The Edmond Sun

Opinion

January 11, 2014

Get 2014 off to a healthy start

OKLA. CITY — With the holiday season behind us, it is a good time to refocus our lives and reevaluate our goals. At the beginning of every year one of the top resolutions for many people is to lose weight, get in shape and live healthier lives.

Change can be difficult and at times seem nearly impossible, but committing to change is important for the sake of our families, our longevity and for our wallets. Bad habits can contribute to a shorter life expectancy and can needlessly drive up the cost of medical bills and health care for everyone.

The good news is — Oklahomans have begun to take notice and we are starting to see the needle move in the right direction, and our citizens are becoming healthier.

Looking back at last year we made major strides in improving our overall health as a state. Smoking rates of adults decreased from 26 percent to 23 percent; at the Capitol we opened our new fitness facility; and in last year’s budget we included more money to support prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment initiatives to help citizens overcome the challenges of substance abuse and addiction.

Furthermore, after issuing an executive order banning smoking on all state property, I was proud to sign legislation into law making the ban permanent.

To take it one step further, I recently issued an executive order banning all e-cigarette products from state property. One of my top priorities as governor is to protect the well-being of our citizens, and e-cigarettes and “vaping devices” contain addictive properties, like nicotine, and emit chemicals that are harmful to people who choose not to use them.

Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.78 million children and teens in the U.S. used e-cigarettes in 2012, many of whom started using e-cigarettes because of the accessibility and variety of designs and flavors.

The CDC also states that about 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers, so it is vital that we keep our young people from using or experimenting with any tobacco product.

Oklahoma’s smoking rate remains high and continues to be one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the state. Despite our recent efforts, we continue to rank in the top 10 states that with the highest smoking rate. This has to change.

Improving the health of our citizens and state continues to be a top priority for my administration and I will do everything I can to continue to help Oklahomans live longer, more prosperous lives.

I am proud to say our initiatives are working and we have seen our overall health indicators go from 49th in the country to 44th. However, we still have a lot of work to do.

In Oklahoma, obesity remains high at 32.2 percent of adults while 28.3 percent are physically inactive. That causes a myriad of problems ranging from Type-2 diabetes to a shorter lifespan.

So, how do we get healthier?

It starts with a personal commitment to living a better life. It can begin with simple choices like making the decision to go on a run after work rather than sit in front of the TV or computer, or opt for a salad and chicken breast for lunch instead of a burger and fries.

Below are more ways to help you get motivated and stay on track to more quality life.

• Recruit an accountability partner. You are less likely to quit a routine if you have someone going to the gym and eating healthy with you.

• Set attainable goals. Instead of saying you want to lose weight, start with 5 pounds and go from there.

• Be active everywhere. If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, take the stairs instead of the elevator or talk on the phone standing up rather than sitting down.

• Use free resources that are available. For example, if you’re ready to break your tobacco habit, call 800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.OKhelpline.com for free counseling.

Getting in shape or quitting a habit is hard work and sometimes takes multiple attempts. Don’t get discouraged.

FOR MORE ways to make fitness part of you and your family’s life, visit shapeyourfutureok.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results