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Many of us fall into unhealthy patterns of living.  And we do so for a variety of reasons:

  • No safe area to exercise
  • Long commutes in a car, bus or train
  • Social and family obligations
  • Ease
  • Cost
  • Emotional issues
  • Stress
  • Lack of knowledge

Whatever your reason, there are thousands of other Utahns with similar reasons. The key to maintaining a healthy weight is balance: what goes in versus what goes out.  Studies estimate that the difference between gaining and losing weight over a one-year period comes down to only about 19 calories per day*. That’s a difference of just 2 ounces of soda, gardening for an hour, or moderate to vigorous cycling for 5-7 minutes.

You can make a difference in your health and set a good example by making small, easy changes. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep a pair of walking shoes at work and go for brisk walks on your breaks or lunch. 10-15 minutes of physical activity at a time promotes many health benefits.
  • Take the stairs whenever you can.
  • Walk while doing errands.
  • Make family time active time. Enjoy an afternoon bike ride or a game of Frisbee golf with your kids.
  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Watch out for liquid calories – limit the number and size of your sodas.
  • Exercise or stretch while watching TV.
  • Keep “screen time” (TV, computer games, videos outside of work) to a minimum – no more than 2 hrs/day.
  • Choose activities you enjoy the most. You’ll be more likely to stick with them.

Visit www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more about how to be active and eat smart. There you will find healthy recipes, tips to help you shop for healthy foods on a budget, well-rounded exercise plans, trackers, calculators, and links to help you and your family live healthier, leaner lives.

*One pound equals 3,500 calories. Multiply that by 2 for 7,000. Divide that by 365 days per year for 19.17.

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