As mayor, I want to reflect healthy choices. It can be a challenge, given the amount of time it takes to balance the city, my store, and my personal life. But my goal is to establish a healthy lifestyle and focus on one of these things at a time until they become habits.

Carrie Tergin and Megan Sappington

1 – Don’t smoke. Also, encourage others not to. 

2 – Eat healthy. My precious eye doctor, Dr. Sally Bodenhammer, who recently passed, told me to “eat leafy greens” when she noticed symptoms of my eye health hinting at issues with my overall health. I’ve attended some helpful seminars led by Dr. Chris Link, and he has completely changed my perspective on food as medicine.

3 – Drink plenty of water. I’m trying! I got the cutest Corkcicle monogrammed at Carrie’s Hallmark Shop — now I just need to use it. Cheers to staying healthy and hydrated!

4 – Use sunscreen. This comes as a no-brainer to the sister of a dermatologist. I’ve heard horror stories from my sister/doctor about problems caused by sun overexposure.

5 – Floss daily. The answer to “Is it a floss night?” is always “Yes.”

6 – Exercise. I have no exercise routine, and running to meetings doesn’t count. Find what works for you. For me, I did best when I enrolled in Tracy’s Boot Camp and got up at 5:00 in the morning because I knew I was expected to be there. I must try to add a few minutes of exercise each day. I should park farther away, but I’m always whisked from one event or meeting or appearance to another . . . aren’t we all?

6½ – Do yoga. The practice of yoga has changed my life. Yoga taught me how to breathe, how to rest, and how to think clearly, focusing and strengthening mind and body. Talk to my yoga instructor, Megan Sappington. You will be beyond inspired and forever changed. And, like Megan says, “The only constant is change,” which reminds me that I can change some of my non-health habits into healthy ones. Megan also says, “You’re stronger than you think you are,” and I use that quote in everything from a yoga pose to running the City of Jefferson.

7 – Sleep. When my official duties are finished, I often use that quiet time to frantically catch up — eating into my valuable sleep time. There’s always an excuse, and I cannot allow it to continue. Sleep deprivation is a serious matter. When I have late night events in other cities, I plan on staying the night, rather than being a very dangerous drowsy driver. See the Coalition for Roadway Safety website for info and tips about this.

8 – Keep health screenings current. My blood pressure and cholesterol are high, which makes all of the above so important. Sadly, people often wait until they feel pain to get screenings. So pinch yourself into reality and get your screenings, JCMO peeps. The mayor says so!

9 – Advocate. Encourage others to engage in healthy habits and support positive health legislation. What really makes me happy is knowing I can lead the city toward a healthier future.

The city’s Environmental Quality Commission has expanded its focus to include health initiatives. Get out onto our greenways, the Missouri River pedestrian and bike bridge, and the Katy Trail. Use the new bike lanes. And okay, I’ll try to park far away from now on.

#HealthyMayor #HealthyCommunity #ToYourHealth