NASHUA — City health officials are encouraging residents to take little steps to improve their overall health, and are offering numerous opportunities this week to educate the public on healthy living.
“There are so many small ways that people can begin to make healthier choices,” said Melissa Whalen, health program specialist with the city’s Division of Public Health and Community Services.
This week marks National Public Health Week, and Whalen is joining numerous other health advocates to try to educate and motivate local families to live healthier lives through nutrition, exercise and stress management.
Choices such as eating more fruits and vegetables, walking more, using the stairs, drinking water and washing hands frequently are just a few example of how small changes can make big improvements, according to local health experts.
Monday was the start of National Public Health Week, and events have been planned throughout the city to educate and empower the community to take steps to lead healthier lives.
Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is joining in the activities, and will host a lunchtime bike and walk event starting at noon on Friday at the beginning of the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail. Participants will meet the mayor and walk or ride with her about 2.6 miles along the trail to Mine Falls Park before returning to Nashua City Hall.
“We can all play a role in making our communities healthier places,” Lozeau said in a statement.
The Division of Public Health and Community Services has partnered with more than 20 community agencies and programs to promote healthy lifestyles this week, with the theme “Public Health: Start Here.”
Workshops on safe food practices, creating healthy homes and several holistic classes are being offering, in addition to immunizations, blood pressure screenings and stress management courses.
“We are committed to helping everyone in the community live a healthier life by starting with simple steps. These small steps could include walking the heritage rail trail on your lunch break, understanding and managing your stress levels or making sure that you and your family are making safe and healthy food choices,” said Kerran Vigroux, director of the Division of Public Health and Community Services.
Some of the activities planned for this week include:
• Disaster preparedness training for welfare checks and needs assessments at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Nashua.
• Seminar about lower extremity peripheral artery disease at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center.
• Free vaccines to uninsured adults and children, along with free blood pressure screenings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Adult Learning Center and 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Railroad Square.
• A stretching program for Nashua city employees at noon on Wednesday at Nashua City Hall and at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Nashua High School South.
• Safe Food Practices class at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Nashua Senior Center.
• Eating for High Energy course at 1 p.m. Thursday at Nashua City Hall for municipal employees.
• Lunchtime bike and walk with the mayor starting at noon on Friday at the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail.
• Throughout the week, the Holistic Self Care Center is offering various workshops including emergency preparedness, stress management, fermented food from around the world and more. For more information on the holistic courses, call 883-1490.
For more information, or a complete list of activities throughout the week, visit www.nashuanh.gov.