Fifty four. That's the percentage of Americans who resolved to improve their overall health as of January 1, 2015. After a year that brought us Nutella slices, the Turducken and red velvet Oreos, we can only assume that number is probably on the rise at an alarming speed. Luckily, the Rhode Island Department of Health has put together 16 Ways to Stay Healthy in 2016 - mind, body and spirit. Each recommendation is released daily leading up to the New Year and can be found on their Facebook page. Here's what we've got so far: 1. Never drink and drive When you drink and drive, you are not only putting your own life at risk. You are risking the life of everyone else on the road. Even if you dont hurt anyone physically, drinking and driving can do serious damage to your wallet. Between fines, attorneys fees, and insurance costs, an arrest for drinking and driving will cost you thousands of dollars.
Is it hard to quit? Yes. Is it impossible? No! Call 1-800-QuitNow for free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) while supplies last. NRT includes patches, gum, and lozenges. NRT and telephone counseling can double a smokers chances of quitting. A trained quit coach will help you create a quit plan and connect you with free quit tools and self-help materials. All NRT available through the RI Smokers' Helpline is FDA-approved and is clinically proven as safe and effective. 3. Take a break from screens & devices Technology is wonderful, but sometimes it is good to take a break! Put down your phone, laptop, and tablet and take a walk or read a book. Being in nature and not having our minds stimulated by electronic devices is very healthy, and a good way to eliminate some stress. 4. Talk to your doctor about if and when you want to have children When people make plans to have children, as opposed to getting pregnant when they were not expecting to get pregnant, it is healthier for infants, children, women, and families. Developing a reproductive health plan with your doctor will help you think about your goals for school, your job, or your career, and think about how having children fits in with those goals. This can help ensure that you and your partner are healthy and ready if and when you choose to have a baby. 5. Learn CPR More than 85% of cardiac arrests take place at home, and yet CPR (or cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is not performed enough. Hands-only CPR is easy to learn and it saves lives. By performing CPR, you are able to help the persons blood keep circulating until an ambulance arrives and more advanced tools can be used. We know that the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest increases significantly when CPR is started early. Hands-only CPR is easy to learn & saves lives. 6. Have good oral health habits Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Daily preventive care will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress. In between regular visits to the dentist, be sure to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily, and eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals. 7. Safely handle and prepare your food Healthy eating is not only about choosing nutritious foods, but also about eating foods that are manufactured and prepared safely. Foodborne illness can be prevented at home and in restaurants by following a few simple steps. The four keys are: clean, separate, cook, and refrigerate. Learn more. 8. Cut back on alcohol Drinking less alcohol helps many people sleep better, be more alert and better able to concentrate at work, have more energy, lose weight, and reduce the risk of serious alcohol-related illnesses over the long-term. Learn about tips to help you drink less here. 9. Get tested for HIV All adults should be tested for HIV at least once in their life. People who have unprotected sex, or who share injection drug equipment, you should get tested at least once a year. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months). You should consult your healthcare provider to see how often you should be tested. 10. Have an emergency preparedness plan for you and your family No one ever expects an emergency to happen, but there are steps that you can take to be prepared if one ever does. Every household should have an emergency supply kit that will last for at least three days. A kit should include things like drinking water, a radio, flashlights with extra batteries, non-perishable food items, and a first-aid kit. 11. Eat local seafood, and fruits and vegetables grown in Rhode Island Local produce is good for your health, the environment, and the local economy. Check out Farm Fresh Rhode Island to learn more about farmers markets throughout the state. 12. Drink more water and fewer sugary drinks Water is calorie-free, and its as easy to find as the nearest tap. Water provides everything the body needs to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. Its the perfect, healthiest beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system.
13. Safely dispose of unused medications. Protect loved ones &the environment. When a medication is no longer needed it is important to dispose of it properly to help reduce harm from accidental exposure or intentional misuse. Medicine take-back programs are a good way to safely dispose of most types of unneeded medicines. Visit the The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation for details and drop off locations.
14. Never take prescription medication that has not been prescribed to you. There are good reasons why you cant buy some drugs over the counter. A physician takes many factors into account before prescribing a medication for you, including your current condition, your past medical history, your other medications, and the likely risks and benefits of the drug to you as an individual. Sharing prescription medications is illegal and dangerous, and it can even be fatal. 15. Get at least 30 minutes of movement or exercise a day. For children, 60 minutes is even better. Even if you can't stay active for that amount of time, it is okay to break it up into 2 or 3 segments. Take advantage of the unseasonable weather now and get in the habit of walking. Once it gets colder, consider indoor places where you can walk, such as a mall. You can also climb stairs, swim, or sign up for group activities at your local community center. 16. If you do not have health insurance, find a plan that works for you through HealthSource RI and enroll by December 23. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance helps cover these costs and often offers many other important benefits, such as coverage for important preventive care. Examples of important preventive care include vaccines and screenings.