LiveWell Northwest Colorado: 5-2-1-0 October challenge | SteamboatToday.com

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LiveWell Northwest Colorado: 5-2-1-0 October challenge

Barb Parnell

October brings to mind so many images, colors and feelings. Changing leaves, cooler nights, ski passes, preparation for snowy days, colorful hikes, Halloween, pumpkins, amber sunsets, the 5-2-1-0 October challenge. What is the October challenge, you ask?

Let's start with a bit of background. The LiveWell Colorado 5-2-1-0 message is a simple way to a healthier lifestyle. Every day, try to eat at least five servings (handfuls) of fruits and vegetables, spend less than two hours on recreational screen use, get one hour of physical activity (30 minutes for adults) and consume 0 sugary drinks.

We have created the 5-2-1-0 Routt County Community Challenge as a one-month event during October to get the whole community involved with the 5-2-1-0 healthy living message. We want to share and practice the 5-2-1-0 message, and that means involving schools, workplaces, the community and individuals like you.

Why Routt County? We have some healthy behavior change opportunities to address in our county:

• Approximately 49 percent of Routt County adults are overweight/obese.

• The percentage of youths who are overweight/obese has increased from 19.4 percent to 21.3 percent in three years.

• Only 18 percent of our youths and 29 percent of our adults drink "0" sugary drinks each day.

• 28 percent of our youths and 47 percent of our adults are eating more than three servings of fruits and vegetables each day (i.e., more than 1 1/2 cups).

Why 5-2-1-0? Consumption of more fruits and vegetables, drinking fewer or no sugar-sweetened beverages, engaging in less recreational screen time and enjoying more physical activity can improve your health significantly. Meeting the 5-2-1-0 goals can lower rates of chronic diseases, help with weight control and improve brain function.

Details about participating in the 5-2-1-0 Challenge:

• It's easy! Simply register online at http://www.5210-routt.com and track your 5-2-1-0 effort daily for the month of October. It only takes a moment and is a fun way to involve your entire family in these simple healthy choices.

• It's free, and all participants win a prize. There will be additional random grand prize drawings from local businesses that support healthy eating and active living.

For extra support, register with your family as a team and encourage friends and co-workers to do the same. Awards will be given for the outstanding 5-2-1-0 classroom and small and large business/organization.

You even can customize the challenge to meet your personal goals!

Take the challenge so that together, we can make Routt County the healthiest county in Colorado.

Barb Parnell is the LiveWell Northwest Colorado community coordinator.