The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 30, 2009

Little lifestyle changes can make a big impact

OKLAHOMA CITY — OKLAHOMA CITY — One of the top New Year’s Resolutions each year is to lose weight, but not many Oklahomans stick to the goal. So, what can Oklahomans do in 2010 to finally maintain a healthy lifestyle? Experts at the OU Cancer Institute said you don’t have to be “The Biggest Loser” to significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of cancer.

The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that about one-third of the cancers that occur in a year can be prevented by simply being physically active, choosing better food and targeting a healthy weight.

Get started with help from the following tips:

Get more active every day. Park farther from the grocery store or the mall, walk during breaks at work, take a walk during a break at a child’s sporting event, take the stairs instead of the elevator for one flight (then add more floors later) or walk the dog.

Watch less TV. Fran Olsen Sharp, a registered dietitian at the OU Cancer Institute, said people, on average, watch about five hours of TV a day or spend hours on the computer. The best bet is to watch less TV. If that isn’t an option, find a way to incorporate more activity with sessions in front of the tube.

This can include getting up at every commercial, doing chores or walking around the house. Viewers also can use strength bands or an ergometer in front of the chair to cycle while enjoying primetime or hanging out on a social networking site.

Take a break. Sharp said sedentary jobs that put workers in front of computers eight hours a day reduce activity. Make sure to take breaks at work and get up to move. Take a 15-minute walk. Employ the same activity strategy as when watching TV.

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