A fresh start for New Year’s resolutions

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By Joan Martin

Just in time to rescue failed New Year’s resolutions to improve health and personal finances, the Extension Service is launching an online Health and Wealth Challenge called “Ft. Harrod KY Health & Wealth Challenge 2013.”
This free eight-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online, will be held from Monday, Feb. 18 through Monday, April 15. 
Let’s demonstrate that people in central Kentucky understand the importance of being financially fit as well as physically fit for living a healthier lifestyle every day.  I hope a lot of people will join the challenge.
Take the challenge and sign up on-line at rutgers.ancc.net.
The challenge is part of a national Cooperative Extension program developed to motivate Americans to take action to simultaneously improve their health and personal finances. When people monitor their behavior and measure how they’re doing, they are often inspired to do better and achieve positive results.
Participants in a SSHW Challenge are on their honor to report their activities accurately. If they cheat on reporting their points, they are only cheating themselves by not following the recommended daily practices.
The 10 challenges included in Ft. Harrod KY Challenge are not hard or complicated, but in the end can help you achieve success in living a healthier lifestyle.
The five daily health and nutrition practices are: eat at least 4 cups of fruits and vegetables; get at least 30 minutes of physical activity; drink water or unsweetened beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages; track 10,000 or more steps by walking with a pedometer; and learn something new about health and nutrition.
The five daily financial management practices included in our challenge are: save a $1 bill (or more) and/ or pocket change; put $3 or more per day toward a debt reduction or emergency fund; track money spent throughout the day; eat lunch prepared at home; and learn something new about personal finance.
Reading for both health and personal finances, can be accomplished by visiting web sites; attending seminars; or by reading, listening to, or viewing media reports. 
If you cannot enter your data every day, don’t worry, paper tracking forms will be included in your “GYM PACK” when you sign up that you can record daily activities until they are entered online.
The GYM PACK can be picked up at the Anderson County Extension Office after you enter online.
It includes a pedometer, water bottle, stretch band and various other information and items to get you started on your challenge.
So good luck and go today and sign up online for the Ft. Harrod KY Health & Wealth Challenge 2013.
For more information, contact the Anderson County Extension Office at 502-839-7271.

Joan Martin is a family and consumer sciences agent with the Anderson Extension office.