Buckeye Wellness Tips

These evidence-based wellness tips are brought to you by chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk

Buckeye Wellness Tip 65
September: Fruits and veggies - More Matters Month

September is Fruit and Veggies: More Matters Month. An easy way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake is to add one more serving with each meal to get to at least five servings per day. You’ll make a big impact on your overall health. Aim to eat the colors of the rainbow to benefit from the nutritional values fruits and veggies provide.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 64
July: JustBreathe

Dealing with daily stress? JustBreathe is a new university campaign and resource center designed to help you practice effective and evidence-based relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Faculty and staff are encouraged to check out the free JustBreathe resource center for further information on effective tools for combating stress. JustBreathe reminder stickers, created by the One University faculty and staff wellness sub-council, a committee of the One University Health and Wellness Council, are available for order in limited quantities.


Buckeye Wellness Tip 63
June: Tips for healthy sleep

Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? If so, your physical and mental health may be suffering. The evidence-based recommendation for adult sleep is at least seven to nine hours. Try these tips for high quality sleep: Set a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on weekends. Turn off electronics an hour before bed. Make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet. Avoid bright lights late at night as they disrupt circadian rhythms. This wellness tip is brought to you by chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk. 

For more information visit sleepfoundation.org.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 62
April: Enjoy the weather, get moving outside

As the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect opportunity to get moving outdoors. Meet your weekly 150 minutes of physical activity, along with fresh air and vitamin D. Go for a walk or jog, ride a bike or take a walk in the woods. If you are at work, ask a colleague to join you for a wellness walk on your next break.

Read more

Buckeye Wellness Tip 61
March: National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month! Fill half of your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables. This will help you reach the recommended two cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily. Also, curb the desire to grab a candy bar by preparing healthy snacks for days that you are on the go. Try unsalted nuts, carrots and celery sticks, an apple or whole grain crackers with all-natural peanut butter. Follow these tips to spring into a healthy start.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 60
February: Heart Health Month

Commit to making one healthy lifestyle behavior change to prevent heart disease. Choose a healthy eating plan, one low in trans-fats and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. Participate in at least 30 minutes five days a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Sit less, stand more as sitting three hours a day increases your risk for heart disease. Participate in biometric screenings and heart-healthy activities and events.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 59
December: Create healthy holidays

During the holidays, people tend to experience increased stress and overindulge in sweet treats. It’s good to remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent healthy foods, 20 percent “want” foods. Filling your plate half full with fruits and vegetables will help you reach that goal. Aim for seven hours of sleep, drink mostly water, engage in 150 minutes of physical activity per week and take five deep breaths when stressed. With these behaviors, you’ll reduce your risk of chronic disease and have a healthy holiday season.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 58
November: New guidelines redefine high blood pressure

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have released new guidelines that define high blood pressure as 130 mm Hg and higher systolic, or 80 and higher diastolic blood pressure, instead of 140/90. The pre-hypertensive category has been eliminated. Earlier intervention can help to prevent complications from high blood pressure, such as heart disease and stroke. Healthful lifestyle behaviors can help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 57
October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. While you can’t change some of these factors, such as getting older or your family history, you can lower your risk of breast cancer by engaging in 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, maintaining a healthy weight, eating at least five fruits and vegetables daily, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 56
September: Fruits and veggies - More Matters Month

Strive for five for good health; 10 for great health! Recent research indicates people who eat 10 portions of fruits and veggies per day substantially reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and fiber to optimize health and reduce risk of chronic diseases, which affect one of two Americans.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 55
August: Sleep well!

Consider your sleep cycle an important part of wellness this fall. If you or your children (or grandchildren!) are going back to school, set a regular bedtime about a week before school starts to create a good sleep routine. Poor sleep has been linked to memory loss, increased risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety and reduced immune system functioning. With a regular sleep schedule, you are more likely to get the amount of sleep you need to stay mentally, emotionally and physically well.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 54
July: Summer health

A few summer health tips from chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk: Take advantage of the beautiful weather and stay physically active. Hiking, biking, swimming or other outdoor sports are great ways to have fun and meet the evidence-based recommendation of 30 minutes of activity, five days a week. Don't forget wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen. Stay hydrated and energized by drinking plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. Learn more about sun protection and hydration here.

Learn more

Buckeye Wellness Tip 53
May: Reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke

One out of every three adults has high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. To help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, be sure to be physically active most days of the week, limit sodium intake to under 1,500 mg per day, manage your stress, limit alcohol intake and be sure to take your medications as prescribed.

Learn more at heart.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 52
March: Intellectual wellness & Band Together for Wellness

Brought to you by the chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk, the Band Together for Wellness program includes education and activities focused on the nine dimensions of wellness. 

Newly launched in March was the program’s intellectual dimension module.  Some strategies for improving your intellectual well-being include reading for fun, attending public lectures or learning to play an instrument.  Learn more strategies for improving your intellectual well-being by participating in the Band Together for Wellness program at go.osu.edu/bandtogetherforwellness

Buckeye Wellness Tip 51
January: Setting SMART goals for the New Year

It’s 2017 and it’s time for a fresh way of thinking when setting your wellness goals!  First, you’ll want to write a specific goal statement.  Secondly, define how you’ll measure your progress. After this, you will want to ask yourself “Is your goal attainable,” and “Is your goal relevant?  Lastly, ensure that your goal is time-bound.  Ask yourself these questions as you set goals after engaging in the Buckeyes Band Together for Wellness program to set SMART wellness goals this year!

Learn more at acefitness.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 50
December: Creativity 

Incorporating creativity into a wellness program can provide hope and clarity in those with health issues, assist in maintaining wellness, build resiliency and enhance social support. Engaging in artistic activities such as drawing, cooking and music are some simple examples of ways to incorporate creativity into your life. Brought to you by chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk, the Band Together for Wellness program features a creative wellness module will help you learn other strategies for incorporating creativity into your daily life.  

Learn more at go.osu.edu/bandtogetherforwellness

Buckeye Wellness Tip 49
November: Lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes

Eating well to maintain a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Some healthy tips, brought to you by chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk, include using a grocery list when shopping for food to help you choose fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, buying lean meats and lower fat dairy products and setting aside some time to plan your weekly meals.   

Learn more at diabetes.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 48
October: Mental health tip

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and behave, along with how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ohio State chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk, reminds us professional help is available if stress, anxiety and depression are interfering with your life. Ohio State has an online program called "Beating the Blues" that you can access by contacting the employee assistance program.

Employee Assistance Program
Contact: 800-678-6269

Buckeye Wellness Tip 47
September: Increasing physical activity — “Get moving!”

Physical activity is great for your health. Fitting activity into daily life can be easier than you think! Take a 10-minute walk, park farther out in the parking lot or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every minute counts and doing some activity is always better than doing none. Choose activities that you enjoy and do them regularly to achieve the recommended 150 minutes a week. Join Hit the Road with the Buckeyes challenge in October to get moving.

For more information, please visit cdc.gov.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 46
August: Coping with back-to-school

As the new school year approaches, life in an academic setting can become hectic. While your professional work can be a gateway to future success, it also can be a source of stress and anxiety. No matter the cause, be sure you get the support you need if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Using services available at Ohio State, such as our Employee Assistance Program, can help to improve your emotional health.

For more information, please visit anxiety.org.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 45
July: Practice preventive care

Preventive care is one of the most important steps you can take toward achieving a healthy lifestyle and optimal wellness. It helps prevent illness, injury or medical conditions before they happen. Studies have supported that regular preventive care extends life expectancy. Talk with your primary care provider about your health questions and concerns. Preventive care is especially important during the month of July. Always remember to wear protective clothing and an SPF 30+ sunscreen to prevent skin cancer.

Learn more at publichealth.org.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 44
June: Buckeyes Band Together for Wellness

Improve your health and wellness starting today with Buckeyes Band Together for Wellness program, an online program available free to faculty and staff. This innovative program is based on the nine dimensions of wellness and is composed of short modules that can help you prevent and improve symptoms of chronic disease. Click here and search "Buckeyes Band Together" to participate in the program. 

Buckeye Wellness Tip 43
May: Mental Health Month

Taking care of your physical health can improve your mental health. Be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, practice healthy eating by eating whole grains, five servings of fruit and vegetables, low fat dairy products, and beans and legumes. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity per day, try to get 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day, and limit alcohol intake to one drink a day if you are a women, two a day if you are a man and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. Leading a healthy lifestyle prevents chronic disease, including mental health disorders.

Learn more at mentalhealthamerica.net.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 42
April: Prepare for sun safety during summer months

Sunlight is the main source of UV rays, but you don’t have to avoid the sun completely. In fact, a little sunlight every day is important for boosting your Vitamin D level. Simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to UV rays include seeking shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV light is strongest, cover as much skin as possible with long sleeve shirts, pants and hats, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater, wear sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them and avoid tanning beds. 

Learn more at cancer.org.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 41
March: Make healthy choices during National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. Make yourself a priority and take care of your body by understanding nutrition labels. The Food and Drug Administration has a five-part checklist: pay attention to serving sizes and how much you plan to consume, do the math on how many calories you will consume based on serving size, know which nutrients to get enough of/limit and check the recommended dietary advice for all Americans.

Learn more at fda.gov.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 40
February: American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month so commit to making one healthy lifestyle behavior change to prevent heart disease. Choose a healthy eating plan, one low in trans-fats and high in fruits, vegetables and fiber. Participate in at least 30 minutes, five days a week of moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking. Sit less, stand more- as sitting three hours a day increases your risk for heart disease. Take the Million Hearts Module at go.osu.edu/millionhearts.  

Learn more at heart.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 39 
January: Setting successful New Year’s wellness goals

When setting a New Year’s resolution, keep in mind these effective tips: 

  1. Start small; make a resolution you can keep.
  2. Only change one behavior at a time, to do otherwise can be overwhelming.
  3. Share your resolution with family and friends.
  4. Minor missteps when reaching your goal are normal, don’t give up.
  5. Accepting help from those who care about you will help you to be more resilient and reach your goal.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 38
December: ​Healthy Holidays!

Maintaining your health during the holidays can be challenging. Keep your immune system working properly by engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity per week, getting seven hours of sleep per night, eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, practicing stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing and guided imagery and wash your hands frequently throughout the day.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 37
November: Diabetes Awareness Month

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and another 86 million Americans are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. To reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, aim for 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week and eat foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugar and moderate in calories.

To learn more about diabetes visit diabetes.org.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 36
October: Cancer Prevention Month

To lower your risk of cancer, make sure you are maintaining a healthy weight by engaging in regular physical activity and eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Keep your plate colorful by incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables and pair with a protein and grain source for a well-rounded meal. Engage in an activity that works for you, whether it be yoga, walking or playing a sport. There are many fun ways to stay active!

Buckeye Wellness Tip 35
September: National Cholesterol Education Month

There are many things you can do to keep your total cholesterol at a healthy level (below 200) or to reduce your unhealthy cholesterol, LDLs (lousy lipids). Eat a healthy diet, avoid saturated and trans fats, increase your intake of fiber, don’t smoke and engage in 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week to raise your HDLs (healthy lipids) and maintain a healthy weight. Act now and be one in a Million Hearts®. Visit millionhearts.hhs.gov for more information.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 34
August: Back to school health — Reducing and managing stress

The beginning of a new school year can be a stressful time for both parents and children alike. Parents can sometimes overlook their children’s anxiety and nervousness, but children are extremely capable of coping with change. Parents can help them in the process: encourage your children to share and express their feelings, practice the first day of school routine, talk to your children about their fears and worries, empathize with them, get involved by learning about your school and community and ask for help if the stress gets to be too much by seeking advice from a mental health expert.

For more information, please visit apa.org/helpcenter/school-rush.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 33
July: The road to summer food safety

With warmer weather conditions, summer is ideal for camping, outdoor picnics and relaxing vacations. No matter where you go, food will typically be a featured part of your summer plans. Before you hit the road, follow these guidelines to keep your food safe when traveling. Wash your hands, utensils and surfaces with soap and water. Pack perishable foods in a separate cooler from drinks to avoid opening coolers frequently. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from prepared foods and never let food sit out longer than two hours (or one hour on days above 90 degrees).    

Visit foodsafety.gov for more food safety tips.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 32
June: Take part in Employee Wellness Month

Where we work can have a powerful impact on our healthy lifestyle behaviors. Since the majority of waking hours are spent at work, it is an ideal setting for embedding wellness into our daily lives. Chief wellness officer, Bernadette Melnyk, invites you to take part in June Employee Wellness Month, during which time Ohio State provides faculty and staff with a variety of wellness programs. These programs can help you improve your physical activity, lower your stress levels and increase your overall well-being. Make June the month to commit to getting more engaged with the wellness programs offered at Ohio State.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 31
May: Learn the signs of stroke during American Stroke Month

In the U.S., someone dies of a stroke every four minutes. Receiving treatment within three to four and a half hours can greatly improve chances of recovery. You can save lives by recognizing the warning signs of a stroke using FAST: Face drooping, numbness or uneven smile; Arm weakness or numbness; Speech difficulty; and Time to call 9-1-1. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading contributor to stroke, so schedule your biometric screening today at linktohealth.osu.edu.

For more information, visit the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Stroke Prevention Page.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 30
April: Get active during National Fitness & Health Month

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “magic pill” that could make you feel more energized, well-balanced and reduce your risk of many chronic conditions? Good news—there is! It’s called exercise. Our bodies were designed for movement, and engaging in just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day helps reduce many risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. With warmer weather approaching, there are plenty of opportunities to become active. Find a way that suits your lifestyle, such as walking, biking or swimming.

How to get started: cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/getting_started

Buckeye Wellness Tip 29
December: Helpful ideas for increasing physical activity

You may not have a block of 30 minutes to set aside for exercising five days a week, which is the evidence-based recommendation for adults, but there are several opportunities throughout the day to work in some activity. For example, every hour throughout the day, make a commitment to getting up and walking or stretching for five minutes. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator and park further away from your destination. Physical activity is cumulative, so three 10-minute bouts are as good as a 30-minute session!

For more information visit: clevelandclinic.com

Buckeye Wellness Tip 28
June: National Employee Wellness Month

Ohio State is celebrating National Employee Wellness Month. Setting aside a bit of time each day to focus on wellness will improve your mood, health and productivity. There are a number of free wellness events for you to participate in, including on-campus fitness classes, biometric screenings and the inaugural family wellness expo. If you are unable to attend one of the university’s wellness events, consider starting a walking club with your colleagues, enjoy time at a park with friends and family or write down things that you are grateful for in your own life.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 27
April: Spring into activity

Let’s get moving! What better time than spring to boost your physical activity levels. Whether you are a conditioned athlete or just starting to think about adding more activity into your life, getting outside, enjoying the weather and being active is a great way to stay motivated. Ohio has an impressive park system, with many locations to take your family. Find a park near you for a leisurely hike, jog or a game of Frisbee. Also try to sit less, stand more and move every hour for more energy throughout your day.

For more information, see: parks.ohiodnr.gov

Buckeye Wellness Tip 26
March: National Nutrition Month®

Focus on healthful eating
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and prevent chronic disease. Make a plan on the weekends and purchase healthy foods for dinners and snacks during the week; not having a plan typically leads to unhealthy eating. Strive for the recommended five fruits and vegetables per day. Eating light and eating often, including breakfast and healthy snacks between meals, boosts energy throughout the day and avoids overeating at dinner.

For more information, see: www.eatright.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 25
February: Be heart-healthy!

Approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. Many of these deaths are preventable with healthy lifestyle behaviors (engaging in healthy eating and active living), medications and awareness of your personal needs and risks. Knowing your numbers is the first step to a heart-healthy life. On Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, get your Million Hearts health screening. Your Plan for Health will be offering free biometric screenings for faculty and staff at several locations on campus to help you become aware of your numbers and your health.

For more information, see: www.millionhearts.osu.edu

Buckeye Wellness Tip 24
January: Achieving a healthy weight

The key to maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body needs. Whether you are already at a healthy weight or are overweight, the first step is to prevent weight gain. A little planning is necessary to achieve your goals. Choose a healthy eating and exercise plan with short-term, realistic goals. These plans allow you to self-monitor your behaviors over time to determine if the plan is successful or not.

For more information, see: cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/index

Buckeye Wellness Tip 23
December: Help prevent illness with hand washing!

Hand washing is easy and one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many illnesses. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another. Hands should be washed before, during and after preparing food, before eating, after using the restroom, when coughing or blowing your nose and after taking out the trash. As a rule of thumb, rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds while using soap. If soap and water are not accessible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

For more information, see: cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing

Buckeye Wellness Tip 22
November: American Diabetes Month

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. An additional 79 million are pre-diabetic. It has been predicted that one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050, unless we take steps to prevent the onset of this condition. The good news is that diabetes and its complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eating five fruits and vegetables per day, being active 30 minutes a day and quitting smoking can lower the risk of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association invites you to join the Stop Diabetes campaign.

For more information, see: diabetes.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 21
October: The importance of cancer prevention

To lower your risk of cancer, eat a healthy diet, engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy body weight. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), one-third of the most common cancers in the US can be prevented by following AICR’s recommendations. Try to eat a greater variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains while avoiding processed meats. Be as active as possible, aiming for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Prevent additional weight gain and keep your body fat level in its healthy range.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 20
September: Recovery Month

Mental health disorders and substance abuse are closely tied to chronic health conditions. Research shows that rates of mental health problems are significantly higher for people with diabetes, asthma and heart conditions. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that a healthy emotional well-being is essential to your overall health. Ohio State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a valuable resource for mental and emotional well-being education, support and counseling. The EAP can assist you and your family on your journey to a healthier, happier life.

For more information, see:

Buckeye Wellness Tip 19
August: Staying ahead of the back to school rush

Summer break is coming to an end and that means it is time to prepare for the start of a new school year with greater demands on your time. As life becomes more hectic, it is even more important to take care of ourselves and incorporate regular recovery breaks into our schedule to keep energy levels high. Block off a little time each day to relax and engage in an activity that you enjoy. Take a daily walk, spend 10-15 minutes reading a book, or spend quality time with family or friends. This quality time for yourself will help you to recharge and better take on life’s challenges.

Buckeye Wellness Tip 18
July: A great time for healthy gardening

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Gardening is a great way to get physical activity, enjoy the environment and make your neighborhood a more beautiful place! To stay healthy while outdoors, protect yourself from the sun with a wide brimmed hat, use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, read warning labels on gardening chemicals and equipment before you use them and always check yourself for ticks. Enjoy the beauty and bounty the outdoors can bring!

For more information, see: cdc.gov/Features/gardeningtips

Buckeye Wellness Tip 17
June: Men's Health Month

Men’s Health Month is a time for men to become more aware and knowledgeable of health promotion strategies, preventable health problems, disease detection and treatment. Men are at a greater risk of complications from heart disease, cancer and stroke because they are less likely to visit their primary care provider (CDC, 2013).  Men—take action this month by completing your Personalized Health Assessment (PHA), scheduling a biometric screening and making just one change for your health such as increasing your physical activity, eating healthy and managing stress.

For more information, see: menshealthmonth.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 16
May: Faculty/staff stress high, but improving

According to the 2012 PHA findings, stress levels are still elevated, but slightly lower than the previous two years. Forty-six percent of faculty and staff experience high levels of stress, which puts them at risk for health issues such as cardiovascular disease. Take charge of your thoughts and emotions and the way you deal with problems. First, identify your sources of stress and how you respond to them. Next, develop creative and healthy ways to manage your stress, such as exercising and practicing mindfulness. By engaging in these activities or other healthy ones, you can positively cope with life’s challenges!

For more information, see: yp4h.osu.edu

Buckeye Wellness Tip 15
April: Distracted driving—it can cost you

In 2011, 3,331 Americans were killed and 387,000 were injured in automotive crashes involving a distracted driver. A distracted driver is someone using a cellphone, eating, grooming, using a GPS system or reading. Texting is the most common distracting activity because it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. To reduce your risk of a preventable accident, make a pledge to never text while driving. Limit your cell phone use while driving. If you have to take a call, make sure you use a hands-free device. 

For more information, see: distraction.gov

Buckeye Wellness Tip 14
March: Eat healthy for National Nutrition Month

Eating healthy is essential for optimal health and wellness. During National Nutrition Month, remember to build your healthy eating plan with your unique lifestyle and nutritional needs in mind. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and include whole grains and lean protein options (the size of the palm of your hand). When you’re on-the-go, pack non-perishable foods such as fresh fruit or trail mix, for healthy eating throughout the day. To control portion size at restaurants, split one meal with a family member of friend, or take home half your meal for leftovers.

For more information, see:

Buckeye Wellness Tip 13
February: Be one in a million

Heart disease and stroke are two leading causes of death in the US. Every day, 2,200 people die from cardiovascular disease. The Million Hearts initiative is a national initiative to prevent one-million heart attacks and strokes by the year 2017. You can commit to the Million Hearts pledge by:

  • Understanding the risks for cardiovascular disease
  • Being physically active
  • Knowing your ABCS (Appropriate Aspirin Therapy, Blood Pressure Control, Cholesterol Management, Smoking Cessation and Stress Management)
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Following your doctor or nurse practitioner’s instructions for prevention and treatment

Commit to having your biometric screening performed on Valentine’s Day.

For more information, see: millionhearts.osu.edu

Buckeye Wellness Tip 12
January: For the new year, set Just ONE New Goal

There is no better time of the year than January to make a resolution to improve your health and wellness. Set a goal to make just ONE change, which might include making healthy food choices, being physically active, taking the steps instead of the elevator, scheduling a check-up with your doctor or nurse practitioner, practicing safe habits (e.g., wearing a helmet when bike riding), becoming tobacco-free, implementing strategies to decrease stress or getting more sleep. Setting a realistic and specific goal will help you to make just ONE change for your health.

For more information about healthy resolutions for the New Year, see: cdc.gov/features/healthynewyear

Buckeye Wellness Tip 11
December: Avoid colds and the flu with hand washing

Hand washing is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection, especially with cold and flu season upon us. It is important to wash your hands frequently, such as before eating and before and after caring for someone who is sick. Even though there is evidence to support the benefits of hand washing, it is not a routine habit for many people. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Teach and encourage those around you to wash their hands frequently as well.

For more information, see:

Buckeye Wellness Tip 10
November: Be active to lower your risk of diabetes

The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes over the past three decades has tripled and the Centers for Disease Control predict that one out of three people will have diabetes by 2050. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to health complications, including heart disease, loss of vision and kidney damage. Being active can help lower your risk for diabetes. Join a fun exercise class, have a walking meeting, swim at an indoor pool or take the stairs more often. There are 1,440 minutes in every day—make a decision today to spend at least 20 to 30 of them in some type of physical activity.

For more information, see: diabetes.org

Buckeye Wellness Tip 9
October is Health Literacy Month

Health literacy is not just about being able to read health information—it’s about your ability to understand and process it so that you can make the best decisions for your health. It is estimated that approximately half of adults in the US lack effective health literacy skills. If you do not fully understand health information, you may be placing yourself at risk for poor health outcomes. To improve your health literacy, try repeating your healthcare provider’s information in your own words. Keep asking questions if you don’t understand something you have been told.

For more information about health literacy, see:

Buckeye Wellness Tip 8
Take active steps to lower your cholesterol

High blood cholesterol affects 65 million Americans. The higher your cholesterol, especially the low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in your blood, the greater is your risk for developing heart disease. September is National Cholesterol Education Month, which is a good time to get your cholesterol checked and to take steps to lower it if it is high. Lifestyle behaviors, such as healthy eating, exercise and managing stress can help lower elevated cholesterol levels, which reduces the chance of having a heart attack or developing cardiovascular disease.

For more information, see: hp2010.nhlbihin.net/cholmonth

Buckeye Wellness Tip 7
Back to school tips for parents

Getting the school year off to a good start can influence children’s social and academic performance. Here are a few suggestions to ease the summer-to-school transition:

  • Schedule well-child and dental checkups; discuss concerns you have over your child’s emotional or psychological development with your doctor or nurse practitioner
  • Re-establish consistent bedtime and mealtime routines at least one week before school starts
  • Purchase school supplies as early as possible and fill backpacks a week before school starts
  • Encourage your child to play quietly, color or read as early morning activities instead of watching television
  • Visit school with your child to reduce anxiety, especially if it is a new school or your child is just starting school

For more information, see: nasponline.org/resources/home_school/b2shandout

Buckeye Wellness Tip 6
July is UV Safety Month

Summer is a great time of year to think about skin safety. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer and vision damage. Anyone can get skin cancer, but the risk is greatest for people with light-colored skin, blond or red hair and blue or green eyes. Take these steps to help prevent skin cancer:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
  • Cover up with long sleeves, a hat and wear sunglasses
  • Check your skin regularly for changes

Buckeye Wellness Tip 5
Men's health: Take action

June is National Men's Health Month, and June 11-17 is Men's Health Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely to visit their doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men. On average, men die almost six years earlier than women and are four times as likely to commit suicide (CDC, 2009). Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings for men such as blood pressure, cholesterol and prostate exams can improve your health and reduce premature death and disability.

For more information, see:

Buckeye Wellness Tip 4
Keeping cool while active in hot weather

Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body, so stay safe while exercising in hot weather by drinking enough fluids; don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes to help sweat evaporate and keep cooler. Avoid mid-day sun by exercising in the morning or evening and wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, such as muscle cramps, weakness and nausea. If you ignore these symptoms, your condition could worsen and result in a medical emergency.

For more information, see: mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ00316

Buckeye Wellness Tip 3
Stress: A little is healthy, too much isn’t

Too much stress puts your health at risk, including heart disease, digestive problems, depression, weight gain and sleep problems. It’s important to learn healthy ways to cope with stress. Strategies to manage your stress include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, practicing simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing, fostering healthy friendships, finding humor in everyday life and seeking professional counseling when needed. Managing stress brings peace of mind and a healthier life.

For more information, see: mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001

Buckeye Wellness Tip 2
Eat “five a day” for March National Nutrition Month

Eating a minimum of five fruits and vegetables a day is critical to promoting good health. People who eat a diet with generous amounts of produce are likely to reduce their risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. If you are eating two servings a day, commit to eating three (or five!)—and just make ONE change for your health. To get a variety, think of the colors of the rainbow. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber.

For more information, see: fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Buckeye Wellness Tip 1
Resolve to make “Just ONE Change” in the New Year

Forming a healthy habit, like increasing physical activity, can be challenging. You may wonder what to do, how often and for how long. Why not make just ONE change? Take a 15-minute walk twice a week or take the stairs instead of the elevator, but resolve to make just ONE change in 2012. Studies support that even small increases in activity can improve your health. The RPAC also offers you a variety of activity options.

For more information, see: exercise.about.com/od/fittinginexercise/a/priority

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