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Course aims to improve health, nutrition and fitness

Staff Report

About 117 million, or half of American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases — many caused by poor patterns of eating and physical activity.

Virginia Cooperative Extension and YMCA of Pulaski County are joining forces to combat those statistics locally by offering a free four-week course designed to help are residents improve their health, nutrition and fitness.

“Step Out for Better Health and Nutrition” is being held Tuesday evenings, 6-7:30 p .m., from Jan. 16 to Feb. 6., at the YMCA on Oakhurst Avenue in Pulaski.

The four classes include information on health and nutrition, and encourage participants to take part in a daily walking program. According to U.S. Dietary Guidelines, adults should do between 1.25 and 2.5 hours of aerobic physical activity weekly. Time dedicated to the activities is based on the vigorousness of the activity level.

Spreading aerobic activity out over at least 3 days a week is best, and each activity should be done at least 10 minutes at a time. Strengthening activities, like pushups, sit-ups and weight lifting, should be done at least 2 days a week.

Research shows that keeping active and maintaining healthy eating habits reduces health risks for many diseases, including cancer and coronary heart disease.

Topics covered include goal setting and the benefits of exercise; portion size and label reading; menu planning and recipe modification, and healthy choices while eating out and tips to reduce stress.

Participants who complete all four sessions receive a free one-week Day Pass to the YMCA. Participants must pre-register by Monday. Contact the Pulaski Extension Office at 980-7761 or sburkett@vt.edu.

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