DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a vast and truly unparalleled natural treasure in southwestern Kentucky. It’s a special place for enjoying nature. As part of America’s great outdoors since 1963, Land Between the Lakes encompasses over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. Land Between the Lakes has one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the eastern United States. With more than 300 miles of natural shoreline, lake access provides idyllic settings for camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing and water sports. Children and families especially enjoy the Elk and Bison Prairie, the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and Living History Museum, Woodlands Nature Station and star parties at the Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory. The United Nations designated the recreation area as a Man of the Biosphere Reserve in 1991.There are over 200 miles of trails and abandoned roads for biking, horseback riding, offroad vehicles, hiking and exploring wildlife.


Read more about these and other national parks and recreations centers in Kentucky at www.kentuckytourism.com or contact the Kentucky Department of Travel at 1-800-225-8747.


Sources and Resources

National Park Service Website. Kentucky National Parks. www.nps.gov/state/ky/index.html

Kentucky state parks offer countless treasures, from world-class rock climbing to the world’s longest cave system. Discover the first “gateway to the west” and the birthplace of one of America’s most revered presidents, all on more than 1 million acres of unspoiled wilderness.


Here are some Kentucky sites that are overseen by the National Park Service:


•  Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, Hodgenville

•  Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Whitley City

•  Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro

•  Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover


Surely at the top of any visitor’s list is Mammoth Cave National Park. Mammoth Cave is the longest recorded cave system in the world. More than 348 miles of it have been mapped, making it at least three times longer than any other known cave.


The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is a hidden treasure of outdoor fun and breathtaking scenery. Recreation offerings are wide ranging. There are over 130 miles of trails for horseback riding; two horse camps are located in the park. Fishing on the river is a big draw; smallmouth bass and bream are the main catches.

KENTUCKY PARKS ARE FULL OF NATURAL TREASURES

Hunting, bird watching and wildlife viewing are other popular pastimes at Big South Fork.


The Daniel Boone National Forest is the only national forest completely within the boundaries of Kentucky. Established in 1937, it was originally named the Cumberland National Forest, after the core region called the Cumberland Purchase Unit. The Daniel Boone National Forest is a beautiful place to explore, embracing some of the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains. Steep forested slopes, sandstone cliffs and narrow ravines characterize the land. Visitors come here to hike, camp, picnic, rock climb, boat, hunt, fish, ride, target shoot and relax. The forest contains three large lakes (Cave Run Lake, Laurel River Lake and Lake Cumberland), many rivers and streams, Clifty Wilderness, Beaver Creek Wilderness, Red River Gorge and the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that extends across the length of the forest. It sprawls over 250,000 acres of Appalachian hills and spans over 800,000 acres total. The forest boasts covered bridges, camping sites, the Buckeye Trail for biking and walking and fishing and boating for water lovers.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller