to sponsor June Picnic Fun Run
For the second year, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics will be sponsoring a Fitness Fun Run and Walk at Craigmont’s June Picnic on Saturday, June 19. The 3.2 mile fun run and walk starts at 8:00 a.m. and is designed for families and friends to promote fitness and fun. The course begins and ends at Craigmont High School.
“Like last year, we’ve designed the race to emphasize family and friend involvement. It’s a way to focus on the importance of exercise to maintain health, but it’s also an old fashioned way to socialize and cheer neighbors along,” said Shawn Severson, RN, SMHC Home Health Director and race coordinator. “Our Physical Therapy Department has developed some information for those planning on participating in this summer’s fun runs to get in shape for the events and for this summer’s outdoor activities.”
The information is listed elsewhere in this newspaper.
The registration fee is $12.00 which includes a 2004 T-shirt or $5.00 without a T-shirt. Preregistration is encouraged, but day of race registration will be held from 7:00-7:45 a.m. in the high school parking lot.
To preregister fill out the registration form on the back of the race flyer. Flyers and forms can be picked up at the Home Health office in the Orr Building, from the receptionist at St. Mary’s Hospital or by calling SMHC Home Health, 962.2461.
They can be mailed to SMHC c/o Home Health Fun Run, 701 Lewiston St., Cottonwood, ID 83522. The registration form includes T-shirt ordering information.
Hospitals to sponsor team in Relay for Life
St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics are sponsoring a team in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life which will be held at Clarkston High School, June 25-26. The relay is designed to raise funds and awareness about cancer.
The event begins Friday evening and ends on Saturday at noon. The first lap of the relay is always walked by cancer survivors. The other laps include family members, supporters and friends.
“It really gives hope not only to those people who are battling cancer, but to their family and friends who fight along with them,” said Mary Beth Meyers, Captain of a team of survivors and supporter of the hospitals’ team. “It is very moving to see the lit luminaries around the track and in the stands. Each luminary is either in memory of someone who has died from cancer or in honor of someone who continues to survive.”
Team members accept donations for the luminaries. Either they decorate them with the name suggested by the donor or they can be decorated by the person who donates the funds.
“In theory, we are supposed to have a person on the track all through the night, but if a team can’t do that, it is acceptable,” said Meyers. “The teams come from all around the area.”
This year’s theme is ‘Outlaw Cancer.’ According to Meyers, the teams decorate their area close to the track with something related to the theme. Many bring tents to spend the night, but some bring campers and spend the night in the parking lot and others come during a time span that is comfortable for them.
The event includes live music, more than enough food, participant T-shirts, a “Mr Relay” contest and others. “The Mr. Relay contest is particularly funny,” said Meyers. “Any interested team picks a male team member to run to a pile of women’s clothing and accessories and in a short time frame he has to decorate himself then submit to an interview. It really lightens the mood and makes the relay fun.”
Proceeds from the event and relays around the nation are designated for cancer research and education. The ACS has sponsored education programs about the dangers of skin cancer, the need for regular mammograms, pap smears and periodic prostate exams. Last week the SMH Cottonwood clinic held a pie sale to raise money and the Kamiah Medical Clinic raised funds through a Pot Luck Lunch. Businesses are invited to contribute $50 and have their name imprinted on the team’s T-shirt.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the relay, becoming a business sponsor or purchasing a luminary can contact Trina Geis, 962.3267 or Meyers, 962.3251, at St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics.
Hospital offers employee wellness program
Since last January St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics employees have been participating in an in-house employee wellness program earning paid time off or a ‘bonus’ for trying to positively change their lifestyle. Not all employees enrolled, but those that did have been shedding pounds, eating healthy foods, exercising, and learning more about healthful practices, according to Gary McEwen, Physical Therapist and coordinator of the program.
“The employee wellness program has a two fold purpose,” said McEwen. “The first is obvious. It is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles amongst our employees using incentives for exercising more, eating healthily and learning about health topics. Our goal is to have a healthy workforce. The second purpose, which isn’t quite as obvious, is that healthy employees miss fewer days of work and use their health insurance less. That adds up to a cost savings for the hospital and better service for our patients and each other.”
Eighty seven employees enrolled last January when the program was introduced. Each underwent a Health Risk Assessment through the PT Department that assessed their aerobic fitness, body mass index, body fat composition, flexibility, resting heart rate and cholesterol levels.
Participants were issued wellness booklets to help track and report their exercise and wellness goals on a daily basis. The hospital is also paying for an introductory nutritional consultation with Heather Newson, Registered Dietitian, to help employees establish healthy nutrition goals.
In July, participants will meet with the Employee Wellness Committee to assess their improvements and establish a new set of goals for the next six month period. Additional employees can enroll at that time.
“Its been a very positive experience for the hospital, as well as the clinic employees,” said McEwen. “In the near future we hope to introduce a Wellness Program package to local employers to provide incentives to their employees to modify life styles to encourage a healthier life and reduce time off due to illness and help reduce medical expenses. Our employees have learned that even little healthy lifestyle changes can lead to a better physical and mental state in their daily lives.”
Getting in Shape for the season's outdoor activities
According to Carrie Coen, RPT, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinic’s Physical Therapy Department, when summer weather hits and people start spending more time outdoors in the garden, participating in fun runs, playing sports, walking in the woods, and getting more exercise the number of injuries can be greatly reduced by beginning a program of physical conditioning.
According to Coen, physical conditioning for any activity reduces the likelihood of injury. Poor cardiovascular endurance, decreased muscle bulk and problems of flexibility directly cause injury and prevent the best performance. Training is the key to maximizing performance and reducing injury.
Properly graded conditioning can have a beneficial effect on soft and bony tissues. Tendons, ligaments and bones can become stronger and denser with regular exercise. Stretched muscles have increased blood and nerve supply and will be less likely strained or torn
The following principles should be applied in all conditioning activities:
1. Warm up: 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching and slow walking or slow jogging, depending upon your current fitness level.
2. Consistency: It is best to exercise regularly. If you are de-conditioned begin with exercise every other day building to 5 times per week as you are able.
3. Progression/Intensity: Begin with 12-20 minute walks or jogs and progress to 30-60 minutes. Increase the speed of your pace slowly.
4: Individuality: Check with your physician if you have not exercised regularly, and always discontinue exercise if you experience headache, dizziness, chest pain or shortness of breath.
5: Safety: Be sure to walk/jog somewhere you will not be likely to be hit by a car. Wear reflective, brightly colored clothing if you are outdoors at dusk or dark. Wear comfortable shoes, absorbent socks, loose clothing and dress in layers to avoid overheating or chilling. Bring water with you and drink plenty of fluids before and after exercise. Stop exercising temporarily if you develop blisters, pulled muscles or sore joints.
6: Cool Down: 5-10 minutes of slow walking/gentle stretching. You will have decreased muscle soreness if you stretch and cool down.
Now that you’re committing yourself to following these simple rules, make sure to phone SMHC Home Health Department, 962.2461, and register for the Craigmont June Picnic Fitness Fun Run and Walk on Saturday, June 19.