Two Opportunities to Improve Your Health and Wealth in 2013

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Resolving to make changes in the coming year to improve your health or finances? Taking small steps are easier to stick to and often more successful than resolving to lose a lot of weight or save a large amount of money.

University of Florida Extension is offering two ways to help you make changes this year. On January 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., take part in the free online class, Small Steps to Health & Wealth. Practical, doable steps to improve health and finances will be discussed as well as tools to help participants reach their individual goals. The program is provided by UF/IFAS County Extension offices in Hillsborough, Lake & Okaloosa Counties. Register at

Another option is to participate in the nationwide online Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ (SSHW) Challenge. This free six-week program, will run from Sunday, January 13 through Saturday, February 23, 2013, and is open to anyone who enrolls online. The challenge provides motivation to take action to simultaneously improve both health and finances. Create your own group with friends or in the workplace to provide additional motivation and support as you take part in the challenge. This program is offered in cooperation with Rutgers/New Jersey Extension Services. To sign up for “Winter 2013 SSHW Challenge” visit the Rutgers SSHW Web site at
The Challenge is based on the daily performance of ten recommended practices: 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 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. Ten points are given for performing each practice, for a maximum of 700 points per week and 4,200 points for the entire challenge (700 x 6 weeks). Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest total points.

Doing even one of the ten recommended daily practices is a great way to get started on the path to better health and improved financial security. The more SSHW Challenge activities that are performed by participants, the better. Visit or contact Elaine Courtney at or call 683-8431.

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