Start a Healthy Habit With “31 Days to a Healtheir You” Tips

Date Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2016
Categories:  News Public Health

Dover – Start your January 2016 right with the help of the Division of Public Health’s (DPH) “31 Days to a Healthier You” social media campaign.  Use the hashtag #31DaysDE to view how-to videos, tips, photos, and contact information for starting the New Year right.

“Healthy habits will lead to a healthier Delaware,” said Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf.  “I encourage all Delawareans to have at least one New Year’s resolution that is health-oriented:  walking more, eating wiser portions, or visiting your doctor or dentist.  Small steps can lead to big health improvements.”

“We all need refreshing and inspirational ideas for taking charge of our health,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director.  “If Delawareans are more physically active, make healthier food choices, quit smoking, and get regular medical screenings and immunizations, they are at reduced risk of certain cancers, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, and obesity.”

Secretary Landgraf and Director Rattay’s comments are reinforced by the newly issued 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  New in this update of the Dietary Guidelines is the recommendation that less than 10 percent of calories should come from added sugars and saturated fats.  View the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans here.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Delawareans have access to free health screenings (like mammograms, blood pressure checks and autism screening for toddlers) and prevention opportunities (like free immunizations, nutrition counseling and more). To learn about Delaware’s health insurance marketplace, go to

To learn about preventive benefits, visit and search for “prevention.”

DPH offers these healthy lifestyle suggestions:

·      Re-thinking your drink to sugarless drinks can lead to a weight loss of up to 15 pounds in one year.  Visit

·      People at increased risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease’s onset by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. Delawareans who lose weight might also lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, and lessen pressure on their joints.

·      DPH recommends following the 5-2-1 Almost None concept: eating at least five servings of fruit or vegetables a day, watching no more than two hours of recreational screen time daily, getting one hour of physical activity each day, and drinking almost no sugar-sweetened drinks.

·      Becoming more physically active reduces the chance of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Most people feel better after taking a brisk walk or run, or participating in other activities such as ice skating, swimming, or working out.  Find out how much physical activity you need by clicking here.

·      Monitoring your blood pressure regularly and being aware of your recommended waist circumference can reduce the possibility of a heart attack or stroke. An ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80. The goal for waist size is less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men. (If you are South Asian, Chinese, or Japanese, the waist size goal is 32 inches for women and 35 inches for men.) Visit the Million Hearts® Delaware partnership.

·      Delaware residents 18 and older smoke can quit through a free program. Visit the Delaware Quitline’s website or call toll-free: 866-409-1858.

·      Visit the immunization schedules page on the DPH website to see immunization schedules recommended for adults and children, and then make an appointment with your provider.

·      Parent, teachers, and child care providers can find helpful physical activity ideas and resources at Making Health Easier.

Individuals seeking TTY services should call 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460. A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can use a TTY to type his/her conversation to a relay operator, who then reads the typed conversation to a hearing person at the DPH call center. The relay operator relays the hearing person’s spoken words by typing them back to the TTY user. To learn more about translation services and TTY availability in Delaware, visit
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.


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