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Governor Chris Christie has proclaimed September 2012 to be Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month in New Jersey. This is very exciting! After more than 18 months of work, writing letters, making phone calls and sending e-mails, an Official Proclamation has been signed and received by Push to Walk. With a group of supporters that include Kessler Institute, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Dr. Wise Young and Dr. Patricia Morton of Rutgers, United Spinal Association, National Spinal Cord Injury Association and Disability Rights New Jersey, the Governor’s Office responded positively to our request.  It is now official, and will hopefully be renewed each year.

The official proclamation states that “through public awareness and education, the State of New Jersey seeks to minimize the devastating effects of spinal cord injuries among our residents,” and that “increased focus and investments in treatments, research, advocacy and awareness are key factors in improving outcomes and the quality of life for individuals living with spinal cord injuries.” It is now up to us, collectively, to determine how to maximize the positive impact this could have on the SCI population of our state, and use this recognition for the benefit of all. Please help us spread the word to your friends and family, on Facebook, e-mails blasts, etc.

We have a link to the Proclamation on our website homepage – please check it out: http://www.pushtowalknj.org.

Thank you to all those individuals and organizations who helped us get this recognition, and to Governor Christie for his support.

Now let’s do something to celebrate! Any ideas???

Cynthia

 

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The more I read and learn about exercise for people with spinal cord injuries, the more I realize it’s really no different than exercise in general. Yes, there are special considerations and complications that one might want to prevent or try to offset, but exercise for everyone is so important!

In this month’s “Life in Action” magazine (one of my favorite publications put out by NSCIA and United Spinal for everything related to disabilities – www.spinalcord.org), there are articles on Diet & Exercise. There are some really helpful pointers and comments on various eating styles/diets, and some good references, too.

The adjoining article talks about a weight loss program with a sidebar on a home exercise setup. All good, useful and helpful info. Check it out!

The other part of my message is that consistency is an important part of the equation. Like so many other aspects of our life, if you are disciplined and stick to a program to reach a goal, it will be easier, quicker and more successful. Find out what helps you stay consistent – forming habits, having a buddy, scheduling and time of day – and stick with a plan!

That’s what we see at Push to Walk with our most successful clients, and that’s what I have seen in my personal life as well. In fact, part of my reason I am writing this today is reinforcing all of this for myself, as well. I need to be more diligent in my own exercise program, and I need to set a new goal or two to accomplish. I know this is what works for me. What works for you?

As a timely and related reminder – check out the Adaptive Sports, Recreation and Living Expo at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, NY – tomorrow, Saturday, April 21 from 11 am to 4 pm. Push to Walk will be there, as well as sports programs, adaptive driving, Canine Companions and more! Exercise can be accomplished through sports and fun activities, too. Matt Castellucio has put together a great line-up. Come check it out and say “hello!”

Enjoy your weekend, and get in some exercise! Cynthia

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