Thursday, December 1, 2016

Staying Healthy

By:  Kimberly Swanson, M.S.-Psy, CNA

As I get older, I am beginning to see the importance of staying healthy.  Some things have occurred in my life that made me realize that I need to be more proactive with my health.  I can no longer just sit around and stay dormant .  I have to get up and take action.  Beside how can you reach your educational goals if you  are sick?  The following are some of the things I am doing to get back in shape:

         -Taking charge of my health
         -Annual doctor’s visit  
         -Exercise regiment
                   -Eating healthy
               -Managing stress

The first tip is having a medical checkup.  I am a full time student and a single mom on a fixed income so I had to see what kind of health resources that are available to me.  It can be pretty tough going to the doctor if you are boot strap with your finances.  So I had to start thinking outside of the box.  I started researching  and talking to people and that was when I stumbled cross a local nonprofit wellness center for women that was affordable for me.  Sometimes students can find community centers or local health departments to get services.  Often times these services are based on your income on a sliding scale.

Another tip is to have an exercise regimen.  I started my exercise regimen by joining to a local health and wellness program.  I have a wellness coach who is working with me to set goals on improving my health.  Going to the gyms can be very expensive for some college students on a budget.   But there are some places such as the YMCA that is based on you income and can be affordable through financial assistance program.

The next tip is eating healthy.  I started to thinking about  a diet plan for both myself and my family.  I now try to prepare more home meals for my family.  Whenever I do go out  to eat I now research to see the calories and amount of sodium and fat that are served one the menu. When I more aware of what I am eating,  I tend to make healthier decision when selecting items from fast food restaurants.  My daughter I  volunteer at the community garden and that is how we get some of our fresh fruits and vegetables.

The last tip is to manage your stress in life.   In order to stay healthy and stay focused on school, you should try to reduce stress.  By being organized, and looking for ways to make your life more simple.  This is what I am looking at right now.  How to come up with  simpler ways to care for my family, manage school, and career.

Staying healthy is a never ending process.  You have to take action and work on your health before it is too late.  My father always told me that “Your health is your first wealth.”  I did not know what he meant by that statement experienced it myself.  So take good care of yourself, stay  healthy, and learn to love yourself.  Being healthy is crucial for longevity. 

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