Weatherford Democrat

December 30, 2012

EXTENSION NEWS: Have a happy – and healthy – 2013


Weatherford Democrat

— By KATHY SMITH

Parker County Extension Office

H – ealth. Make health a priority this year. Health should be more than the absence of disease.

A – ttitude. A positive attitude may not cure a disease. However, thinking positive can help you deal with misfortune, make the most of your situation and enjoy life more.

P – hysical activity. Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity. Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.

P – eople. There are many studies that indicate social interaction such at church, social clubs or just meeting friends makes people less vulnerable to ill health and premature death.

Y – our body. Schedule physical check-ups as needed: eyes, teeth, mammograms, colonoscopy, general physical, etc.

N – O! Rather than adding a to do list, consider starting a don’t do list. You may discover doing less can bring more enjoyment to your life. It may improve your health and help your family.

E – at healthy. MyPlate.gov recommends move to a healthier weight, you need to make smart choices from every food group. Smart choices are the foods with the lowest amounts of saturated fats and added sugars. Also consider how you prepare foods. For example, choose skinless baked chicken instead of fried chicken and choose fresh fruit instead of a fruit pie.

W – isdom. Take time to listen to your own body. Rather than set your goals based on other, concentrate on what make YOU healthy.

Y – our hands. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness. Use warm water and soap, scrub and rinse well. The entire process should take 15 to 20 seconds.

E – nough sleep. According to a Sleep in America poll by the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping problems have increased 13% since 2001. Lack of sleep can be a major safety problem for people driving.  Make it a goal to get enough sleep.

A – void portion distortion. Rather than worry so much about what you eat, consider how much you eat. Downsize your portions. Serve food on smaller plates. Eat from plates and bowls rather than packages and bags so you know how much you are eating.

R – eading materials. Consider the source before beginning a new drastic diet or exercise plan. Beware of plans that promise quick results, charges large fees and rely solely on testimonials and statements from professionals with unusual sounding degrees.

Resource: Lancaster Cooperative Extension