activities. The bike comes out, we lace up the running shoes or hiking boots or put the kayak in the water. Tough to resist, right?

Yes, go out and do those things. But I encourage you to exercise some caution. This is a dangerous and injury-prone time of year for several reasons and it’s important we slip into spring activities slowly. Few of us get the same activity level through the winter and spring as we get through the summer. Spring is probably the worst for me because once the snow goes, my ability to cross-country ski, snowshoe or do other winter-based fitness activities goes away. My fitness level, in general, is low.

That said, I sure do want to jump on a bike. I’ll want to bike like I did in the fall, though physically my body has changed quite a bit in the last few months. It’s important that you go easy during those first couple of rides, runs or activities. The last thing you want is an injury to stifle your spring and set you back well into June or later. Make sure your first activities are shorter and easier than your max or even your average. Ease your way into activity and be ginger while finding your limits.

Make sure you are making healthy choices leading up to your first activities. Ensure your fuel levels match the activity you have chosen. Eat enough before the workout and drink more water than you think is needed.

You may not be much for stretching, but if you ever took a swing at it, this is the time of year. Look up a few Youtube videos of dynamic stretches. They’re super easy and only take a few minutes. Post workout, you should also stretch or use a foam roller to roll out your muscles. This will speed your recovery.

Lastly, be aware of your body and if you feel pain or discomfort, stop activity immediately and take a couple days off. If it feels like a bonafide injury, consult a doctor or physical therapist. Above and beyond all else, go slow and easy!

One more note about easing into spring: We need to not only protect our bodies, but also our recreation assets. Roads and trails are particularly tender this time of year and can be damaged quite easily. This applies not only to mountain biking and hiking trails, but also access roads to bodies of water etc. This time of year is when we can do the most damage to trails. Please don’t hike or mountain bike until local experts give the “all clear”. Consult the Green Mountain Club for hiking trails and the Vermont Mountain Bike Association to find your local chapter if you don’t know them. I know the wait is tough, but it’s essential to ensuring these recreation assets don’t need repairs, taking them offline during the best parts of the year.

Have a great spring!


Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.

Stress and Your Health

By: Rorie Dunphey

I’m sure you have heard how chronic stress can be bad for your health and maybe you have thought to yourself, “I really need to reduce my stress, but how?”

There is solid evidence that chronic stress has a detrimental effect on both our physical and mental health, making stress management a vital to good health. With the frantic pace of our hyper-connected lives and the steady flow of information barraging us, it is easy to feel swept along as if someone else is in charge of your life. In addition, our culture feeds us messages that encourage constant stimulation and busyness, with leisure and relaxation judged as ‘lazy’. It may just seem easier to keep tumbling forward, never really taking the time to slow down and de-stress. We adapt by simply resetting to this low level of anxiety, which becomes our ‘new normal’.

Here are some examples of how stress affects the body;

  • Brain: Difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, irritability, mood, mind fog.
  • Heart and lungs: Higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Joints and muscles: Increased inflammation, tension, aches and pains, muscle tightness.
  • Immune system: Decreased immune function, lowered immune defenses, increased risk of becoming ill, increase in recovery time.
  • Skin: Hair loss, dull or brittle hair, brittle nails, dry skin, acne, delayed tissue repair.
  • Stomach: Decreased nutrient absorption, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, bloating, pain and discomfort.
  • Reproductive system: Decreased libido, increase in PMS symptoms.

This is certainly not a very pleasant list of symptoms. Managing stress does not mean eliminating all the causes of the stress in our lives, which is usually impossible. What it does mean is that we can learn to better respond to stress and establish healthy practices to better manage our day to day responsibilities.

Here are some simple practices that you can try:

  • Get moving: Get some exercise and fresh air daily. Take a walk, swim, dance, do yoga…Regular exercise helps us manage our mood, weight & energy level. Even a 10-minute stroll can help us feel less stressed and more grounded.
  • Spend quiet time in nature: Go to a park, the beach or into the woods; or if you can’t get there put some pictures of nature where you will see them daily.
  • Plan a weekly ‘fun’ activity: Invite a friend or family member to share in the fun and find free fun things to do around town. Host a game night!
  • Practice gratitude: Think of 3 things that you feel grateful for every day upon waking or before bed. Notice how you feel when you appreciate the good things you already have.
  • Body care: Try massage, acupuncture or a warm bath for relaxation.
  • Pray: When you feel tempted to worry about a person or situation in your life, prayer may be helpful. This does not need to be ‘religious’ prayer, but rather a way of letting go and accepting what we cannot change. Focus on having compassion for the person or problem that is the focus of our stress, rather than building up difficult emotions like anger or fear.
  • Help someone else: Volunteer, help a friend, show kindness to a stranger. Often the simple act of recognizing what we have to offer can help us feel more appreciative of what we do have.
  • Ask for help and graciously receive it: This takes courage! We all sometimes have a hard time accepting help or recognizing when we need it.  Give someone the gift of being able to help you. It usually feels good to the other person, gives us a boost and brings us a closer personal connection.
  • Do something you love that makes you happy every day: It could be something different and simple every day; read a book, talk with a good friend, cook a meal you enjoy, buy a fancy coffee, work in your garden, play a game, listen to favorite music, take a nap.
  • Honor yourself: We all have limitations and strengths. Notice what you are good at and what you like about yourself and focus on it a few minutes daily. Smile at yourself in the mirror!
  • Express yourself: Write in a journal, draw, paint, sing, or do something creative to express your feelings and get the yucky stuff out of your system.
  • Build community: Consider participating in a group that is meaningful to you, such as a church, support group, or a sports team. Spending time with people you enjoy and with whom you share values and interests helps us feel more connected and supported as we face life stressors.

While we often cannot change the cause of our stress, we can always change our reaction to it.  Managing our stress is a commitment and a choice, and is central to good health.


Rorie Dunphey works under Vermont’s Blueprint for Health as the RN Chronic Care Coordinator at Family Practice Associates in Cambridge. She works one-on-one with people and also leads classes to promote health and help people better manage their chronic diseases. She also assists patients in accessing community and state resources to better coordinate their health and wellness needs. Rorie has a particular passion for promoting a healthy diet and exercise routine to inspire people to live their best life.