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POSTED: February 10, 2011 7:00 a.m.
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Deidre Howell

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More than a month has passed since New Year’s Day. How are you doing on those resolutions? Deidre Howell, administrator for the Liberty County Health Department, said personal resolutions revolve most often around health and fitness. Coincidentally, those pledges can be the toughest to keep. Because Howell’s mission is to help local residents stay healthy through the We Can! initiative, she recently shared a few tips designed to keep resolution-makers on the right track all year round:


1. Eat right. "Limit fats and sugars, eat fast food in moderation and make healthy choices when you do take your family out to eat, like salads, baked or broiled meats and low-fat dressings. Also, limit intake of sodas and other sweetened drinks like ‘grape drink’ ... drink fruit juice, milk and water," Howell said.

2. Get active. "Turn ‘active time’ into ‘family time.’ Walk together, swim together, actively play with your kids for at least 30 minutes a day. It will be good for their bodies and their minds," she said. "Get involved in rec department or YMCA activities in the community."

3. Reduce screen time. "Screen time is any time spent in front of a computer or TV screen. Limit this sedentary behavior. Keep a ‘screen time’ log and you may be amazed at how much time your kids spend in front of a screen. Make screen time ‘active time’ by doing things to use your muscles. Lift small weights and play fitness games that make you move to win," the administrator said.

4. Stop smoking. "Stop smoking and reduce your family’s exposure to secondhand smoke. If you are a smoker, consider quitting. Call the Quit Line at 1-877-270-7867. Counselors will help you determine how ready you are to quit smoking," Howell said. "If you aren’t ready, stop exposing your children to secondhand smoke. They didn’t choose to smoke, you did. Give their little lungs a chance to grow healthy."

5. Set a good example for your family. "Don’t expect your kids to want to eat right if you aren’t modeling this behavior," she said. "They look up to you so help them get the best start in life by showing them how to eat right and get exercise!"

 

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