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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

Keep your fitness equipment from collecting dust

Published in For the Health of It Author: Alyssa Monson, Registered Dietitian

So you asked and received (or in my case, treated yourself to) some new fitness gear. YAY! In November, we added some items to your wish list. Now what? Review the tips below to incorporate these items into your current activity routine.

Resistance bands

  • Resistance bands are a versatile piece of equipment. You can use them for any exercise you would do with dumbbells. Or add resistance to body weight exercises. For example, stand on the center of a resistance band of your choice hold one end in each hand (it should be stretched somewhat) and bend at your knees and hips keeping your knees behind or in line with your toes (squat position) and return to standing. The resistance band will add more resistance on the upward motion of your movement.
  • You also can keep this same band position and do bicep curls, arm raises, calf raises and shoulder press.

Stability ball

  • Add a new level to your core work out and do parts of your core routine on the ball. For example: crunches and back extensions (supermans).
  • To work hamstrings (back of your upper legs), lay on the floor and place heels on the stability ball. Flex knees and pull your heels towards your body (the ball should roll with you and your toes will end up touching the stability ball).

Fitness tracker

  • Depending on the option you chose, set step or calorie burning goals and work to reach them each day. If your tracker allows, set up a challenge to get your friends/family involved to help keep active during the winter season.
  • Many trackers allow you to set reminders to get activity in or stand up if you have been sedentary for a certain period of time.

Exercise/yoga mat

  • Use your mat to add a cushion during yoga, Pilates, stretching and core routines. You may also use it to add grip to a slippery floor.

Medicine ball

  • Use your medicine ball to add resistance to crunches, core exercises, and body weight exercise. For an added challenge, hold the medicine ball with arms extended while doing squats/lunges to work your arms and legs at the same time.