This past May, a community based health initiative to make Gorham ‘The Happiest and Healthiest Town in Maine’ was launched. The Happy Healthy Gorham (HHG) initiative pulls together and draws upon the distinctive talents, resources, and expertise of Gorham businesses, volunteer organizations, and local government around positive attitudes and practices.
In 2017-2018, there will be four, weeklong themes. The first will take place from September 24-30. Each of these weeks will feature a wide variety of events and opportunities to promote, educate, and elevate happy, healthy living in Gorham. The themes are: Moving Naturally—September 2017, Kindling Kindness—November 2017, Growing Gratitude—February 2018, and Eating Well—April 2018.
Recently, a Danish twin study demonstrated that only 25% of how long we live is dictated by genes, a full 75% is determined by our lifestyle. Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, helped develop the concept of Blue Zones. Blue Zones are those areas around the world where people and/or communities live measurably longer, healthier, and happier lives. From his own research, Buettner documents and highlights nine lessons he learns from these various cultures. His first lesson: people will live longer and better lives if they move naturally.
People who live measurably longer move all day long. These folks engage in moderate, regular physical activity. They move naturally—they move up and down, they walk back and forth. They are up and down, 30-40 times a day, they take the stairs, they tend to walk. If they do exercise it is something they like to do. They tend to have a garden, they move every 20 minutes.
Moving naturally should be a source of joy. Sitting, standing, walking, and bending are all natural because our bodies were meant to be active and in motion. When we are physically healthy, our minds will also be healthy and active.
Happy Healthy Gorham has organized dozens of events for the community to move naturally during the week of September 24-30. These free events are meant to nudge people to get out and see and experience all that Gorham has to offer. From walking, biking, dancing and trail walks to learning how to play pickle ball, practice yoga and Tai Chi, to Gorham history walks and presentations, Happy Healthy Gorham— Moving Naturally week has something for everyone. From North Gorham, to Fort Hill to Robie Park, to the Village, from USM and various neighborhoods, schools, and businesses there will be activities for all ages.