More veggies and less TV time will give you a leg up in LiveWell’s 5-2-1-0 challenge
September 26, 2013
At a glance
Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0
■ 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables
■ 2 or fewer hours of recreational screen time
■ 1 or more hours of physical activity
■ 0 sugary drinks
Source: LiveWell Northwest Colorado
Steamboat Springs — The latest health challenge to arrive in Northwest Colorado will seem like a tall order to some people.
Watch less television, and don't play as many video games.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Completely erase those sodas from your diet.
Oh, and squeeze at least an hour of physical activity into each day.
Several kids in Routt County's four elementary schools have successfully done it. Now, LiveWell Northwest Colorado hopes parents and other community members are able to do it, too.
For all 31 days of October, the nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles is challenging Routt County residents to enter its 5-2-1-0 community challenge.
That means eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, spending no more than two hours in front of a television, doing at least one hour of physical activity and consuming zero sugary drinks.
LiveWell Northwest Colorado Community Coordinator Barb Parnell said some people won't be able to change their current habits and make this all happen overnight.
But she said even logging your current habits and making small improvements to the 5-2-1-0 formula can go a long way.
"Find small changes that are realistic to fit into your day," Parnell said. "If you drink two sugary drinks a day, try dropping it back by one at first. These are small changes that you can make and probably won't even notice the difference."
She said the children who participate in the program often make significant improvements to their diets and lifestyles by the end of the challenge.
The challenge comes as obesity is on the rise in Routt County.
According to LiveWell, 51 percent of the county's adults are either overweight or obese, and the number of youths who fit those descriptions has increased from 16 to 19 percent in the past three years.
We're also not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The organization has found 72 percent of youths and 53 percent of adults are eating three or fewer servings of these foods a day.
Residents can enter the challenge by picking up a packet at Yampa Valley Medical Center's Community Health Resource Center, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Hayden Valley Elementary School, South Routt Medical Center, Oak Creek Town Hall or Yampa Town Hall.
Everyone who enters the challenge will receive a prize.
And you don't have to go it alone.
Office members can sign up as a team to compete for the title of healthiest workplace.
A "healthiest" classroom also will be named.
"I want our county to be the healthiest county in the healthiest state, and this is one step in the right direction," Parnell said.