Tag Archives: physical activity

Set Goals To Help You Become Healthier This Holiday Season

Many Americans do not get enough physical activity or eat a healthful diet. Let’s begin to change that during this holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges everyone to set goals aimed at improving their health and getting a new start on resolutions for the year to come.

The CDC suggests that you:

  1. Stay active. Being active can help make up for eating more than usual and has many other health benefits. Walking is a great way to be active. To incorporate more of walking into your routine park farther away from the store or office building and walk to your destination; take a few extra laps around the mall; or start your work day by taking the stairs.
  2. Eat healthy. Seek balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, saturated fat, or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while or in small portions and balancing them out with healthier foods.
  3. Engage in activities that don’t involve eating. In addition to enjoying a meal with friends and family around the table, take the party outside and try a seasonal activity such as ice skating or take a walk downtown. If the weather prevents you from being outside, try mall-walking or visit a museum or botanical garden.

Adding a few new healthy traditions to your schedule can make a world of difference for the remainder of this year and next.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on tips to help you be your healthiest self this holiday season.

From Other Blogs: Staying hydrated, healthy summer cookouts, handwashing & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Five tips to stay hydrated and healthy this summer

In South Carolina, you can always count on a hot summer. While your family enjoys fun activities like summer camps for children, summer training for athletes and days by the beach or lake, increased temperatures will make your body produce more sweat to keep you cool. This makes adults, children and athletes struggle with staying hydrated. Just 2 to 3 pounds of sweat loss during physical activity can lead to dehydration. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Five tips for a healthy and safe summer cookout

The summer season brings outdoor activities including family reunions, cookouts and picnics. Lisa Akly, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital dietitian, shares five tips to ensure that your outdoor meals are not only healthy but safe as well. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Millions of Americans with Dirty Hands Are Spreading Dangerous Bacteria

Have you ever seen someone handling food in a way that you would never do yourself? Maybe they were preparing raw poultry and then immediately handled lettuce without washing their hands. Or maybe they did wash their hands, but they dried them by wiping them on their pants. You would never do that, right? Then again, maybe there are things we all do that might increase our risk for foodborne illness. — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Protect Your Hearing This Summer and Year Round!

The National Center for Environmental Health at CDC encourages you to show off your noisecancelling headphones while participating in noisy activities this summer. Snap a photo of yourself, your family, and your friends, and share on social media. Be certain to tag your photo to #SafeHearingSelfie.

Below are some suggestions of noisy activities… From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

Physical activity has lots of benefits

It’s well known that physical activity can help you lose weight. But did you know that keeping it moving — your body, that is — also leads to other positive results? Here are 10 benefits of physical activity cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications
  2. Better brain function
  3. More money in your wallet (due to better health and lower health care costs)
  4. Lower risk of some cancers
  5. Longer life
  6. Better mood
  7. Stronger bones and muscles
  8. Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
  9. Fewer sick days
  10. Better grades in school

Visit the CDC’s website for more detailed information on each of these benefits of physical activity.

Collaborative project focuses on combating obesity and improving children’s health

As schools wrap up another academic year, findings from a project aimed at improving the health of South Carolina’s children highlight the benefit parents and communities can gain by including physical activity in children’s schedules over the summer and beyond.

While positive steps have already been taken in South Carolina to address the issue, the state still faces a high childhood obesity rate. According to the SC FitnessGram project, nearly 37 percent of South Carolina’s youth are obese or overweight and almost half of them do not meet health-related standards for heart-lung fitness when tested on physical activities such as brisk walking or running.

‘Healthy students learn better’

This statewide effort to evaluate and improve health-related fitness among public school students is funded by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation as part of a partnership that includes DHEC, the South Carolina Department of Education and the University of South Carolina.

“The Foundation’s commitment to a healthier South Carolina starts by creating healthy habits in our children,” Foundation executive director Erika Kirby said. “We know that healthy students learn better. For the first time, we have statewide health-related fitness data that can be used to shape and support quality physical education efforts in South Carolina. We remain focused on the health of our children and will use these numbers as an example of the continued work to be done.”

While it has long been known that South Carolina has an obesity problem, this is the first time our state has compiled comprehensive data of this kind. Thanks to the statewide FitnessGram software and the partners that have collaborated on this effort, there is now a way of tracking the problem and, more importantly, of coming up with ways to combat it.

“The SC FitnessGram project provides important findings that are a great benefit to our state. It’s critical that we continue to support greater health-related fitness outcomes for our state’s K-12 students,” said USC President Harris Pastides.

Obesity has consequences 

During the 2016-2017 school year, over 100,000 students from over 700 schools in 60 school districts participated in the project. The program was administered by physical education teachers to students in the second, fifth and eighth grades and high school. FitnessGram assesses components of fitness that are known to be related to health outcomes in children and youth.

“The health and nutrition of South Carolina’s students has a strong impact on their future and productivity later in life,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The collaborative support from both the public and private sectors in the SC FitnessGram project has provided educators and communities with valuable data to make informed decisions about the well being of our young people. I look forward to continuing our work and ensuring that South Carolina students are prepared for success.”

Obesity has important consequences on South Carolina’s health and economy. The economic cost of obesity in S.C. is estimated at $8.5 billion per year and growing. Obese and overweight children are at risk for several serious health problems such as coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Physical activity is key

“Increasing physical activity is a critical strategy to prevent childhood obesity and decrease the risk for numerous adverse health outcomes,” said Dr. Lilian Peake, DHEC director of Public Health. “Overcoming obesity is a significant challenge that South Carolinians must tackle together. It will take a concerted effort by parents, schools, community organizations, health care centers and others to help improve the health of our students.”

School-age youth need 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day. In an effort to encourage more physical activity among South Carolina’s youth, several recommendations have been developed that people can use at homein schools, and around their communities.

The full SC FitnessGram report as well as other information related to obesity and fitness can be found on the SCaledown website at scaledown.org/fitnessgram.

National Nutrition Month 2018: ‘Go Further With Food’

By Sylvia Blyth, RD, LD, CLC
Nutrition Education Coordinator
Division of WIC Services

March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Choose the right foods

“Go Further with Food” is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether it’s starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling up before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance, can also help to reduce food loss and waste.

This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, but it also urges us to find ways to cut back on food waste. Learning how to manage food resources at home will help you “Go Further with Food,” while saving both nutrients and money.

What Can You Do?

  • Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  • Consider the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  • Buy only the amount that can be eaten or frozen within a few days and plan ways to use leftovers later in the week.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  • Continue to use good food safety practices.
  • Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
  • Realize the benefits of healthy eating by consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist. RDNs can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

For more information, please visit eatright.org.