Christina Rittenbach, NDSU Extension
When you think of February, you might think of Cupid, flowers, your Valentine or maybe just hearts. Did you know that February really is a month to be thinking about our hearts? It is American Heart Month. Be sure to explore efforts to reduce heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
What do cigarettes, soap, stress and tanning beds have in common? These are the four main factors that contribute to skin damage. Chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin, which results in wrinkles and sagging. Some soaps and detergents consistently break down and damage some of the skin’s healthy barriers. Stressful emotions can be expressed through the skin, leading to conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. And tanning, whether in the sun or in a bed, leads to premature aging and possibly skin cancer from UV rays.
Nutrition and health information is available in a wide variety of sources from medical health care providers (doctors, dietitians), printed media (magazines, newspapers), social media (Facebook, blogs, Twitter) and people (friends, family and celebrities). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conducted a “trends” study in 2011 and found that TV, magazines and the Internet were the top nutrition and health information sources. Physicians, dietitians and others with health-related training were much less likely to be named.
Do you feel “overdone”? In other words, do you feel stressed, over-scheduled or too busy? If you answered yes, you are not the only one. Many families find it difficult to balance the schedules of each individual family member while still trying to find time to spend together as a family. Achieving or maintaining wellness, in all aspects of life, may seem difficult or even impossible! If an adult in your family has a hard time concentrating, sees only the negative, frequently yells or often feels rushed or frustrated, that could be a sign that he or she is over-stressed.
The end of the year and the holiday season can bring on financial worries and stress for many families. In addition to holiday-related costs and regular living expenses, busy families are also spending money on eating on the run, sports equipment, instruments, lessons and fees for student activities. These expenses can add up in a hurry, putting financial strain on the family. Below are some tips that can help you to gain more control of your family’s finances.
Did you know cognitive decline can be delayed even later in life if you make lifestyle changes? Many studies done on brain health have indicated that improv ing your diet and exercising your brain can help cognitive activity. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, physical activity and keeping your brain sharp with games and learning are all important for a healthy brain. Even though cognitive decline can begin as early as our 20s, not all cognitive functions decline as early.
Leaving a child in another’s care, even if for a short time, can be a bit of an anxious experience for many parents, especially if the babysitter is a younger, less experienced individual. The North Dakota State University Extension Service in Stutsman County is partnering with Jamestown Area Ambulance to offer a babysitting clinic for youth ages 11 to 17 to help build babysitting and child care skills. Children of different ages need different types of care and nurturing.
Your garden is producing a bumper crop this year, so you´d like to can some of that bounty. Don´t let your experience become a recipe for disaster. The first step is to use a recipe the U.S. Department of Agriculture has tested and approved. A lot of recipes are available on the Web, in old cookbooks and from friends and family.
Digestive disorders are among the most common problems in health care today. About 30 to 40 percent of adults say they experience frequent indigestion, and more than 50 million visits to health care facilities every year are for symptoms related to the digestive system. Some of the causes of digestive distress are overeating, stress, lack of physical activity and a poor diet. Suffering from heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and excess gas does not have to be the norm.
You won’t want to miss out on these two events happening this month at the extension office. Today, there is an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In February this year, the extension office moved to 502 10th Ave. SE — the building where the senior citizens center used to be located. In this new location, there are large meeting rooms to host educational classes and a new kitchen lab for cooking classes. Stop by for some refreshments and to tour the new office. The second event is the June session of Nourishing Boomers and Beyond.