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Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I polled some of my friends and most of their resolutions involved eating better and/or exercise. I'm in there as well, always trying to focus more on nutrition and sticking to my exercise routine. But not even two weeks into the year, and I'm already whining. It's been colder than usual here in Dallas, so in the morning the last thing I want to do is leave my warm bed for a freezing cold drive to an overcrowded gym. So in looking for some inspiration, I noticed our federal government sponsors many online tools and offers information that can help toward the goal of a healthier lifestyle. And to top it off, they are all free. Here are some: At www.fitness.gov, you can read about the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, learn about the Council's guidelines on physical activity, and find tools and programs to help you start your own exercise routine. The www.mypyramid.gov website covers the new food pyramid and can create a personalized nutrition plan. The MyPyramid Tracker helps you to track your nutrition and fitness goals. And parents, this website also has information on nutrition for children. To increase our intake of fruits and vegetables, government organizations along with many nonprofits created www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. This website has a tool to tell you how much fruit and vegetables you need based on your weight and exercise level. It also has recipes and nutritional information. I'm supposed to eat two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables a day. One way to do that is to get into the locavore movement. Locavores are people who eat foods grown locally for a variety of reasons, such as having fresher food with better nutritional value, not supporting shipped and processed foods which burn fuel in production and transportation, and helping local farmers as well as sustaining local economies. You can find out more about your local farmer at this government website. You can also search for a farmer's market close to you with this tool. The www.nutrition.gov website aggregates nutrition and food information across federal agencies, so there is a range of information from nutrition and weight management to the latest government nutrition news (like did you know January 4-10 is folic acid awareness week?). Happy New Year and I hope these tools and information help you on the path of a healthier you, resolution or not!
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