It will take effort from all of us to reach Health Action's goal to make Sonoma County the healthiest county in California by 2020. You can TAKE ACTION in a variety of different ways. If we all do our part, we will get there. Here are ideas of how to TAKE ACTION at home, at work, at school and in the community.
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Here are some ideas to help you live a healthier lifestyle at home:
- Eat healthy foods. Make sure you have plenty of fruits and veggies in your home to make it easy to make healthy choices.
- Plant a garden in your backyard, balcony or window box. Grow your work produce and if you have extra, share it with a neighbor! For tips, go to iGROWsonoma.org or visit the Sonoma County iGROW Facebook page.
- Be active. Make fitness part of your lifestyle by making time for exercise each day. It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Set a goal for how many minutes you will achieve and strive for it. Do what you enjoy: walk, run, swim, bike, hike, dance, yoga, zumba. It all counts towards exercise and good health! Visit the Sonoma County Regional Parks Facebook page for some local ideas.
- Get your family or neighbors involved. Any behavior change is easier if you have someone to support your efforts and help hold you accountable. Invite your family or a neighbor to join you in eating healthier and exercising. It’s just more fun with friends!
- Read to your kid every day. Education contributes to good health so make time to read to your kids, or read with your kids. Try turning off the t.v. one night a week and making it a reading night!
- Reduce screen time. Step away from the computer and spend that time preparing a home-cooked meal; or going for an after-dinner walk. Your body and mind will reap the benefit.
We spend a lot of time at work so it's important to make healthy living part of your routine while at the workplace. Consider putting these ideas into action at your workplace.
- Get moving at work. Go for a walk on your break; or put together a lunchtime walking group and get your coworkers involved. For tips on forming a walking group, visit the iWALK page or the iWALK Facebook page.. It’s good for the body and the mind!
- Hold walking meetings. If you have a brainstorming session, or a weekly check-in with your boss, put on your walking shoes and hit the trail.
- Plant an employee garden and use what’s grown there to create dishes for an employee luncheon. Follow these tips from iGROW to get started.
- Look at changing workplace policy to encourage eating healthy at work. This might mean changes to the vending machine choices, healthy meetings, no candy on the desks, and healthy celebrations. Here are some Healthy Meetings Tips. After all, healthy employees are more productive!
- Bring in a smoking cessation program if anyone in your workforce is a smoker.
- Make sure your employer can accommodate breast feeding mothers to encourage them to continue even after they return to work. Develop a breastfeeding workplace policy.
- Apply for the iWORKwell Healthy Business Recognition Program and be saluted for your efforts to create a healthier workplace.
Kids can learn early on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some ways to engage kids in healthy living through the school system.
- Implement Walk & Roll to School Day at your school. Encourage kids to walk to school whenever possible. Informal walking school buses can be established in neighborhoods so kids can walk (or roll) to school in a group, creating a safer and more social experience. Make sure you recruit adults to accompany the kids. For assistance with this, check out Sonoma County’s Safe Routes to School website.
- Get out and exercise whenever possible. It’s good for the brain and the body!
- Send a healthy snack and healthy lunch to school for your child. Fruit, veggies and nuts make a great energy booster during snack time.
- Rethink your drink and go with the water. Skip the sugar drinks and juices and just go with water as your beverage of choice.
- Create a culture of healthy parties. Instead of lots of sugar for birthday or classroom celebrations, go with healthy alternatives like fruit and nuts and veggies.
- Demand healthy fundraisers. Instead of selling chocolate bars and cookie dough buckets to raise money for the school, go with a walk-a-thon or something that requires kids to move their body to raise money.
- Create a school garden so kids can experience planting, tending and growing their own produce.
Communities are coming together to encourage healthy living in Sonoma County. This movement to improve our health will be most effective at a grassroots level. Here are some ideas for how to TAKE ACTION in your community.
- Participate in or organize a walking, running or cycling event in your town. This can be formal or informal. Even getting a group of people together for a walk or hike on a given day can be energizing! Check out local events at iwalksonoma.org.
- Utilize our great Sonoma County Regional Parks to get out and hike. Or go to the iWALK Sonoma.org website and check out upcoming local events that get your body moving.
- Go to the local farmer’s market where you can meet the people who grow food locally, and buy farm-fresh produce.
- Participate in the planting of a community garden in your neighborhood. It’s amazing what can be achieved when everyone works together.
- Join others in your community who are committed to improving the health of Sonoma County. Many Sonoma County communities have formed local Health Action Chapters.
- Take action in your own neighborhood by getting involved and advocating for positive, healthy changes. Read The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Principals of Community Engagement.
For more information about how to TAKE ACTION, please contact:
Sonoma County Department of Health Services
firstname.lastname@example.org or(707) 565-6680