Health & Fitness

Mind & Body

Food for thought

If you have a locker or drawer at work, stash some nonperishable food in them for days when you don't have the cash to go out, the time to plan ahead and pack a lunch or just need a mid-afternoon snack.

-- United Media

By the numbers

67 -- Percent of high school students engaging in regular physical activity (in 2003, the latest date that statistics were available).

-- National Center for Health Statistics

Stress reduction

Are you stressed out? Breathe yourself into a meditative state. Take five minutes to sit straight and breathe down into your abdomen. If you catch your mind wandering, acknowledge it and return to the breathing.

Expect more out of life

Americans are living longer than ever. U.S. life expectancy at birth reached an all-time high of nearly 78 years in 2005, up from 77.8 the year before, according to a report released in September by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase may not seem like much, but a mere decade earlier, life expectancy fell shy of 76 years.

"The higher rate reflects a continued reduction in deaths from heart disease, cancer, and stroke," says the CDC's Donna Hoyert. Better prevention methods and treatments, she says, are now available for those conditions, the top three causes of death nationwide. African-

Americans' life expectancy has risen to 73.2 years, but still lags five years behind that of whites.

-- Premium Health News

A healthy example

We don't have to be perfect but we need to be willing to demonstrate to children what we want them to learn. Here are some ideas:

  • Regularly expose a child to real or pretend foods that represent healthful choices.
  • Provide opportunities for children to watch or help you prepare healthful foods.
  • Involve children in shopping for balanced meals. Say something clever like "Let's find something red or green (besides M&M's) to eat today!" Play is necessary to rid children of excess energy and allow them to practice how they will behave as grownups. Maybe if we play with food and our kids more often, we can all learn some valuable lessons.