What is 54321+8? Read to Find Out!
I recently had the privilege of attending the 2015 Texas Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences conference in Brenham. We had some very informative speakers, and I want to highlight one in particular. Maureen Lyons is a familiar name among Family & Consumer Sciences professionals. She works for Health Edco, an educational resource company. Her presentation was “54321+8 (or 10).” Below is an explanation of the concept. I think you will enjoy it as an easy tool to remember some basic health tips!
- 5 represents the number of fruits and vegetables servings we should have each day. These are power house foods, loaded with vitamins and minerals. Most are low in fat and high in fiber. Think COLOR! The more colors you have in your diet, the more nutrients you will consume because each color group provides different nutrients.
- 4 represents the number of glasses of water you should have each day. Most of us grew up with the concept that we should have 8 glasses of water each day, but sometimes, that amount of water replaces other foods which can provide nutrients. Unless you plan to be outdoors for long periods and exerting yourself in lots of physical activity, four glasses will be plenty. Water removes toxins, cleanses the system, regulates body temperature, hydrates the brain, hydrates cells, helps you have healthy skin, and decreases hunger. An interesting statistic is that ¾ of Americans are chronically mildly dehydrated. Exercise increases the need for water, so be careful on these hot summer days. At the first sign of thirst, drink water!
- 3 represents the number of good laughs you should have every day, but it also represents the number of dairy servings. Laughter improves mental health, improves the brain’s neurochemicals which help lower anxiety, depression, and blood pressure, and laughter also improves the immune system. Three servings of dairy daily help strengthen your bones and teeth, and provide nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, iron, and others.
- 2 represents the upper limit of screen time daily. Limiting screen time (computer, television, video games, and even smart phones) means more time to spend with family. Also, the more screen time spent, the less active the individual becomes, fewer calories are burned, and there is a decrease in use of muscles and bones. So, encourage your teen, spouse, co-worker, etc., to spend more face-to-face time, get up from the couch or office chair, and have real-life interaction!
- 1 represents the amount of physical activity you need each day – one hour that is! Physical activity can prolong life, provide stronger bones, increased energy, increased memory, better sleep at night, and decreased blood pressure. You will also burn more calories by achieving one hour of daily physical activity. Current statistics indicate that only about 1/3 of American teens get 1 hour per day.
- +8 represents the hours of sleep you need each night (+10 for children). Avoid scary or high-intensity shows at bedtime. Your body needs time to gear down. Sleep allows your body to heal and rebuild and helps the brain to “hardwire” you memory. It is best to sleep in a dark, cool room. Avoid activities and caffeinated beverages that make it difficult to sleep. Children need even more sleep because it is hard work growing bones and muscles! Keeping children out late on a school night should be avoided. Their bodies need time to settle down. A calming bedtime story or song will help them relax.
That is what 54321+8 (or 10) is all about. Remember that there is only one you! Take good care of yourself, exercise healthy habits, and be a good example for the next generation!
Cooking Well with Diabetes and Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes Reminder
These two diabetes series are rapidly approaching, and we still have seats remaining. If you or a loved one have questions about managing diabetes, be sure to call! The series will take place on the same dates, but at different times: Mondays and Thursdays, August 17, 20, 24, and 27, with an additional day of the evening session held on August 31.
– “Cooking Well with Diabetes” is a 4-lesson series focusing on healthy meal preparation, cooking demonstrations, and sampling. The series will take place from1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
– “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” is a 5-lesson series focusing on self-care and nutrition components. You’ll learn to recognize foods that are high and low in carbohydrates, as well as learn about diabetes medications, physical activity, self-monitoring, doctor visits (what you should have and how often), and much more.
Each series is $25 per person or couple, payable at the door. Materials, refreshments, sampling, door prizes, and “graduation gifts” will be provided. To sign up, call 903-885-3443.
“Flatter me and I may not believe you. Criticize me and I may not like you. Ignore me and I may have hurt feelings. Encourage me and I will not forget you” – William Arthur Ward