Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
Many of us take this time of year to set goals for the year to come and resolve to make changes in how we have done things in the last 12 months. If you are having difficulty deciding what your resolutions should be for 2009, Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director, Marion County Health Department, has some healthy suggestions she would like to share with you and your family.
Keep your preventative care appointments. Make certain you schedule and keep routine appointments. This will help keep you well and won't have to use the emergency room for routine care.
Wash your hands. Handwashing is the single most effective thing you can do to keep from getting sick. Sneeze and cough into your elbow or sleeve. By covering your coughs and sneezes you help stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick. Coughing into your sleeve or elbow helps keep the germs off of your hands and helps reduce the spread of germs.
Increase your physical activity. Remember that this does not mean joining an expensive gym or other similar facility. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. It is recommended that you do two types of physical activity each week. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and 2 or more days a week doing muscle-strengthening activities.
Eat at least one sit down meal as a family every day and make healthy food choices everyday. Sharing a meal is important for many reasons, including making certain time is spent talking about the days events, addressing any individual or shared concerns. Eating a balanced, healthy meal will help make certain everyone in the household remains healthy for play, school and work.
If you smoke, stop. The Marion County Health Department offers free smoking cessation classes every month.
Breastfeed your babies. Breastfed babies and children have a decreased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), cancer and asthma. There are more than 200 known ingredients in human milk. A mother develops antibodies in her milk that will protect the infant from disease states much like an immunization.
Breastfeeding is a matter of public health in several ways. Breastfeeding is the first line of defense to prevent adult obesity. We know that children who were breastfed are less likely to develop diabetes mellitus, otitis media and obesity.
Continue conserving gasoline. This action not only saves money, but also protects the environment from vehicle emissions. Car pool when you can and use public transportation whenever possible. Try and complete as many errands as possible during one event.
Invest in an aluminum water bottle. There is an enormous amount of plastic bottles being disposed in the environment. Recyclers cannot keep up with the number, and many are finding there way into the landfills. Consumers can purchase filters for their home faucets should they wish to filter their water.
Dispose of medicines and other potentially hazardous materials properly. Residents of Marion County need to be aware that when they dump medicines, waste oil and other materials down the drain, or by flushing and dumping contaminants in the storm drain only adds to the pollution in our streams, the White River, Fall Creek and other waterways.
Build an emergency supply of food and water. Would you be ready if there were an emergency? Be prepared.