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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

‘Getting fit’ not cutting it?

Published in Weight Management Author: Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian

CentraCare Weight Management

Is the thought of getting in shape or losing weight not enough to keep you motivated to hit the gym? Check out five non-fitness-related benefits of exercise to find your motivation to get in some daily physical activity.

  1. Reduce stress and improve sleep. Rough day at the office? Take a breather and go for a walk or head to the gym after work. Stress relief is one of the most common benefits of exercise. Exercise increases concentrations of chemicals that can improve the brain’s response to stress. 
    Consider moving that workout to five to six hours before bedtime to improve sleep while also reducing stress. Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core body temperature. When the body temperature drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep.
  2. Boost happy chemicals. Sometimes we might feel too tired to get off the couch. Good news! Physical activity releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. Don’t worry if physical activity is not your thing, being physically active for just 30 minutes a few times a week can boost overall mood.
  3. Improve self-confidence. Many people exercise to lose weight and look better, but exercise can actually boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image regardless of weight, size, gender or age.
  4. Keep your brain in tip top shape. Regular physical activity can prevent cognitive decline and boost memory. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks — losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help protect the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45.
    Additionally, a study showed that physical activity increased vocabulary retention among healthy adults. So even if you aren’t approaching 45, your brain will still benefit from more activity.
  5. Get more done and tap into creativity. Feeling uninspired? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research shows that individuals who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers. A bout of physical activity can boost creativity and productivity for up to two hours afterwards.