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    West Nile in South Dakota: Expect cases into the early fall

    As a mosquito-transmitted virus, West Nile Virus is usually thought of as a summertime problem. While it’s true that in South Dakota, most West Nile Virus cases occur during August, new human infections are detected well into September in most years.

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    Communication: The Importance of Establishing Social Support in Farming and Ranching

    Often in agriculture, external factors, such as weather and market prices, are beyond a farmer’s control. Financial difficulties may arise due to lack of production and decreased market prices resulting in stress experienced by farm families. When difficulties exist, it is important to focus upon maintaining open communication within the farm operation.

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    The Truth on Juice: Updated recommendations for children and infants

    Let’ talk juice. Companies market juice as a healthy beverage for children and also a natural source of vitamins. Because it tastes so good, children can easily drink a lot of juice. While juice does provide some of the vitamins a healthy child needs to grow and prosper, it also adds in extra sugar and calories that have a negative effect on their overall wellbeing.

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    iGrow Readers

    To combat obesity among South Dakota’s youth, SDSU Extension developed iGrow Readers. A program which pairs children’s books, like Little Red Hen, Bread and Jam for Francis and Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun, with activities which promote healthy eating and physical activity. Our transdisciplinary team spent five years testing the program, The resulting data showed children who participated in iGrow Readers were more likely to try new foods and ask their parents for nutritional items when they grocery shopped together.

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    Health & Wellness Resources for Adults

    The HealthySD website serves as one of the main hubs for South Dakota nutrition, physical activity and wellness opportunities, information and resources. The website breaks information down into 10 separate sectors: Kids, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Parents, Schools, Workplace, Health Professionals, Communities, Childcare so visitors can access material most relevant to their personal or professional interest. Grant opportunities, toolkits, posters, healthy living tips and current research and recommendations are all accessible.

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    8 Ways to Get Moving!

    Current guidelines recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity, OR 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity, OR an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity each week. To reach this 150 minutes each week, activity can be broken down into 10+ minute bouts of activity, for example, you can do 30-minute bouts of activity, five days a week to meet the recommendation.

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    Sit Less and Move More

    The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity physical activity per week. But what should a person do for the other 6,720 waking minutes of the week? Unfortunately, many people spend those minutes in sedentary behavior. Sedentary behavior is defined as any waking activity with an energy expenditure of less than 1.5 metabolic equivalents in a sitting or reclining posture1. In other words, sedentary behavior is time that is spent sitting or lying down.

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    Fighting the Winter Blues

    Daylight savings brings upon early darkness, cold days, comfort foods and busy schedules. These new changes can bring a variety of feelings, one being a feeling of “winter blues”. With this feeling, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. Instead of falling into a winter slump and skipping your work outs, use the winter months as a time to refocus and set new goals for your health.

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    Exercise When You Have a Cold

    It’s that time of year again, sore throats and the sniffles seem to be abundant and hard to avoid. With a change in your normal health status, you may question how being sick influences your physical activity routine. Prevention is key and a great way to decrease the risk of getting sick is engaging in regular exercise. Studies have shown exercise helps our immune system fight small infections, like a cold.

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    Exercising Safely in the Heat

    July and August can be some of the hottest months in South Dakota. Along with a drastic change in temperature, many individuals participate in a variety of different sports and spend prolonged periods of time in the sun during this seasonal change. The human body serves as a great temperature regulator, but without practicing proper safety precautions, it is possible for the body to overheat.

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    Knowing When Pets Are Getting Too Hot: What to do about it?

    This week’s intense heat wave has many people reminding themselves about how to keep themselves safe from the heat and humidity – but people should consider those measures for their pets as well. Heat stress signs serve as an alert to animal owners that their pet’s body is working hard to cool itself down, and that more severe problems – such as heat stroke - may result if help is not provided.

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    Your Core’s Got Your Back!

    The spine is a support structure for the back, and a complex system of muscles that attach to the spine reinforce its strength and stability which keeps our bodies upright and mobile. Back pain is most commonly caused by strains to these muscles. Muscle strain is often induced because of weak core muscles which increases the amount of stress being placed on the spine. Core muscles are comprised of the muscles of the back, abdominals, and obliques. Strengthening these 3 muscle groups assists with alleviating back pain caused by muscle strains.

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    Water: A Better Beverage

    Water is a vital nutrient for the body and staying hydrated plays an important part in staying healthy. Our bodies need water to help with digestion, provide moisture to skin and other tissues, remove toxins from the body, regulate blood circulation and body temperatures, and to transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells throughout the body. Water is a preferred beverage choice because it contains no calories, fat, or cholesterol; it’s also generally inexpensive.

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    Got Your Dairy Today?

    Dairy group foods are important throughout our lifespan. Children, teens and adults need their daily calcium; children are building strong bones, teens are growing rapidly and adults need to keep their bones strong. Foods in the dairy group provide many nutrients that are beneficial to the body – especially improved bone health. Calcium is a key nutrient found in dairy group foods.

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