Senior Fitness Title being stretched by an exercise band all under a dumbbell

Fitness Goes Online


Our Health & Wellness/Fitness Educators at CCE Clinton are working hard to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In an effort to keep engagement and continue programming via the web, they will be sharing health and wellness information as well as creating video content. This page will serve as a blog of sorts, updating frequently and listing information by most recent at the top with older posts further down the page. 

Note: CCE Clinton is now offering online fitness programs. These live classes will be streamed using Zoom. Please notice the schedule below. For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at

Live Stream Fitness Class Schedule:

Range of Motion: Monday from 9:00-10 a.m.

Growing Stronger/Balance: Tuesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Growing Stronger-Strong Bones: Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Chair Chi: Thursday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Sponsored by Clinton County Office of Aging, collaborating with Senior Planet and Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County

For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at

Detailed class information can be found at the following link:

May 25th: (Jordy Kivett) 


I hope everyone has been enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Remember that social distancing measures are still in place and if you cannot avoid being within 6 feet of others, please wear a mask. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when returning from public and use hand sanitizer and avoid touching our face in the meantime. I am sorry, I know this sounds redundant, but with Clinton County cases of COVID-19 rising again, it is worth the reminder.

The good news, is that you do not need to (and actually should NOT be) sanitizing your groceries! For more information on food safety during this pandemic- check out Cornell’s Food Safety Resources: and feel free to reach out to me for specific questions or guidance: Jordy @


Though there is not much variety of local food available yet- it is asparagus time! This is my first year getting actual stalks of asparagus in my garden- but I think we will only have a few. Here is a recipe in hopes you have more of it than I do, or pick some up from a farmer or at the grocery store.

Have a great week!

May 18th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All!

Between the beautiful weather and entering phase 1 of reopening, I think we are all pretty anxious to get out of the house. Many of us in the North Country are fortunate enough to have at least a small outdoor space, our own yards. If you are going into a public space- social distancing guidelines are still in place and there is still an individual and community risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. Here are a few guidelines from the CDC regarding how to reduce your risk for infection in public.

Shopping for food and other household essentials

Stay home if sick

Order online or use curbside pickup

  • Order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible).
  • Only visit the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.

Protect yourself while shopping

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
  • When you do have to visit in person, go during hours when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late night).
  • If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
  • Disinfect the shopping cart, use disinfecting wipes if available.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad). If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying.

Use hand sanitizer

  • After leaving the store, use hand sanitizer.

At home

  • When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Accepting deliveries and takeout orders

Limit in person contact if possible

  • Pay online or on the phone when you order (if possible).
  • Accept deliveries without in-person contact whenever possible. Ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house (such as your front porch or lobby), with no person-to-person interaction. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet away from the delivery person.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail

  • After receiving your delivery or bringing home your takeout food, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • After collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


Bank online whenever possible

  • If you must visit the bank, use the drive-through ATM if one is available. Clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe, if available, before you use it.
  • When you are done, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Getting gasoline

Use disinfecting wipes on handles or buttons before you touch them

  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them (if available).
  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home or somewhere with soap and water.

Going to the doctor or getting medicine

Talk to your doctor online, by phone, or e-mail

  • Use telemedicine, if available, or communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or e-mail.
  • Talk to your doctor about rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.

If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others

  • If you think you have COVID-19, notify the doctor or healthcare provider before your visit and follow their instructions.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
  • When paying, use touchless payment methods if possible. If you cannot use touchless payment, sanitize your hands after paying with card, cash, or check. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy

  • Plan to order and pick up all your prescriptions at the same time.
  • If possible, call prescription orders in ahead of time. Use drive-thru windows, curbside services (wait in your car until the prescription is ready), mail-order, or other delivery services. Do the same for pet medicine.
  • Check with your doctor and pharmacist to see if you can get a larger supply of your medicines so you do not have to visit the pharmacy as often.

If you or a member of your household has signs of COVID-19, call your doctor first, instead of going to the office or the emergency department.

Call 911 if you believe it is an emergency.


Here are the recipes of the week: Red Potato and Asparagus Salad/Baked Rhubarb Recipes

Stay well! And as always, reach out to us at Extension with any questions or comments. I would love to hear what you have been cooking or answer questions about substitutions, food preservation, or ideas for random pantry items!


May 11th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all well! This week I would like to focus on the basics of label reading- largely because I have felt a little more relaxed in the kitchen (bedtimes have officially shifted with school out for the foreseeable future), meaning I have been looking at packaging more and taking note of the nutrition facts on the foods we eat.

Recently, all food manufacturers had to update their product nutrition labels to comply with new FDA guidelines. The “New” label looks a lot like the previous nutrition facts label, as you can see below. The changes are all meant to benefit the consumer by being easier to read and more reflective of consumer choices (some serving sizes changed) and consumer interest and needs (now includes more information, such as added sugar).


A few pointers for using the nutrition facts label:

  • Check the serving size! If you eat two servings, everything else on the label must be doubled. Many new labels will have a more reasonable serving size and also nutrition facts for eating an entire package of some foods.
  • Use the Daily Values! Instead of trying to remember how many grams of fiber you are aiming for or what your saturated fat limit is in grams- just look at the daily value- it’s an easy comparison tool. As a general rule of thumb: anything with 5% or less is low in that nutrient and anything with 20% or more is high. Do not forget to adjust the daily value to reflect your serving size.
  • Generally speaking, less saturated fat, sodium and added sugar is healthier- look for products low in those, while you want more, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Keep in mind that a label does not include every vitamin and mineral- but generally fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices.

For more information, check out this publication:

Here is a recipe:


May 4th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Seniors!

With a little extra time at home, this could be a great time to set some goals and work towards them with fewer distractions. Many of us want to make changes in our diet, but often get distracted by the hurdles life throws our way. This is a good time to focus on yourself and a goal and make steps towards that goal.

To goal set- first try to think about a positive change you would like to see. It is very helpful to frame a goal in a positive way, vs. a negative way. Often the outcome of a negative goal is positive, so it is the same idea, just framed differently.

For example: I would like to stop eating so many sweets.

This is negative; I am identifying what I want to stop doing. I happen to snack on sweets at night, before bed. To reflect a positive goal I could say:

I would like to choose healthier evening snacks.

Next make sure your goal is specific, both in the “what” and “when”. My goal: I would like to choose healthier evening snacks, is positive but could be more specific in both areas. The what here: healthier snacks, is not that specific. I know that I often eat less fruit than is recommended. So to make the what more specific: I would like to choose fruit as part of my evening snack. Now the when. It is evening, but realistically, I should start with a few days per week, work in more if I can. New specific goal:

I would like to choose fruit as my evening snack, Monday-Thursday, this week.

To make you goal successful, a few more tips:

  • Choose a goal that you enjoy (do not try to eat a food that disgusts you, or do an exercise that you despise).
  • Start small!
  • Pencil it in and share it! Post your goal where you can see it regularly and share it with a supportive friend.
  • Reward yourself- plan a time to reward yourself if you are having success and try to relate it to your goal. Examples: if you quit smoking, buy yourself a treat with the money you save, if you start taking a daily walk, get a new pair of sneakers.

Looking for some help to get that specific goal? You can always email myself, I have years of nutrition experience, especially in behavior change and would love to hear from you! You can also check out the USDA’s Choose My Plate Plan to get an individualized plan with targets for each food group and physical activity recommendations.

And a recipe:

Video and recipe. Feel free to substitute any vegetables that you see on this or add a little grated cheese, like mozzarella, if you do not have feta. This is an easy meal for 1 or 2 or for a whole family.


April 29th (Jordy Kivett) 

Hello All,

I hope everyone is well and staying safe. Remember we should continue to practice social distancing. That said, the weather is getting nicer- this is a great time to get started on yard work and maybe even a little gardening (I am still expecting frost). Yard work can be a great form of physical activity. Here are a few tips to stay safe and comfortable.

  • Use sunscreen.
  • Protect yourself from pests. For tick safety: Use an approved repellent on yourself and clothing. Tuck in clothing, including pants into socks. Wear light colors, so you can see ticks on you. Do a thorough tick check when you go inside. See Jolene’s tick talk for more information:
  • Stretch. After you warm up, do not forget to stretch. You may find stretching at regular intervals and switching activities periodically are useful to feeling good the following day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Bring a water bottle outdoors with you and drink often. It is easy to become dehydrated when working outdoors for long periods.
  • Use the proper tools. For safety and comfort, use the right tool for the job. Consider tools with easy to grip or ergonomically shaped handles and pads or stools if you are working on the ground or low levels. If you have trouble getting up, let someone know what you are planning to do and use any assistive device while outdoors, like a walker, which can help you to get back up.
  • If you have a family member or a friend coming to help- stay distant and use a mask if you will not be at least 6’ apart.

For nutrition this week: Peaches! It is almost time for fresh peaches to be in season, but keeping fresh, frozen and canned fruit is a great way to ensure you have fruit to eat every day.



April 20th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and continuing to practice social distancing. Keep in mind that distancing does not mean isolation. Most of us are feeling more isolated than usual with the disruption to our routines and limited contact with others, but here are a few safe ways to connect:

  • Write a letter. This is a great time to write to a friend of family member, even if you might interact via social media or other means. A written note, or even an email, can be a great way to spend a little time distracted from the larger world and focused on a loved one. Even if you are in regular contact, I am sure they will enjoy a surprise in their mailbox or inbox.
  • Have a distant meal. If you have the capacity to video chat, plan a time to sit down “with” someone you typically get together with. Chat as you enjoy your meal, or whatever you may typically do. Can’t video chat? Maybe have a driveway meal- get a good to go meal ready or even a cup of coffee on a nice day and hang out in your car, windows down in a friends driveway and chat.
  • Share. Have you been busy baking or crafting? Surprise your neighbors by dropping off a little treat. Make sure you do not get too close, but wearing a mask, you can knock on a neighbor’s door and back away allowing them to open and step out.
  • Join an online club or group. There are a variety of ways to connect online- don’t be afraid to try out a new way of connecting. Check in with your previous groups- they may be offering similar engagement online- like Mary’s fitness classes or the library’s book club.

Please remember while doing any of these, stay safe- keep 6 feet away, use a mask when in public, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. But please, connect! It is very important for our wellness to do so and I bet whomever you are connecting with will be encouraged by hearing from/seeing you!

Food Tip: Broccoli 5 Ways


Have a great week! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello-


April 13th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you all are well. Today I thought I would talk a little about mental health and its impact on our physical health. I had the opportunity to take a whole health training while working at a mental health facility and the thing that struck me most as we learned about various ways to manage one’s whole health (and guiding those techniques in others) was how often cardiologist and cardiovascular studies were cited as evidence for the importance of managing mental health. Meditation and mindfulness were cited again and again as a healthy, safe ways to manage stress.

According to the American Heart Association, “Meditation and mindfulness are practices — often using breathing, quiet contemplation or sustained focus on something, such as an image, phrase or sound — that help you let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful.” Stress is something we all face, in varying degrees, every day. These days, the disruption to our regular schedules, anxiety about illness, lack of control and so many unanswered questions, we are all facing an additional load of stress. This manifests itself in a variety of ways mentally, but also impacts us physically, both in the short term and long term. This is a great time to try meditation and mindfulness.

When you begin these practices it can help to have guidance. Keep in mind it is a practice, which means you should do it regularly and will improve over time. As a response to Covid-19, NYS has made a portion of Headspace’s content available for free. Headspace is an online source for guided meditation and mindfulness activities. To try this, go to . There are a variety of formats, these recordings are just one way to start. Another great way to reduce stress is with mindful movement- like Mary’s Chair Chi class, now broadcast on Thursday mornings, from 9-10. Email Mary, to participate!

Food Tip:

Mindfulness can help you to make better food choices as well. Check out this info-graphic from The American Heart Association:


If you want to put healthier eating habits on the menu, mindfulness may be a simple and effective place to start! It's not about dieting or restriction- it's about taking a  moment to take it in. 

Try these easy ways to incorporate mindful eating into your day, so you can Eat Smart at every meal: 

Ponder: Check in with yourself about your hunger before you eat- you may actually be thirsty, bored or stressed/ 

Appraise: Take a moment to take it in. How does it smell? Do you really want it? IS it more than you need? 

Slow: Slow down so your brain can keep up with your stomach. Put your fork down between bites and focus on the flavor. 

Savor: Enjoy your food. Take a moment to savor the satisfaction of each bite- the taste, texture, everything!

Stop: Stop when you're full- there's no need to join the clean plate club if it means overeating/ 

Try one or more of these tactics to help you eat more mindfully. And for more ways to be Healhty for Good, visit

April 6th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

I hope everyone is doing well. As always, feel free to reach out to me: with any questions or topics you would like to hear more about.

Food Tip:

Substitutions- Now is a good time to get creative in the kitchen. We should all being trying hard to limit our trips into public spaces, even essential ones, like grocery stores. So what can you do if you run out of a kitchen staple before you need to do a big shop? Substitute! Here are a few ideas (keep in mind, the substitution may not be perfect, but every trip out means potential exposure or potentially exposing others).

Eggs: here are a few ideas for baking without eggs. I have tried the first two and they work best in a recipe with only 1-2 eggs. The last idea can be whipped and used in a variety of ways.

  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed combined with 3 tbsp of warm water (let stand 1 minute before using)
  • ¼ applesauce or ½ mashed banana
  • Aquafaba- though you may not have heard of this, it is the liquid in a can of chickpeas or from cooking dried chickpeas. I plan on trying this next week (when my remaining fresh eggs will indubitably be hardboiled and decorated).

Dairy: Here are a few ideas for different dairy items.

  • Sour cream- try equal amount of plain yogurt (this will also add calcium!)
  • Milk- 1 cup = ½ cup of evaporated milk + ½ cup of water = 1 cup of water + 1 ½ tsp of butter
  • Butter- 1 cup = 7/8 cup oil + ½ tsp salt = 1 cup of coconut oil – I prefer this, because it is solid at room temperature like butter and gives the best texture result.

There are so many ways to substitute- check out this Extension publication for a very thorough list!

Physical Activity Tip:

Stay regular!

Hopefully we are all building a new routine by now. If you attended fitness class regularly prior to this period, you might want to schedule in regular physical activity alternatives to these. And yes, schedule them! Write down what you plan to do during the week and when. It is easy to come up with excuses to not exercise or simply let it slip your mind until another day has passed. Plan on being active regularly throughout the week, schedule it and stay committed. Actually have a day of the week and time of day, just like other important things we schedule. For example: M, W,F take a 30 minute afternoon walk, T, Th do the Chair Chi video posted below, also before dinner.

Stay well!


March 30th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. Remember that social distancing is still in effect and it is very important for all of us to avoid contact with people outside of our households and limit our trips to public places. Again, please feel free to email me or call (518) 561-7450 to leave a message for me (I will receive the message remotely and be able to return your call). I would love to hear from you, either a hello, a question, or a topic you would like covered.

Food Tip:

Social distancing means less trips to the grocery store. If you do not make a shopping list- this is the time to start! Here are a few tips to consider when making a list:

  • Take inventory- see what you already have and make a plan to use those foods. This will help you to reduce food waste, make the best use of your storage space, and save money. For example, if you have some potatoes and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, you could add ground meat to your grocery list and make shepard’s pie.
  • Consider storage- if you are planning to shop infrequently, add fresh, frozen and canned foods to your list. Keep in mind what space you have in your freezer- do not buy more than it can hold. For example- green salad ingredients for the first few days, root vegetables and others that store well, like potatoes, carrots, beets, and squash, then frozen or canned vegetables for the following week(s). Fruits like apples and oranges keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Get out some favorite recipes and list the ingredients you will need, cross out things that you already have and add quantities to items you need- not only are you creating your grocery list but also a menu plan!

Health Tip:

Take a walk! Walking is a wonderful form of exercise and a good way to not only stay in shape, but also to relieve stress. Consider safety while walking- use any assistive devices you may need- remember a fall can be devastating to your health. A walker can be a real asset when you need a rest, as most have built in seats. Also- walk in well-lit area with highly visible attire- bright colors/reflective gear/lights if needed. If your street is not safe for walking, drive to a quiet place with a walking trail or sidewalk; just keep your distance if you cross paths with others. I find it nice to be out and wave and say hello, not to mention the exercise is important.


March 24th Chair Chi (Mary P. Breyette)

In this video, CCE Clinton's Executive Director/Health & Wellness Educator Mary P. Breyette, instructs a virtual Chair-Chi class.

March 23rd (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All! 

It is quite bizarre not seeing each other during this time. I hope everyone is well! I will be reaching out weekly with a brief post, a recipe idea and a wellness tip- similar to the handouts offered at our fitness classes. Feel free to share with anyone who may be interested and please reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello! My email is I would love to hear your ideas, coping strategies, and questions (especially food related- I am a nutrition educator as well and love a good kitchen question!).

For this week- I would like to remind everyone to stretch. Often tension will display itself physically, as well as emotionally. So everyone reading this, try a few rounds of gentle shoulder rolls and some gentle neck stretches, remember look over the shoulder, hold and switch and then gently tilt your head/ear towards your shoulder, hold and switch. We often hold tension in our neck and upper back and these stretches will help with that.

Food Tip:

Take stock of your refrigerator! Now is a great time to reduce waste. If you have any fresh produce or other products that need to be consumed soon plan on using them soon. Many things can be frozen- remember to blanch your vegetables, fruit can be frozen once washed and trimmed, and many other products can be frozen as well. Email me with specific questions! Also stay tuned to the Nutrition Educators of CCE Clinton County on Facebook for a blanching video this week!

Health Tip:

Breathing! Try this as a way to relax and get better breathing habits, from the American Lung Association. Check out the video:

Pursed Lip Breathing:

This exercise reduces the number of breaths you take and keeps your airways open longer. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active. To practice it, simply breathe in through your nose and breathe out at least twice as long through your mouth, with pursed lips.

Belly Breathing, aka D iaphragmatic Breathing:

As with pursed lip breathing, start by breathing in through your nose. Pay attention to how your belly fills up with air. You can put your hands lightly on your stomach, or place a tissue box on it, so you can be aware of your belly rising and falling. Breathe out through your mouth at least two to three times as long as your inhale. Be sure to relax your neck and shoulders as you retrain your diaphragm to take on the work of helping to fill and empty your lungs.


Last updated May 22, 2020