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HAHRC Beats: Start your New Year off right

As you decide your New Year’s resolution, here are a few national health statistics:

Nearly half of American adults suffer from at least one chronic disease, and seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are a result of chronic disease.

One in three American adults is obese — and almost one in five children.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, with nearly 19 million Americans reporting limitations.

Decades of medical research show that increased fitness in children and adults helps prevent or improve health problems. Outdoor exercise and walking on a regular basis increase fitness. And there is growing public agreement that it is important to offer children smoke-free environments in which to grow up.

One of the goals of Healthy, Active Hood River County is to make the “healthy choice the easy choice” in our county. As adults we are responsible for teaching our youth to make healthy choices. Children will be inspired to make healthy choices as they get older if they see their role models showing that healthy behavior now.

So, where do you go to move forward with healthy choices?

The Parks and Recreation District has worked to provide trails in the community. Two of the new trails include a connection from Rocky Road to Westside Elementary and an extension of Indian Creek Trail near the high school for another half-mile west to the proposed Barrett Park.

The Aquatic Center is open seven days a week! There are open swims on no-school days or on Sundays from 2-4 p.m. when the cost is only $1. We are offering a January to June Swim Challenge: Swim a set amount of time or miles and receive prizes for your hard work. Visit hoodriverparksandrec.org for details.

Start making healthier choices, set some achievable New Year’s resolutions and avoid being a national statistic.

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Lori Stirn is director of the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District and Janelle Mudder is manager of the Hood River Aquatic Center.

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