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Keeping Healthy Through Stress

Stress happens to us all.  It can be in the form of losing a loved one, a change in our lifestyle, or even trying to get that picky eater of ours to eat.  This National Nutrition Month:  “Get Your Plate in Shape” involves healthy eating tips.   But we also need to remember that healthy eating is just one part of overall wellness.  Stress can contribute to many health problems including: insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In combating stress and trying to focus on wellness, Becky’s favorite indoor walking place (and, it is free) is Hobart Arena in Troy.  For Laura, she de-stresses by walking trails at Sugar Creek Reserve in Greene County with her dog.

One can manage stress in the following manners:

  • Social support system – those with a positive support system stay healthier and recover faster than those who do not
  • Communication skills – expressing feelings in a nonaggressive manner while improving listening skills can help reduce stress
  • Exercise – regularly can reduce effects of stress
  • Healthy eating – healthy eating is good for the heart but also, for one’s self-esteem
  • Sleep – inadequate sleep has been associated with stress and depression
  • Time management – efficient time management assists with lowering stress levels
  • Spirituality – consider personal fulfillment through being connected with others and a higher power
  • Journaling – confiding in one’s self can be enlightening and relieving
  • Rethink stress – consider stress in a constructive way
  • Relaxation methods – consider yoga, meditation, listening to music or my favorite, deep breathing

There are several resources in our community that can provide ourselves and our families opportunities to improve our physical wellness: fitness centers, indoor and outdoor pools, Metro Parks, recreation centers, YMCA’s, trails, churches and community centers.  Some do require cost, but most do not. Utilizing your area activities can be one way in managing your stress and promoting wellness in your life.

Resources for increasing wellness in your life:

Dayton Children’s Employee Health and Wellness: http://intranet1.cmc-dayton.org/Department_Sites/html/HR/wellnessactivities-041906.html

City of Dayton Recreation: www.daytonrecreationanyyou.com/

Fiver River Metro Parks: http://www.metroparks.org/

Clark County Park District: http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/depts/parks/pages/default.aspx

Preble County Park District: http://preblecountyparkdistrict.org/

Darke County Park District: http://www.darkecountyparks.org/

Butler County Park District: http://www.butlercountymetroparks.org/

Miami County Park District:  http://miamicountyparks.com/

Warren County Park District: http://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/

Greene County Park District: www.co.greene.oh.us/parks/parks-facilities.htm

Kettering Recreation Complex: fitness@ketteringoh.org

Vandalia Recreation Complex: http://www.ci.vandalia.oh.us/Rec_Center.cfm

Washington Township Recreation Center: www.washingtontwp.org/rec/

Trails (search by county): http://www.traillink.com/state/oh-trails.aspx

YMCA:  http://www.ymcaonline.org/

Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center: www.dayton.salarmykroc.org

Hobart Arena, Troy: http://www.hobartarena.com/walking_schedule.html

Ohio Bikeways: http://ohiobikeways.net/dayton.htm

Urban Krag Climbing Center: http://urbankrag.com/

The Dayton Communicate with Compassion Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/The-Dayton-Communicate-with-Compassion-Meetup-Group/

The Time Management Training Institute: http://www.timemanagementtraining.com/time_management_skills_training_ohio.htm


Becky Gonter-Dray, RD CSP LD- Activities to Zucchini


Laura McAlpine, RD LD is a clinical dietitian at Dayton Children’s. She currently works on the 3 West General Pediatric floor as well as the Nutrition Clinic. She graduated with a BS degree in dietetics from Ohio University and completed her dietetic internship at University of Kentucky Hospital. She has also completed an American Dietetic Association Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate.


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