Use what you have to stay healthy, fit

By Lethia Lee - Healthy Carolinians

No matter who you are or where you live, eating well and getting regular exercise are important ways to be healthy. These activities may help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent or delay certain health problems, such as diabetes.

Cities and suburbs usually offer grocery stores and gyms. These facilities may make it easier to live healthfully. But if you live in a small community, you may not have easy access to a large grocery store or health club. Do not let this stop you from following healthy behaviors! You can still find ways to eat better and be more active. A healthy weight may reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and some cancers. When a person gains weight overtime, risk for these health problems increase. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are good ways to help you reach a healthy weight and lower your risk for these health problems.

You may be asking what is a healthy weight. You can learn by finding out about your (BMI) body mass index. Your number is a number that results from measuring the relationship between your weight and height, for instance if your height is 58 inches and your weight is 143-186 you are obese. You can try different activities to find out what you like the most. For exercise to become a part of your life, it helps if you enjoy it. Be active with your family. At least once a week, plan an active outing, such as a family bike ride, or walk through a local park. Also ask friends and coworkers to be active with you. Having exercise buddies may help you stay interested in being active. Try to make it a priority. You can fit in physical activity in the morning, on your lunch break, before dinner, or after the kids go to bed. If you are to flexible with your time, you may never get the exercise you need. Pick a time when other activities will not get in your way. Start with a small goal of being active for 10 minutes a day, then slowly build up to longer periods of time. As you build more physical activity into your life, set limits on the amount of time you and your family spend watching TV, playing video games, and using the computer.

As you try to be more active and eat better, it is important to set goals you will be able to reach. For example, set goals to eat one fruit or vegetable at every meal. Keep track of your new goals in a notebook. This way you will see what is working and what is not, and you can adjust your goals as needed.

You can do it! Being more active and eating better may seem tough without access to large grocery stores, expensive weights or treadmills, or paved walking trails. Remember, you can use what you have around you to be healthy.

By Lethia Lee

Healthy Carolinians