It’s November…I mean…”Movember” for Men.

The Movember Movement

Welcome to the month of Movember formerly known as November.  During this time, men join together in an effort to raise awareness about men’s health and the preventative practices men can employ to reduce their overall risk of disease and illness. As a fun, but symbolic gegoodfellas-1517032-640x480sture of brotherhood and unity, men start the month of November clean shaven and grow a moustache for the entire duration of the month – literally changing the face of men’s health.

Continue reading “It’s November…I mean…”Movember” for Men.”

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Go Pink! Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Go Pink for a Great Cause

October: Although the trees are smattered in shades of gold and orange, this month is also recognized by another color: Pink. October is Breast Cancer Awareness; I’m dedicating this week’s post to the efforts our various communities make each year to bring awareness to this disease and honor those who are fighters and survivors of its destruction. Let’s become informed citizens and work together to celebrate survivorship and memorialize those who fought a very difficult, personal battle. Continue reading “Go Pink! Breast Cancer Awareness Month”

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Let’s Talk – Cooperative Wellness

As I was navigating my way through my master’s program (what seems like eons ago) and worked diligently to learn and apply the principles of kinesiology and health promotion, I kept having a recurring dream…to this day, I still think about it. It may not be “the answer”, but I think it could serve us (society and communities) “well”. You’ll see my point as you read on. 🙂

A cooperative wellness institute is something I believe would be an innovative approach to promoting health and preventing disease. What is cooperative wellness? In short it is an organization in which a group of professionals unites to assess and address the wellness needs of a community’s citizens in a democratically controlled enterprise.

If we examine our communities in Sheridan County, we discover that – for a smallish county – we have A.M.A.Z.I.N.G “wellness oriented” resources. A few quick examples: The Kula Space, Mukta Yoga, Journeys, Tailored Nutrition, the Y, Tongue River Valley Community Center, Massage therapists, physical therapists, K-Life, mental health professionals, “financial fitness” advisors, Johnson County Family YMCA, progressive physicians/medical professionals interested in and advocates for integrative and complementary medicine…and these are just a hand full of the available resources (by no means is this an exhaustive or comprehensive list).

Let’s take a moment to just think…ponder the possibilities if scattered resources such as these were housed under the same roof (yes, a rather large roof). Think of the accomplishments, the discoveries, the impact, the changes to individual lives…

Yes, establishing a Cooperative Wellness Institute would take time, money, space, more time, probably some tears and potentially a few choice words ;), and above all else – passion, drive and commitment to excellence. That being said, I think it could be done…the how’s and why’s of it have not become apparent to me, but perhaps some of you out there have thought of a similar idea. What is apparent to me as a result of my 13+ years as a health and fitness professional, educator, and personal trainer? In some ways, we do not have “healthcare”; we have “disease management”. That being said, there may be a way to have both coexist and still promote the greater goal – improving the quality of life for citizens through “well-care” and thoughtful strategies to promote sustainable behavior change.

The hard truth – there’s always going to be disease; we likely cannot eradicate every possible ailment…but we can do something to shift the paradigm, to change the strategy to focus on preventable diseases – those attributed to lifestyle choices and behaviors.

As I research and learn more each year, I can’t help but think that what this country suffers from is not an obesity epidemic but rather an epidemic of a lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. These are two factors considered to be “modifiable” and “controllable”. This problem continues to grow and fester…when does it stop? Or change?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I’m convinced of one thing – harnessing the collective talents of local area health professionals could potentially create the energy needed to alter the landscape of “disease management” to one reflective of “comprehensive holistic well-care”.

One concern that speaks to the financial aspects is wellness isn’t a money maker; it’s a money saver. The profitability isn’t of an immediate nature; however, if we define profit in terms of enhancing individuals’ quality of life, the value increases ten-fold (if not more).

Thoughts to ponder…

Meet you at the Well. 🙂

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