New Year, Healthier You

Being healthier in the new year is a common goal. You can start with small steps (walking more) or you can jump into a big change (quitting smoking).

Pick one or two items from the list below to take a step in a healthier direction for yourself and those around you. Some impact those you live with (buying more fresh produce) and some impact everyone you come in contact with (getting your flu shot – hint, hint co-workers).

1. Buy and eat more fresh, local produce. We all need more veggies!

2. Register to vote. While politics can be frustrating, you’ve got to be in it to win it. Yes, I just borrowed an old lottery slogan. Seriously, if you don’t vote, you don’t have a chance of your voice being heard, which impacts your mental health.

3. Give back to your community – volunteer. Volunteering is good for your soul as you get to focus on someone else (animals count as someone if you are considering volunteering at an animal shelter).

4. Get your flu shot. Again, this helps you and everyone you come in contact with. Please help us stay healthy!

5. Drink more water. Water is good for many things including your skin, brain function and energy. Fill up that water bottle. The library has a filtered water bottle filling station in the hallway near the Millennium Cafe, so bring your water bottle with you to the library (just make sure it has a lid).

6. Support your schools. Schools are definitely a community effort. Better schools make a healthier community.

7. Shop local. We all want nice shopping areas and for small business to succeed. For that to happen, you need to shop local. This one relates to a healthier local economy.

8. Read to young children in your life. You know we’ve got you covered with tons of kids books for every personality.

9. Schedule preventative health screenings.

10. Learn who your local and state elected officials are. It’s important to know who to contact if you want something to change or something to stay the same.

11. Get moving – strive for 10,000 steps a day.

12. Quit smoking and/or encourage others to quit. This is the hardest one on the list, but this will have the biggest benefit on your health, your family’s health and even your pet’s health.

13. Cut back on sugary drinks and snacks that can lead to tooth decay. Eliminating them completely may be too hard, but even cutting back can make a difference in your oral health and your weight.

14. Limit screen time and spend more quality time with your family and friends.

15. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Sleep has been shown to be super important to our health.

These resolutions aren’t all about making big lifestyle changes. Most of them are about taking small steps that’ll make for a happier, healthier year. Remember, start with one or two changes. Then next year you can add a couple more.

Adapted from the Kansas Health Foundation “KHF Update – December 2017.”

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Ginger Park

As the library’s communications editor Ginger helps spread the word about all the amazing library resources, services and staff. Ginger has a bachelor's and master’s in communication from Washburn and K-State. She is a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer at Helping Hands Humane Society. She loves reading fiction and always has a stack of books waiting to be read. Ginger lives in Topeka with her husband and three dogs.