What do you see as the top health challenge facing WNC?
If you can’t meet your basic needs, you can’t focus on the next level of health and wellness. Both in my own life and through the Council on Aging, our goal is to help people meet their basic needs, whether that is heating, housing, food, transportation or financial assistance. Once those needs are met, I believe we can help people start thinking about the additional health and wellness pieces of their lives. In my own life, it is exercise and making sure I’m not sedentary.
What’s the best thing you’ve done for your own health lately?
About four years ago I was incredibly sedentary. I was overweight and I didn’t eat very well. It was in January that I decided I wanted to make a change and started going to a yoga class. Then I became a certified yoga instructor. I lost 55 pounds: It changed my life. Yoga impacted so much more than just exercise. It changed the way I sit, stand and walk.
Is there something new you plan to do to boost your health in 2019?
I’m doing one thing every day for my own self-care. I started crocheting, so I will take intentional time out of my day to crochet, do yoga or take a walk. Our physical, emotional and mental well-being are so tied together. We get so wrapped up thinking we have to go to the gym and run 5 miles or lift the heaviest weights, but self-care doesn’t have to be physical. Can you do something to take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually or mentally each day?
Jennifer Teague is executive director of the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, which provides resources, support services and education to individuals ages 60 and older and their families.