You are what you eat.
What you eat and how much you eat of it can really start to take a toll on your body and how you feel. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), approximately one-third, or 33.8% of adults in the United States, as well almost 17% of children and young adults from the ages of two-19 are obese. Poor health habits that form during childhood can carry over into adulthood, making it even more important to teach children at a young age the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Programs to Help
“Combining a healthy diet and exercise basically balances the energy brought in to your body and the energy you let out. If you feed your body healthy food, you will have the energy to exercise,” says Centsible Nutrition Director Mindy Meuli.
The Centsible Nutrition Program is mainly geared to lower income families in order to help them budget groceries and how to cook healthy meals. Lower income families are able to use this program for free, due to the fact that the program receives USDA founding.
They work people of all ages from school aged children to their parents. Adults can take part in an eight lesson series that includes classes on cooking, physical activity and shopping. Through this series, Meuli says they are able to receive cooking utensils and a cook book for completing the series.
Downfall of an Unhealthy Lifestyle
People can be at a healthy weight, but still at risk for health issues if they have a poor diet. The risks of a poor diet includes heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even some types of cancer.
“The importance of incorporating both physical activity as well as a healthy diet is to create a balanced approach. By implementing both at the same time, one can better reach and maintain a healthy weight, it will aid in reducing risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, as well as promote your overall health” explains Tristan, the Training and Outreach Coordinator at the Wellness Center.
The gym on campus, Half Acre offers classes, intramural and club sports, and much more. Membership is included in students’ tuition.
Meuli explains that when incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your day to day life, one can sometimes be harder than the other. For some who like to eat out or often see food as a type of reward, healthy eating might be a bit of a struggle.
Others may have no problem eating healthy, but are held back by not working out. For those who struggle with working out, they may not have the time to workout because of their job or their job requires them to be sitting all day.
Incorporating Physical Activity
“The best way to incorporate physical activity into someone’s life when they aren’t regularly active is to start small! Even ten minutes of exercise a day can make a difference in someone’s health when they are starting off,” explains Tristan.
He goes on to explain that simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away in the parking lot and moving around at least once every hour can start to make a difference in ones’ life.
It doesn’t matter how much snow is on the ground, you can always find students riding their bikes around Prexy’s Pasture or parking their bike to go inside for class.
Not only does physical activity improve your lifestyle, but the HHS says that exercise can improve test scores and grades, increase self-confidences and self-esteem as well as reduce anxiety and stress. It is recommended for kids of the ages 6-17 participate in some form of physical exercise for an hour a day.
“If you need to, don’t jump in both feet at once. Start out with a short walk. Do something small and gradually do more. Do your research and find out what works for you” explains Megan McGuffey Skinner, Director of Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics when talking about exercising for beginners.
Tristan explains that on average, an adult should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in the span of a week.
Once activity that most people don’t view as exercise (but perfectly fits the bill!) is dancing. According to Time, a half hour of dancing can burn up to 300 calories. This is equivalent to going for a run or a swim. A popular at home dance program is Body Groove. You may not be covering a lot of ground, but with all of the twists and turns can really add up the burned calories.