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Healthy lives

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

During April, Public Health agencies across the United States set forth to celebrate National Public Health Week or Month. The theme for Public Health 2010 is "A Healthier America: One Community at a Time." This theme was selected in response to the 90,000 Americans that die each year from preventable deaths caused by physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.

It may seem like a daunting task to get people to eat healthier, be more physically active, or stop using tobacco, but if we collaborate and work toward a healthier America we can achieve our goal of assuring people live longer, healthier lives. Fillmore County Public Health is asking for your support in making our county a healthier place to live, work, and play in by trying to do one or more of the following small things:

• Choose to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats.

• Plant fruit trees or a garden in your backyard or neighborhood and share the bounty.

• Get thirty minutes of exercise of your choice each day.

• Start a walking group with your neighbors or co-workers.

• Quit using tobacco products.

There are also big ways to make your community a healthier place to live. Big ways you can help to impact the health of your local community include:

• Walking around your local community and accessing the safety, beauty, and walkability of local streets and reporting this information to local elected officials.

• Working with your local gym to provide reduce-cost or free workout time to lower-income families and individuals.

• Promoting the use of local trails, parks, and waterways for recreation.

• Meeting with your local school or worksite to make vending machine options healthier.

• Supporting and using farmers' markets and/or community support agriculture.

Fillmore County Public Health is currently working on some of these big thinking ideas as part of a Minnesota initiative called the Statewide Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). SHIP is striving to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and reduce tobacco use through policy, systems, and environmental changes in communities, healthcare settings, schools, and worksites. Communities are implementing policies and practices that create active communities by increasing opportunities for non-motorized transportation and access to community recreation. Healthcare facilities will be facilitating patient referrals for nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation. Schools are working on implementing comprehensive nutrition policies. Worksites are implementing comprehensive employee wellness initiatives.

If you are interested in coming on board and participating in local SHIP activities, please contact Brenda Pohlman of Fillmore County Public Health at 507-765-3898 for more information.

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