Health Literacy Newsletter
October, 2019
In this issue:
  • Plymouth Public Library Health and Wellness Fair
  • Medline Plus and Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Guest Contributor,  Adam Haughn presents "Healthy Habits"
  • Upcoming Events
Health and Wellness Fair at Plymouth Public Library
On September 28th, the Plymouth Public Library hosted its first Health and Wellness Fair.  Over a dozen agencies exhibited at the fair, which took place on the library's front lawn.  Attendees were able to receive free flu shots, take advantage of lung cancer screenings, and get checked for sun damage on facial skin using a UV scanner.  Speakers gave presentations on a number of health-related topics, and there was food and fun for all ages, including a kids' area with face painting.  It was a beautiful day and a great event. 
Not only were community members able to learn about health and wellness resources in our area, but it was also a wonderful opportunity for exhibitors to network and share ideas. 

Tom Cummiskey, Outreach Librarian for Plymouth Public Library, did a fantastic job in organizing and hosting what is sure to become an annual event to promote health literacy in our communities!

This event was sponsored in part by a health literacy grant awared to PPL by  CHNA 23.  If you would like to learn more about grant opportunities through CHNA 23,  please click

Medline Plus 

Medline Plus is an amazing resource for reliable, easy-to-understand health information.  Check it out at

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  You can access many useful resources on Medline Plus: 

Healthy Habits
Adam Haughn, Guest Contributor

Being healthy often seems a lot more complicated than it actually is. While there are many factors that are involved with overall healthy living, two of the most important are nutrition and exercise.
Exercise is extremely important in living a long, healthy life. Chronic (long term) exercise has many benefits: ranging from lowering blood pressure and LDL (low density lipid) cholesterol to decreasing your chance of dying from a cardiovascular event or contracting diabetes, exercising for years has shown to prolong life while simultaneously raising the quality of it. There is never a wrong time to start exercising, nor is a person ever “too old or out of shape” to begin exercising. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), all adults aged 18-65 years should be partaking in “moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days each week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days each week” (Riebe, Ehrman, Liguori, and Magal (2017).
Now, what is intensity? And what is the difference between difficulty and intensity? Intensity is a way to measure how much energy your body expends while performing an activity. Difficulty is how hard something is. For example, hiking up a mountain for three hours is difficult while performing 5 sets of 1 at 92% of your one repetition maximum for the squat is intense. Gauging intensity is important for prescribing exercise and rest, for without rest you cannot reap the benefits of the work you put in! One way to gauge intensity is with the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. This scale ranges from 0-10 and is a simple way to gauge how intense a workout is. 0 is inactive (sitting down) 1 is very light, 2 is light, 3 is moderate, 4 is somewhat hard and 5 is hard. In order to see cardiovascular and skeletal tissue improvements it is generally recommended that inactive adults begin exercising at an RPE of 3, progressing  and active adults continue exercising at an RPE of 5 or greater.
Exercising can be different for different people. It is important to find activities that bring you pleasure, whether it be: hiking, kayaking, weight lifting, playing sports, or running, something is better than nothing.
     When was the last time you sat down and had a meal without distraction? Unfortunately, nutrition often takes the back seat in our chaotic lives. Nutrition is just as, if not more, important as exercise in living a healthy life. Think about it, if you fuel your car with low quality gasoline then the car will not be as efficient as it would if it were fueled with higher quality gasoline. This analogy can be useful when discussing food quality. When refueling your body (eating) it is important to mostly consume unprocessed, whole foods. These are whole, unpolished grains (containing the bran and the germ), fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, nonhomogenized dairy products, and fish / poultry / low fat red meat. It is OK to consume processed foods as long as they are not the staple of your diet. Some foods that are processed are, “candy, packaged baked goods, processed meats and cheeses, pasta dishes, TV dinners, frozen pizzas, single-serving portions of applesauce, pudding, fruit juices, soups, flavored milk, and some types of fast food” (Frey and Porter (2019).
     Processed foods usually contain added sugars, saturated fats, and salts; three additives that can be detrimental to human health when consumed in excess. According to the 2010 USDA’s Dietary guidelines for Americans, the public should lower the calories they take in from solid fats (saturated fats) and added sugars.
     I’ve included links to the RPE scale, basic nutrition advice, and citations for the articles I retrieved most of my information from.
Frey, R. J., Porter, M. (2019). Whole foods vs. processed foods.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets, 3(2), 1337-1342.
Galloza, J., Casillo, B., & Micheo, W. (2017). Benefits of
exercise in the older population. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am, 28(4), 659-669.
Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2017).
ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters-Kluwer.

Upcoming Events
Brain Boosting Foods, Lunch & Learn.  11:30 AM - 1 PM Thursday, October 24th.  Plymouth Public Library

Our Consumer Health speaker series continues with a delicious and informative program with BID-Plymouth Registererd Dietitian and Health Educator, Marcia Richards, MEd, RD MCHES.  Additionally, Chef Jerry Levine will be on hand to help prepare delicious and nutritious foods for tasting.  

We'll look at ways to create delicious foods for increasing our brain health, including ideas for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.   Dessert and beverages will be provided. Registration is necessary, please see our Event Calendar to Register.  This Consumer Health Literacy program is funded through a Health Literacy grant from the South Shore Community Partners in Prevention, CHNA-23.

Thomas Cummiskey, MLS
Outreach Librarian
Plymouth Public Library
132 South Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-830-4250 x248

South Shore Community Partners in Prevention (CHNA 23) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
*please note, we are meeting on the third Wednesday of the month
8:45 AM to 10:15 AM
MEETING LOCATION: Plymouth Center for Active Living
Dining Room
44 Nook Road, Plymouth MA
Please park in Active Living lot

"Defining Behavioral Health" Panel

Mini grant outcomes report
New Heights/South Shore Conservatory

Visit our website to see the Minutes from our September Meeting

 Hope to see you there! 

Serving the communities of Carver, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Marshfield, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland
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