Healthy Living

There are six pillars that help create a solid foundation for healthy living: Eating Right, Weight Management, Physical Activity, Sleep & Fatigue, Alcohol, and Emotional Stability. Following the recommendations within the six pillars of healthy living allows all individuals to live a healthier life. Kane County offers many resources for community members to achieve their healthiest life through:

  • Parks, bicycle and pedestrian trails, recreational programs, farmers markets, food pantries, community gardens, and an online directory to help you find behavioral health services that are powered by the Kane County Behavioral Health Council.

nature_peopleKane County Parks and Trails

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County maintains parks, bicycle and pedestrian trails throughout Kane County allowing you to meet your physical activity goals. The Kane Kendall Council of Mayors maintains an online map that allows users to search for bike and pedestrian trails. The Kane County Division of Transportation has a Bicycle/Pedestrian Resources page which includes links to the current bicycle/highway map, information about bicycle facilities including surface material and type of facility, and a future map of programmed and planned trail connections.

food_bankFarmers Markets, Food Pantries and Community Gardens

Farmers’ markets, food pantries, and community gardens are operated throughout Kane County. Check out the map for information on locations, dates, and times for resources available nearest you. Farmers’ Markets in Illinois accept Link payments from the state’s Link food account, part of the Federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). If you are looking for food pantries, we recommend you first call the program directly to confirm hours and requirements.

monitor_weightLiving Healthy

According to the CDC, “people with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For people with chronic diseases, healthy eating can help manage these conditions and prevent complications.” Eating right focuses on consuming:

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Healthy proteins such as lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Healthy fats, including vegetable-based oils and oils in food such as nuts and avocados.
  • Limited amounts of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt or sodium, and sugar.
  • The right amount of calories for your body.

The USDA offers a free personalized tool called MyPlate Plan which provides guidance on what types and how much of each food group you should eat. You can checkout MyPlate Plan as well as healthy recipes and cooking videos at this website: www.myplate.gov

Kane County has many farmers’ markets, food pantries, and community gardens available to community members to help you maintain your eating right goals. You can also contact your healthcare provider to get assistance with creating a nutritional plan that meets your needs.

Weight management is not just about losing weight, it is also about maintaining a healthy weight that is just right for you. Healthcare providers use BMI (body mass index) as one type of screening tool to estimate your weight status in relative to potential risk of disease. You can use the BMI calculator on this website to gather your result and to consider discussing the result with your healthcare provider.

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
  • If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range.
  • If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
  • If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range

Interactive BMI Calculator

Healthy habits that contribute to successful weight management include eating a balanced diet, incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle, reducing stress, and getting the optimal amount of sleep. When considering including weight management in your healthy living plan, the CDC recommends a 5-step plan:

  1. Make a commitment
  2. Take stock of where you are
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Identify resources for information and support, and
  5. Continually “check-in” with yourself to monitor your progress.

Kane County has many resources available to community members to assist with weight management including through each communities park or recreation department as well as with community partners.

Kane County Local Park Districts:

Physical activity is associated with feeling better, sleeping better, and reducing anxiety. Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. Children and adolescents are recommended to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Kane County has many resources available to help community members meet their physical activity goals from walking in the forest preserves, bicycling on a path, or joining a physical fitness class through the park district. The Forest Preserve District of Kane County updates their Facebook page with trail conditions and updates as well as programs to get people outside. You can find available resources here:

Kane County Forest Preserve District

Kane County Local Park Districts:

KKCOM Bicycle and Pedestrian app

There are also online resources to help individuals stay physically active while being socially distant:

Poor sleep is associated with diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Lack of sleep also increases the risk of car accidents. Adults are recommended to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night with children recommended to get more sleep than adults. Sleep quality is also important. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you believe you have a sleep disorder where you feel fatigued the next day after a full night of sleep.

The CDC recommends the following tips to improve your sleep.

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and smartphones from the bedroom, and stop using them at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Grab a book instead!
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

Some people should never drink alcohol. This includes:

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Individuals who are under the age of 21
  • Individuals with certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that can interact with alcohol
  • Individuals who are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or if they are unable to control the amount they drink

More information can be found on the CDC website.

There are many community resources throughout Kane County to help you manage your alcohol consumption. You can find the available resources here:

Improving your mental health is an important pillar to achieve overall emotional, psychological and social well-being. Mental illnesses can affect your thinking, feeling, mood and behavior. All people, adults and children alike, can be impacted by mental illness. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic may make some people feel isolated or have increased stress and anxiety due to social distancing measures.

Healthcare providers throughout Kane County are available to help assess and work with you on your emotional health needs. You can find the available resources here:

assessment Kane County Chronic Disease Stats

View Our Stats Page
Adult Healthy Weight (BMI 18.5-24.9)
Access to Exercise Opportunities
Adults who Smoke

Statistics on this page come from www.kanehealthcounts.org.  The Kane Health Counts website tracks many health and health-related indicators and compares these indicators against state averages and target goals. Understanding how Kane County is comparing and trending within each of these indicators allows for the identification of priority issues and the development of goals to improve the overall health of Kane County residents.