Resolutions provide a chance to become healthier in 2012

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New Year’s is a great time to make a fresh start at living a healthy life. However, anyone can start over on any day of the year. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics that we can use to help middle and high school age kids put into practice. As adults, we can be good models by also trying them out ourselves:

•                  Eat more fruits and vegetables

•                  Drink water instead of high calorie sodas

•                  Take good care of our bodies by sleeping enough hours, actively playing and walking, and staying away from drugs and alcohol

In addition, kids can keep their minds and emotions healthy by:

•                  Watching limited amounts per day of non-violent television shows, movies, or video games

•                  Helping other people in need

•                  Dealing with stress and anger constructively, like getting outdoors to exercise, and talking with friends

•                  Treating others with respect

Parents and adults who care about kids can keep doing our part to nurture them. After all, we have a lot of love invested in their past, their present, and their future. The reference source is “20 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for Kids.” American Academy of Pediatrics.

Keep warm when you’re outdoors

With the children off school, the family may be taking it a bit easier during the holidays, it is an ideal time to get outside. Take the dog and enjoy the outdoors!

  Before going out in the cold, remember the body needs to keep warm. There is more to keeping warm than wearing wool mittens and socks. Though it is important to wear proper covering on your hands and feet during the winter, it is just as important to keep the rest of your body warm.  

Maintaining your body’s core temperature at a warm level enables excess heat to be sent to the extremities (hands and feet).  Before venturing out in the cold, warm your body by drinking something warm. Empty your bladder before going out. The body uses energy to maintain urine at a temperature of 98.6 degrees, energy that could be used to warm your hands and feet.  

Keeping the body hydrated and drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic fluids to help keep your blood circulating which also keeps your toes and fingers warm.  Using chemical hand warmers in your shoes can also be beneficial.  Have at least one layer of socks between your skin and the warmer to prevent burns.  Wearing mittens over a thin glove will accommodate hand warmers.

Remember, when going outdoors on cold winter and during the holidays, dress warmly. Wear polyfleece and other thermo fabrics if possible. Dress in layers; if you get too warm while outdoors, you can remove a layer of clothing.

Enjoy the outdoors! The exercise and fresh air are healthy!

Happy New Year!

The Carroll County Extension office is closed until Tuesday, Jan. 3. We hope you had a nice Christmas and are enjoying the holiday. Have a Happy New Year!


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.