NMSU encourages New Mexicans to participate in Small Steps to Health

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 1:06pm

New Mexico State University's Extension Family and Consumer Science department is encouraging New Mexicans to join a national online program to help accomplish their health and personal finance resolutions.

"The Small Steps to Health and Wealth program has two free resources to motivate Americans to achieve their personal self-improvement goals: an online Challenge and a 132-page workbook that is available for downloading," said Fahzy Abdul-Rahman, NMSU Extension family resource management specialist.

To access the SSHW Challenge, follow the "Challenges" link on the Small Steps to Health and Wealth website at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/.

First click on "SSHW Online Individual Challenge."

Then click on "Register an Account," set up a user name and password, and download a simple one-page user's guide with instructions about how to proceed.

Click on "My Account" and "My Challenges" and "Enter a New Challenge," and enroll in the Challenge titled "SSHW 2014 Non-Competitive Challenge."

The second Cooperative Extension resource is the "Small Steps to Health and Wealth" workbook. Individual chapters can be downloaded for free from http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/.

The Challenge is based on the performance of 10 recommended practices on a daily basis: five that involve health and nutrition and five that involve financial management. Ten points are given for performing each one for a maximum of 700 points per week.

"The Challenge is a great way to convert ambitious New Year's resolutions, like losing weight and saving money, into daily action steps," Abdul-Rahman said.

The five daily health and nutrition practices are: eat at least four 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 walking with a pedometer; and learn something new about health and nutrition.

"We are encouraging Cooperative Extension offices, hospitals, media outlets and health promotion organizations to promote the online challenge website to their patrons and create local SSHW Challenges for specified time periods, like five or six weeks, with prizes and participant recognition," Abdul-Rahman said.


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