Council for a Healthy Dent County

The mission of Healthy Dent County (HDC) is to improve the quality of life and health for the residents of Dent County, Missouri.  Healthy Dent County organized and became a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2010.  While beginning health programming, HDC also became the managing partner of The Salem Community Resource Center (Salem TCRC).  In February 2012, HDC assumed management and fiscal responsibility for the Salem Fitness Center, originally the Cardiovascular Wellness Program funded by an MFH grant in 2002.   Understanding the Fitness Center to be vitally important to the health and well-being of Dent County’s citizens, an organizational goal is to strengthen and broaden the scope of the Center’s services and programs.

Healthy Dent County, including the Fitness Center, is housed in the Salem Community Center @ the Armory.   The City leaders and Healthy Dent County have partnered to develop the building into the Salem Community Center @ the Armory which has become the hub for community members to become more active and improve their health.  Healthy Dent County assumed the responsibility for developing, managing and sustaining the facility and its programs.



Walking helps your heart, your weight, your strength, and your spirit.

  1. Enjoy the 1 ½ mile Tiger Trail which is open all daylight hours. Accessible, easy to walk, and beautiful! Find a friend to be your walking companion. Enjoy your friendship while you walk through town, on the Tiger Trail or wherever you choose.

  1. Shawnee Mac Lake has several trails which take walkers around the lake. The trails are natural and sometimes a little tricky to navigate. A great place to walk with your leashed dog!

  1. Park your car about a mile from your work place and walk to work. If you don’t live more than a mile from work, then walk from home. You’ll have more energy when you get to work and when you get home at the end of the day.

  1. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane and see 63 historic homes, buildings and people in Salem. Follow the map, which you can get at the Chamber of Commerce office or the Community Center @ the Armory. Know more about our community’s history while enjoying a good walk around town.

  1. Join a running group and begin your day feeling invigorated, well, and ready for whatever the day may bring. There are many opportunities to demonstrate your running skill by participating in 3K or 5K runs. Get your running buddies to join you!


In Dent County, where “There’s More To Do, Naturally”, it is easy to keep your body active. Like walking, all physical activity helps your heart, your weight, your strength, and your well-being.

  1. Take your kids to City Park regularly. Swing and run with them. Fly a kite! Have a wonderful play time together. Do you realize what good habits you are teaching them when you actively play together?

  1. Join the Salem Community Center @ the Armory fitness center. Take advantage of the equipment, the classes, and the expertise of the instructors. Feel fit and good! Arrange to meet friends at the armory and have a good time together while you work out. If you are serious about developing an effective work-out routine, hire a personal trainer. Guaranteed good results!

  1. Grab a paddle and take advantage of the beautiful Current River. Enjoy canoeing or tubing with your family and/or a group of friends. Make it a day long (or more) adventure filled with fun and serenity. Oh yes, you will get lots of physical activity as a bonus!

  1. Dent County is a hunter’s paradise! The joy of the hunt is so great that probably little thought is given to the value of the physical activity for the hunter.

  1. Get out your bike and enjoy Dent County’s beauty while peddling. What great exercise biking provides! Biking is not just for kids!

  1. Saddle Up and Horse Around! Horseback riding requires athleticism and is relaxing all at the same time. A wonderful adventure alone or with others.

  1. What a great swing you have! Perfect your game, enjoy friends, and get lots of walking all at the same time. Enjoy the golf course at the Country Club in Salem.

  1. Jump in Craig Pool at City Park! Swimming provides great exercise and can be done by almost everybody. Movement is so much easier in the water. Swim alone or get a group of friends for a swim party. Great exercise! Great fun!

  1. Visit Devils Well by descending the “spiral staircase” to view an underground lake through a large sinkhole. It is one of nature’s beautiful mysteries and a sight not to be missed. The area requires careful walking. You will enjoy this peek at the great underground of Missouri.

  1. Indian Trail Conservation Area! Hike, camp, think about those who made their way west walking through this space. Find out about the history, and then enjoy the area as both a recreational and an historical place. Teach your children about their neighborhood.

  1. Montauk State Park! A beautiful place to camp, fish, take long walks, and enjoy the best of Missouri’s beauty. Close to Salem, Montauk provides great opportunity for family day trips. Pack your fishing gear, a picnic dinner, your kids and even your dog. Lots of fun for every age. Nestled in a valley just south of Montauk is charming Bo’s Hollow. Don’t miss the old store, the old jail, ancient cars and trucks and the feel of an old rural Missouri town. Delightful and reminiscent of a time and place long gone.


Become better at selecting and preparing food that keeps you and your family healthy and happy.

  1. Go to the Salem Farmers Market. Located behind the Visitors Center on Highway 19, it is open from May until October. Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, the Salem Farmers Market offers fresh-from-the-garden delicious vegetables and other locally grown or produced food products. Come find your favorites and try some new ones too.

  1. Dig in! When spring comes, there is nothing is more satisfying than planting a garden and growing and eating your own vegetables. It takes a small amount of space in your yard to plant a garden, or become a part of the Salem Community Garden. What a great way for parents and kids to share the joys of working together, watching your vegetables grow, and eating the products from your own garden.

  1. Make healthy choices in the grocery store. Shop for the health of your family. Pay attention to the location of the healthiest foods and spend most of your shopping time there. Shop when you are not hungry to reduce impulse buying. Learn to read and understand labels so that you know exactly which foods make good choices. Call University of Missouri Extension (726-3196) to participate in one of their grocery store classes that teach good shopping skills.

  1. Learn more through special classes. Watch for cooking classes at the Salem Community Center @ the Armory. You might want to attend a class on cooking healthy foods on a limited budget, or on making healthy snacks for children, or learning how to prepare fresh vegetables. Many other interesting food classes are occasionally available. Don’t miss the fun or the chance to enhance your skills in preparing delicious, healthy foods.


Protect your health by using the services of health care professionals on a regular basis.

  1. See your doctor and your eye doctor at least once a year. Even when you think you are 100% well, it is wise to visit your doctors to be sure all your parts are working as they should. It is good to leave the doctor’s office knowing that your body is ready for another year of good health and feeling good. And if something is out of kilter, your doctor can catch it early and help restore your good health. See your dentist every six months. Dental care does so much to help you look and feel your best. Be sure you are well adjusted. Visit your chiropractor regularly. You will be healthier and feel so good.

  1. Take advantage of health screenings and health fairs. Health screenings provide important information for you and your doctor to evaluate. Health fairs offer a variety of screenings all in one place and at a low cost. Salem Memorial District Hospital offers two health fairs each year at the Salem Community Center @ the Armory. Don’t miss them!

  1. Talk with your pastor or find a counselor to help you when life gets especially tough and facing the new day is difficult. All of us go through tough times and may lose our positive attitude toward life. If you have trouble getting past a tough time, get help. Everyone goes through disappointment, fear, despair, but the wise don’t go through it alone. Get back on track with help.


Don’t forget to take good care of yourself and appreciate your “specialness.”

  1. Play. It isn’t only children who need time to laugh, tumble, be with friends, and relax both mentally and physically. Play with your kids sometimes; you can learn lots about having fun from them.

  2. Treat yourself – new haircut, manicure, pedicure, long nap. You deserve to be pampered occasionally. Don’t forget how important you are and how much you need a feel-good treat often.

  3. Class it up. Go back to school acquire the skills you need to meet your life goals.

  4. Volunteer in your church or in the community. Use your skills and your good heart to make a difference for others. There are so many in need in Dent County and so many service organizations that always need a good volunteer. Join up!

  5. Care for your soul. Regularly do whatever renews your spirit and increases your appreciation of yourself, others, and life itself. Make caring for your soul a regular part of your life.

  6. Determine to eliminate those things in your life that jeopardize your good health and well-being such as smoking, excessive drinking, drugs, excessive eating, too little sleep, friends who discourage healthful, happy, productive living.

  7. Find friends who strive to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families. Their habits will influence yours and your life will be healthier and happier.

From this list, find all the many ways you can enjoy a lifestyle sure to enhance your health and to make the most of your life. Use these and look for ten more ways to live healthful, happy lives.

Check out neighboring counties for many more opportunities to enjoy nature and keep your body healthy and happy.

Dent County is a wonderful place to call home. Make the most of home.