What is “Whole Person Health”?

There are many factors that affect your health, including your biology, behavior, society, and environment. Together these factors create what is known as “Whole Person Health,” a concept which involves looking at the entire or whole person, rather than separate organs or systems of the body. Your behavior includes diet, lifestyle, stress, sleep, and social aspects. Poor behaviors, such as an unhealthy diet, chronic stress, and lack of sleep can affect your biology and lead to chronic diseases and health conditions. Where you live is also a factor of Whole Person Health because your environment affects your behavior and lifestyle. Your environment is not only the community that you live in, but also the surrounding population and beyond. This includes your neighborhood, town, Putnam County, New York State and even the entire United States. An example of the environment impacting your health in Putnam County is the many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. A free and safe place to get physical activity by going on a walk is always close by, which also doubles as a stress reliever.

Research has shown that by addressing whole person health, you can prevent, treat, and potentially reverse chronic health conditions. Visit Whole Person Health: What You Need To Know for more information on Whole Person Health and how it is being used in health care.

Visit Local Farmers Markets to Help with Complete Nutrition

Regardless of age, race and ethnicity, or health status, Putnam County residents can benefit from integrating more nutrients into their meals. Following a nutritious diet can help support your health and wellness. The USDA provides resources in conjunction with MyPlate as a nutrition and dietary guideline. MyPlate includes five serving categories: fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy, each with a recommended serving.  Nutritional needs vary, depending on physical fitness, age, and chronic health condition so be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before making changes to your nutritional intake.

To maintain a lifestyle with a nutritious diet, consider limiting foods and drinks that may contain excess sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. Consider subbing sugar with natural sweeteners, such as fruit juices or honey, or artificial sweeteners that do not add any calories to your diet. Trade out oils and fats to cook with nutrient-dense avocados, olives, or peanut butter. Salty foods can be tasty, but a simple swap for foods labeled “low sodium” can satisfy a craving without increasing cardiovascular health risks. Follow this link from the FDA to help understand nutrition labels: www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/how-understand-and-use-nutrition-facts-label. Understanding how to read food labels can help you and your family cultivate and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, shopping for nutritious foods can be challenging, especially when it comes to cost. Thankfully, the USDA and MyPlate have provided a tool called ShopSimple as a way to find budget-friendly and nutritious foods. Putnam County also has a variety of options for nutritious foods for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, including food panties. Visit https://map.thefoodpantries.org/, then select “Putnam” to find a list of local food pantries.

Now is a great time to explore local farmers markets as fresh produce is available right in Putnam County from Spring through Fall. The Putnam County Cornell Cooperative Extension has an extensive list of farmers markets and farmstands throughout the county. For a map of farmers markets and farmstands in Putnam County, provided by the Cornell Cooperative Extension, visit: Putnam County NY, Food Resources.

Local Farmers Markets:

  • Hudson Valley Regional/Brewster Farmers Market
  • Cold Spring Farmers Markets
  • Putnam Valley Farmers Market

Get Moving and Improve Your Health

Leading a healthy lifestyle at any age can help with prevention or management of chronic diseases and improve quality of life. A nutritious diet and getting the recommended amount of physical activity are important steps to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Increased movement can improve your mood, lead to better sleep, help you focus, and even reduce stress. Physical activity can be incorporated into simple aspects of your everyday life, such as daily household chores. According to CDC recommendations, adults should be participating in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, as well as muscle strengthening at least twice a week. If you have a chronic condition, or it’s been a long time since you exercised, talk to your healthcare provider before starting to incorporate more physical activity. Don’t be concerned about starting slow- even adding 5 more minutes of activity can have health benefits.
What does moderate and vigorous physical activity look like? If you’re breathing hard, but can still have a conversation, that’s moderate physical activity. If you’re breathing hard and can only say a few words, that’s vigorous physical activity.

Examples of moderate physical activity include:

  • A brisk walk
  • Dancing
  • Riding a bike on level ground
  • Gardening, raking the lawn, or using a push mower
  • Vacuuming, washing windows, or mopping

Examples of vigorous physical activity include:

  • Running or jogging
  •  Swimming laps
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy yardwork, like digging
  • Hiking uphill, or with a heavy backpack

Hiking gives you a chance to explore and enjoy nature while improving your health. There are many scenic places to explore in Putnam County, including the Appalachian trail, which runs through Garrison, Putnam Valley, and Kent. To plan for a hike, visit https://appalachiantrail.org/explore. If you’re looking for a touch of history, look no further than the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring. This National Historic Landmark has trails that can be accompanied by an audio tour: https://foundrytour.org.

When preparing for your trip, make sure to pack a map, plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. Reduce risk for tick and mosquito bites by using EPA-registered insect repellents according to the package directions and by wearing clothing treated with permethrin. After anytime spent outdoors, make sure to check your whole body for ticks. They can hide in armpits, behind the knees, in the hair, and in the groin. If you find a tick, remove it as soon as possible by using fine-tipped tweezers, grasping as close to the skin as possible and pulling away from the skin.

Improve Your Wellbeing in the Outdoors and Free & Easy Selfcare

Improve Your Wellbeing in the Outdoors

The seasons are shifting to warmer weather, and time outdoors becomes more appealing. Along with a call to spend time in nature, calendars are booking up with graduations, weddings, barbecues, and other celebrations. After two years of not going many places, busy weekends can feel overwhelming. Get ahead of the stress—schedule time for yourself and be thoughtful about how many invitations to accept.

Putting aside time for yourself outside can be revitalizing while improving your physical and mental wellness. Whether you are with friends or alone, nature has a way of relaxing and reducing stress levels, by lowering your heart rate as well as cortisol levels. Spending time in green spaces can quickly improve your mood.

Free and Easy Self-Care Ideas: Stop to take a few minutes and listen to the birds or the wind in the leaves. Bring your coffee outside and enjoy the stillness of the morning. End your day with meditation, gratitude practice, or yoga outside.

Fortunately, outdoor spaces in Putnam County are plentiful. Residents and visitors have opportunities to recharge and reconnect with nature in beautiful spaces such as the Putnam Trailway, which offers scenic walks with many entrances across Putnam. The Trailway runs through Mahopac, Carmel, and Brewster where it connects to the Maybrook Trail that continues through Patterson. Whether you prefer to walk, run, or bike, you can enjoy views of lakes and woodland areas. You might even spot wildlife from the trail.  A map of the entire Trailway can be found at https://empiretrail.ny.gov/new-york-city-poughkeepsie/mahopac-brewster. Take advantage of the season and meet up with a friend, take the dog for a walk, or enjoy solo time on a nearby part of the Trailway.

Over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for more ideas and places to improve your health and wellbeing in Putnam County this summer.

FREE Rabies Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for November 4

Rabies is a deadly disease. When a rabid animal bites a person or another animal, the infection can spread. Avoiding contact with wild or stray animals is important, as is vaccinating personal pets. Putnam residents are invited to bring their dogs, cats and ferrets to a FREE rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, November 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Putnam County Department of Health, the clinic is being held at Brook Farm Veterinary Center, 2371 Route 22, in Patterson, and is open to all Putnam County residents.

Please bring photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency, as well as written proof of prior rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable. If you do not have a written certificate documenting prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccine. All dogs must be leashed and well-controlled and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier. An animal information/release form will be available and can be completed at the clinic site. For more information and directions, please call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

LIVE HEALTHY PUTNAM Tip of the Month: Watch the caffeine

LIVE HEALTHY PUTNAM: Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine – Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily cause a spike in your blood pressure. If you have reason to be worried about caffeine’s effect on your blood pressure,  click here for more information : http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/blood-pressure/FAQ-20058543

LIVE HEALTHY PUTNAM Tip of the Month: Happiness has a positive effect in lowering cortisol levels

LIVE HEALTHY PUTNAM: According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, happiness has a positive effect in lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone that is related to health conditions like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases. But if you aren’t feeling that happy on a daily basis, what can be done to change that? Click here to find out:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/things-you-can-do-this-week-to-be-a-happier-person/