Basic Health Habits

Protecting Your Health
There are things we all can do to help keep ourselves healthy.  If we do not do them on a regular basis, our overall health will suffer.

·         Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and always before eating or preparing a meal.  Most colds are caused by germs on unwashed hands.  It is important to wash your hands after going to the bathroom or after changing a baby’s diaper.

·         Brush your teeth at least twice a day -- it is best to brush after each meal.  Using fluoride toothpaste and a good toothbrush is important.  To do a thorough job, it should take approximately 2 minutes to brush your teeth.  In addition to brushing, you should floss daily and have regular check-ups (yearly in most cases or more frequently if you have potential problems).

·         Get an appropriate amount of sleep.  Your body uses this time to repair itself.  While every person is different, most people need about 8 hours of sleep each night.  You may be surprised to know that getting too much sleep can affect you in some of the same ways as not getting enough.  If you are regularly not getting enough sleep, a short nap (approximately 15-20 minutes) can help you stay alert.

·         Control your weight.  Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.  Being too heavy can lead to a number of health problems including heart disease and diabetes.

·         Do something you enjoy every day.  Choose an activity that can help you relax after a busy day.  Some possibilities include listening to music, playing sports, exercising, reading, playing an instrument, or other hobbies.

·         Protect yourself for overexposure to the sun.  Too much sun can damage your skin or cause skin cancer and may cause wrinkles especially on the face.  Wear appropriate clothing including a hat and use sunscreen to limit exposure.

Good Hygiene
Good hygiene refers to keeping your body and your surroundings clean.  Good hygiene habits help you look and feel your best.

·         Shower at least once daily using warm water and a mild soap - never go to bed dirty.

·         Use an antiperspirant/deodorant daily to reduce body odor.

·         Brush your teeth with toothpaste at least once per day or more often if needed.

·         Wash your hair often every day or every other day depending on your hair type and activity level.  People with oily hair should wash their hair more often and people with dry or thin hair may wish to use conditioner.

·         Shave daily – keep facial hair neatly trimmed. 

·         Keep your hands clean and your nails trimmed neatly.

·         Change your clothes daily or more often if needed.

·         Wear clean sleeping clothes when you go to bed.

·         Wash your clothes regularly, as needed and bedding at least once each week.

·         Keep your living area reasonably neat and clean at all times.

Habits to Avoid
There are a number of activities that are unhealthy and dangerous that should be avoided.

·         Tobacco use causes thousands of illnesses and deaths yearly and is a major cause of lung, lip, throat, and mouth cancers.  A person who smokes has decreased lung capacity, which means their athletic performance suffers.

·         Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows your body processes down and decreases your ability to think clearly.  Consuming large amounts of alcohol can damage your body especially your liver, brain, and stomach.  While it is illegal to drink and drive, alcohol is a major factor in more than half of all car accidents.

·         Drug abuse is not only dangerous. Illegal and stupid but is often deadly.  Marijuana and methamphetamine are the most common street drugs in this area.  Others include cocaine (powder and rock), heroin, LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, as well as inhalants and misuse of prescription drugs.

·         Overeating and/or poor nutrition leads to a number of health problems including obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.






Choosing a Doctor

You need a doctor when you are sick but that isn’t the best time to choose the one you will go to.  There are doctors that specialize in various conditions or focus their practice on parts of the body.  You will usually have a main doctor or primary care physician.  When you are a child your doctor would likely be a pediatrician, as you reach adulthood you would have a family practitioner or internist.  At times your doctor may need to refer you to a specialist for further tests or specialized treatment.

Choosing a doctor is relatively easy.  Depending on the medical coverage you have, you may be required to choose a doctor from their list of approved providers.  You will also likely want to choose a doctor that is close to your home or in a convenient location.  You may also want to check with your friends or family for doctors they like.  A local hospital can also make recommendations.  You might want to choose a local clinic that has several doctors so that you have more flexibility in scheduling and you can still see someone even if your regular doctor is out of town or has no openings.  Make sure the doctor or clinic knows what type of medical coverage you have (if any) and that they accept it.

Health Insurance

Health care can be expensive.  Staying even one night in a hospital can cost $1000 or more.  Most people do not have enough money to pay for that.  Health insurance works just like other types of insurance.  It assists you by paying a portion or the entire bill in exchange for a monthly premium.  In general there are three types of health insurance:

·         General Medical – This type of coverage helps pay for basic doctor bills, medical tests, check-ups etc.

·         Hospitalization – This type of coverage pays at least a portion of the cost of staying in a hospital.

·         Major Medical – This type of coverage pays for large bills that result from a major illness or surgery

In most cases insurance will pay only a portion of the overall bill.  You are expected to pay the balance.  Many plan require a co-pay (a small payment usually $5-$15) for doctor visits and prescriptions.  Insurance coverage is often offered as a benefit for full-time employees, or you may purchase group health insurance or join a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).  People who are over 65 or permanently disabled are likely eligible for a government insurance plan called Medicare.

While you are in the juvenile justice system, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) covers you.  Most of you will continue to be eligible until you qualify for benefits at your job or your income rises above a certain level.  When you are eligible for benefits through work, you should take them even if it costs a small amount.  Ask your supervisor or the Human Resources department to explain the plans available and the costs (if any) and choose the plan that best suits you. 

Eating – How Much is Too Much?

What is a Calorie?

·         A Calorie is a unit of energy.

·         The body must have energy (in the form of food) to function.

·         Depending on many factors, such as age, weight, sex and activity level, people's Calorie needs vary.

·         The amount of energy, or Calories, the body uses increases as physical activity increases.

Basal Metabolic Rate - BMR is the amount of energy required by the body to carry on its vital processes while at rest.  We are usually unaware of these processes, which include breathing, circulation, glandular activity, cellular metabolism, and the maintenance of body temperature.

The amount of energy expended by physical activity varies depending on the type and length of the activity, and the size of the individual.  The chart below shows estimates of the Calories burned by various activities. 

Energy used in the digestion of food must also be included to determine total energy usage because BMR counts only energy used at complete physical and digestive rest.  It is estimated that food digestion accounts for 10% of the total energy needs of the body.

The Process of Digestion

Digestion is the process that breaks down food we eat into forms that can be taken up the gastrointestinal tract and absorbed into the bloodstream to be used by the body. Digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva in the mouth contains enzymes, which help to break down the food, and chewing breaks food down into small pieces, exposing more food surface to digestive action. The tongue helps to move the food from the mouth to the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). The food then enters the stomach, where it is broken down further by digestive acids and enzymes. A meal usually leaves the stomach within two to three hours after it has been eaten. Once it leaves the stomach, the food moves into the small intestine, where muscular contractions mix the food further. Food remains in the small intestine from three to ten hours. Most of the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream occurs during this time. The undigested material from the small intestines moves into the large intestine, where it waits to be eliminated some 24 to 72 hours later through the rectum.

Using your basal metabolism requirement (BMR) to determine your appropriate daily calorie intake

·         Basal metabolism is the minimal energy needed to keep a resting, awake body alive.

·         Basal metabolism requires 60-70 percent of the total energy used by the body. Energy is needed for heartbeat, respiration, temperature and other functions of the body.

·         An estimate of basal metabolism can be determined by figuring 1 Calorie per kg of body weight per hour.



If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to convert pounds to kilograms by diving by 2.2 (1 pound = 2.2 kg).


150 / 2.2 = 68.2


Then multiply this number by 24, which is the number of hours in one day.


68.2 x 24 = 1637 BMR


Therefore a person that weighs 150 pounds would need to eat approximately 1637 Calories daily for basic body functions.  Physical activity increases energy needs anywhere from 25-40 percent over basal metabolism requirements.  So an active person should eat approximately 2292 Calories or less each day.  A less active person should eat approximately 2046 Calories or less each day.


1637 BMR x 140% (for a very active person) = 2292 Calories

1637 BMR x 125% (for a less active person) = 2046 Calories


If you eat significantly fewer Calories, your body will burn fat stores in your body to make up the difference.  If you eat more Calories your body will store the excess as fat.



Developing a Personal Fitness Plan

A total physical fitness plan includes three types of exercise — aerobics (which exercise large muscle groups and increase your body's ability to use oxygen), stretching exercises (which improve muscle flexibility and joint mobility) and resistance exercises (which increase muscle strength).

Aerobic Exercise — The Core of Any Fitness Program
Your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Since the heart itself is a muscle, aerobic exercises maintain and even increase your heart's strength and endurance. When done correctly, such exercises help your heart reach and maintain a target heart range (THR) for 20 to 30 minutes. Your THR is the safest and most effective range of heartbeats per minute during exercise.  Activities such as swimming, walking, jogging, stair climbing and cross-country skiing are aerobic.  Moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 3 times per week is the basis for all plans that promote general good health.

Stretching for Flexibility
Stiff, weak muscles can limit movement, increase your risk of injury, fail to support the rest of your body and make it hard to maintain a vigorous activity long enough to reach your THR. Stretching exercises improve muscle flexibility and joint mobility when the stretch is comfortably held for 10 to 20 seconds without bouncing.

Resistance Exercise for Strength
Muscles not only support all the bones in your body, they make even routine physical activities possible, not to mention sudden or strenuous ones. Strengthening muscles strengthens joints and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Pushups, pull-ups and weightlifting are resistance exercises that strengthen muscles.



How to figure your target heart range (THR):

Subtract your age from 220, which will give you your maximum heart rate and then take 50% and 75% of that number to determine your target heart range.


For an 18-year old your maximum heart rate would be 202.


220 – 18 = 202


Which will result in a target heart range would be between 101 and 152 beats per minute.


202 x 50% = 101 beats

202 x 75% = 152 beats


You should never exercise with your heart rate at or above your maximum heart rate for an extended period of time.  By keeping your heart rate in your THR you will get the maximum benefit without undue risk of injury.


Balancing Input and Output

Energy balance is the relationship of incoming and outgoing Calories.  There are three possibilities:  Input = output; Input > output; Input < output.  The effect on body weight is simple -- when input is equal to output, weight remains constant.  If however input is greater than output, weight is gained.  When input fails to meet daily needs, weight is lost.  To lose weight, either input needs to be reduced by eating less or output needs to be increased.  Since BMR and the digestion of food are basically constant, the best way to increase output is through physical activity.  The most effective way to lose weight is a combination of lowering food intake and moderate physical activity.


Daily Activities



Sports Activities


Brick Laying










Car Repairs





Carpentry/Farm Chores





Chopping Wood





School Work























Horseback Riding


House Painting



Ping Pong












Mountain Climbing





Mowing Grass





Office Work





Personal Care










Resting in Bed








Water Skiing


Shoveling Snow



Wrestling, Judo, Karate








If you weigh 150 pounds and spend 1 hour Skiing:

(3.8Cal/lb.) x 150 pounds = 570 Calories

If you weigh 180 pounds and spend 1 hour Talking

(0.8Cal/lb.) x 180 pounds = 144 Calories


Standing around






Walking – Downstairs



Walking – Upstairs



Watching TV



Working in Yard







Over-The-Counter Medication Labels

Always Read the Label

Reading the product label is the most important part of taking care of yourself or your family when using over-the-counter (OTC) medicines (available without a prescription). This is especially true because many OTC medicines are taken without seeing a doctor. The OTC medicine label has always contained important usage and safety information for consumers, but now that information will be more consistent and even easier to read and to understand. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a regulation to make sure the labels on all OTC medicines (from a tube of fluoride toothpaste to a bottle of cough syrup) have information listed in the same order; are arranged in a simpler eye-catching, consistent style; and contains easier to understand words. If you read the OTC medicine label and still have questions about the product, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.

Tamper-Evident Packaging: An Important Safety Feature

The makers of OTC medicines widely use tamper-evident packaging for their products. This is to help protect consumers against possible criminal tampering. Drug products with tamper-evident packaging have a statement on the packaging describing this safety feature. It is always important to inspect the outer packaging before you buy an OTC drug product and to look at the product again before you take it.

What's On the New Label?

All nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine labels have detailed usage and warning information so consumers can properly choose and use the products. The new Drug Facts labeling requirements do not apply to dietary supplements, which are regulated as food products, and are labeled with a Supplement Facts panel.

Below is an example of what the new OTC medicine label looks like.

Reading the Label: The Key to Proper Medicine Use

The label tells you what a medicine is supposed to do, who should or should not take it, and how to use it.  But efforts to provide good labeling can't help unless you read and use the information.  It's up to you to be informed and to use OTC drug products wisely and responsibly. 

The manufacturers of OTC medicines sometimes make changes to their products or labeling (new ingredients, dosages, or warnings).  Make sure to read the label each time you use the product.  Always look for special "flags" or "banners" on the front product label alerting you to such changes.  If you read the label and still have questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional for advice.

The Label Also Tells You...

·         The expiration date, when applicable (date after which you should not use the product)

·         Lot or batch code (manufacturer information to help identify the product)

·         Name and address of manufacturer, packer, or distributor

·         Net quantity of contents (how much of the product is in each package)

·         What to do if an overdose occurs

Many OTC medicines are sold in containers with child safety closures. Use them properly.  Remember—keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.

Sample Label

Drug label with Drug Facts sections


H&S Mod 2 - Worksheet

1.     How often should you wash your bedding?  _________________________


2.   _____________________ exercise is the core of any fitness plan.


3.     Explain how each of the following habits support or promote good health


Washing your hands frequently especially after using the bathroom _________________________




Getting an appropriate amount of sleep ­_________________________________________________





4.     Explain how each of the following habits can lead to health problems


Abusing drugs or alcohol _____________________________________________________________




Overeating or not eating properly ______________________________________________________





5.     List three things that you might consider when choosing a doctor: __________________________




6.   According to this modules what is the most effective way to lose weight?   ___________________




7.   How many calories would be burned in each of the following situations?


a.     A 150 pound man at a 1 hour wrestling practice ___________


b.    A 100 pound girl playing volleyball for 3 hours ___________


c.     A 180 pound man playing golf for 1˝ hours ___________


8.   Why is it so important to read the label for over-the-counter medication? ____________________




Use the Drug Facts label on page 6 to answer questions 9-12


9.   What is the active ingredient of this medication?  _________________________________________


10.  What is this medication used for? ______________________________________________________


11.  How much of this medication can you take? _____________________________________________


12.  What should you do if you have taken to many pills? ______________________________________