The holiday season is one that – even during the coronavirus pandemic – will be sure to include plenty of calorie-rich goodies.

With winter fast approaching, Troop Ben Gardner is expecting the unexpected, as he says all motorists should when there’s snow and ice on the roadways.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, has called on Congress to ensure dedicated funding and priority attention is given to long-term care residents and caregivers.

While many people across the nation responded to the arrival of COVID-19 by putting on “pandemic pounds” and feeling a sense of isolation and even depression, faculty and staff in the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District (Red Jacket) were meeting a challenge.

Doug Schmidt, Bill Bowe, Diane Neal, Brenda Gowan and Maura Kostraba have been leaders in their school districts’ efforts to improve the health and well-being of their employees, putting in many hours on top of their demanding jobs for the benefit of fellow workers. All five have either stepped down from longtime leadership posts, or are moving aside to let others lead. Some are retiring after decades in education. Doug Schmidt The story of Doug Schmidt, who has served as wellness committee chair at Victor Central School District, is well known — not just within consortium circles, but regionally and nationally. After having a heart attack at age 49, Schmidt embraced a whole food, plant-based diet, took up running and ultimately shed 60 pounds, dropping all of his medications in the process. Schmidt has consciously instilled better physical health through passion and lifestyle changes. He shares his story to encourage others to adopt healthier diets. He did it through Victor’s wellness committee, the consortium and beyond. Schmidt is retiring this fall as an enrichment teacher working with gifted and talented students at Victor. He played a lead role in encouraging the whole foods, plant-based diet that changed his life, pointing to the plant-based diet challenges the FLASHP schools hold throughout the year. He notes those 10-day challenges have moved well beyond the consortium to involve Ontario County and many businesses. “It’s really expanded across the state,” Schmidt says, noting that his wife, Shari, created a Facebook page called Eat Plants Love that promotes a plant-based life. It has more than 4,000 members. Recipes are shared on the page, and members get support, information and more. “Last year we wrote our own cookbook (Eat Plants Love),” Schmidt says. “We’re working on a second cookbook, Eat More Plants Love. We’re doing that for the January challenge.” He wants to see his last plant-based challenge through. While Schmidt is stepping down as an educator, his and Shari’s efforts to promote the plant-based lifestyle will continue — from the warmer confines of their new home in Phoenix, Ariz., where they are moving to be closer to family. “Helping people regain their health is powerful and so rewarding,” Schmidt says. “Just like in being a teacher, it is another way to make a difference.” Diane Neal Diane Neal, a longtime wellness coordinator at the Seneca Falls Central School District, isn’t retiring from her job as the district’s assistant data coordinator. She is stepping down as wellness committee co-chair and the FLASHP’s Wellness is Now (WIN) co-chair position. Neal has been a leader of the wellness committee since its inception in 2014 after being encouraged to do so by now-retired Superintendent Bob McKeveny. She hopes to stay involved as a committee member. Neal says the committee promotes a number of wellness initiatives that run from blood pressure checks to walking challenges, to the annual plant-based diet challenge that has become a wellness effort staple. The committee also annually takes part in women’s heart health initiatives and hydration challenges, hosts “early bird” workouts, yoga classes and more. She says her co-chair work with the FLASHP wellness group, which includes Rick Amundson of Smola Consulting, “was a joy, and we worked behind the scenes to help Rick create meaningful meetings, brainstorm ideas to present, talk about guest presenters and help assure the meetings went smoothly.” One of her goals was to ensure wellness programs at Seneca Falls had broad participation. The committee encouraged involvement by not just teachers, but support staff such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers as well, she says. The task was not easy, she explains, as each group works in different shifts. Neal says she’s learned so much from her committee involvement, including the need to take care of oneself. “Truly, self care has to be a priority in your life, rather than an afterthought,” Neal says, pointing to meditation, breathing, nutrition and exercise as part of that concept. “It has to start with you. Are you whole enough to turn around and put the energy towards others?” Bill Bowe As a physical education teacher in the Canandaigua City School District, heading the district’s wellness efforts was a natural fit for Bill Bowe. Afterall, wellness is pretty much in the job description. “It’s (the wellness chair job) something I had great interest in,” Bowe says. He retired in June after 34 years at Canandaigua, where he also coached baseball and many other sports. “It felt like a no-brainer.” At Canandaigua, says Bowe, the wellness committee enjoyed many accomplishments — from the promotion of biometric screenings, flu shots, telemedicine and Rally Rewards to strong participation in the annual plant-based diet challenge. But Bowe says one of his proudest accomplishments is the installation of fitness centers in each of the district’s buildings. Those fitness centers gave staff access before, during and after school, Bowe, and they are utilized by many staff members, he says. “Seeing people in there on a daily basis is good, knowing that you were a part of that,” he says. The longtime physical education teacher and coach, who served the wellness committee since 2012, believes it’s an effective tool for promoting good health for all Canandaigua staff members. “I think it’s had a huge impact,” says Bowe. “It’s a good feeling when you do get that email that someone lowered their cholesterol and lost weight.” Bowe says the consortium, working with Excellus and Smola Consulting, is not only improving the lives of school employees, but helping to reduce healthcare costs for all of the districts and their workers. Brends Gowan

The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out countless events and altered many more since March.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an uptick in delivery services as more people are heeding the warning to stay inside to limit the spread of COVID-19.

When it comes to describing his goal for The Lift Project, founder Darren Morton has three words.

The Finger Lakes Area School Health Plan is getting a bit more social — which is to say the consortium that includes 37 educational entities across its namesake region of New York can now be found on both Facebook and Instagram.

After a couple weeks of feeling overwhelmed and even a bit blue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the U.S., staff members at Penn Yan Central School District received some advice on how to feel better, thanks to Blue Zones; or, more specifically, to a four-week Blue Zones challenge.

A positive, can-do attitude can figuratively move mountains. If your idea of a mountain is increasing physical activity, getting fit and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, there is a movement that’s gaining momentum at Gratiot-Isabella Regional Education Service District.

Seniors are part of the vulnerable population, especially now during COVID-19. Having more communication and time with them is essential, but as social distancing and quarantine are put into place, the future of senior care and seniors has started to shift.

While working out at home has become a necessity for many — with gyms closed during the coronavirus pandemic — home fitness had already been trending before quarantines began. Interactive home workout products such as Peloton, Zwift, Mirror and Tonal are changing the fitness landscape. Convenience and safety are two major plusses that these home streaming platforms offer, according to John Mercer, professor and acting chair of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the president of the Las Vegas Triathlon Club. “For cycling, a lot of people are reporting that they just feel safer biking indoors rather than being out on the streets,” Mercer says. “It’s not always easy to find routes to exercise outside that are safe. “You can also do it on your own schedule, and you can probably even be a little more efficient with your time. You don’t have to stop at a light or a stop sign.” Mercer says technological advances have allowed home platforms to offer a more interesting workout experience than home equipment provided in the past. “What’s available now are programs that can control the level of resistance,” he adds. “You can have the resistance changed based on a simulated hill or a different type of road condition. That makes it more fun. “People are also able to reach others on a program like Zwift, where they get on their bikes and have a little bit of competition. You can have virtual races where you upload data from a run or an indoor bike ride. Ironman Triathlon is doing these virtual races and so is the United States Triathlon Association.” Stan Lim, photography manager at the University of California-Riverside, is an avid cycler who has realized some of the benefits of working out at home after moving his rides inside during the pandemic. “All my rides were with groups, usually,” he says. “So, I had to change that. I had a bit of a home cycling studio set up, with a couple different bikes that were basically just collecting dust. I figured now was the time to get it set up. “My daughter is home from college, and Peloton was offering a free 90-day subscription, so I figured I’d set it up. It’s been great riding with my daughter at home.” Lim echoes some of Mercer’s sentiments about the positives of riding at home. “The one thing about being at home is safety,” he says. “I don’t have a chance of getting hit by a car. That’s a big thing. Plus being able to just go in the garage and get a quick workout in, it’s very convenient.” Lim says he had noticed many of his fellow riders gravitating toward virtual workouts before the pandemic. “A lot of my friends started getting into Zwift because there are so many features you can use with that,” he adds. “Especially when the weather isn’t great, everyone was jumping on Zwift and getting their workouts in that way. “I know I’ll continue to do this more even when I’m able to get back to going outside. Especially if I get home late from work and don’t have time to go ride outside, I can just do it at home.” Garrett Borunda, vice president of partnerships and platforms at EGYM, says it is important for gyms to embrace and incorporate technology. EGYM offers three major platforms for gyms to utilize: connected equipment that allows gym customers to set up an account and be offered a customized program each time they return to that machine, apps that allow gyms to communicate with customers and utilize virtual programs, and passes for companies to provide their employees with gym, aquatic club and racquet club memberships. “In general, we all know we need to be healthier,” Borunda says. “We want to push to get out there and exercise. We know it is the right thing to do. But there’s often obstacles in the way. Technology offers us an opportunity to get around those obstacles.” Borunda believes technology can help people get past anxiety that may limit their trips to the gym. “If you’re on your device working out at home, you’re not intimidated by being in the club,” he says. “You’re seeing the progress you’re making right on your device and getting rewarded for it, and with the immense amount of content out there, you’re not going to get bored.”

Nick Setta once trained Tyler Jay, a left-handed baseball pitcher who was selected in the first round – sixth overall – of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft by the Minnesota Twins.

As individuals across the country try to adjust to the “new normal” imposed upon them by the coronavirus pandemic, parents and children are struggling to find balance.

For many people, it is a simple routine: wake up, go to work, come home. For the most part, these different aspects of our lives do not tend to cross. We keep our work life in the office or classroom and our personal lives at home with our families.

Women who survive breast cancer can serve as beacons of strength, encouragement and hope. Each story is as unique as the individual who lived it, but many of them share one commonality: It started with a mammogram.

Eating three meals each day has been a staple in our culture since at least the 18th century, some research has shown. By at least the early 19th century, dinner for most people was pushed into the evening, reserved for after work upon returning home for a full meal.

What’s your word for 2020? What do you need? What do you need to get rid of?

At some point in your life, you’ve likely experienced feelings of loneliness. It could be from missing a family member or the company of a favorite pet. Or it may stem from being the new person at work and not knowing your way around the office. It might even originate from an overextension of “me time.” Loneliness may be more present these days during the novel coronavirus outbreak and associated societal response.

The societal response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States has led to most people practicing social distancing, and large segments of some states’ populations essentially in social isolation. Spending more time than usual indoors and away from social situations, and the lack of facetime with friends is something many people are struggling with. Time alone without that social outlet is for some people new, uncomfortable and even scary.

CCAC Human Resources in collaboration with the CCAC Wellness Committee held CCAC’s fifth annual Wellness Fair at the South Campus. This year, the fair featured over 30 vendors and attractions to include a Fitness Corner, a Mini-Clinic and a Veterans’ Corner.

IRMC was awarded an ‘A’ in fall 2019 by Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, providing the hospital national distinction for achievements pertaining to protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

The Wellness Committee at Honeoye CSD has two new co-coordinators. Jennifer Green, district clerk for the superintendent of schools at Honeoye CSD served as wellness coordinator then took a three-year break. Last September, Green reprised her role and asked Deb Vanderbroek, a teaching assistant, to share the position as a wellness co-coordinator.

Every new parent wants something for their child, such as fun toys, a new stroller even, a safe environment and opportunities. Sandi Quinlan, sixth grade math teacher at Wayland-Cohocton Central School District, wanted all of that for her daughter, Taylor Kirin, who was a non-mutated version of the collagen seven gene.

When fostering the best environment for our children’s futures, the school system has to not look not only at what goes on within its walls, but outside of them as well. If families within the community are struggling to make ends meet, then those children will be at a serious detriment. Thanks to a huge philanthropic initiative from Lyons Central School District, the Community Collaboration is doing everything in its power to support those families in need.

Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) is dedicated to providing wellness opportunities to people across 25 different school districts in the area. With a variety of programs serving all ages, BOCES has to cover an extremely wide range of needs and interests. Despite the array of specialized activities, BOCES wanted to provide something relaxing, inexpensive and available to anyone. With that in mind, the wellness meetups around Finger Lakes are the perfect opportunity to enjoy a leisurely stroll with family and friends.

Being mindful about gratitude, affirming there is goodness in the world and acknowledging that it comes from others, can make you feel better, happier and more satisfied. In the fall of 2019, four Finger Lake Area School Health Consortium districts initiated activities to help staff recognize their gratitude and find better health and appreciation in their everyday lives.

Corporate Wellness at Indiana Regional Medical Center is designed to assist local businesses in improving the health of their employees. In 2019, IRMC Corporate Wellness team conducted wellness-related activities for nine different companies and completed health screenings or health services for fifteen businesses. Industries supported by IRMC’s Corporate Wellness team include energy, manufacturing, healthcare, education and finance.

Whether you’re hitting the online slot machines in Las Vegas, racing in an old-school video games like “Mario Kart,” or having an augmented experience on your cellphone via “Pokemon Go,” internet gaming is just about everywhere these days.

Teaching is not an easy job, and like any profession has its own unique stressors. Instructing special needs students is a departure from teaching in a traditional classroom environment, with particular circumstances and challenges that change the dynamic even more.

Tracking heart rate and steps has been a major component of fitness trends throughout the years, especially in today’s world of Fitbits, smart watches, and step counters automatically programmed onto our phones. However, this trend has appeared to lie mostly with the adult crowd.

Whether you’re hitting the online slot machines in Las Vegas, racing in an old-school video games like “Mario Kart,” or having an augmented experience on your cellphone via “Pokemon Go,” internet gaming is just about everywhere these days.

Whether it’s by car, train or plane, it can sometimes be tough to get a good night’s sleep when traveling. You’re away from the comfort of your own bed, and you could be traveling with people who cry, sneeze, talk loudly or watch a movie without headphones. But you can still sleep well while traveling. Learn how traveling across time zones impacts your sleep, what causes jet lag, and how you can feel rested the next time you travel across the country.

One of the most commonly searched questions about breastfeeding is, “What medicines can you take?” Since everything you consume makes its way into your baby’s milk supply, it’s a valid concern. Sure, we know to pump and dump after a couple glasses of wine, but what about medications?

Each year, hundreds of thousands suffer from cardiac arrest in the U.S. Anytime, anywhere, an emergency can strike, leaving many with little chance for life-saving personnel to make a difference. These numbers would be decreased dramatically if more people were CPR certified. Currently at Seneca Valley School District, students and staff are training to be ready for any dire situation thrown their way.

For the past 24 years, Arthur Dilg did some pretty fun things, including taking his wife, Marilyn, on multiple trips to Germany to visit family. The semi-retired Christ Episcopal Church clergyman also had a chance to be a part of some blessed events, including baptizing the majority of his nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren as well as countless others outside the family. He performed numerous weddings, and he and Marilyn were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary six years ago.

Commonly known as ALS, the condition is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and it is always fatal. The affected motor neurons deteriorate and the brain and spinal cord lose their ability to send signals to muscles, which begin to atrophy. As muscles lose nourishment, those affected lose their ability to speak, move, eat and breathe. The average life expectancy of those afflicted with ALS is two to five years, and there is no cure.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a boundary is defined as “a line that marks the limits of an area.” In more straightforward terms, it’s the line you clearly draw so that others know not to cross it. Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships, whether that’s among friends, within the workplace or in a romantic partnership.