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Do you wonder why some people succeed or make it – either in the workplace or with sports – and others just don’t? Grit may be the answer. Grit is courage, resolve, or strength of character.

Gritty people:

  • Finish what they start.
  • Put forth twice as much effort.
  • Are optimistic.
  • Identify and fix their mistakes.
  • Set a goal and follow through with it.
  • Practice, practice, practice!!

Psychologist Angela Duckworth who does research on “Grit” or the blend of passion and persistence has written a number of books and articles on the subject. She says you can predict success by building “Grit”. To have grit you need to stick with goals for years and live life like a marathon, not a sprint!

As parents, teachers or mentors there are a few things to help others learn about and build their “Grit”:

  • Encourage reading books where the characters had to overcome a challenge.
  • Talk about times you personally had to work hard to achieve something. Share the times you didn’t end up succeeding, but learned a valuable lesson in the process.
  • Promote moving on from failures and not focusing on excuses.

Research on gritty individual’s shows that they are more successful – they graduate from school at a higher rate and hold onto their relationships. But a negative the researchers on grit found is that sometimes people stick with goals, ideas, or relationships that should be abandoned. It is hard for them to know when to move on or cut their losses. Sometimes they hold on to these goals so long they damage relationships or even lose money.

So what should we do – work towards “Grit” or “know when to fold”? By learning to reward yourself for the pleasure of the experience of achieving the goal you are working towards, not just the final result we can make our perseverance a good thing. Break our long-term goals down into a number of steps that can be check off along the way – and then feeling success in achieving those short-term goals.

If you want to learn more about “Grit”:

  • Watch Angela’s TED Talk on grit at http://go.osu.edu/grit.
  • Read or listen to one of the many books on grit that are available for purchase or from your library for free.
  • Search “Grit” in the Daily Good – an online portal that shares stories and quotes about goodness.
  • Check out the Bowling Green State University Counseling Center “Grit”
  • Or if you like sports I find that many of the stories on The Players’ Tribune (an online platform giving stories from athletes to us the fans) display the grit it takes for them to succeed.

I’m sure many of us have stories of the “Grit” it took us to succeed in something. I would love to hear your story or find out about the places you get your inspiration from – comment on this article to let us know what keeps you going and inspires you.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewers: Kathy Goins, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County.

Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

 

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Image result for picking up litter

I’m starting to think I have some Swedish blood/genealogy connection thing going on because every time I read about a new trend originating from that country, I realize I’m already doing it.

The first time was when I wrote about Swedish death cleaning, which is the process of minimizing your possessions so your children won’t have to deal with tons of stuff after you die. I’ve been in a decluttering phase for the past two years.

Then in April I read an article about “plogging,” which is essentially the process of working out and picking up trash at the same time. News flash:  I get irate when I see litter.  It drives me nuts that people throw their trash outside instead of holding onto it until they (1) see a trash receptacle or (2) wait until they get home to dispose of it.

Maybe it was watching that commercial as a kid of a Native American Indian crying over litter (it was a public service advertisement for Keep America Beautiful), but I have always been a stickler for picking up trash. For many Americans, the Crying Indian became a symbol of environmental idealism.

Now Sweden’s latest fitness craze — plogging — is making its way to U.S. shores. The term is a mix of words combining jogging and the Swedish “plocka upp,” which means to “pick up.” In this case, litter. I have been “plogging” for years when I walk; as a matter of fact it is a family thing that my parents and I have been doing for over 25 years.

Plogging is not a hard activity to incorporate into your exercise routine if you are a runner or walker (although walking makes it a little easier to grab trash). I bought one of those “grabber” devices at an estate sale years ago, and have since picked up an extra one.

I can usually find one for a dollar or so at an estate sale or garage sale.  They are generally found in the homes of elderly people who at some point needed a tool to help them reach into high places in their closets or cupboards.

Technically, you don’t need to use a grabber; you can just bend down and pick up the piece of trash. It will give you a better workout if you do it that way (like doing squats). I do recommend wearing some type of work glove, though.

When I get ready to go out for my walk, I grab a heavy vinyl “trash” bag, my grabber, and set off. If I see litter on the street or in the grass, I cinch it with my grabber and drop it into the bag.

Quiz question:  Anyone want to guess what I pick up most (not counting cigarette butts)?  Answer at the end of the article.

On any given day I can easily fill two bags with trash; even more so the day after garbage day. I know where all the trash cans in town are located, so I can empty my bag if I need to when it gets full.

Plogging is a win/win for you and your community–you get the benefits of a daily workout and your community looks pristine. Additionally, you might find something of value. I’ve found both a $10 and $5 dollar bill on the street, as well as tons of change. But the biggest reward is just doing something of value for yourself (exercise) and the community.

Quiz Answer:  Empty cigarette packs and beverage containers (water, pop, beer, etc).

Written by:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

 

Reviewed by:  Beth Stefura, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

 

Sources:

https://www.adcouncil.org/Our-Campaigns/The-Classics/Pollution-Keep-America-Beautiful-Iron-Eyes-Cody

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/02/23/plogging-is-the-swedish-fitness-craze-for-people-who-want-to-save-the-planet-its-making-its-way-to-the-u-s/?utm_term=.6ea8afdeb9a0

After our harsh winter, it is hard to believe – but I think warm sunny weather has finally arrived. If your family is anything like our family, summers are busier than the school year. My daughter will be taking five animals to fair this year. Therefore, over the next several months she will be spending some time outside breaking her animals. My daughter gets tired of me reminding her to apply sunscreen every two hours. I try to limit her time in the sun to only in the evenings and encourage her to wear long sleeve shirts. I do these things so that she is safer from sun damage.

Do the sunny days make you wonder about skin cancer or sun damage? Here are some stats about skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States.
  • There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma.
  • Early detection is the key in diagnosing and treating skin cancer.

This graphic helps you see the ABCD’s of Melanoma:

Look at your moles for any of these irregularities:

A – Asymmetrical – irregular or unbalanced

B – Border – irregular border

C – Color – color variation

D – Diameter – is the diameter bigger than a pencil eraser?

S – Sensation

Remember if you notice any of these irregularities, be on the safe side and contact your health professional.

If you must be out in the sun, what can you do to protect your skin?

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing and a hat (long sleeves offer some protection).
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with 30 spf (sun protection factor).
  • Watch for drug interactions with the sun because some drugs make you more prone to sunburn.
  • Be careful on cloudy days – even if it is cloudy, you can still get sun damage.
  • Avoid indoor tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Do not burn.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply every 2 hours, immediately after swimming, or excessive sweating.

Remember to check your skin regularly for changes. Visit your health care professional or dermatologist to get any suspicious mole or skin blemish checked out.

Still curious and want more info?

What can you do to stay Sun Safe? Share your ideas in our comment section. 

 References:

Take Steps to Prevent Skin Cancer

https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/parenting/safety/steps-to-prevent-skin-cancer

Sun’s Up – Cover Up: Sun Safety Skin Cancer Prevention PowerPoint, OSU Sun Safety Team, 2012

 

Written by: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Extension Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County, sandman-stover.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Work it at Work

How much physical activity do you get each week?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the average adult needs at least:

150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity physical activity each week (i.e. aerobic or “cardio” activity that gets you breathing harder and makes your heart beat faster)

OR

75 minutes (1 hour 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week (i.e. aerobic or “cardio” activity that makes your heart rate and breathing increase to a point where it is difficult to talk)

Moderate Intensity Physical Activity examples: Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking), water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour, tennis (doubles), ballroom dancing, general gardening. Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity Examples: race walking, jogging or running; swimming laps, tennis (singles), aerobic dancing, bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster, jumping rope, heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing), hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack.

That might seem like a lot of time to spend being active, but it’s really not! Think about the amount of time you spend watching TV each week. Thirty minutes of activity a day, when performed five days a week, meets the guideline. It is the equivalent of five 30-minute TV shows or one to two movies! And, experts say that those thirty daily minutes of activity can be further broken down into 10 minute segments, yet still help prevent disease and reap health benefits.

If you’re not currently meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, consider incorporating short (10-minute) segments of exercise into your workday. There are many exercises that can be done in your office or from home with no equipment required, such as:woman-2819502_640

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Wall sits
  • Planks
  • Knee raises
  • Standing crunches

If you have a sturdy desk or table, you can also do incline push-ups or triceps dips to work your arms. And, if you have a chair nearby for support, you can do leg raises (forward, backward or sideways), donkey kick-backs, or calf raises. To mix things up a little more, use paper plates as sliders and do additional exercises, such as:

man-2754215_640

  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank jacks
  • Arm circles
  • Standing leg circles
  • Hamstring curls

If you don’t mind working a little harder (i.e. possibly breaking a sweat), either at home or during the workday, you can design your own 10-minute workout using a timing scheme to rotate through a few exercises of your choice. For example, you might choose to do:

  • 45 seconds of an exercise with 15 seconds of rest, repeated 10x (either the same exercise or different ones).
  • 30 seconds of one exercise alternated with 30 seconds of another, repeated 10x.
  • An exercise ladder where you choose two exercises (A & B). Start with 10 repetitions of exercise A followed by 1 repetition of exercise B, working up/down until you end with 1 rep of exercise A and 10 reps of exercise B.

So, next time you think you don’t have enough time in your week to exercise, think again! Strive to incorporate short (10-minute) segments of activity into your day until you achieve at least 150 minutes each week.

 

Author: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

 

Sources:

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/summary.aspx.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). How much physical activity do adults need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm.

Moorhead, Rebecca. Work it… At Work: Exercises to Fit Into Your Work Day. Presented on February 14, 2018. Moorhead.41@osu.edu.

Technology Time Out

cellphone3I recently had an opportunity to dine out with some friends. As we talked and caught up with each other, I noticed just about everyone else in the restaurant was on their phones. Families were sitting together, but not talking to each other. They were too busy checking their cell phones.  Most never bothered to look at each other until their meal was served.  It struck me as extremely sad that our society has begun to lose the art of conversation.  Technology has taken over.  Relationships will begin to suffer.

Do you check your phone first thing in the morning? Do you check it every hour?  Have you ever looked at the clock and realized you’ve spent over an hour surfing the internet, reading twitter posts or pinning in Pinterest?  Have you checked your phone while having a conversation with a family member?   If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your life is being hacked by your technology!  Social media is a huge part of our everyday lives.  It helps connect long lost family members and old high school friends, but it has also become a big distraction.

A recent study found that for every time you get distracted, it takes on average 25 minutes to get refocused.   Distractions consume close to 2.5 hours of productivity daily.  That is 17.5 hours a week and 70 hours a month!  What could you do with an extra 70 hours every single month??

It’s time to take back your life. How can you make that happen? Utilize some of the following suggestions:

  • Do not check your cell phone first thing in the morning.
  • Turn all cell phones off during meals.
  • Limit your social media times to certain slots of the day.
  • Talk to family members and colleagues. Unplug from technology, listen and communicate.
  • Establish screen-free zones in your home. This could include the dinner table, backyard or bedrooms. It could also be a specified time, such as an hour in the evening before bed.
  • Turn off your notifications on the phone. Keep the essential ones (i.e. phone calls, text messages) but turn off the ones that come from social media and other apps.
  • Don’t take your cell phone out during time with your family, friends or a date with your spouse.

Engage, be mindful and enjoy your family time!

Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Mahoning County

Reviewed by:  Donna Green, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Erie County

References:

https://extension.psu.edu/shopby/daniel-francis-perkins,-ph-d–chris-houser

https://www.psychologytoday.com/…/how-cellphone-use-can-disconnect-your-relationships

 

The last couple of weeks have been spent moving from a home with 20 years accumulation of “stuff” to a new home. While it has been exciting, it has also been exhausting.  I realized a few days ago that I was staying up later than usual to unpack and rearrange items and then not falling asleep when I did go to bed. My mind kept racing thinking about everything I needed – or wanted – to do the next day. The result was a tired, somewhat grumpy version of me!

Eating well and being physically active are two basic activities that we think of when we discuss being healthy.  Something that is often overlooked is the importance that a good night’s sleep plays in our overall health. Research has shown that insufficient sleep increases the risk of disorders, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke and depression. It’s also associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Most of us have heard that all adults need 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. That generally holds true but it is important to remember that the quality of your sleep is just as, if not more, important than the quantity!  You should feel rested when you wake up in the morning. It is important to listen to your body’s biological clock which is set by the hours of daylight where you live. This should make it easier for you to stay awake during the day and sleep at night.

There will be times that you find it more difficult to fall asleep than others. If you are under stress, experiencing pain from an injury or illness, consuming excess caffeine or alcohol, you may find that falling and staying asleep are difficult. In that case, recognizing the reasons and making some adjustments to your daytime activities should help you sleep more soundly.

Some suggestions for improving your sleep:

  • Create a comfortable, calming sleep environment. This could include room darkening window coverings.
  • Avoid electronic devices in your bedroom – computers, tablets, games, etc. should be shut down before bedtime.
  • Establish a routine that you follow each evening to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Have a consistent bed time – even on the weekends.

There are small changes you can make to your daytime activities that may lead to better sleep.

  • Try to spend some time outdoors every day.
  • Exercise earlier in the day instead of later in the evening.
  • If you nap, limit yourself to 20 minutes or less.
  • Avoid both caffeine and alcohol close to your chosen bed time. Do some experimenting to find the cut off time for you – everyone will be a little different!
  • If you smoke, quit! Nicotine in cigarettes can make sleep more difficult.

If you continue to have sleep problems, it might be wise to visit your doctor to be sure you don’t have a more serious sleep disorder.

While sleep is not a guaranteed cure all for you, it doesn’t hurt anyone to establish sleep habits that help you consistently get a good night’s sleep!

 

WRITTEN BY: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

REVIEWED BY: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/10/cover-sleep.aspx

https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/population/men/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep#the-basics_2

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ask-the-doctor-right-amount-of-sleep

If you have been following me on my quest for a healthier lifestyle then you know I’ve been giving myself plenty of time to make meaningful changes to better my health. If you have not been following, I will link my 3 previous blog posts at the bottom.

To start with great news, I’m down another 2.5 pounds! It’s coming off slowly but it’s coming off and staying off for good. If you step back and think, 7 ½ pounds in 4 months is hardly anything. However, I’m remaining positive because my goal is for the weight to stay off, so if it takes me longer so be it. I’m staying focused on my action statement and the positive changes I have noticed.

Finding healthy snacks hasn’t been difficult for me. Coming up with healthy combinations to keep me full hasn’t been difficult. What has been difficult is snacking while traveling and learning to control my sweet tooth.

When I’m traveling, I worry about food safety and keeping my snacks cold for long periods of time. I need things that I can quickly grab and toss in my bag. If I don’t have those things on hand then I’m left to stop at a gas station for items and take the risk of being sucked into the candy bar aisle. I’ve put together a list of healthy carbohydrate and protein snacks that don’t need temperature control. You can find that post over on Live Smart Ohio.

apple,almonds and chocolate

 

One of my biggest problems I’m facing on my journey is controlling my sweet tooth. I needed a “WHY”. Why is it I always leave the healthy snack I packed in the refrigerator and go for the chocolate treats in the workroom? I wanted a way to stop those cravings! I found this amazing handout on 13 Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings. There are tips to try right now and then there are other ideas on how to discover the real root of the problem. After reading the article I took time to stop and think about what I was doing and why was I doing it. I’ve noticed that I give in more to my sweet tooth if I’m not eating regularly. I also know that I can’t give in a little. If I give in a little then I want to eat it all!! I do better with combining foods. Adding a little dark chocolate with my almonds or having some dark chocolate covered strawberries. I’m also working on removing the temptation. Out of sight, out of mind. Making sweets harder to get to has helped too.

I’d love to hear some ideas on how you curb your sweet tooth?

Baby-steps To A Healthier You

My Healthy Breakfast Evaluation

Healthy Snacks

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Bridget Britton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Carroll County, britton.191@osu.edu

Sources:

Brinkman, P. (2011). Snack Attacks!. Live Healthy, Live Well. livehealthyosu.com/2011/11/23/snack-attacks/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Losing Weight: Getting Started. cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.htm