Better health through eating, mind, activity series set

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Would you like to lose that extra weight, learn to eat healthier and develop better health habits? This is your chance.

 I will be teaching this special program to all interested adults 4:30-6 p.m., Wedne-sdays starting Oct. 10-Nov. 28 at the Carroll County Exten-sion office to help you take control of your personal health eating, mind and activity habits. Teaching with me is Becky Wilson, RN, with Three Rivers District Health Department.

This is an interactive program where participants set personal goals to improve their health.

We provide a short educational segment, easy healthy recipes and learn some healthy, physical activity techniques. The program is based on group support and sharing.

For those who have attended Weight the Reality Series before, there will be new topics this cycle. Cost is $10 for the entire series.  Call the Extension office to sign up.

Carroll County
Tobacco Festival

I will have a display, “Pride of Kentucky, Kentucky Proud,” at the tobacco festival. This will feature information on our joint Cooperative Extension, Kentucky Department of Agriculture project, “Kentucky Proud” that features recipes and information using Kentucky food products. Please stop by and visit my table. 

Readying the home
for cold weather

Early fall is the perfect time to start preparing your home for cold weather. There are several no cost or lost cost improvements that you can make to your home to reduce your winter bills.

According to the United States Department of Energy, 46 percent of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling your home. To reduce your heating costs, adjust your thermostat to as high or as low as is comfortable in the winter.

You may also want to consider a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically set your thermostat to turn up and down the heat or air when you are not home.

By turning back the temperature during the day while you are at work, the Department of Energy estimates you can save about $180 per year in energy costs.

To maximize your savings with a programmable thermostat, set it to its “energy-saving” temperature for a minimum of eight hours.

Consider not only cutting back the thermostat in the day when you are at work, but also at night. If you are going to be away for several days, adjust the settings to an energy-saving temperature for the entire time you are away. This way you are not wasting energy by heating the house when no one is home.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, you can still save by manually adjusting the temperature. In general, for every degree you lower your thermostat, 1 to 3 percent will be saved on your heating bill. If you adjust your thermostat from 74 degrees to 72 degrees, you could save up to 6 cents for every $1 in heating costs. For instance, if the heating bill costs $100 per month, your savings could be $6 each month.

To extend the life of your furnace replace furnace filters monthly. If you have pets in your home, check your filters more often.

To help prevent drafts, caulk between your window/door frames and walls, weather-strip between doors and frames, and add storm windows or use plastic film kits to cover single-pane windows. Do not underestimate the value of natural sunlight.

During cold weather, keep the window coverings on south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm the house, but remember to close drapes and shades in the evening.

In addition to making a few low-cost home improvements, you also can reduce energy expenses by adapting no-cost, energy habits.  These include turning off lights and electronics when not in use, using cold water for laundry and only doing full loads in the dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer.

Check the temperature setting on your hot water tank, if it is currently set on high or 140 degrees lower it to the medium setting or 120 degrees. This can cut the cost of heating your hot water by 6 to 10 percent or up to 10 cents of every dollar spent on water heating costs.

Finally, consider Energy Star qualified products. These include high-efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, or heat pumps, clothes dryer with moisture sensors, and clothes washers and dishwashers which save water.

Dates of interest

Oct. 5-6:Carroll County Tobacco Festival, “Visit the Pride of Kentucky, Kentucky Proud” display, recipes by your Carroll County Cooperative Extension Service.

Oct. 10-Nov. 28:Better Health Through Eating, Mind and Activity program, 4:30-6 p.m., Carroll County Extension Office



Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.