Home Local News Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Helps Residents to Live Well by Johanna Hicks, Family & Community Health Agent

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Helps Residents to Live Well by Johanna Hicks, Family & Community Health Agent




Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Helps Residents to Live Well

               Raising kids, eating right, spending smart, living well—that’s the theme of a national Living Well Campaign that is being promoted by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in the great state of Texas.  The Texas Association of Family and Consumer Sciences works through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to offer all kinds of information that will help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle.  Whether you are trying to manage your diabetes through meal planning and exercise, selecting health foods, or get tips on effective parenting techniques, Extension probably has a research-based answer.

               To make every month a “Living Well Month,” consider these eight tips.

  1. Engage children in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.  Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity.  Besides participating in sporting activities, turn on some music and dance.  Be creative by assembling an obstacle course or using hula-hoops.  Start planning a garden.  Take a walk or bike ride in your neighborhood.
  2. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The average adult human body is approximately 60 percent water, which is found in muscle, blood, brain, bone, etc.  Water regulates every living cell’s processes and chemical reactions.  It transports nutrients and oxygen.  Water helps to maintain normal bowel habits and prevent constipation.  Limit the amount of soda and fruit drinks consumed daily.
  3. Eat a variety of healthful foods.  Be sure to have plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.  Most people need at least 4 ½ cups to meet the daily recommendation.  Have a glass of 100 percent juice or sliced banana on cereal for breakfast, enjoy raw vegetables with dip to accompany a sandwich at lunch and have a sliced apple for dessert.  At dinner, steam some vegetables and prepare a fruit parfait with yogurt for dessert.  Try a new fruit or vegetable. See www.choosemyplate.gov for more information about nutrition for yourself and members of your family.
  4. Read, read, read.  Go to the library and check out books.  Keep the mental stimulation flowing throughout the year regardless of your age.  If you like e-books, they are great, too.  (I personally like to hold a book in my hands so I can easily turn back pages to catch up if I have to set it down for a few days.)
  5. For 4-H families, work on 4-H projects or exhibits for the county fair. The 4-H Project Show will take place in October during National 4-H Week and youth may enter the Hopkins County Fall Festival Creative Arts Contest at no cost.  Look at upcoming events provided on your local Extension office website at https://hopkins.agrilife.org.
  6. Check out marriage education, nutrition and/or food preparation classes offered by the Hopkins County Extension Service.
  7. Maintain a healthy home.  Be sure your smoke detector is working correctly and test for the presence of Radon.  Help manage allergies and/or asthma by cleaning and vacuuming regularly to reduce allergy triggers in the home.  Avoid accidental poisonings by keeping medications locked up, and cleaning agents and other poisons out of reach of children.
  8. Keep your family finances in check.  Track your expenses and update your budget regularly.  Eat at home often because meals outside of home usually cost more.  Plan your menus and use the coupons to help plan your menus.  Use leftovers as the basis for another meal.  I like to call these “planned-overs.”

Closing Thought

There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple, and useful life – Booker T. Washington

Article by Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent

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