Extension Resources for Healthy Living

Here at Breathing Room, we love to share information, tips, and tricks with you all. Our hope is that the things we share help you to save money, live well, eat healthily, reduce stress, and more! It can be difficult to do these sorts of things all on our own, so today I thought I would offer a reminder that you aren’t in this alone. All across the country Extension services offer resources, services, and classes to help people. I’m going to highlight a few of these resources and share how you can find even more wonderful support from us here at University of Maryland Extension and from other Extension services across the country. 

An easy way to get a variety of fruits and vegetables is blend up a smoothie or juice. Make a protein-packed smoothie with frozen or fresh fruit (no sugar added), low-fat milk, and plain Greek yogurt. You can add natural peanut butter, nuts, seeds for extra protein. If you don’t like the thickness of smoothies, just blend up your fruits and vegetables with water to make a healthy filling juice.

The first resource I want to share comes from the Health Insurance Literacy Initiative (HILI), which is a partnership between University of Maryland Extension and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. The HILI Team offers the Smart Choice / Smart Use ProgramTM, which helps people decide which health insurance plan is right for them. One of the resources used in that program is the My Smart Choice Health Insurance Workbook. The workbook is an excellent resource for anyone trying to make a health insurance decision! It walks you through figuring out:

  • what health services you and your family need
  • which plans cover those services and how much it will cost
  • which plans will be the best fit for your budget

So, even if you aren’t able to attend one of our virtual classes, you can still get help making this important decision! 

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

Another great resource comes from Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The program is called Small Steps to Health and Wealth and focuses on how small behavior change strategies can be used to improve both health and financial situations. If you go to their webpage, you will find links for 25 different strategies you can use and practice. Each strategy links to a short PDF where you get some information about the strategy (the research behind it and how it works) and some ways you can practice implementing the strategy in your life. You can even find some challenges and short videos to motivate you to use the strategies to make simple changes in your life! 

Finally, I want to share a resource from us here at University of Maryland Extension focused on Stress and Health. Many of us are currently experiencing heightened levels of stress in our lives, which can be concerning. This resource helps you understand how stress works, how it can be good and bad in our lives, and how to use simple, daily activities to reduce everyday stresses. It is a short read and offers some great information you can use, including some tips about how mindfulness can reduce stress. You can find even more information about mindfulness in this publication

These resources are a small selection of what is available from extension services across the country. Take a few moments and look up the extension service in your state to see what kinds of wonderful resources they can offer. In fact, University of Maryland Extension has recently updated our website to make it easier for people to find resources, classes, and other important information. So, check out what we have to offer and see what we can do to help you include even more positive habits in your life!

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