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June Wellbeing Challenge

Some people have strong, flexible back muscles. Others have muscles that could best be described as weak and stiff. Can you guess who’s more likely to end up in agony after taking out the trash?

While anyone can suffer from back pain, people who get regular exercise have a distinct advantage over everyone else. The strength and flexibility that comes from exercising regularly offers powerful protection against strained or sprained muscles and ligaments, the number-one cause of back pain. Working out can also help improve posture and increase bone density — that’s enough to make even a stomach crunch sound appealing!

Exercise can work wonders, but it isn’t a cure-all. If you’re fighting through a sudden bout of pain, you probably can’t speed relief by hitting the gym. Your doctor will probably encourage you to stay as active as you can, but any new exercise program should wait until your back starts to feel better. According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, exercise that strengthens the back muscles is one of the most effective remedies for chronic back pain.

While no single approach works for everyone, most successful exercise programs combine stretching and weight training with low-impact aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking, and riding a stationary bike. As reported by the Mayo Clinic, water workouts are an especially good choice for people with back pain. Swimming and water aerobics put virtually no strain on the back, and a good soak in warm water almost always feels good. In contrast, jarring activities that require a lot of twisting, stopping and starting — like tennis or basketball — might strain the back and bring on more pain.

For maximum protection against pain, you should also try special exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support the back. Your doctor or physical therapist can suggest workouts that match your ability and needs. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most people recovering from back problems should start by doing simple exercises and work up to three times a day, 10 to 30 minutes at a time.

The first round of exercises will be gentle and easy. For example, your doctor might recommend a heel slide: While lying on your back, slowly slide your foot toward you, bending and straightening your knee 10 times. Repeat with your other knee.

Another good exercise is to lie on your back while pointing and flexing your feet 10 times. Or you might try a stomach squeeze: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands on your stomach, as if you were about to do a sit-up. Tighten your stomach muscles while breathing out, and hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.

Other easy sets could include standing with your weight on both feet, then slowly raising your heels up and down. (Hold onto the back of a chair for balance if necessary.) Finally, do a set of “wall squats” — stand with your back leaning against a wall and move your feet outward until they’re 12 inches in front of your body. Keeping your abs tight, slowly bend both knees 45 degrees, hold 5 seconds, and slowly return to an upright position.

As your back gets stronger, you’ll be ready for more advanced exercises. Your doctor may suggest a knee to chest stretch: Lie on your back with both knees bent. Grab one leg just above the knee and bring the knee to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat five times on each side.

You may also want to do straight leg raises: lying on your back with one leg bent and the other straight, tighten your abs and slowly lift one of your legs straight up about 6 to 12 inches and hold it there for 5 seconds. Lower it slowly. Eventually, you can move on to more advanced moves such as push-ups with an exercise ball under your knees.

As with any exercise program, it’s always best to start slowly and work up gradually. Be sure to listen to your body: If your back starts complaining, stop! Exercise should make your back feel better, not worse.

Source: HealthDay:

Phone: 888-881-5462 Website: Username: ccsjuneau
If you would like more information on our EAP works, please reach out to
Anneka at 463-6152.

Welcome to the Team
Each month we will introduce you to new team members that joined us during the prior month.  

Cindy Kaze, Driver in Hoonah
Jonas Hamilton, Activity Assistant at the Bridge
Lauren Jerew, Staff Accountant
Jason Onalik, Driver in Craig/Klawock

Cheers to Another Year
Each month we will celebrate CCS employees celebrating work anniversaries in the upcoming month.

James Robinson, 2 years
Doug Comstock, 2 years
Heather Richter, 2 years
Ralph Borders, 5 years
Bernice Metcalf, 15 years

Happy Birthday to You!
Each month we will celebrate CCS employees celebrating birthdays in the upcoming month.
Elizabeth Martinez Ruiz Capital Akcess Wednesday, June 1
Sandra Koval Caregiver Support Thursday, June 2
Kimberly Kiefer HHCJ Wednesday, June 8
Tray Miller Executive Office Saturday, June 11
Robert Thiede Ketchikan Senior Center Wednesday, June 15
Sarah Lansing SESS - Juneau Office Monday, June 27

Follow Us

Catholic Charities USA proudly announces that Jennifer Carson, Director of Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, has been selected as the 2022 Management Excellence Award recipient. After reviewing many submissions, their selection committee agreed that Jennifer was a standout nominee who has done truly extraordinary work with Juneau’s Hospice and Home Care program. 

Congratulations Jennifer!
Catholic Community Service is hiring for a multitude of positions all over Southeast. Please help us find your next coworker by sharing our opportunities on our website at
Catholic Community Service is officially launching our annual Compassion In Action campaign! From now until Thursday, June 30, our Board of Directors, community members, and advocates are working to raise $20,000 to continue: hospice and home care services, multidisciplinary team responses to allegations of child abuse, and promote the health and quality of life of seniors. And we want you to join us! Visit to donate and learn more!
More Info Here
A Look At Our Social Media
Check out the video on Facebook
On Saturday, May 21 Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club spent their morning tending to our garden at the Bridge Adult Day Center. We are so thankful for their generosity as our clients enjoy the garden throughout the summer. Thank you Juneau-Gastineau Rotary! 🌷
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