Winter 2016 Fitness: Quick Fitness for the Busy Life

At the Office Stretches

These five quick exercises are designed to alleviate the stresses placed on the body by working full-time at a desk job.

At Home Strength Exercises

The strength exercises in this video are designed for a quick, simple workout that doesn’t involve a gym, exercise machines or accessories.

The exercises were designed and performed by Jamie Wood, owner of Page Fitness Athletic Club in Watertown, and Reuben Pruitt, head trainer at Page Fitness. Video by Amanda Morrison, NNY Living Magazine.

Holiday 2015 Wellness: The 12 healthy days of Christmas

Take steps to make this holiday season a happy and wholesome one

Graham, MichelleThe holiday season is upon us, it is a time of joy and celebration. It is also a time of crazy schedules and a lapse in our best efforts for healthy eating and exercise. According to a recent statistic from Weight Watchers, the average person can gain as much as 7 to 10 pounds through the holiday season. You do not have to be a holiday statistic this year. Follow these simple rules and your 12 days of healthy and mindful behavior can be just an elf away. Focus on whole health and making your mind, body and spirit the best that it can be during this festive and chaotic time of year. [Read more…]

Exercise key for cancer patients: Improved mood, reduced fatigue, lower risk among benefits

Michelle Graham

More individuals than ever are seeking healthy lifestyle programs. Cancer patients and survivors are a very interesting and complex population seeking to maintain good health. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with many individuals who were either fighting cancer or fighting to stay cancer free.

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, frightening and downright depressing. Fear of the unknown during a cancer diagnosis looms heavily. But there can be hope during this time of crisis. Exercise can be key in the treatment of cancer on many levels. A person’s social, physical and mental well-being can each be treated and embraced through a good exercise program during and after a cancer diagnosis.

The fact that exercise and proper eating can prevent certain cancers is well documented. According to Dr. Kerry Courneya, a cancer researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, recent studies show that higher levels of physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of recurrence of some cancers. This is great news for those diagnosed and affirms that it is never too late to get started on a good, well-rounded program tailored to your needs. [Read more…]

Motivation: how to find and keep it

Michelle Graham

Path to a healthier, fitter version of yourself takes patience

What is your motivator for good health and better fitness? Is it your family, an upcoming athletic event or your doctor who just informed you that you’re at an increased risk for a specific disease? No matter what your reason, getting and staying motivated with regard to a better fitness plan and health can certainly seem overwhelming and daunting. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines motivation as a force or influence that causes someone to do something. The question is: What are you going to do and how will you get to your healthy destination? [Read more…]

Achieving healthy: Building a team of ‘wellness advisors’ an important strategy for success

A prescription for a healthy lifestyle comes with many doses of Northern New York services.

Basic pointers of eat right, exercise and don’t let stress take over your life may be easier said than done, but agencies and organizations throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties continue to evolve in offering guidance in achieving overall improved health.

What it takes to be healthy in 2013 already exists throughout the north country with a multitude of physical, mental and social health services.

It also takes more than one person, organization, idea or goal to improve the health of the entire population, according to Faith E. Lustik, health planner with the Jefferson County Public Health Service, Watertown.

“We’ve been working with partners on a variety of issues that affect policy and environmental change,” she said. “We designed a snack policy for schools and any youth organization. It’s a ready-made kit and outlines calorie contest you should limit snacks to.”

Jefferson County Public Health Service also is developing healthy fundraisers, because, she said, sending children out to sell a box of chocolates and other goods is conflicting with the message community agencies are trying to spread.

“We want to focus on kids because we can hopefully change the future and our statistics,” Ms. Lustik said. “When we’re working with kids, we’re really working with adults because they make decisions.”

Jefferson County Public Health Service is one of many agencies in Jefferson County participating in the Community Coalition for Children, which aims to fight obesity early on so it won’t cause health problems into adulthood. As part of those efforts, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County received a $20,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to survey Jefferson County residents and to help agencies address needs to improve access to fresh produce and expand physical activity programs for low-income families.

The communities-working-together concept has also been adopted in St. Lawrence County, where the Health Initiative has worked collaboratively to improve the health of St. Lawrence County residents and the region’s residents.

Health Initiative Executive Director Ruth A. Fishbeck said eating right and getting physical activity is the main message that won’t change, but the initiative has ways it’s trying to make that standard statement fresh and exciting. Last year, the agency launched FitPix, a program where it helps restaurants develop alternative, healthy food choices on their menus.

“Our goal of the project is to get more gluten-free and diabetic (diet) options,” she said.

While nutrition isn’t the only component, Page Fitness Athletic Club head trainer Jamie S. Wood said it’s most important.

[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Living in print or subscribe.]

Rebecca Madden is a Johnson Newspapers staff writer. Contact her at 661-2375 or

A crisis looms with our children

Michelle Graham

As we approach fall, we embrace and look forward to structure and a more regular schedule. After the carefree days of summer, we almost crave it. Our children head back to school or college and the warm summer breezes of June, July and August give way to cool fall days and nights. Any way you look at it fall leads to change. There is a change in temperature, a change in season and yes, a change to our daily lives.

[Read more…]

Remember basics to hit ‘big’ goal

Michelle Graham

Going after big goals can be scary, overwhelming and daunting. Often people come in and ask how to accomplish these big tasks. Events like running a marathon, doing a long bike race or an extended swim. Even losing 50-100 pounds and working on getting healthy has its challenges.

[Read more…]

Jump-starting fitness in New Year

Michelle Graham

It’s that time of year again when we make New Year’s resolutions. Even, with the best intentions sticking to those resolutions can be trying and sometimes very difficult. Making exercise and healthy eating a priority always tops the list for such resolutions. With that in mind, I put together a 10-point primer for getting you started with a program and actually sticking to it.

[Read more…]

Surviving the holidays guilt-free

Michelle Graham

Do you worry about gaining weight through the holiday season? The average American will gain anywhere from five to seven pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Surviving the season can be a real challenge. The key to any challenge should be a well-thought-out plan of attack. When you have a plan you have everything. Take the necessary time to plan events carefully and your body and your waistline will thank you. Here are some helpful hints to help you survive the challenges of the season. Call it a top 10 survival guide to make it through the season without packing on excess pounds or guilt. Even instituting a couple of these tips can enhance your holiday health.

[Read more…]