TOPEKA – As 2020 gets underway, the Kansas Department of Health and Environments offers 10 healthy habits to begin or to continue this new year.
“We want to help Kansans live their best lives, so we have compiled a list of simple things every one of us can do starting today,” said Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of KDHE.
1. Move more, sit less. Benefits of regular physical activity include maintained weight, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduced high blood pressure and reduced arthritis pain. It also reduces your risk for many long-lasting (chronic) conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and several forms of cancer.
2. Eat healthy. Good nutrition is key to good health. It can help sicknesses from happening and assist in healthy growth. So, reach for healthy options like fruits and vegetables instead of salty or sugary treats.
3. Lose weight or keep a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for multiple, long-lasting (chronic) diseases. People who lose and keep a healthy weight can improve not only their physical health, but also their energy levels, general mood and self-confidence.
4. Quit smoking. You are never too old to quit. Benefits include: lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer; reduced risk for heart disease and stroke; reduced heart disease risk within 1 to 2 years of quitting; reduced respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath and more money you will save! To get started, call the Kansas Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.
5. Rethink your drink. You can substitute water for sugary or alcoholic drinks to reduce calories and stay safe. This simple change can reduce your risk of weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities and gout, a type of arthritis.
6. Get screened for cancer. Regular screenings may find breast, cervical, colorectal (colon) and other cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. Talk with your health care provider to see which ones you should have. Women, call Early Detection Works, 1-877-277-1368 to see if you qualify for support in paying for breast and cervical cancer screenings.
7. Keep kids healthy and safe -- talk to them about the dangers of vaping. Children develop their habits and behaviors at an early age and those habits can impact their life-long health. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey data, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among both high school and middle school youth. Vaping is putting young people at risk for developing lifelong nicotine addictions.
8. Get vaccinated. The best way to prevent common illnesses is to get and stay up-to-date on vaccinations. A complete immunization schedule for children and adults can be found at http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/schedule.htm. For adolescent females, this includes getting vaccinated against HPV cancer.
9. Get enough sleep. Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can be a risk factor for many long-lasting (chronic) diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and depression.
10. Maintain mental health. Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. While everybody has the blues, feels anxious or gets stressed at times, if you cannot shake these feelings, it’s important to get help. Poor mental health increases the risk for long-lasting (chronic) physical conditions like heart disease, stroke and cancer. Call the National Alliance on Mental Illness for resources 1-800-539-2660.