Wellness Words December 2015

Wellness Words December 2015

HealthLink Littauer’sCarol Tomlinson-Head


Submitted by Carol Tomlinson, RN BS

Community Health Educator

It’s Your Life.  Live It Well!

Getting ready to make your New Year’s resolutions? According to the National Health Institute, by mid- February, 67% of these promises we make will no longer be a part of our daily lives. It’s not that we are weak willed – but more likely that we set ourselves up for failure by promising more than we can do.

Research has shown the key to good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine.” It is about making changes you can live with. It is much easier to ask your mind to accept and act on small modifications, rather than try to make giant leaps in changing our behavior.

What is one area you would like to improve? You just need to pick one that is important to you. Here are some healthy lifestyle choices you may want to consider:

Move More

Don’t let limited or low level mobility stop you from making realistic goals. Get up and move when commercials come on, go for a walk, or take an exercise class for seniors. Many classes are gentle seated exercises designed to help with balance and prevent falls, as well as help you meet your exercise goals. Always check with your physician before starting anything new.

Eat Healthy

Say ‘no’ to dieting. Instead, resolve to eat a more colorful diet. Aim for 3-5 servings of veggies each day. Sound like a lot? Try the “5 Meal Deal.” According to NIH, eating 5 smaller meals a day can help you to stay healthy and energized, and is more likely to include more servings of fruits and vegetables. Need more fiber? Try making a small change such as substituting whole grain for white bread to start.

Drink More Water

It is important to stay hydrated. Often we confuse fatigue and hunger with thirst. As we age, the sensation of thirst declines but the need to stay hydrated remains. Try keeping a small bottle of water with you wherever you are. Take frequent sips.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential to health. If you have trouble sleeping, try one or more of these small changes. Don’t eat a large meal within 3 hours of going to bed. Set a routine time for going to sleep and waking each day. Stay away from TV, phone and computers for at least a half-hour before going to bed. Try different relaxation techniques such as deep even breathing. Count your blessings instead of sheep.

YOU hold the key to a healthier life! To make the changes you want remember to start small, be specific, and check yourself regularly to see if any changes need to be made to keep you going toward your goal.

Remember: It’s Your Life. Live it Well!

If you need help getting started or continuing on toward your goal, call HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at healthlink@nlh.org, see our website at nlh.org, or visit our NEW wellness center at 2 Colonial Court in downtown Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.

Wellness Words January 2014

HealthLink Littauer’s


Submitted by Wendy Chirieleison, MS Ed

Community Health Educator


Make Resolutions That Will Last All Year

At midnight on January 1st, many of us were shouting Happy New Year, and singing the traditional New Year’s Eve song, Auld Lang Syne.  It’s also a time when people start thinking about the year ahead and making resolutions, making lists of things they don’t want to do, and how they will deprive themselves of the things they like and enjoy.  Why not make some resolutions this year that will add to the quality, health, and happiness of your life?


Everything in Moderation

Now, we all know that donuts and French fries are not good for us, but what is the likelihood of giving them up altogether?  If you set the standards too high, you will wind up failing, feel badly about yourself and be less likely to “stick to it.”  Instead, why not allow yourself a portion of those foods once or twice a week.  Set a day, like Friday, for one treat.  When you know you are going to have that treat on Friday, you will be more motivated to stick with the healthy foods throughout the rest of the week.

Choose Local

Fruits and vegetables are important, they give us the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy.  Why not support local farmers, and in turn, end up with better tasting products, since local products get from the farm to the shelf quicker.  Try visiting your local farm stand or farmer’s market (a little harder to find in the winter) or your local food coop, likely open all year long.  If you are computer savvy, check out LocalHarvest.org for more information on local produce.

Move More

If you don’t really like to exercise, or if you are not already involved in daily movement, resolving to spend three hours in the gym probably will not go well.  Try setting SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely.  For example: “I’m going to walk at the mall, 30 minutes a day, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next two months.”  Or, “I’m going to take a senior water aerobics class at the Y for 8 weeks, starting next week.” Also, gyms and exercise classes are fun but don’t forget to think outside the box!  Try hiking, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing.  Don’t forget about walking at the mall or a local school, museums, and while site seeing.

Try Something New

People stick with what they know and commonly say, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Why not spice things up a bit.  Try having a “meatless Monday” or that new (healthy) recipe you saw recently in a magazine.  Start one of those hobbies you have always thought about.  Get involved in the community by volunteering at your local hospital, soup kitchen, animal shelter, or theater program.  Take a vacation to a place you have always wanted to go but have never been.  

Have An Attitude of Gratitude…All Year Long

Send hand written letters and cards to those you love, letting them know just how much they mean to you.  Maybe even send a care package “just because” to let people know you are thinking about them.  It is so nice to receive letters in the mail with warm thoughts and messages from loved ones, isn’t it?  Start the “gratitude jar” tradition.  Use any glass jar you have on hand, and decorate it any way you like.  Each time you are grateful for something, write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.  Review the slips with family and friends on December 31st, reminiscing about those events will allow you to enjoy them again.   

Lastly, remember to celebrate your efforts towards keeping your resolutions, and have a happy and healthy 2014!

For more information, contact HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120.  You can e-mail us at healthlink@nlh.org, see our website at www.nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.