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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

May 15, 2017



“Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”

~Frances Wright



Senior couple exercising togetherHate to exercise? Use these tips to get motivated

Almost everyone knows that exercise is good, but getting motivated can be a challenge. Most people don’t spring out of bed at dawn, grab their exercise gear and head out the door for the gym or a walk. Many actually profess to hate exercise, but there are ways to get started and even learn to enjoy exercise.

“Avoid getting off to a bad start by taking the ‘all or nothing’ approach,” said Lynda Johnson, nutrition and health education specialist with University of Missouri Extension... “It’s important to give yourself some slack, not get discouraged and realize that missing a few days of exercise doesn’t constitute failure. Focus on adding small changes over time,” Johnson said.

For some great tips that will help keep you motivated to exercise, see the full version of this article at

Toddler helping mother in the gardenGardening is healthy for people of all ages

When most people think about their garden, they think about the fresh vegetables they will be eating all summer. The vegetables are packed with good nutrients, but the garden provides many other benefits as well. Growing a garden provides your body with a good physical workout. Make gardening a family affair and all will harvest the benefits...

If a child has grown and harvested their own food, they are much more likely to eat it. Also, learning to use small garden tools can be good for the development of gross and fine motor skills for children.

When we think about planning and caring for the garden, we are usually thinking about the healthful benefits of the food, but your body is benefiting from a good workout as well...

To learn more about the physical and mental health benefits of gardening, see the full version of this article at

Repair man working on air conditioner unitAir conditioner needs regular maintenance to be efficient

Central air conditioning systems need regular maintenance to perform at peak efficiency.

Things like low refrigerant levels, dirty fans and filters, loose or worn belts, and clogged condenser coils can seriously hinder the A/C unit’s cooling ability, said Bob Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

If your air conditioner is several years old, has never been cleaned or is not cooling, a qualified service person may be needed to perform the necessary maintenance. However, replacing filters, cleaning thermostats and fans, and removing grass and debris from outdoor condenser coils are well within the skill level of many homeowners...

To learn more about how to keep your A/C running at peak efficiency, see the full version of this article at

StrawberriesStrawberries – tasty and nutritious

Susan Mills-Gray, State Specialist, Extension Professor, Nutrition and Health Education, University of Missouri Extension

As days grow longer and warmer, strawberries are first to show up in the market — they are in season from May to June. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and lower bad cholesterol levels. They are also rich in potassium and soluble fiber and they provide a modest amount of iron.

There’s no need to worry about limiting the serving size if you eat fresh, raw berries — 1 cup of strawberries is only around 45 calories. You need only beware of adding sugar or high-fat products that add extra fat and calories, such as pie crust and whipped topping...

For helpful selection and storage tips, as well as delicious recipes, see the full version of this article at

Or check out this recipe for something easy, delicious and a little different — Strawberry Bruschetta recipe

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