Health & Wellness

6 Tips For Improving Health In Your Community

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community health is calculated based on a number of factors. These include not just physical, but social and behavioral aspects as well. In the US, community health varies significantly from state to state and between various ages as well as ethnicities. And despite allocating more resources to healthcare than comparable countries, the nation still has a lot of ground to cover, especially since it ranks 34th globally in terms of life expectancy.

In the US, life expectancy has grown over the past 25 years, but the percentage has been lower than in other countries. At the same time, the prevalence of bad birth outcomes, injuries, heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, and chronic lung ailments is also considerably high. These factors together indicate that there are disparities in terms of community health that differ from one place to another. The responsibility in this regard falls not just on federal and regional administrative bodies, but also on individuals willing to serve their respective communities.

Here are some of the ways in which you can facilitate community health in the place where you live:

1. Choose public health as your career

Feeling passionate about helping the community is one thing; actually doing something about it is another. And while most people stop at the first, you can take the next step in this direction by studying public health. You can easily enroll in a leading MPH online program as it offers you the flexibility and convenience to study on your own schedule. You can continue your current day job while pursuing public health as an academic field.

A master’s in public health can prepare you for a wide range of careers where you can not only focus on the health of your community, but also make a more substantial impact elsewhere. Careers like health informatics specialists, healthcare administrators, epidemiologists, public health project managers, health and safety engineers, public health educators, and healthcare consultants are just a few examples of where this degree can come in handy.

2. Start by cultivating healthy habits in your family

You’ve definitely heard the proverb that charity begins at home. Well, the same goes for change as well. In order to make an impact on your community. Inculcate healthy habits among your family members. It all starts with focusing on healthy meal plans every day.

For starters, follow the 5-2-1-0 rule in terms of food consumption. This entails taking at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, limiting screen time to under 2 hours for the whole family, including yourself, spending a minimum of 1 hour on exercise, and bringing the number of sugary drinks consumed in the household down to 0. This is the ideal healthy routine for any household to follow so that you can ensure healthy bodies, robust immune systems, and an overall better ability to fight off disease.

3. Actively participate in community initiatives focusing on health

Whether you are in school, college, or working full-time, you need to find initiatives across the community where you can facilitate healthy practices being followed. You can start with the school you or your children attend because, especially as a parent, you hold a certain influence over the institution’s practices. Present and enlist yourself for volunteering in community-centric activities. In case there aren’t many, suggest and take the lead on some interesting activities.

You can have school and community centers take up fundraising projects, food drives, and a host of awareness campaigns on topics like switching to healthy food alternatives, etc. These are simple steps that, if incorporated properly, can make a substantial difference in the long run.

In addition to coordinating with schools, you can also get in touch with the district council or local administration to know about their wellness policy and to what effect you can help in its implementation or upgrade.

4. Stay up-to-date with the decisions that impact your local environment

Many cities are exploring plans that emphasize expanding the availability of pathways and other opportunities for exercise, developing safe paths for walking and play areas, and improving trail safety. For instance, a complete and secure transportation network for all users in Des Moines is the goal of the transportation master plan known as MoveDSM. Through a comprehensive advocacy agenda, the Central Iowa Well Kids Coalition is pushing projects like this one. This is just one example of how locals can contribute towards making a difference in community health.

5. Allocate personal resources to community health

Despite what you believe, there is a lot you can give to the community when you truly feel about it. If you are not well-off and don’t have money to give, you can allocate your time or a variety of other efforts toward community causes. For example, you can bring together a group of your friends or other community members to start a model park where you not only grow fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, but also provide exercise and educational opportunities to families. Through this step, you tackle two of the four aspects of the 5-2-1-0 formula. Through this initiative, you can also make donations to food banks where less privileged people can take advantage of opportunities for healthy living.

6. Engage in volunteer activities together with your kids

As the world moves on, easy access to technology like smartphones and the internet is impacting the younger generation quite negatively. Parents are increasingly relying on gadgets to keep their kids calm, which is not a great precedent. In this regard, your feeling of compassion for the community should translate into some effective actions. Start by motivating your children to develop healthy habits like reading, physical activities, and socializing rather than spending time in front of screens. With this, you need to indulge with them in certain activities so that they can be more motivated towards their health and the community.

Conclusion

Improving community health requires collective efforts. Together with administrative policies, community members, including you and your family, need to step up and take action that benefits your surroundings. In this respect, pursuing a relevant career for yourself, teaching healthy habits in your family, volunteering for community projects, and dedicating personal resources like time and money to causes dear to your heart are small but effective steps to make a difference. Moreover, ensuring that these initiatives are sustainable for the long term can ensure robust community health over a long time.

Health2Wellness

We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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