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Five tips can improve health for all ages

Five tips can improve health for all ages

April 10th, 2019 by Danisha Hogue in Local News

Being in shape means more than physical fitness.

To be truly healthy, individuals can take note of five tips Andrea Kincaid, administrator at Moniteau County Health Department, suggested:

Good nutrition: A well-balanced diet is what doctors recommend for a healthy life. Good nutrition can be obtained by limiting sugary foods and eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 20 percent of Missouri high school students had soda at least once a day in 2015. Kincaid recommends drinking plenty of water for good nutrition.

Fitness: Getting enough exercise is known to increase one's health. In California, the Department of Parks and Recreation offers youth sports programs including baseball, softball, teeball and flag football in the spring and summer.

Swimming is another exercise perfect in the warmer months. The pool is open 1-7 p.m. daily through late August.

Emotional wellness: Emotional or mental wellness is about how individuals feel. This can translate into how to handle stress and communicate with others.

"If someone has thoughts of hurting themselves and hurting others they should get help," Kincaid said.

Increasing physical activity and getting outside can also help someone's emotional well being, she added. The suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Sleep: Getting enough sleep is linked to several health improvements.

"A teenager needs a lot more sleep than an adult does," Kincaid said. "If they're only getting six hours of sleep a night, they're not getting enough sleep."

CDC reports lack of sleep can lead to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and depression. Many factors like homework and extracurricular activities take away from how much sleep an individual gets.

In 2014, Missourians reported getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep.

Oral health: Going to the dentist regularly and using fluoridated toothpaste prevents tooth decay. Maintaining good oral health can eliminate the need for extra dental care. According to CDC, 80 percent of people by age 34 have had at least one cavity.

Data from the 2018 United Health Foundation showed Moniteau County as the sixth healthiest county in Missouri. The Moniteau County Health Center is committed to serving area residents. The center provides wellness labs without a doctor's recommendation.

"It's important to get that wellness exam and get your blood pressure taken," Kincaid said.

For more information on services available including first aid classes, diabetic screenings and sessions on special topics, contact the center at 573-796-3412.