On this episode of the Post Podcast Cottonwood Extension District agent, Bernie Unruh shares information about the upcoming Stay Strong Stay Healthy program.

 

Transcript

 

James Bell  
The cottonwood extension district is set to kick off their Stay Strong Stay Healthy program a little bit later on in the month. Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh stops by to talk to us about that and more on this episode of the post podcast,

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
I have been so impressed with the benefits that have that people have seen from starting in this program. So we haven't had it here in Hays we started over last year.

James Bell  
Oh, okay. So a year ago, even so, yes, so some of our listeners probably are familiar with this already.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Definitely. Um, I mean, and it's going on in Kansas for probably five to seven years. And so stay strong, stay healthy, as we say middle-aged adults 55 to 60. So I guess if you're middle, if you make it to 100, then yeah, that was 50-year-olds look young. So we are starting a class on October 26. At the extension office here in Hays, we'll be in the back meeting room. And it is designed to last for eight weeks. So we'll meet 16 times for an hour, twice a week. And just over that time period, we were so fortunate to see some really good changes in people, they just became stronger. They are supposed to. The idea is to do it every other day, do strengthening every other day walk, you can still walk every day, but just to get people up and moving. And you know how easy it is to go home and sit in your recliner. And maybe you don't do that. But 

James Bell  
No that's exactly what I do. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Yeah, if you go home and you sit down and you don't get up and get moving, then your body just, it relaxes and nothing. There's no metabolism happening. There's nothing happening. So sitting is our worst disease.

James Bell  
Yeah, and I don't it doesn't take long right to get yourself unhealthy if you're in that mindset of not exercising or not, at least going out and being active doing something.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
So we do some stretching exercises at the beginning. And then there is a program. And so we start out pretty easy, really only doing five repetitions, repetitions of a strengthening. And so I mean, we do the upper body and the lower body, I mean, the very first thing we do is stand up and sit down and stand up and sit down five times. And then a couple of weeks later, we're doing six times and then eight times and then 10 times and then doing 10 times twice. So it's amazing how you can increase over the eight weeks, it's a, it really is a great program, very evidence-based Missouri is who brought it to Kansas. And I think Missouri works with eight other states. So it's moving across the nation. 

James Bell  
Very cool. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Stay strong, stay healthy,

James Bell  
Like it. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Yeah. 

James Bell  
So how do you get involved in this program?

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
We have registration forms at our office, and we'll get them on our website. And also on our Facebook page. They do each participant if you sign up has to fill out a questionnaire so we kind of know where you're at. So you know, you could be a person that is seriously not doing hardly any exercise, being pretty sedentary. And we can still have you come and get started. But we do kind of want to know where you're at. So if we do, I'm going to say that every physician is going to say, yes, you need to do this, we've never had a physician say no, you're not doing this, even if you have to have a walker in front of you, and you have to hang on. Or if you have to have a chair, we can get a chair that has hands-on, you know, so you could push yourself up, but we just have to get your body moving. And so it can be at many levels, you know, we're not going to get down on the floor and do push-ups. We're not going to, you know, do jumping jacks, it's it starts pretty slow. And then we do cool down at the end. And so it does last about an hour in the beginning. We're a little bit shorter, but I also include lots of nutrition and other I guess encouragement to walk every other day if you're doing strengthening every other day. 

James Bell  
Okay, yeah, just kind of mixing it up. All right, so you get the benefits of both.

And I'm not going to use names. But there were a couple of gals well there were just people who really encouraged each other. So we were in a discussion I asked them what they were most thankful for. It was getting close to Thanksgiving last year. And the one person said I went to a doctor appointment yesterday and he said, I am better now today than I have been for the entire last year. And I saw this gal six months later and she was continuing to do the exercises with someone in the area where she lived. And she was no longer using a walker. So it was very encouraging and her strength improved and her balance improved greatly. 

James Bell  
That's amazing. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Yeah, so it is $20 because we do have handouts and if somebody has weights they want to bring we start out with two-pound weights they can do if they want to start out with five pounds weights but we have two, three and five-pound weights that people can use and just leave at the office and then we also have leg weights so in case. You make the choice of how much you want to do and how quickly you want to move up and how much you want to increase in weight.

James Bell  
Yeah but you never want to rush it right, you want to know incrementally.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
It is very it's nice and easy and slow it but it will wear you you know even the first time if you haven't been doing anything the first time I was like wow I should have started you know working on this a little bit.

James Bell  
You should have been like, you're like a teacher that's really the students just like a few days been like just a couple of workouts ahead.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
Yeah, yeah but it does help get you moving and then you also meet more people who are kind of in the same situation that you are so you have this motivation to not give up like we should never give up.

James Bell  
Well, yeah and I want to ask about that, the group nature of it I think that's gonna be really powerful for exactly what you're talking about right the motivation piece.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
Definitely, yeah. And everybody was so encouraging. We usually had a topic of the day where they had to walk kind of to take their mind off of oh this is difficult. I usually had a topic of the day so they could learn a little bit more about each other so they could visit with each other and it wasn't so personal that you had to tell everything about your life but it was just to learn a little bit more about each other.

James Bell  
Very cool, very cool. I love it. So how many people is or is this going to be limited? Or are you just taking it on.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Oh, we probably would cut it off because of the size of our room to 15 people.

James Bell  
Okay, so if you're interested don't wait too long to get signed right?  Yes, call our office 628-9430 or you know, you can stop by the Extension Office, were at 601 main we're pretty easy to find. Excellent. I love it. And that sounds like such a cool program. But before we run out of time, we got to switch gears we were I was trying to look this up while you were talking a little bit on my computer here. Mental health, mental health. It's important all year, obviously. But there is a mental health month we can't figure out which month it is.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
I think it's important any month and especially when we come into the holidays I mean sometimes it is more difficult for people around Thanksgiving or around Christmas and then maybe even after the new year that is just such a rush of everybody's doing things and you really don't stop to either take care of yourself or maybe not even notice somebody who is having a hard time.

James Bell  
Yeah well and also the seasonal I'm gonna screw this up but the seasonal affective darn it or something like that where the light you know being inside starts to bring you down.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
The nights get longer and for some people who are at home not able to get out those evenings can be really long. So yeah, for any age group, and so managing stress. Gosh, one way is to exercise another way really is to stay connected with someone and so there was a seminar that I went to and I thought this was really cool that you know to start your day you should text, if you text, text two people before 10 o'clock text two before 10 and just stay connected with, if it's not a family member you know a close friend or acquaintance and see if you can make some connections with people, so those two things are really important but even um there's you know, different kinds of meditation but if you enjoy reading of you. I enjoy sewing and I can sit down at my sewing machine. And that's a better place to set than in front of the TV in my recliner. So find something that relaxes you and you get to kind of go into you probably do music, just go into your own little mode and not worry about the things that are out there in the big wide world that bother you.

James Bell  
Absolutely I tell you so I was a music student in college, I was a percussion student. I still have my drum set up and on those days and after the morning show even every once in a while we get a stressful morning show and not because of the guests but just because things maybe aren't going correct with the technology here. But yeah go home and just jam out for 5-10 minutes and feel better. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
Yeah, you have to find your little spark that gives you that encouragement and motivation to keep going but you know if there is a person that really is so overwhelmed, there is help out there. I mean I highly appreciate our High Plains Mental Health Center and I know they put out some short videos I think Eagle communications helped them with those and one of them was caring for yourself but also watching your kids and helping them cope and so High Plains Mental Health is definitely a place but there's also you know if nothing else call 911 and they'll have a phone number for you you can call you know a suicide helpline or there's also a texting if you'd like to text. You can just text to this number and they will they will text with you and keep you get you through the really rough times.

James Bell  
Yeah, but that I mean the important thing is making that contact. 

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
It is. 

James Bell  
It's reaching out to somebody and there shouldn't be any stigma or embarrassment it's you know we've all been in those situations where things aren't going well and yes you're down and as soon as you recognize that that's a good time to say like, you know what, I should talk to somebody.

Yes, the first I think the very first thing to remember is that everybody has stress it's just how you handle it. So we all have stress if you know and watch for the signs ahead of time, then you can prepare yourself to say okay, I need to do something for myself. I need to do something to relax or you know, get myself back down to a level.

James Bell  
Absolutely.

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh  
 Okay. 

James Bell  
Well, Bernie, tell you we've got to get over the weather but any other thoughts before we go?

Cottonwood Extension District agent Bernie Unruh
Oh, just give us a call. If you're interested in the stay strong, stay healthy or even if you have some questions about emotional wellness.

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