This year, give your friends and family the gift of health. Jefferson County Public Health professionals have 5 healthy, fun and unique gift ideas.
1. A Reusable Water Bottle: Not only will you be giving the gift of adequate hydration, you’ll save the receiver of the gift money and the world from further plastic bottle pollution! Any reusable water bottle is better than a plastic one that will be thrown away but, ideally, glass or stainless steel bottles are the best because they do not contain chemicals (such as BPA) that many plastic water bottles do. As plastic breaks down over time and loses its integrity, harmful chemicals from the plastic can be released into the water held in the bottle and can be unsafe to drink.
2. A Jump Rope: A classic, proven, tried and true exercise machine, jump ropes are affordable and easy to use. Jumping rope for just 10 minutes is a huge dose of aerobic exercise. This exercise makes you use your arms, your core stabilizer muscles, all the leg muscles, and it gets your heart rate up in that vigorous exercise range. Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to keep healthy.
3. Electronic Toothbrush for Kids: When we make tooth brushing fun, kids tend to stay at it longer and brush more thoroughly. Today’s awesome technology combined with good oral hygiene provides the perfect oral health gift for children- an electric toothbrush. This fun gadget can make regular tooth brushing fun. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 of 5, or 20%, of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Tooth decay (or cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Give a child in your life an electronic toothbrush and help minimize visits to the dentist.
4. Yoga Lessons for friends, family, neighbors and anyone else on your list: The science of Yoga has been used for centuries to enhance physical and emotional well-being. Yoga classes are a wonderful gift to encourage mind and body alignment and improve flexibility. “It’s also a great way to reduce the stresses of everyday life. Yoga helps make the body more flexible and helps you relax, Yoga has something to offer for everyone,” says Elise Lubell, Director of JCPH’s Health Promotion and Lifestyle Management Division. Check with your local recreation center for affordable, beginner yoga classes.
5. A Healthy Cookbook: Whether you are cooking for just yourself, one to two people, or a larger group, planning meals is a good place to start improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy evening meal can help you avoid a less healthful "drive-through" dinner. There are many great and simple cookbook options available, as healthy eating is a major health focus and prevention strategy today. To make preparing health foods as easy as possible, choose a cook book with simple recipes involving as few ingredients as possible. A great online resource to get started is the CDC’s Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight website.