Rachel is a Program Coordinator for the Healthy Aging and Disability Unit at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
People with disabilities are much less likely to be active than people without disabilities – and I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been great about bucking the trend.
I heard about the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability’s (NCPAD) “14 Weeks to a Healthier You” program, and I really liked the idea of an exercise and nutrition program tailored to my needs and my disability. So, I’m setting out to find “a healthier me” for the next 14 weeks.
My Orientation week is going pretty well. The focus this week is on learning about the website, which seems friendly, encouraging, and easy to use. When I signed up, I was able to:
• choose the goals that were most appropriate for me,
• pick the types of physical activities that sparked my interest,
• indicate how much mobility I have in different areas of my body, and
• create a bio and a profile for myself.
I was given the option to receive reminders and encouragement via text, e-mail and/or telephone (…I chose all three, just to see what would happen). The site also has helpful video tutorials, and while I wasn’t able to get closed captioning working, every video has a transcript posted. Participants can earn “badges” for reaching different milestones or adding other people to the site as “friends.” I can also request real-time online help from NCPAD staff during certain hours.
There is also a section on measurements and assessments, and I was happy to find instructions on how to measure height, weight and various levels of fitness while standing, sitting, lying down, or getting help from someone else. At the beginning of Week 1, I’ll be able to access videos demonstrating strength, flexibility and cardio exercises and schedule workouts on an electronic calendar. I’ll also have access to recipes and logs for tracking food and physical activity.
I’ll be measuring my weight, BMI, strength, flexibility and stamina at Week 1, Week 7, and finally again at Week 14 in order to see my progress. When I’ve got a month of the program under my belt, I’ll let everyone know how it’s going.
Feel free to sign up and join me; I’d love the company! To sign up, visit http://ncpad.org/14weeks/. The program is ongoing, so you can start at any time! My nickname on the site is RachelT – wish me luck and stay tuned!
Weekly Flu Report, November 21, 2014 posted on Nov 21
This week’s flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness remained relatively stable as compared to last week’s numbers. It’s safe to say that we’ll see these rates rise in the coming weeks and months – and with the holiday season approaching, now’s a great time …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 21, 2014
The Holidays Are Fast Approaching! posted on Nov 18
The holiday season brings a lot of fun, but can be stressful at times. Try focusing on seeing things through your child’s eyes. Chances are the traditions and memories you make are what children will grow up to remember, not the gifts or fancy meals. …Continue Reading The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!
Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014 posted on Nov 17
The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in the rate of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. This is to be expected at this time of year in New England, and it’s a great reminder that if you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, there …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, November 14, 2014