I hope that you are enjoying these early days of spring as much as I am. The longer days and pleasant temperatures allow me to work outside in the evenings and unwind after busy days. Working with The Ohio State University there are many advantages, but one I really enjoy is the opportunity to continually learn new things. From the College of Health, they share one of the following challenges to improve our lives that I’d like to share with you, and then encourage you to join me in taking at least two of the suggestions below to implement both personally, and with our families. Why not talk about the choices at a family dinner and let everyone choose which ones to put into practice?
- Commit to making just one change for you and your family’s health
- Eat light and eat often to boost your daily energy
- Take slow, deep breaths when stressed (or check out our mindfulness programming)
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night to reduce your risk of chronic conditions
- Watch less TV and be more active – find something that your family enjoys doing together
- Stop tobacco use to reduce your risk of cancer
- Choose healthier snacks such as fruits, vegetables and nuts
- Sit less and stand, walk more
- Smile, think positive thoughts to increase your life span
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow to help stop the spread of germs
- Use a smaller plate when eating to reduce calorie intake
- Make time for family and friends
- Drink water instead of soda or sugared drinks
- Eat meals with your children at least 5 days a week, it can help reduce their risk for substance abuse by 70%
- Be active at least 30 minutes a day to relieve stress and improve your mood!
Cut this article out or copy the ones that are important to you and place them on the refrigerator, the kitchen window and the car visor or other places that you will see them on a daily basis. It’s hard to realize that each day every choice we make, may have long time effects on our life. The examples that we set while the children are young, will become their expectations as they grow. There are many ways to spend time with family, and what better way than to share a skill for life? Encourage the children to help hold us accountable, to make sure that we put a habit to practice and then try the next one. Use time and practice of positive traits, to make small changes that can have a great impact on your future health.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.