Live A Better Life: Focus on Wellness 2020

The Daniel Island News is committed to helping our community “Live a Better Life” in 2020. Five years ago, in 2015, the paper launched its first yearlong “Live a Better Life” initiative to improve the qualify of life of our readers by focusing on health and wellness. The 2015 initiative was successful: there was widespread participation in educational seminars, a screening of the film “Fed Up,” a dog adoption day, a fun Health & Fitness Expo on the LTP tennis grounds, and much more.

Back then, the motivation to start the initiative was in large part due to troubling national and statewide obesity rates.

The obesity numbers have actually worsened for adults but improved slightly for youth ages 10-17 over the past five years, according to an annual report titled “State of Obesity” — a nationwide study of all 50 states and Puerto Rico published by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The 2019 report indicates that South Carolina is the 14th worst state in the nation for adult obesity, with 34.3% of our adult population being obese. This is worse than five years ago, when the state’s adult obesity rate was 31.7%. Even more troubling is the state’s combined overweight and obesity rate, tied for the fifth worst in the country at 69.7%

In South Carolina, 15.4% of children ages 10-17 were considered obese, a 28th ranking. Sadly, only 23.9% of the state’s 10-17 year olds are physically active for 60 minutes or more each day.

Obesity is also linked to many other health related illnesses. According to the report, our state ranks eighth worst in adult diabetes, with 13.3% of the adult population impacted by the disease. We are ranked eighth worst in adult hypertension, with 38.1% of the population diagnosed with the condition. Similarly, obesity is linked to arthritis, depression and other mental health and physical illnesses.

On the fitness end, the State of Obesity report ranks South Carolina as the state with the tenth least physical active adults. And, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website provides these nationwide statistics: only 1 in 3 children are physically active every day; less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; more than 80% of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities; and more than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.

In regards to nutrition, HHS website notes the following: “Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat. Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils. About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.”

As we roar into the 20-20s, we are troubled by — but not discouraged by — these statistics. We see them as a challenge, as an opportunity to commit our paper’s resources and our staff’s time to help the community (and ourselves) to Live a Better Life in 2020, to help turn those negative statistics around.

While the start of the year is a time for health-related resolutions that often fail within less than a month or two, Live a Better Life in 2020 is a yearlong effort to help improve the quality of life of our readers by focusing on wellness. Through articles, educational seminars, supportive photos, group walks and runs, a health and fitness expo, pop up games, movies, and more, The Daniel Island News hopes to impact our community for the better. We hope these efforts will encourage you to do the same.

The Live a Better Life 2020 program is designed to encourage healthy living. The obesity and inactivity numbers highlighted above are alarming. And we want to help. Here’s what we have in store for 2020.


We will focus articles on healthy, smart eating as well as reporting on a multitude of options for adding physical activities to our lifestyle. We are adding a regular column, Profiles in Health & Fitness, which will provide inspirational and meaningful information on improving your health and fitness. The first profile is in this week’s paper, on page 24, and features lessons learned from the Godfather of Modern Fitness – Jack LaLanne.

Additionally, we intend to reach out to local health, medical, mental health, nutrition, and fitness professionals to provide information to help our readers get and stay healthy on all areas on the wellness spectrum.


Throughout the year we will sponsor educational seminars on health or fitness topics. Check out the paper, our website, and our social media for updates about upcoming seminars.


In addition to the fitness opportunities offered through the Property Owners Association, the City Recreation Department and by the wonderful and growing fitness businesses we have on the island, Daniel Island has plenty of trails for walking and running, as well as a great fitness trail with equipment located on the path behind Blakeway Street.

Five years ago we started a weekly group walk. That group continues to meet each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Pierce Park Pavilion. Resident Anita Koszyk has agreed to lead the group walk this year. We encourage you to join her and the regular walkers and new members on the run/walks to increase your physical activity, with the added benefit of meeting new folks. Staff members will join this weekly walk when possible.


My daughter believes you can laugh your way to stronger abs. While I’d like to think there is at least an inkling of truth in that, I know there are health benefits to be derived from laughter and fellowship and we aim to promote both with fun fitness movie nights.

Think along the lines of Bill Murray’s “Meatballs” and Vince Vaughn’s “DodgeBall.” Do you remember John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis in “Perfect”? Maybe you’d be more into a fitness movie along the lines of Frankie Avalon’s and Annette Funicello’s teen comedy, “Muscle Beach Party.” Or maybe you’re a fan of Rocky Balboa! Stay tuned for movie night announcements.


My own fitness routine involves a lot of walking and running through our island trails and neighborhoods with my husband and our dog. I’m always excited to see so many people out exercising with families, friends, and pups.

We want to feature weekly photos of our readers actively engaged in physical activity with their family members and friends of all ages. Research shows that families that are active together pass on those healthy activities to their children.

Please post photos of your family and friends on our social media sites or tag us on your own posts using #danielislandnews and #liveabetterlife2020. Or, send your photos with an explanation of your activities and your names and we will publish them as often as we receive them. We will also keep our photographers on the ready to catch families, friends and pups being active together.


Another new aspect to the Live a Better Life 2020 program is pop up games. We will reach out to readers and advertisers via a multitude of avenues to organize kickball, dodgeball and volleyball games. We may even show up in your neighborhood or at your place of business to hold a hula hoop contest!


We are bringing back the Health & Fitness Expo on Daniel Island that was a huge success five years ago. Slated for this October, look for more details about the expo in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, eat smarter and move more.

Let’s live a better life and focus on wellness together.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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