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Healthy weight week is chance to begin making changes

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Jan. 16-22 is Healthy Weight Week promoting healthy lifestyles for kids and adults. This week is to encourage regular activity and eating right meant to help us develop healthy habits for our entire lifetime.

What are some key points toward healthy lifetime habits? Just looking at common behaviors in our high speed society can answer this.

• We know one culprit is the ‘screen.’ Whether we are sitting in front of a television, video game or computer screen, research shows that we are spending too much time sitting and not enough time moving. That’s just one of our problems. As the weather warms up, or even on a nice winter day, put on some warm clothes and take a walk outdoors. Join the gym or one of the fun exercise programs offered through the health department or the Walk Away the Pounds sessions held at the library. A simple idea is to park farther away from the store so you need to walk more to get into the store and back to the car. 

•Another culprit is portion size of food served as ‘one serving.’ The amount of food consumed is much more than would ever have been eaten even 20 years ago. Did you know that a regular dinner plate has increased by more than one inch in size since the 1960s? If you have older dinner plates around your home, compare their size with newer dinner plates. So, when you fill up a newer size plate, you need more food. Another culprit is eating out. Many meals eaten out are higher in calories, fat, sugar and sodium than we should be eating, and portions served again are larger than recommended as a serving. Many of us, from the time we were young were taught ‘clean your plate’ – thus, leaving food on a plate is hard to do. So, we clean our plates – whether it is the healthy thing to do.

• Another culprit is the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten daily. Do you eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day? In general Kentuckians really lack here. So, when you go to the grocery store, take more time in the fresh produce area and select more fruits and vegetables to eat this next week. Or, make it a habit to stop in the canned fruit and vegetable or frozen sections and select more fruit and vegetables for use in your meals this coming week.  These are only a few culprits that prevent us from developing healthy lifetime habits. So, with the start of a new year, take stock of the healthy lifetime habits you practice. It is never too late to start, so be good to your body and health starting now. 

A Healthier You starts today

This afternoon, I am starting a new program “A Jazzier Healthier You” from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Extension office to help you maintain a healthier weight and learn some good savings tips. It is based on a program, “Steps to Health and Wealth” developed by Rutgers University.

We will work individually and in teams to set and reach personal savings and weight loss goals. We will sample new recipes, learn new ways to lose weight through healthy eating and exercising tips and to save money while we have fun.  Fee for the entire session is $12, payable at the first session this afternoon.  Call the Extension office at 732-7030 to sign up or feel free to just show up this afternoon. 

Reminder for Extension Homemaker members

Call or drop by the Extension office with the number of hours of community volunteer service you have given from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, 2010. What counts as volunteer hours? Any amount of time that you have given in the community, in a club or organization, helping others, such as church, school or civic activities. Remember to include driving  time or time preparing for a meeting. Do not include things you do for your family unless it is providing transportation to a relative not living with you and they are not paying you. Remember, you can receive awards and prizes for your hours. Please turn these in by Feb. 1.

 

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.