Faith and Health Partnerships
Springing Into Health
March 2022

Welcome to "Springing Into Health," a resource for faith leaders, congregants, and community members with tips and resources to help you live well.

Springtime offers us a fresh start after the cold, dreary months of winter. The snow is melting, and the days are longer and warmer. It's a great time to get outside for a brisk walk, try a nourishing recipe, and make a commitment to quit smoking. Incorporating new healthy habits into our lifestyles can help us feel better - and even manage and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other chronic conditions.

Faith communities are places where people of faith come together to eat, fellowship, move, pray, serve, and worship. Faith communities also can play a lead role in helping congregants and community members live healthy lives. Among the ways we can do this is to encourage healthy eating and promote physical activity. Making small changes in these two areas can help people live healthier, happier, and whole lives.

We hope this resource will inspire you and strengthen what you already are doing to care for the health of those in your congregation and community.
8 Strategies for a Healthy Spring

  • Move More, Sit Less. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. at least 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes on 5 days) every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week.

  • Eat a Healthy Diet. Try healthy food choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

  • Rethink Your Drink. Substitute water for sugary or alcoholic drinks to reduce calories and stay safe.

  • Get Enough Sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep at night.

  • Be Sun Safe. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

  • Brush Your Teeth - Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Don’t Use Tobacco. You can do it! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.

  • Learn Your Health History. Talk to your family and your doctor about your family health history.
Ways Faith Communities Can Promote Healthy Eating
Encourage congregants to eat well:

  • Share healthy recipes, and resources, like USDA MyPlate print materials, graphics, videos and tools, and Eat Healthy on a Budget article,
  • Host a healthy eating presentation or workshop,
  • Ask your faith leader to incorporate a health message into a sermon.
Develop internal policies to guide healthier food choices at church events:

  • Require fresh food options and unsweetened beverages during congregational functions. See Healthy Cooking for Your Congregation for ideas on how to select, prepare, and serve healthy meals,
  • Serve nutritious snacks during children's programs.

Offer healthy food for the community:

  • Bring nutritious meals to community dinners or food pantries,
  • Establish a community garden and donate produce to area agencies,
  • Set up a congregational farmer's market,
  • Use kitchen facilities for healthy cooking demonstrations and classes.
Ways Faith Communities Can Promote Active Living
Encourage physical activity:

Develop internal policies:

  • Require physical activity in children's programming,
  • Build physical activity breaks into meetings and activities.

Offer physical activity programs:

  • Start a walking group or fitness class,
  • Use parking lots and other outdoor space as an activity lot for the community,
  • Use congregational property for activities, like community gardening.
Advocate Aurora Health LiveWell app offers healthy recipes, 7-day meal plans and articles on a variety of health topics.
The CDC offers resources on walking, including mall walking, designing active-friendly communities, America Walks, and more.
Advocate Aurora Health Local Services Guide
The Advocate Aurora Health Local Services Guide, powered by NowPow, allows you to find free and low-cost options for food, safe housing, child care, transportation and more.
Want to Hear From You!

We hope you find this update helpful as you promote the health of your members and community. Please contact Cindy Novak or Anya Gordon if you have questions or topics you'd like us to address. Thank you!
Click here to subscribe to health enews, a news service of Advocate Aurora Health, which offers breaking health stories, weight loss tips, exercise advice, the latest treatment options and much more.