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Written by Bonnie Sherman   
Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well
H-A-P-P-Y  N-E-W  Y-E-A-R
 H-ealth. “The first wealth is health.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson. Make health a priority in 2009.
 A-ttitude. “Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.”  ­—Joseph Addison.
    A positive attitude may not cure disease but it can help you deal with misfortune. Make the most of your situation and enjoy life.
 P-hysical activity. “A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two of at a time—pill or stairs.”—Joan Welsh.
    If you can walk briskly for a half hour,  five out of seven days a week, or do the equivalent, it will improve your health to a large extent.
 P-eople. “Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”—Dr. Karl Menninger.
    Both formal (church or clubs) and informal (friends) social networks make people less vulnerable to ill health and premature death. But avoid people that may be harmful to either your mental or physical health, however.
 Y-our body. “Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.”—Jim Rohn.
    Make sure to schedule physical checkups for eyes, teeth, mammogram, colonoscopy, general physical, etc.
 N-o. “Half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” —Josh Billings.
    Do less and enjoy life more, especially if it allows you to spend more time contributing to your health and happiness and that of your family and friends.
 E-at healthy. “Rich, fatty foods are like destiny: they too, shape our ends.” —Author Unknown.
    Choose foods that have the lowest amount of fat and added sugars, ie: low fat milk; unsweetened applesauce; skinless, baked chicken;  fresh fruit.
 W-aist size. “Your stomach shouldn’t be a waist basket.”  —Author Unknown.
    Excessive abdominal fat puts you at risk for obesity-related conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease.
    To measure your waist circumference accurately, place a tape measure around your bare abdomen, just above your hip bone. Be sure tape is snug but doesn’t compress skin and is parallel to the floor.
    Relax, exhale and measure your waist. A man’s waist should be no more than 40 inches; a woman’s, no larger than 35 inches. If it is larger, talk to your health care professional about losing weight.
 Y-our hands. “Keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness.” —Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   
    How much more plainly can it be said than to WASH YOUR HANDS! It is the best way to control the spread of germs.
    Wet your hands; apply soap; lather up and scrub all parts of your hands for 15-20 seconds or two rounds of “Happy Birthday;” rinse; and dry. If possible, turn the faucet off with a paper towel.
 E-nough sleep. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in a doctor’s book.” —Irish Proverb.  
    Working too much and sleeping too little takes a serious toll on people’s professional and personal lives according to the National Sleep Foundation.
    In a poll the organization took in 2008, 36 percent of people interviewed nodded off or fell asleep while driving, 29 percent fell asleep or became very sleepy at work and 14 percent missed family events, work and leisure activities due to sleepiness. Getting more sleep can actually enhance your quality of life.
 A-void portion distortion.  “Never eat more than you can lift.” ­—Miss Piggy.
    Think more about how much you eat rather than what you eat. Downsize your portions, use smaller plates, eat off of plates and out of bowls rather than bags and packages so you can see how much you are eating.
—R-eading materials. “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” —Mark Twain.
    Before starting a new fad diet, consider the source. Be careful of plans that promise quick, dramatic results; that charge large fees for consultations, equipment, supplements, etc.; or rely on testimonials and statements from “professionals” with unusual-sounding degrees.
 Have a happy and healthy New Year.