Health and Wellness

Navigating Your Health - Being prepared in an emergency

With all the devastation that has occurred during this active hurricane season, it might have you thinking, “What would I do in that situation?” In New Hampshire, hurricanes might not be our biggest concern, but emergencies of all kinds can happen when you least expect them. It’s important to be prepared. Use the below checklists to make sure you and your family are prepared whether you need to stay home, evacuate, or reunite in the event of a major emergency.
Review with everyone in your home every six months when you change your clocks.
STAY – If you’re going to be stuck at home for a few days, make sure you have...
• A three- day supply of water for each family member (3 gallons each)
• Dry and canned food including fruits, veggies, meats, baby food, formula, canned milk, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, etc.
• Pet food
• Manual can opener
• Flashlight and batteries
• Cell phone & car charger, or a phone that does not use electricity
• Battery-powered radio and batteries
• Toiletries: soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, hand sanitizer
• First aid kit: band aids, gauze, rubbing alcohol, medical gloves, medicine (a week worth of prescription meds), etc.

LEAVE – Need to leave your home in a hurry? Make sure you have your...
• Go-Kit
• Change of clothes
• Blanket/towel
• Extra keys
• First aid supplies
• Medicines
• Glasses
• Cash
• Important documents like ID, bank and medical information, insurance policies
• Cell phone with car charger
• Pets and pet supplies
• Activities for the kids

CONNECT – You might not be with your loved ones at the time of an emergency. To help you connect, establish the following ahead of time.
• Emergency meeting place close to home
• Emergency meeting place outside your neighborhood
• Out-of-state contact for family members for emergency check-in



I'm worried about my mom's health

Dear Kelley,
I recently visited my elderly mother at her home in northern New Hampshire. Since my father died in 2008, she has lived alone. Although she lives alone, she is very active and extremely social. This last visit caused me serious concern that I expressed to her. I feel she is not taking her medications safely and she took a few of her pills with a sip of her second glass of wine at dinner. She typically doesn’t drink alcohol at all. When I expressed my concern, she dismissed it right away and felt I was overreacting. I don’t believe I am. Should I be concerned?
Worried Daughter

Dear Worried Daughter,
Thank you for your question. I understand your concern regarding your mother’s medications and alcohol use. You are not overreacting. Medications both prescribed and over the counter, can cause an adverse reaction if used the wrong way or taken with alcohol. As people age, they become more sensitive to alcohol. Drinking too much can contribute to increased risk of falls, fires or other accidents, heart and liver damage, confusion, memory loss, anxiety, depression, and worsening of existing health problems (SAMHSA). Your mother is at risk for harmful side effects when drinking alcohol with these medications. The recommended drinking limits for adults 65 and older are one drink per day for men and less than one drink per day for women. One standard drink is equal to one 5 ounce glass of wine or one 12 ounce beer or ale (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). Although it can be a difficult conversation to have with a parent, it is certainly one worth having. Perhaps you can accompany her to her next health appointment and discuss it together with her doctor. Let her know you care and are only concerned for her health and well-being. Talk to her about the risks associated with medications and alcohol. Providing accurate information will assist your mother in making informed decisions regarding healthy living.
For more information on medication safety visit

101017 UNH tackles public health issues for college students: sexual assault and problem drinking (272).

DURHAM — Researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Prevention Innovations Research Center received a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate an innovative strategy to keep an on-campus incidents of intimate partner violence or sexual assault from leading to problem drinking and/or mental health issues, such as depression.

While research shows that a negative reaction (like not believing the victim) to a disclosure of intimate partner violence or sexual assault often leads to negative outcomes, no intervention to date has been developed and evaluated specific to recipients of a disclosure.

“This grant will allow us to test an intervention we’ve developed,” said Katie Edwards, principal investigator and associate professor of psychology and women’s studies. “We believe that by providing people with information on why positive reactions (like emotional support) are important as well as examples of what to say and what not to say and ample opportunity for skill building will make a significant difference for victims.”

College students were chosen as the target population due to the high rates of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and problem drinking among that population. “If shown to be effective, the intervention could be adapted and implemented in a variety of settings,” said Edwards.

This research is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R34AA024849. Edwards’ project team includes curriculum development specialist Caroline Leyva (UNH) and co-investigators Sarah Ullman (University of Illinois Chicago), Lindsey Rodriguez (University of South Florida, St. Petersburg) and Christina Dardis (Townson University). A number of UNH undergraduate and graduate students will also serve as project staff.

Can exercise lower your risk of future hearing loss?

By CHERYL DAGNON, Contributing Writer

Are you doing everything to keep your hearing safe? It might surprise you that some of the same lifestyle choices that you make for your overall health can reduce the risk of hearing loss. A recent study at the University of Florida confirms that exercise might be good for your ears.
You already know that regular exercise has a positive impact on your health and reduces your risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.  The study from the University of Florida found that physically active mice had fewer markers of inflammation than those that were sedentary. Inflammatory markers are proteins found in the blood plasma that indicate potential cell damage. It is possible that age-related inflammation in the inner ear is one possible cause of hearing loss as we grow older. Therefore, regular exercise may reduce age-related inflammation leading to less trauma to the tiny hear cells that allow us to hear.  Less trauma, less damage, less inflammation...better hearing!
Combined with other smart life choices like regular hearing tests, protection from exposure to loud noises with ear protection, exercise is a proactive approach to better hearing.


Cheryl Dagnon, MA,CCC/A, is an audiologist at ENT Associates of New Hampshire.

Get fit this fall at Gunstock Mountain Resort

GILFORD — The leaves are changing color and falling from the trees, despite a week that has seen highs in the 80s.

Autumn is officially here... and we at the Gunstock Nordic & Outdoor Center could not be more excited to enter this transitional season!

October, generally a month spent mowing trails and preparing for Winter Operations, will look a little different for Nordic, which has enjoyed a fantastically fun first Summer of Mountaintop Yoga and Guided Hikes. Fall programming will hit the ground running, and continue through November!

Here’s what’s on tap:

Mountaintop Yoga: Oct. 7, 14 and 28

Enjoy a relaxing lift ride to the summit over the beautiful fall foliage, where you’ll spend the next 45 minutes lost in movement, breath, and meditation. The lift ride down will wow you, with views of the lake and mountains as far as the eye can see!

Dress for the temperature, and be sure to factor in the difference at the summit, which is usually about 10 degrees, give or take autumn wind chill. Mats are available on a first-come, first serve basis.

Meet at the Welcome Center at 8:40 a.m., class begins at 9 a.m.

Preseason Ski and Snowboard Training with Kale: Thursdays and Sundays, Oct. 5 through Nov. 12

For Alpine AND Nordic skiers, as well as riders! Don’t spend the first month of fantastic skiing and snowboarding just getting into shape! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned vet, this structured 6 week preseason program will enhance your strength, conditioning, and mobility. We will use natural elements, Gunstock’s fantastic terrain, and other fun drills that will allow you to “slide” into the season ready to ski and ride when the snow flies! Attend one or two sessions per week. Reservations are required.

Meet at Welcome Center at 6:45 a.m., class begins at 7 a.m.
Coach Kale Poland is a Certified Personal Trainer, specializing in strength, endurance, and agility. He has run and won a 500-mile running race, is the youngest male in the world to finish the DECA Iron (a continuous 24-mile swim, 1,120-mile bike, and 262 mile run) among other things, and is a lifetime skier. His training philosophy revolves around inclusion for all abilities, and “if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?”

Foliage Hiking Tours

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year here in the Lakes Region. Bright greens slowly become brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds. An adventurous 1.5 hour round-trip hike through the woods, while taking in majestic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Belknap, Ossipee and White Mountains is a wonderful way to ensure we get outdoors during the week to appreciate our natural surroundings while getting a workout! Route to change based on weather and ability of hikers. Rain? As long as no thunderstorms are in the area, we'll get in touch with our inner youth and puddle splash our way through it!

Two ways to enjoy the foliage on foot! Night tours on Oct. 7, 14 and 21. Daytime tours on Oct. 7 and 14.

Bring water, appropriate hiking footwear and a fun attitude! Hikes will start earlier as we progress into the fall with less daylight. Start times will be updated on the events calendar.

Fall Flurry Mountain Bike Adventure, $20, Nov. 4

This isn't your normal mountain bike race course. This single-loop course features everything a true adventure on a bike should have – hence the name adventure ... Fast double-track, fun single-track, barely-rideable short technical sections, unrideable climbs, a stream crossing and bike carries.

Sign up online at, or race day registration will be held at the Gunstock Nordic Center from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Race is a mass start - men and women, at 10:30 a.m. Pandemonium!

Are you ready?

Oh, and come early, so you can get the hot preseason blowout deals at Mountainside Outfitters, the Nordic Center, and the infamous Gunstock Ski Club Sale!

We're looking forward to getting our fall fitness on and using the outdoors as our gym during our most colorful season! See you soon!

~ Kale Poland

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Yoga on the mountaintop at Gunstock. (Courtesy photos)

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