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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Health

As we head into a new year and a new decade too, the YMCA of Greater Toledo offers these tips – many that you can easily incorporate into your life – for a healthy, happy 2010 and beyond:
1. Schedule your workouts – Each Sunday, sit down and plan your exercise schedule for the week.
2. Ride a bike when possible to work to improve your fitness.
3. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators.
4. Eat only when hungry.
5. Play racquetball to get your heart going and have a good time.
6. Drink a fruit smoothie instead of a milkshake.
7. Walk to a co-worker’s desk rather than using the intercom.
8. Jumping 30 times a day will make your bones stronger, but don’t do it cold. Warm up until you break a light sweat, then jump away.
9. When eating at home, take smaller portions than usual; go back for more if you are still hungry.
10. An interesting new way to make sure you are getting enough exercise to improve your health is to count the steps you take during the day with a pedometer. The target is 10,000.

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The arrival of the New Year brings with it many things besides just a turn of the

sad-photo
Commonly perceived as “winter blues,”
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a serious
condition that can cause feelings of depression
throughout a given season.

calendar. A time for reflection, resolutions and looking forward, the New Year represents a clean slate, one many will welcome after a rather tumultuous 2009.

Another image the New Year invokes is that of winter weather, replete with its short days and snowstorms. While the official arrival of winter is 10 days before the turn of the calendar, for many the unofficial start of the coldest season is when the holiday season ends and the new calendar year begins.

Though winter has its afficionados, for many people winter can be a difficult time of year, one characterized by feelings of depression and indifference. For those who find themselves with those feelings each year, the cause could be a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which most commonly begins to occur during late fall, extending into the winter months. In fact, many simply assume the symptoms of SAD are the “winter blues,” a common misconception that could be masking a larger issue. However, understanding and recognizing SAD could be the first step for those looking to have a more enjoyable winter.

What is SAD?

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A new year means a new start, and offers a good opportunity for parents and their kids to discuss goals for the coming months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions for getting started:

Preschoolers
• I will clean up my toys.
• I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
• I won’t tease dogs – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5 to 12 years old
• I will drink milk and water, and limit soda and fruit drinks.
• I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
• I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week.
• I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.

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