Weekly Health Message – Benefits of “Belly breathing”

Weekly Health Message – Benefits of “Belly breathing”

Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called abdominal or belly breathing, is a deep breathing technique that engages your diaphragm, which is the large, dome-shaped muscle that runs horizontally across your abdomen, under your ribcage.

Belly breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.

Belly breathing is easy to do and very relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you need to relax or relieve stress.

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.




Weekly Health Message – Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Weekly Health Message – Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Even the smallest of falls can cause the biggest of the injuries. Let us prevent them all and spread the word on FALL PREVENTION AWARENESS WEEK (Sept 20-24)

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans.  Falls threaten seniors’ safety, independence, and generate enormous economic and personal costs. 

According to CDC, each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

Many falls do not cause injuries. One out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures or a head injury. These injuries can make it hard for a person to get around, do everyday activities, or live on their own. When a person is less active, they become weaker, and this increases their chances of falling.

However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, you can lower your chances of falling.

Here are some tips to prevent falling

  1. Get a physical exam each year: Some health conditions like lower body weakness, Vitamin D deficiency, difficulty in balancing may increase your risk of falling.
  2. Review all your medicines with your Doctor or Pharmacist: As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. To learn more, go to: https://go.usa.gov/xPADs
  3. Follow a regular activity program to increase your strength and balance. Strength and balance activities, done at least 3 times a week, can reduce your risk of falling. Other activities, like walking, are good for you, but don’t help prevent falls. Visit the National Institute on Aging’s website for suggestions: www.go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercises
  4. Get a medical eye exam each year: Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. Once a year, check with your eye doctor, and update your eyeglasses, if needed.
  5. Make your home safer:
    1. Remove things like books, clothes and shoes form stairs and places where you walk.
    2. Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall and out of the way.
      Keep items you often use in cabinets you can reach easily. For items not within easy reach, always use a step stool and never use a chair.
    3. Use non-slip rubber mats or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower. Consider installing grab bars for support getting in or out of the tub or shower, and up from the toilet.
    4. Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well.
  6. Wear well-fitted shoes with good support to the heel, inside and outside the house.

For additional information, please visit


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Weekly Health Message – Let’s take care of ourselves.

Weekly Health Message – Let’s take care of ourselves.

When I look back on the summer of 2021, I will, of course, remember our continued fight against the pandemic and the remote working environment. I will certainly remember my struggle with voicing the feelings that isolation and separation from family, friends and colleagues caused.

But I will also remember the dazzling display of athleticism at the Tokyo Olympics and the two women who spoke openly about mental health and provided much-needed lessons to the world on how we can best take care of ourselves.

In June, tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open and decided not to participate in the Wimbledon Championships, citing mental health issues. While she competed in the Tokyo Olympics, she lost in an early round. Then later, she broke down in tears when questioned about it relentlessly at a media event.

In July, gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from several Olympic events, saying she was not in the right place mentally to compete, citing dangers to her physical well-being if she continued.

While both women garnered considerable praise for speaking openly about mental health, they also faced some angry and, at times, vicious criticism. Both critics and former supporters opined that the athletes were merely weak, that they had let their country down and had failed to live up to more traditional notions of competition and pushing through adversity. There was an ugly rhetoric: from those who blasted Biles—the most decorated gymnast in the world—as “a selfish, childish national embarrassment” and called Osaka “the world sport’s most petulant little madam.”

In this post, we are interested in addressing a long-standing cultural bias against openly acknowledging mental health as a fundamental component of individual well-being. It’s way, way past time that we stop framing discussions of mental health in the context of weakness or failure.

Part of being strong, part of being healthy, is knowing when you are not—and being willing to say that, without fearing judgement or being ashamed. Ignoring the stresses and obstacles in our lives does not make them go away. Taking the time to face them, acknowledge them, work on them and even ask for help is a far healthier and more productive way to turn that proverbial corner.

As we weather this pandemic, one of the silver linings that should be acknowledged is an appreciation for the fact that it’s OK to say we’re not OK. Let’s celebrate that kind of vulnerability because truly taking care of ourselves and others means we have to start from a place of honesty.

For additional information please visit:





#mentalhealth #leadahealthylife #St.TimothyLutheran




How has COVID affected you or your loved ones emotionally?

How has COVID affected you or your loved ones emotionally?

As we continue to survive in this world-wide pandemic, we have been innovative in changing our daily lives to fit the recommended protocols for safety and health. How has this affected you emotionally? How has this affected those you love? How do you continue to cope with this ongoing challenge? Who can you talk to?
In the link provided below you will find signs and symptoms to help you recognize increased stress and resources for simple at-home strategies of self-care and support for your loved ones. Please reach out to one of our pastors, our faith community nurse or other professionals if you need assistance.

We are here to help! 

Peace and Blessings,

Kim Runge RN

Faith Community Nurse

To learn more about mental health and COVID, click below and you will be transferred to resources and articles on the Mental Health First Aid website. Once there, if you choose you can subscribe to the site.