First Family Encourages Healthy Changes in Nutrition, Exercise and Tobacco Use
COLUMBIA, S.C. – February 8, 2008 – The Healthy SC Challenge is the Sanford family’s effort to get all South Carolinians to do just a little more to live a healthier lifestyle. The tips are designed to encourage individuals and communities to live healthier lifestyles in three categories – nutrition, exercise and help to quit smoking. The tips can also be found on the challenge’s website, www.healthysc.gov.
February is American Heart Month. Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer of American women. This Valentine’s Day enjoy an ounce or two of high quality (70% or higher) dark chocolate. Dark chocolate provides a whopping dose of antioxidant flavanols that can greatly enhance blood flow; it also has the right amount of sugar and caffeine to give an instant but gentle energy boost. Better blood flow translates to more energy!
-Ann Kulze, MD., Nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert, www.dranns10steps.com
A good night’s sleep is important to your overall well-being- and being active can improve your sleep cycle. When you sleep well, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and alert. Daily walks relieve insomnia and other sleep disorders by loosening tight muscles, reducing stress, promoting longer and deeper sleep periods known as slow wave (the phase of sleep that helps restore the body), and lessening symptoms of depression and anxiety. On restless nights, instead of turning on the TV, get up and pace around the house. Take in deep breaths as you move. Shake out your arms and legs. Stretch out your neck. When you climb back into bed, you’ll feel more prepared for a healthy trip into dreamland. – www.aarp.org
Start a Quit Journal. This little tool is a terrific quit aid. Use it initially for your list of reasons to quit smoking. Follow up with some other lists of things that have meaning for you. Suggestions include: pros and cons of smoking, goals you have in your life, and benefits you can envision as a nonsmoker.
Once you quit smoking, use that journal to log your daily progress. Make an effort to write in it at the very least, once a day, and more if you feel the need. Weeks down the road, you may have a bad day when thoughts of smoking are at the front of your mind. Taking a look back at week one and getting perspective on just how far you’ve come could be the boost you need to get over that hump.
– About.com Health’s Disease and Condition