Set And Achieve Realistic New Year's Resolutions
The Health Department is reminding Vermonters who make New Year's Resolutions around physical activity and healthy eating to set realistic, achievable goals.
"Think of simple changes that can be maintained over time," said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN. "Resolve to make changes to your exercise habits and food choices that you can maintain for a lifetime."
Resolutions the Vermont Department of Health strongly supports include:
Exercise (move) more. Thirty minutes of exercise a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, clinical depression and a growing list of cancers.
Eat healthier: Fewer than half of all adults are eating the recommended five or more servings of fruits or vegetables each day. Eating more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, lean meat and non-fat dairy products as part of a low-calorie diet can help people lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Lose weight: The nation is in the midst of an epidemic of physical inactivity and poor nutrition. More than half of all Vermont adults are either overweight or obese. One in five Vermonters are considered obese. Obesity increases the prevalence for at least 15 chronic diseases including: Type II diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. The Health Department created a Fit & Healthy Vermonters Obesity Prevention Plan in May of 2006. The plan is a comprehensive effort to coordinate health education, nutrition and physical activity programs for all Vermonters.
Stop smoking: Youth smoking rates in Vermont have been cut in half since 1999, however, the overall adult smoking rate in Vermont has been more modest, dropping from 22 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2006. To sign up for free quit smoking services, call toll free 1-800 QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or go to www.tobaccostories.org for a list of local and internet services. The Health Department wants to remind Vermonters that every try counts once the decision is made to quit smoking. A craving lasts about five minutes, so smokers who are trying to quit should find ways to distract themselves like take a walk with a friend, or write down your reasons for quitting.
Drink less alcohol. Alcohol continues to be the number one drug of choice in Vermont, and it is a problem for young people in Vermont as well. The Health Department offers a simple online screening tool to help people assess and understand their alcohol use. The website, www.alcoholscreening.org, asks 12 simple questions and provides valuable feedback and tools.