Making Pants Fit With Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Representatives of health, nutrition and wellness from across Summit County sat down to a healthy lunch to brainstorm goals for the Summit County Health Assessment at a PANTS coalition meeting Thursday.

The Physical Activity and Nutrition Team of the Summit (PANTS) advocates healthy eating and active lifestyles within the Summit County community. The purpose of Thursday’s meeting was to specifically focus on the need to create manageable goals that can be used to support the Summit County strategic health plan.

It’s about sharing and expanding on the resources and activities that are already happening, and sharing ideas and helping each other, said Julie Draguns, chief financial officer at High Country Healthcare and PANTS member.

The health plan comes from the results of the Summit County Health Assessment Survey conducted in 2012. Research for the survey was done by means of telephone surveys and focus groups in English and Spanish, an online survey and key informant surveys. The key informants surveyed included county physicians, health service providers and members of community nonprofits.

The state mandates that communities must conduct these health assessment surveys every five years. Currently, counties across Colorado are preparing their own individual health plans and have submitted the results of the assessments to the state government. These results will be compiled to form the statewide Public Health Improvement Plan.

Summit County identified four priority areas of focus for its health plan behavioral health and substance abuse, access to health care, injury prevention and nutrition and physical activity. These were chosen based on needs in the community as represented by the survey results.

After a January meeting discussing the health assessment survey results and identifying the four key areas, Summit County professionals broke into four groups to tackle each of the priorities. PANTS, with the help of others, is taking on the aspect of nutrition and physical activity, working with the general goal that by 2020, there will be expanded options for physical activity and improved access to and awareness of nutritional food.

The first step discussed by Thursday’s meeting group was to work on raising awareness of the PANTS coalition and its programs, which include promoting wellness in schools and workplaces throughout Summit County.

We’ve already had some great successes with the (PANTS) coalition like the community gardens, said Renee Rogers, fitness coordinator for the town of Silverthorne.

Walkability and physical activity played a large part in the discussion, with suggestions for improving the trails around Summit County or adding to them to encourage people to get out and exercise more. Events like walk or bike to school days were brought up as potential ideas, along with challenges to such programs such as lack of proper sidewalks, wide enough roads and other safety issues.

Wellness in the work place was discussed as well, with members brainstorming what kind of program could be implemented and how. Ideas included walking meetings, catering healthy meeting lunches and offering employees workout opportunities or on-site facilities during the workday.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but I know that over the last five years, even though we’re still pretty lean, comparatively, our obesity and overweight rates are growing, Draguns said. So it’s critical to reduce that trend and prevent and reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, and allow people to live a healthier life.

One of the reasons the unhealthy problem persists may be the effort required to exercise and plan nutrition.

It’s a lifestyle change, said Claudine Norden, a life and fitness coach in Silverthorne. People know they should eat more healthily and exercise, but they’re busy and planning healthy snacks and lunch takes time.

Despite the challenges, the group seemed positive about its ability to manage the goals set forth by the task force.

I’m pretty excited about where we are, Draguns said. I think this is a testament to the passion of the people in Summit County. … The county has just a great population of community-minded and health-minded people.

Each of the health plan priority task forces must come up with a list of SMART goals by May 1. The acronym SMART refers to goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and realistic in the timeline. More meetings regarding the strategic health plan will take place in April.

Original Story Here


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    • Bob
    • March 15, 2013

    What Are Some Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Make? So I’ve started drinking more water. I drink Green, White, and Chai tea. I also bought the stainless steel water bottle, and I bike for about 20-30 minutes a day. I consider these healthy lifestyle changes. I was wondering if you could provide more suggestions along these lines.

      • HealthNut
      • March 15, 2013

      There are 5 elements in a healthy lifestyle.

      1. food
      2. exercise
      3. sleep
      4. happiness
      5. extra healthy things

      1. Food, we don’t really know that much about nutrition, we do know a blanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for you. Meat is pretty good, if it is lean and not eaten too often….ideally I might eat meat once or twice a week. A good healthy diet can include some indulgences.
      2. Exercise, you should do some. Though I don’t recommend routine exercise, cycle 2 or 3 times a week, join a social sports club, eg, tennis, go hiking on weekends, swimming is one of the best exercises for the whole body. If you vary your exercise, then you will enjoy it more and do more.
      3. Sleep. A lot of evidence says if you don’t get enough sleep you will have problems, eat more, metabolise your food differently and die young.
      4. Be happy, enjoy your life. Drink dance, eat chocolate, but not all day, everyday.
      5. Then there are all the little extras. eg, green tea (there is no such things as Chai tea….chai means tea, it is an indian word derived from the chinese word Cha, meaning tea), red wine, brocollie and beetroot, lots of things than can boost your body, ginger, garlice and hundreds of other things that you can add to your diet to make things a little better.

      Don’t obsess, don’t live by a book or a routine, just be healthy.

  1. Reply

    What Would You Say A Healthy Lifestyle Is? Hey 🙂 I’ve got some coursework that needs doing and I need to do some primary reasearch and I was just wondering if you would leave me some answers below on what you think a healthy lifestyle is personally. And what you think you have to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I need loads of answers so I hope you dont mind helping me 🙂 Thankyouu

      • HealthNut
      • March 15, 2013

      Healthy lifestyle…involves eating right, exercing, and relationships you have with others. Also if you live in a clean environment…messy=germs=sickness…and to maintain a healthy lifestyle you need to frequenlty eat right, do some sort of physical activity, be nice to others (stress is bad for health), and keep a clean home

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