It’s time to indulge

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

By Jett Johnson

There are few words adequate to describe the feeling you get when you treat yourself to an occasional indulgence. It’s as if your brain knows that when something is bad for you, it’s better. Even better still, is when that indulgence is free.

For me, that feeling often comes as I look down a grocery aisle and see that a disillusioned employee at the grocery store has been put on free-samples duty.

Email newsletter signup

That’s right. I’m not only occasionally unhealthy; I’m also cheap. I love a good free sample or any free sample for that matter. I honestly don’t care. If it’s free, I’ll take it. If it’s bad for me, I may hesitate for a very short moment, but I’ll still take it.

Many of you probably share my mentality — we are products of our environment. Things in the world have become expensive. Most of us occasionally buy affordable foods that aren’t healthy choices, just because they’re cheaper. We scrape by in areas where we can, often ignoring the key element that influences the rest of our lives: our health.

But maintaining health does not always come at a cost. Free doesn’t have to always be so short-lived or unhealthy.

Healthy People Healthy Suffolk currently has free healthy options that are too good to pass up. They may not be as enticing, as say, a new variety of Oreo on display, but we have opportunities that will give you an even better feeling than you might get in that brief, fleeting, indulgent moment. What we’re offering also can leave you with lasting health benefits.

We’ve begun to offer our second free, 10-week bootcamp fitness course, led by Sandy Spiro of Sandy Spiro Fitness Solutions. The classes began Aug. 26. Despite the course being full, there’s no harm in reaching out to us so we can include you in our next free fitness course.

Beginning Sept. 8, Suffolk Sister Cities and the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community will be hosting the first Million Steps Challenge here in the community. We’re partnering with and challenging Suffolk, England, to see who can rack up the most steps. More than $400 worth of prizes is available, and all you have to do is log your steps!

On Oct. 4, we’ll be hosting our October 5K Run/Walk at Constant’s Wharf. It’s open to the entire community, with all ages welcome. Similarly, we host walks every first, second, third and fourth Wednesday at a different location around the city at 12:15 p.m. Take a short lunch break that improves your health.

Each of these events can be found at under the “Events” tab.

Yes, I’m cheap, and I sometimes need an incentive to make healthy choices. What better incentive is there than “Free”?

Take advantage of the free resources throughout our community that help improve your health. In turn, you get the benefit of a healthier life and being able to ignore those occasional little indulgences.

Jett Johnson is the program manager for the Healthy People Healthy Suffolk initiative with the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community. Email him at