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Increasing physical activity to at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week and filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables can reap big health benefits

Last updated: January 03. 2014 10:15AM - 472 Views

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New Year resolutions to lose weight or get fit are nothing new, though the simplicity of eating better and moving more could be news to some.


Healthier eating can start as easily – and deliciously – as routinely filling half of one’s plate with fruits and vegetables. A balanced diet with all food groups can decrease the risk of chronic and potentially fatal illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Likewise, adults who do just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week reduce their risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes – medical conditions that disproportionately affect Oklahomans. A brisk walk, casual bike ride, and water aerobics are examples of moderate exercise, which the CDC defines as activity that raises the heart rate and can cause one to break a sweat.


Children and teens are encouraged to be active at least 60 minutes every day to get or remain healthy.


“Small choices often make a big difference, and that’s true when deciding which foods to eat, which beverages to drink, and how we choose to get from point A to point B. Those seemingly ‘little’ things can really affect a person’s health and energy,” said Josh Mullins, owner of Nautilus Durant and Bryan County Turning Point Coalition Chair. “Fortunately, with knowledge and practice, the healthy choice often becomes the easy choice.”


Oklahomans who are ready to eat better and move more this new year can find practical guidance at ShapeYourFutureOK.com, a website presented by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.


The site features tips for individuals and families, schools, workplaces, communities, along with links to state and federal health websites with much broader information and practical tools, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker that helps participants keep track of calories, diet choices and physical activity.


Locally, The Bryan County Turning Point Coalition along with Raye Mickle, a TSET Communities of Excellence grantee, works to help businesses, schools, child care facilities and cities adopt policies that encourage more physical activity and better nutrition among Bryan County residents.


To learn more about local events and programs regarding physical activity and nutrition, or how to work toward a healthier school, workplace or community, contact Bryan County Turning Point Coalition at 580-924-4285.


ABOUT TSET:


TSET is a grant making state agency that funds the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, public education campaigns to improve health and grants to communities, statewide organizations, and research institutions. The TSET Board of Directors’ strategic plan focuses on reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease – the state’s leading causes of preventable death – by preventing tobacco use and obesity.


ABOUT BRYAN COUNTY TURNING POINT COALITION:

The purpose of the Bryan County Turning Point Coalition is to involve Oklahoma organizations, communities and consumers in creating a healthier future and improving the quality of life for Oklahomans. The Bryan County Turning Point Coalition will accomplish this purpose by providing guidance and support to local Turning Point partners for implementing the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan (OHIP) through established Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP) and aligning public health efforts with vested stakeholders and partners at the state level. The OTPC pledges to use policy and environmental change to: move into the arena of healthy public policy, and to advocate a clear policy commitment to health and equity in all sectors.


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