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Residents urged to make healthy choices

Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Bill and Jean Smith of Covington are making a healthy choice by selecting fresh bell peppers at Ramsey's Produce. The couple say they have been purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables at the stand for years.

Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Bill and Jean Smith of Covington are making a healthy choice by selecting fresh bell peppers at Ramsey's Produce. The couple say they have been purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables at the stand for years.

COVINGTON -- The East Metro Health District used National Public Health Week, April 5-9, to urge residents to think of ways to improve their health.

The theme of the week was "A Healthier America: One Community at a Time."

"Persons are encouraged to start small and make just one positive health change today," said Suleima Salgado, public information officer for the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments. "Maybe eat one more fruit or vegetable, take the stairs or schedule a checkup with your doctor. Then make another change tomorrow and the next day. Before you know it, you'll have made significant progress towards a healthier you and a healthier America."

Salgado also urged residents think about changes that need to be made to their communities that would mean better health and quality of life for residents.

"We have the power to make positive health changes in our community," she said.

"Persons are encouraged to think about what their community needs most -- bettering running trails, farmer's markets, tobacco-free laws and more recycling centers. Then brainstorm solutions and take action."

Suggested better health solutions that each person can easily implement are:

* Drink more water

* Choose fruits and vegetables instead of sugary sweets at the grocery store

* Plant a fruit tree in your neighborhood or back yard

* Get regular health screenings

* Take advantage of your area's walking paths and playgrounds

* Start a walking group with your colleagues

* Take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator

* Promote a tobacco-free workplace