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Live Longer Lebanon sets health goals

As many Americans dive into New Year’s  resolutions that may or may not last all year, partners of Live Longer Lebanon hope their goals for a healthier community will last beyond a lifetime.

Live Longer Lebanon, which dubs itself as a round table hub of various community partners, is challenging residents to try the 5210 Challenge during the month of February.

“It’s a challenge where you track five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of leisure screen time, one hour or more of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks,” said Wyatt King, a co-lead of LLL.

Though it’s a 30-day challenge, the King family tackles one challenge a week and hopes they will become lifetime habits, he said.

The City of Lebanon agreed to proclaim February as 5210 Challenge month, and the school district is asking classes to take the challenge for a week. COMP-Northwest agreed to spearhead the challenge in Lebanon, and Samaritan plans to launch it region-wide, said Deb Fell-Carlson, co-lead for LLL.

But LLL doesn’t exist just to host an annual challenge. It’s a “multidisciplinary volunteer coalition” where ideas are brought to the table and brainstormed, and a group or person takes the lead.

It was born out of the Blue Zones movement, when advocates rallied in 2016 to 2017 for the City of Lebanon to be chosen as the new Blue Zone worksite.

As Blue Zone project managers started changing the terms of the program, putting more restrictions on what the city would be required to do, and asking for more and giving less, Lebanon supporters began dropping out, King said. They decided to end the pursuit and, instead, create a similar coalition that would be more custom-tailored to the community.

King and Fell-Carlson started by identifying areas in the school district’s 2020 Vision and the city’s 2040 Vision that were falling between the cracks because no one was taking the lead on some of the goals, King said. And they follow along the Blue Zones approach, too.

“We’re kind of using parts of the Blue Zones model, the parts that fit our community,” Fell-Carlson said. “Blue Zones approached the health improvement by sector. They would start with schools, then maybe move into grocery or retail or work site (and so on).”

LLL started by working with the school district to create its Welcome Center. Then they moved into the faith community by inspiring Tyler Grove at Valley Life Church to launch BeUndivided, which connects the faith community to school needs. Now they’re looking at how they can approach business and health ministry sectors.

Instead of using the Blue Zone “Power Nine,” which identifies nine criteria for long life, LLL created “Vital Nine,” which are:

Family First: Make time for family. Eat or play together, and take classes to learn how to develop better relationships together.

Belong: Attend faith-based gatherings that fit your beliefs.

Have Purpose: Find meaningful purpose in your life, and/or volunteer.

Stress Less: Take a walk, read a book, play, or talk to a friend.

Move Daily: Add more movement into your day by doing things such as parking farther away or washing dishes by hand. Swim at the community pool, or take a walk on a Build Lebanon Trail.

Rest Well: Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. Limit caffeine, screen time, food and exercise two hours before going to bed.

Caring Connections: Hang out with friends who encourage and support you.

Less Screens: Enjoy leisure screen time for less than two hours a day.

More Greens: Increase veggie and legume consumption, and choose whole over processed foods.

Currently, the group is putting together a Digital Safety seminar, set for April, which will focus on the hazards of relationships forged on the Internet.

LLL’s mission is to help Lebanon thrive with healthier, happier lives.

“That’s what it’s all about; putting more miles on our trip, but also making sure you enjoy the ride,” King said.

Residents, businesses and various community groups are encouraged to participate in LLL meetings, which are from 7 to 8:30 a.m. every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in conference room E. For more information, contact Deb at (541) 248-0595, or email [email protected].