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News / Health / Clark County Health

Local leaders look to 2017 with health resolutions

Be it eating better, getting more exercise, finding balance or awesome barbecue, all resolve to have a good new year

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter
Published: January 2, 2017, 6:05am
6 Photos
Bart Hansen
Bart Hansen Photo Gallery

New year, new you.

For nearly half of Americans, the New Year comes with pledges of self-improvement. And for many, health-related goals are at the top of the list — resolutions to lose weight, get active or quit smoking.

Ten percent of resolution-makers want to lose weight and 10 percent resolve to exercise more in 2017, according to a survey by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. Improving one’s health and eating healthier each topped resolution lists for 7 percent of people, according to the survey.

Other top resolutions include being a better person — which, at 16 percent, is the most popular resolution for 2017, bumping weight loss from the top spot — spending less and saving more money, according to the survey.

The Columbian asked local leaders to share their health-related New Year’s resolutions. Many said they’re resolving to find balance in their busy lives. Some hope to keep their fitness feats rolling in 2017, others want to ramp up exercise routines or overhaul eating habits. For a few, mental and emotional health are top priorities.

So here’s to a successful — and healthy — 2017.

Bart Hansen, Vancouver City Council

“I need to start eating foods I do not like (healthy food). My current diet is somewhere between what Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson would eat. I like hot wings, tachos (tater tot nachos) and lasagna. In the past, vegetables were just a waste of valuable real estate. I’m not getting any younger, and things have got to change. Go 2017!”

Jerry Green, Clark County Fire District 6 chief

“Nearly every person, including myself, sets their New Year’s resolution for better personal health. ‘I’m going to purchase a gym membership and lose 20 pounds … and keep it off.’ We set ourselves up for failure, and as we all know, this never works. So this year, I’m setting a goal of balance in my life for ‘optimal health.’ I’m learning in order to have optimal health, we must have balance in the following areas: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial health and well-being, thus allowing for a healthy and happy lifestyle for years to come. Cheers to our happy and healthy community.”

Alishia Topper, Vancouver City Council

“My 2017 resolution is all about balance and to holistically take care of my health. I’m focused on taking more time to spend with my loved ones, get more sleep and regular exercise. The mix of those three ingredients will make me more productive in 2017.”

Chuck Atkins, Clark County sheriff

“Even though I’m very pleased with my year, in review, I haven’t taken care of myself as much as I should and have over the years. I will focus more on a variety of exercise to include biking and canoeing with my wife. I also will remind myself to keep a healthy balance between work and family, and, if I was to drop out of balance, it would be toward my family! I am a blessed man but growing older isn’t for the weak.”

Tim Leavitt, Vancouver mayor

“Hope to toss the blood pressure medicine, with what appears to be an improvement in leadership at the county council. No more pushups right before our city council meetings.”

Marc Boldt, Clark County council chair

“I look forward to a positive outlook using stories and humor to show God’s love to those I serve. Yes, including newspaper reporters.”

Scott Higgins, Camas mayor

“Having had good success with weight loss in 2016 (down 90 pounds) for the first time in my adult life, weight loss is not the top item on my resolutions. 2017 will be a year I focus on exercise and thankfulness. I will incorporate regular exercise into my busy schedule and take time daily to be thankful for all that is good in my life. There is so much to be thankful for, and I am guilty of not focusing on that enough.”

Ron Onslow, Ridgefield mayor

“I will resolve to give shorter speeches, listen longer to (Camas Mayor) Scott Higgins talking about Camas football, try more of (Washougal Mayor) Sean Guard’s ‘weird beer’ (at Washougal’s Weird Beer festival), stop fighting Vancouver North’s annexation to Ridgefield, welcome (Battle Ground Mayor) Philip Johnson when he visits Ridgefield, wish (La Center Mayor) Greg Thornton luck at the casino, visit (Yacolt Mayor) Jeff Carothers in Yacolt more often when it’s sunny (it is, right?) and avoid (Woodland Mayor) Will Finn (state patrolman) at all costs. Aside from that, to enjoy with a full heart being mayor of a wonderful growing city full of great people.”

James McElvain, Vancouver police chief

“This past year, I began running again, running a half-marathon, and a few 5Ks and 10Ks. This coming year, I plan to continue my regimen of boot camps at Boomer Fitness and a goal to continue to run 20 miles each week. While I get a lot out of the boot camps and enjoy the trainers, the running really seems to clear my mind.”

Mike Cooke, Clark County undersheriff

“As much as I would like to spend my free time doing yoga or exercising, I think I’d really rather try to visit every barbecue joint in the county over the next year and enjoy some amazing ribs, pulled pork and brisket.”

Julie Olson, Clark County council

“I am going to cycle more in 2017, including participating in the 200-plus mile STP (Seattle to Portland) ride, Reach the Beach (105 miles) and at least one more century ride. In addition to physical exercise, I am committed to reading more for pleasure, at least one book a month.”

Columbian Health Reporter