Monday, January 12, 2009

Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien Launches Health Challenge; Joins with Legislators Step to Health

Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien today launched a new challenge for a healthier year and joined with legislators to help reduce the health impacts and costs of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.  The new web-based challenge; "Your Heart is in Your Hands," is a 12-week program that promotes the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and aims to improve the health and well-being of Coloradans.
"By taking just small steps to healthier habits for three months, we can establish a lifestyle that leads to lower health costs. Colorado may be the leanest state in the nation, but our trend is still upward and we need to turn around that trend," said Lt. Gov. O'Brien.
Participants in "Your Heart is in Your Hand" earn fitness points by doing everyday activities like walking or shoveling snow. Additionally, participants can use the challenge to meet and manage their personal nutrition goals, and at the end of the 12 week period, each person who meets the point goals receives a medal. The program is free and available under the health and wellness button.
Lt. Gov. O'Brien's challenge will work in conjunction with the "Legislators Step to Health"program that began at the start of this legislative session.  It extends a challenge to Coloradans and their legislators to live healthier and longer through the "Your Heart is in Your Hands"campaignThe  "Legislators Step to Health" program challenges legislators to step up for their own health by increasing physical activity and healthy food choices to combat the weight gain and unhealthy eating habits that often accompany the congressional session, and challenges them to adopt these habits as sustained behaviors throughout their lives.
The success of "Legislators Step to Health" was touted by Representative Jon Kefalas who said the program motivated him to log 2 million steps on his pedometer and has also improved his emotional and spiritual health.
Through these programs, the partnering organizations (the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, America On The Move and the CDPHE,  supported by AstraZeneca and Kaiser Permanente) are urging legislators to set an example by getting informed and increasing their physical activity and healthy food choices. The hope is thatColorado's legislators will be the leaders in spreading the messages of health and wellness to their constituents and challenge their colleagues across the country to participate in "Legislators Step to Health" and "Your Heart is in Your Hands."