The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







Prevention and Wellness

by B.J. Armstrong

We all need to take personal responsibility for our own health. The end of summer and the beginning of fall is the perfect time to take the initiative and commit to healthier habits. Perhaps you can walk to work, ride a bike, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car in the far distant corner of the parking lot. It is cheaper than buying gas and a lot less stressful. Overall, we need to make prevention and wellness a top priority in our life.

Lots of companies now provide workplace wellness programs such as exercise, on-site shots, and blood pressure screenings. Of course, the objective is to lower health care cost and increase productivity. Also, to attract and keep employees.

B J Armstrong

Granted, family history plays a role in our health. Good genes are a blessing. What about those bad genes? That is something that is beyond our control. But please understand that we can do something about certain things... like exercise and diet. One way to take charge is through healthy habits.

What about your energy level? "More energy?" Everyone wants it. Take the Energy Zapper Quiz. Circle the answers that best describe you. Then total your score to find areas where you can improve.

My stress level is...
1. low
2. not too bad
3. up and down
4. more high than not
5. way high

My main meals are...
1. fruits, vegetables, meats, whole grains
2. fruits and vegetables and some meat
3. fruits and vegetables sometimes
4. pasta, bread and potatoes
5. highly processed foods more than daily

I drink about this much water...
1. at least 8 glasses a day
2. 4 glasses a day
3. a couple of glasses a day
4. 1 or 2 glasses a week
5. I rarely drink water

My typical snacks are...
1. fruits and vegetables
2. fruits, vegetables, dips and nuts
3. a fruit or vegetable sometimes
4. baked goods
5. cake, candy, chips, and soda

For exercise I do...
1. an hour of cardio every day
2. 4 to 5 hours a week
3. 30 minutes a day
4. an hour or two a week
5. I exercise every now and then

My sleeping pattern is usually...
1. 7 to 9 hours every night
2. 6 to 7 hours nightly
3. 3 to 5 hours nightly
4. a couple hours a night
5. I have trouble sleeping

My energy level can be described as...
1. I exercise for lengthy periods
2. I exercise for 30 minutes
3. I exercise for 10-15 minutes
4. I exercise on a regular basis
5. I rarely ever exercise

My attitude toward life in general is...
1. wonderful
2. very good
3. good
4. not good
5. terrible

I take...
1. daily multi-vitamins
2. a multi-vitamin a few days a week
3. a multi-vitamin every couple weeks
4. vitamins once a month
5. I never take vitamins

Total your score: Every 1 answer is 1 point, a 2 answer is 2 points and so on. The higher your score, the more places that needs to be targeted for improvement.
Your Score
11-20 Great
21-30 Okay
31-40 Time to change some things
41-45 No wonder your energy is gone

Your best bet? Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day to maintain optimal health. However, because it can be difficult to get all your recommended daily servings, supplementing with a quality vitamin can help fill the gap.

Vitamin C - Found in strawberries, oranges, green peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, mango, grapefruit, kale, Brussels sprouts, kiwi. Additional benefits: Helps promote heart health, aids in growth and repair of tissues and is essential for repairing wounds and maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth.

Vitamin A - Found in liver, sweet potatoes, milk, egg yolks and carrots. Additional benefits: Help form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal tissue, mucous membranes and skin, and promotes night vision.

Vitamin E - Found in almonds, broccoli, wheat germ, mangos, corn, olives, and asparagus. Additional benefits: Helps maintain the immune system, keeps the heart strong, boosts energy, maintains youthful skin and balances hormones.

Beta-carotene - Found in pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, collard greens and apricots. Additional benefits: The body can convert beta-carotene into a form of vitamin A helping to ensure your body has the vitamin A that it needs.

Lycopene - Found in pink grapefruit, papaya, oranges, tomatoes, and watermelon. Additional benefits: Helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, macular degeneration and certain cancers.

Vitamin D - Found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, egg yolks, beef liver, cod liver oil, and the sun. Additional benefits: Plays a vital role in bone health, helps your body absorb calcium and maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Groups that have trouble getting vitamin D are: the elderly, people with dark skin, obese people, and people living in nursing homes.

As an individual, only you are responsible for your own health. Fall could be the perfect time to commit to healthier health habits. I agree with what Bill Novelli says, "If you've got a moving part, move it."