Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge
What is the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge?
- A Partnership between the Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties.
- Support communities in their collaborative efforts to become healthier places to live, work, learn, play and pray;
- Recognize cities, counties and tribes that achieve a measurable impact in efforts to make communities a healthier place to live;
- Identify models of effective collaboration that can be sustained and replicated throughout the U.S.
- Rewarding over 1.5 million dollars to cities and counties that show results with their programs!
- Applications are being accepted until May 31st!
Why do we need a challenge like this?
During our phone call Lynn Ostrowski the Executive Director of the Aetna Foundation shared these 5 Tips to Help You & Your Family Increase Daily Wellness and I made some notes of things I needed to change, what of these 5 things could you change in your family?
5 Tips to Increase Daily Wellness
1. Incorporate 30 minutes of daily exercise.
You know I love food around here and one of my goals in 2016 is to loose the baby weight, establish healthy eating habits and develop an exercise routine that brings results. I turn 30 in August and I want to be the healthiest I can be for that milestone. 🙂 A few things I have been doing to help with healthy eating is all about preparation. If I have healthy snacks/lunches/breakfasts ready I will not reach for the random crap or just go without eating. This week I made mason jar salads to be ready for lunch, cheese, fruit & nut cups and homemade lara bars for snacking, get my recipe for LaraBars HERE. I also made some overnight oatmeal with chia seeds for breakfast which was delicious and filling. My body, especially when breastfeeding needs snacks and if I don’t have something on hand I’ll totally be digging in the candy stash.
Life can get busy and overwhelming, but simple acts like taking a few deep breathes, standing and stretching or taking a walk can help calm the mind and relieve stress. I find that children are built in micro-breaks 😉 I rarely get a task finished at one time.
Lynn suggested to try to create a relaxing bedtime routine or develop a sleep schedule to help you get the best night’s rest possible, including unplugging from electronics an hour or more before bed time. I am SO guilty of not doing this, I get in to bed every night after being on my computer only to pull out my phone and scroll through facebook or instagram before I nod off. Last night I read instead and it was like a magnet was pulling my hand to my phone, I did resist the urge but I can tell this is going to be a hard habit to break!
Staying connected to your friends and families is shown to improve health outcomes. With a strong support system, you can also help each other make healthier choices and organize ways to stay on course. I’ve learned that having a buddy with you in any type of health goal is a win-win situation. I ran a half marathon several years ago and there is no way I would have been able to make it through the training for it without my running partner.
What can you do with the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge?
Are you a part of an organization that is interested in improving the health of your community such as a health coalition, school department, mayor’s office, or local health department? The challenge is looking to have 50 cities in the final round, and all finalist cities will receive a $10,000 seed award to help them implement their project. Just head over to http://www.healthiestcities.org/ and find out about how to apply. The application is due by May 31st!
Creative Inspiration in your inbox!
Subscribe to get holiday ideas, delicious recipes and fun crafts in our newsletter!