October 1, 2013
There were 12 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Jessica Durtsche, Tim Horn, Bonnie Reed, Bill Troxel, Virginia Young, Amie Verhagen, Evelyn, Ephraim and Johnny Verhagen and Merrily Verhagen. We enjoyed pork and turnip stew with sliced farmhouse cheddar, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and raisins and walnuts and white cake with chocolate icing for lunch.
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Virginia Young
PRAYER was led by Bonnie Reed, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were two additions to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted on the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
Fall Into Fitness (Ways To Beat The Cold Weather Blues): Amie Verhagen began her presentation with a pitch for a book she read as part of her coursework, Spark: the Revolutionary New Science Between Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Ratey, M.D. She said this book explores the connection between exercise and the brain. Exercise can help you become a better learner, increase your attention span, lift and regulate mood and strengthen the immune system. She asked for other examples of the benefits of exercise. Increases oxygen to the blood, strengthens bones, increases endurance and lung capacity were examples people provided. Amie emphasized that physical exercise isn’t limited to sports or exercise programs: sweeping, mopping, walking (especially up stairs) are all good and can be incorporated into a daily routine. To derive the greatest benefit, one should be physically active at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. With vigorous exercise, the time requirement would decrease.
What is the science involved? We know that when serotonin levels drop, motivation and energy levels drop. Increasing your activity levels increases serotonin production and uptake. Even mild to moderate physical activity will make you feel better. Increased norepinephrine levels increases self-esteem. Physical exercise increases norepinephrine. Rising levels of dopamine increase motivation, attention and a sense of wellness; being physically active will increase dopamine. Regular exercise over time actually increases dopamine receptor sites and storage and enhances the brain’s ability to regulate, produce and utilize these “feels good” chemicals. As an added bonus, when you stop after a period of physical activity, your body reduces and clears stress hormones including cortisol from the system.
So, everyone knows exercise is good for us, but what are some of the barriers that prevent people from being physically active on a regular basis, she asked. Pain, kids, cold weather and busy schedules were all mentioned. To counter-act these, she suggested making a plan and sticking to it and planning periods of physical activity for earlier in the day when energy levels are naturally high. This will boost your energy levels and feelings of wellness for the rest of the day. Also, physical activity doesn’t need to be done all at once, it can be broken down into smaller five to fifteen minute periods of more intense activity spread out over the course of the day.
Discussion ensued exploring ways to create a culture that supports physical activity in our community. Dance and walking were immediate suggestions. Physical activity can beat stress, lift mood, fight memory loss, sharpen the intellect, and help people to function better simply by elevating the heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence indicates aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance. Consensus opinion was to keep a running agenda item to identify ways Nenana can support physical health through exercise.
Nenana Health Fair: Tim has received an email from the Health Fair Inc. in Fairbanks requesting that we select a date for our 2014 Health Fair. We tentatively have chosen March 22. The focus will be adult health issues this year and the site will be the Civic Center. We have asked Jeannie Bennet if she would be willing to be our site coordinator. She said she would think about this and get back to use. Jeannie remind Kat that we need to wrote a begging letter to Crowley, which Kat agreed to get done today.
Envisioning Wellness: Steve Duplantis will do a presentation October 22 on his Vision of Unity for Nenana. He will supply details to Tim to make a flyer. Tim has sent a Facebook invitation to Kathleen Demientieff who has just published a small book The Woman Bear to ascertain if she could make herself available to do a presentation for us.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Faith is not belief, Belief is passive. Faith is active. Edith Hamilton
Virginia: She got to ride back and forth across the river where they are disassembling the drilling rig. She has gotten rid of all her weeder geese; she gave them to Beth Norman for their 4-H project.
David: Busy getting hay put up, fixing the manure spreader, tending all the Oh Oh Winter’s Coming end-of-season tasks. Three pigs left to sell.
Kat: Heard at the commission meeting down in Anchorage that they have only one, nine bed, detox unit now, at Ernie Turner treatment center, to serve the entire area of Anchorage and the Mat/Su Valley. Learned a lot at the sex trafficking conference.
Jessica: She will be gone next week for training in Anchorage for the tobacco collation. Then she will be studying Alaska Native Values and Rural Counseling, October 20-November 1st with Rural Human Services.
Bonnie: “Good Ridden” pot luck tonight at the Senior Center starting at 4 PMK, to sday good bye to the senior snow birds.
Game Night at the Meda Lord housing Thursday night, starting around 6:30 PM.
There will be Bingo every Thursday night at NSLC as a fundraiser for the students wanting to tour Outside colleges this Spring.
October 10th from 11 AM to 1 PM, community lunch at Nenana City Public School.
November 11 there will be a spaghetti feed at the tribal hall to honor our vets.
Evelyn: Harvest Festival 4-6 PM at the old court house October 31st. Also she says the web site http://www.familysearch.org is open to the public for people wanting to do genealogical research.
Amie: Decided that she would like to maintain a Nenana News Facebook page. She will make it open and invite friends and anyone who wants to can join to keep abreast of happenings in our community.
Merrily: Paul is still in Hawaii helping tend to his 90 year old mother who has been placed in a nursing home. She is receiving physical therapy; it is her intention to be able to return to her own home.
Tim: Soccer this weekend at Anderson; last game of the season Saturday at 10:30 A.M. October 10-12 is the Regional Tournament in Delta.
Five dollars for breakfast on Sunday at the NSLC, 8 AM- 1 PM.
Monday, October 7th, the book club will meet at Karen Harvey’s, 7 PM.
The Nenana Blood Drive will be Wednesday, October 9th, at the school.
October 23-24 is parent/teacher conferences.
ADJOURNMENT: 2:10 PM