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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

New Year, New Possibilities


If I had to guess, I would say the most repeated New Year's resolution is to "loose weight" or "get fit". So, naturally, this time of year we are bombarded with nutrition supplements and weight loss gimmick ads every where we look! Everyone has "tips" or "tricks" or "secrets" and they are all the same repeated information! I couldn't stand to be another echo of this topic on nutrition and health resolutions. So, in the interest of being original  in blog form I looked at what some other Extension professionals posted about and found a very unique take on "Happy New Year" written by Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Food). So all props to UNL for this great information and a fresh take on looking at the new year and the new possibilities it holds for your wellness!

Wishing You a Healthy H-A-P-P-Y N-E-W Y-E-A-R


H - ealth

The first wealth is health." (Source: Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Make health a priority this year. Health should be more than the absence of disease – read on for ideas.


A - ttitude

"Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other." (Source: Joseph Addison)

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

"A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs." (Source: Joan Welsh)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends for adults: "Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours 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."

For more information and for guidelines for children: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

P - eople


"Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it..." (Source: Dr. Karl Menninger)

Numerous studies indicate social networks, whether formal (such as a church or social club) or informal (such as meeting with friends), make people less vulnerable to ill health and premature death. Be wary, however, of social support that drains you through people being too demanding or encouraging you to engage in harmful behaviors.

Y- our body

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." (Source: Jim Rohn)

Schedule physical checkups as needed: eyes, teeth, mammogram, colonoscopy, general physical, etc.

N - O!

"Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough." (Source: Josh Billings)

Rather than adding "take a time management class" to your "to do" list, consider starting a "don't do" list.
You may discover doing LESS can bring MORE enjoyment to your life. Especially if doing less allows you to spend time doing more to contribute to your health and happiness and that of family and friends!

E - at healthy

"Rich, fatty foods are like destiny: they too, shape our ends." (Source: Author Unknown)

MyPyramid.gov recommends: "To 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 solid fats or added sugars: for example, fat-free (skim) milk instead of whole milk and unsweetened rather than sweetenedapplesauce. Also, consider how the food was prepared. For example, choose skinless baked chicken instead of fried chicken and choose fresh fruit instead
of a fruit pastry."

For more information on planning healthy menus, visit http://www.mypyramid.gov

W - isdom

"A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion."(Source: Chinese Proverb)

Take time to listen to your own body. Rather than set your goals based on how fast other people walk or jog, how little sleep others can get by on or how much someone else eats, concentrate on what makes YOU healthy.

Y - our hands

"Keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness." (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Here's how to wash your hands from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When washing your hands with soap and water:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.

E - nough sleep

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." (Source: Irish Proverb)

Only about half of Americans (42%) are "Great Sleepers," according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

"Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Insuficient sleep is linked to motor behicle crashes, industrial diseasters, and medical and other occupational disorders. People who don't get enough sleep also are more likely to sufference from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer.

The NSF offers several tips for obtaining food sleep.

A - void portion distortion

"Never eat more than you can lift." (Source: Miss Piggy, muppet character)

Rather than worry so much about "what" you eat, consider "how much" you eat. Downsize your portion sizes. Serve food on smaller plates. Eat from plates and bowls rather than packages and bags, so you see how much you're eating.

R - eading materials

"Be careful about reading health books.You may die of a misprint." (Source: Mark Twain)

Consider the source before starting a new drastic diet or exercise plan. Beware of plans that:

  • Promise quick, dramatic results
  • Charge large fees for consultations, equipment, supplements, etc.
  • Rely solely on testimonials and statements from "professionals" with unusual-sounding degrees.


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