Amputee Guide to a Healthy New Year

This is a great time of year to plan for the future, but in New England it’s also pretty tough to stick to those lofty goals when the temperature dips into the teens and twenties, and the snow and wind make many of us want to hit snooze and pull the blankets over our heads for a few more hours. We get it. That’s why we came up with an easy to follow guide to improving your health and wellbeing this year which doesn’t involve braving the cold for a 6am workout.

While millions of Americans are in need of healthier eating and exercise habits, amputees, specifically those whose limb loss was the result of diabetes or other vascular disease, are at a much higher risk of complications and even future amputation of limbs. While most people think of limb loss as a result of trauma, it’s actually diabetes and other vascular diseases that are the leading contributors of limb amputations. For those who have already lost a leg due to diabetes, up to 55% will require amputation of the second leg within 2-3 years.¹

Even with these alarming statistics, many people do not successfully manage their health and wellness to reduce their risk of limb loss, and may become so discouraged or even depressed by their situation that they do not see any reason to take the necessary steps to improve their health.

Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your own health and reduce your risk of future amputation:

Make healthy eating a no-brainer.

The key here is to build healthy eating habits into your day in ways that you don’t even notice them. Try using smaller plates for meals, and load up half of your plate with veggies before adding protein or starches. Swap out high-sugar drinks like soda and juice for seltzer flavored with fresh fruit. In the cold weather, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot soup. Stick to broth-based soups, not cream-based, and be sure to load up on the veggies if you’re making your own. Do you own a slow-cooker? There are hundreds of amazing and healthy recipes available online for free that don’t require much, if any, work to create, and your healthy, delicious meal will be waiting for you at the end of your busy day.

Think ahead.

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2014: Our Year in Review

2014 was quite a year at Next Step: we had a chance to share in some of our clients’ major accomplishments, achieved a milestone 9 years in the making with the launch of the Luke Arm, created new partnerships with organizations that support amputees, veterans, and their families, and continued to expand our reach to help the people we work with exceed their own goals.

As we look ahead to 2015 and beyond, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on this past year. If you’d like to share your own personal achievements with our community, please post photos and descriptions to our Facebook page.

January 2014: Governor Hassan features Next Step on her ‘Innovate NH’ tour.

February 2014: Jason Lalla interviewed by NHPR on the technologies making winter easier for amputees.

March 2014: Hugh Herr (BiOM inventor) highlights the technology that helped make Amy Purdy’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ debut possible.

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