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Cottonwood District

Cottonwood District

Barton County Office

3007 10th Street
Great Bend, KS 67530

620-793-1913 fax

Ellis County Office

601 Main Street
Hays, KS 67601

785-621-2002 fax


A Healthier You

Eating healthy and exercising regularly is not only good for your waistline, but it's also good for your physical and emotional health as well. Fad diets and diet pills are pushed in the media and are inaccurately publicized as a quick fix for losing weight. Weight loss takes time and effort. The weight did not magically appear overnight, so it should not be expected to magically disappear quickly either. A healthy weight loss plan consists of eating right and exercising regularly in order to lose about 1-2 pounds per week. In addition to losing weight, dieting this way will help to shift individuals from dieting on and off to a more permanent healthy lifestyle change. Check out these tips and websites to help you improve your eating habits, exercise, and quality of life.

Get Fit and Stay Active

Exercise plays a key role in living a healthy lifestyle and it can help to keep your body strong, prevent injuries, and provide the fundamentals for staying healthy while aging. As adults, we need about 150 minutes of physical exercise each week and it can range from pulling weeds in your garden to yoga, weight lifting, or jogging. Make sure to incorporate exercises into you weight loss plan that you actually enjoy doing. This will help you to look forward to your workouts and actually do them.

Mix it Up!

Try adding functional foods and fruits and vegetable across the color spectrum to your plate! Eating a balanced diet is not a 100% guarantee that you will not get sick or be diagnosed with various health implications. However, eating a balanced diet and exercising is an effective way to help protect your body, and to help it recover faster from injury and illness. Being proactive with personal health can yield a much better outcome than being reactive.

Functional Foods

Functional foods are foods that can benefit your body beyond the nutritional content obtained from the food. Great examples are foods that have "heart healthy" claims or that may help to lower cholesterol. Functional foods should not be used to make up for a poor diet, but adding them to a healthy diet will help your body to receive added benefits beyond nutrition. Click here for meal planning assistance and a list of some functional foods you might want to start adding to your daily diet.

Eat the Rainbow

There are many health benefits from eating a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables due to their pigments and phytonutrients. They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Try eating a variety of colors each day to aid your body in repair, maintenance, and prevention. Colorful foods can also help to entice kids to try new things and eat their fruits and vegetables. The food color spectrum is broken into five divisions:

Red: Good for your heart, memory, and may lower the risk of some cancer

Orange/Yellow: Good for your heart, vision, immune system, and may lower the risk of some cancer

Green: Good for vision, strong bones and teeth, and may lower the risk of some cancers

Blue/Purple/Black: Good for memory, healthy ageing, and may lower the risk of some cancers

White/Tan/Brown: Good for heart, cardiovascular system and cholesterol levels, and may lower the risk of some cancers

List of foods that falls into each color category.