Make wellness an everyday commitment - not just for New Years!

Reduce your risk for obesity-related health issues by eating well and moving more.

Every year, millions of people establish New Year’s resolutions that many will not stick with longer than a month. We all have the best of intentions and truly understand the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintain a high quality of life. But why don't we follow through with our commitment each year?

Recent research continues to reinforce that obesity is a national epidemic and is the cause of many health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Maybe we need to change our thinking - rather than making a resolution, maybe we need to make a commitment for a permanent lifestyle change. Michigan State University Extension says that we need to make wellness a part of our lives each day rather than a once a year.

The start to living healthy is weight management. The key to weight management is that your calories in can’t exceed your calories out. In other words, the food you consume needs to be less than your energy exerted. Keeping it simple, a good message is to eat less and move more! Fill your plate with low calorie food choices; like fruits and vegetables. MyPlate provides wonderful resources and support to assist you in making these positive, permanent lifestyle changes. Filling your plate with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean dairy and protein will help you stay full while providing you with quality nutrition for staying active.

Being aware of your portion sizes is another useful tool in your quest for weight management. Portion sizes have increased exponentially in the last 20 years; a bagel has doubled in size during that time. Measure your food to avoid portion distortion and consumption of excess calories.

Get moving is another key to improve your health. Physical activity is an important way to boost your metabolism as well as make your muscles stronger while increasing stability and flexibility. Adults exercise a minimum of two and a half hours a week. If you are new to exercising, you may need to work up to this quantity. Choose exercise you enjoy; dance, biking, walking, or swimming. Making it part of your daily routine will facilitate this lifestyle change.

So don’t wait until New Year’s Day to start living well. Start today! Embrace a healthy lifestyle by consuming nutritious food that provides you the energy you need to live well.

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