NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Online for Health & Wealth

Online for Health & Wealth

 

            Just in time to rescue failed New Year's resolutions to improve health and personal finances, the Cooperative Extension system is launching an online Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ (SSHW) Challenge called "Winter 2012 SSHW Challenge." This free six-week program, is open to anyone who enrolls online, will be held from Sunday, January 15, through Saturday, February 25, 2012. Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals.

            The SSHW Challenge is part of Small Steps to Health and Wealth™, a national Cooperative Extension program developed to motivate Americans to take action to simultaneously improve their health and personal finances. SSHW was built around a framework of 25 research-based behavior change strategies. The Challenge was originally developed in a "paper and pencil" format with printed worksheets and is now available online.

            The SSHW Challenge is based on the performance of ten recommended practices on a daily basis: five that involve health and nutrition and five that involve financial management.

             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; eat at least two servings of whole grain foods; and learn something new about health and nutrition.

            The five daily financial management practices included in the SSHW Challenge are: save a $1 bill (or more) and/or pocket change; invest $5 or more per day (including automated retirement savings plan deposits); track money spent throughout the day; eat lunch prepared at home; and learn something new about personal finance.

            As participants enter their personal data, they will see their point totals for each day of the week and for each of the ten activities described above. They'll also see a bar graph that compares their personal progress to the average scores of everyone else participating in the Challenge. Daily motivational messages will also be provided to participants. Paper tracking forms can be downloaded to keep track of daily activities until they are entered online.

            To sign up for the SSHW Challenge, visit the Challenge website at rutgers.ancc.net. Set up a user name and password and download a simple one-page user's guide with instructions about how to proceed. Enroll in the Challenge titled "Winter 2012 SSHW Challenge."

 

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