Hiking is great for physical health. It also improves mental health! It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. According to a Stanford study, walking for 90 minutes in nature, instead of an urban setting, decreases activity in the brain linked to depression.
The gardening and preserving season is winding down, but it is never too late to learn about safe home food preservation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering two online food preservation classes in October.
Preserve the Taste of Summer: Totally Tomatoes – Learn about canning and freezing tomatoes, salsa, and other tomato products. Canning includes both water bath and pressure canning. – Thursday, October 8, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. – Monday, October 12, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Preserve the Taste of Summer: All About Apples – Learn about canning applesauce and apple pie filling, as well as freezing and drying apples. – Thursday, October 22, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. – Wednesday, October 28, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
These fun and interactive classes will benefit both newbies and experienced home preservers. All sessions are one hour and free of charge. Register on the Preserve the Taste of Summer website (extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/preserve-taste-summer).
With fall approaching, the new schedule for school and work has likely changed your routine. However, that doesn’t mean your exercise routine has to go. To keep yourself accountable, set a SMART goal for fall.
Specific—This is the “what” of your goal, describing exactly what you’re going to do and where. For example, “I will walk outside more often.”
Measurable—How can you measure your goal each day, month, or year? Add specific units and numbers to your goal. “I will walk outside 30 minutes a day.”
Attainable—Is this goal attainable for you? Think about your current fitness level and the competing demands on your time.
Relevant—Is this goal meaningful and beneficial to you?
Time-bound—What is the time frame of your goal? How many days a week, and for how long? For example, “In the month of September, I will walk outside for at least 20 minutes at least three days a week.” At the end of your time frame, you can evaluate your success and make a new SMART goal.
Whether you are back to school or work, packing a meal can have some amazing benefits! Packed meals may be lower in calories and provide more essential nutrients, such as fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Packing meals also saves money. It is important to remember lunch-box food safety when packing your meal. Follow these tips to prevent being ill when eating on the go.
Keep cold food below 40°F and hot food above 140°F.
Use an insulated lunch box. Some food is safe without a cold source, like whole fruits and vegetables, canned meat and fish, and peanut butter.
For perishable foods, keep foods cold by including at least two cold sources. Use two frozen gel packs or combine a frozen gel pack with a frozen juice box, fruit cup, or frozen bottled water. Place cold sources on top and bottom of perishable food items, including lunch meats, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk.
Clean your lunch box or bag regularly to avoid bacteria growing on the sides.
Lunch provides the midday boost that you and your child need for afternoon brainpower. Packing lunch with your child is also a great way to stay connected. What if your child is a choosy eater? This can be a sign your child is searching for more independence. Your child might benefit from packing their own lunch, while you have the opportunity to serve as a model for good nutrition behaviors. Use the five main food groups for you and your child to pack your lunch.
Lack of sleep is common, especially these days. Many Americans sacrifice sleep to get all their tasks done on any given day. In fact, 35% of Americans do not meet the recommended hours of sleep.
Adults need 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Youth need 8 to 12 hours of sleep. Research has shown that sleep is just as important as good nutrition and exercise habits to keep your mind and body healthy.
Getting enough sleep can help lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, think more clearly, and perform better in school and at work. Sleep may be related to body weight in youth of all ages. Inadequate sleep may interfere with hormone levels, which stimulate youth to eat more snacks and larger meals. A tired child is also more prone to sit on the couch rather than play outside.
Use these tips to get longer, better sleep.
Go to bed at the same time every night. Set and enforce regular bedtimes.
Keep phones, laptops and TVs out of the bedroom.
Avoid texting, watching TV, playing video games, or using a computer at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Do not eat in bed.
Create a calming nighttime routine for yourself and your kids– reading, listening to music, or talking about the day.
Good sleep is critical to your health, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep.