2018: Your healthiest year yet

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your “pie-in-the-sky” New Year’s Resolutions after just one month, you’re not alone.

Consider reframing your resolutions into smaller, separate goals to achieve throughout the year. Good health is something everyone should strive to achieve and maintain, but it isn’t easy. We’ve laid down the groundwork to help you get started. Here are six goals to incorporate into your life to make 2018 your healthiest year yet.

1. Make an appointment for a check-up and appropriate screening. Regular exams and tests can help find health problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. Panhandle Health District’s Care Plus Clinics offer breast and cervical screenings, pap smears, STD testing, blood pressure management and more for all North Idaho adults.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection and illness. It’s been a very active and severe flu season in North Idaho. Along with a flu shot, frequent handwashing can protect you and your family from illness.

3. Eat more nutritious foods. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk and dairy products. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. Panhandle Health District’s WIC program provides free healthy food vouchers for eligible women, infants and children in North Idaho and can help you keep your family on track for healthy eating all year long.

4. Get moving! Start small by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from your destination. Consider mall or treadmill walking if the weather is cold or icy, or try a new winter activity like snowshoeing. Adults should get at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

5. Be smoke and vape free. If you are ready to quit using tobacco or e-cigarettes, call Panhandle Health District at (208) 415-5143 for resources, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources near you. No matter how many times you have tried to quit, we believe 2018 is your year!

6. Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with several chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night. Start by heading to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual and getting rid of distractions, such as cell phones, when trying to fall asleep.

There is a multitude of local resources to help you get healthier. Panhandle Health District experts are available to help you find the right resources to fit your needs. For more information, visit www.panhandlehealthdistrict.org or call (208) 415-5100. Here’s to a healthier 2018!

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