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By Joining Lighten Up 4 Life’s Weight-Loss Challenge, You’ve Already Taken Steps To Lose Weight And Live A Healthier Life, but, did you know that being active and keeping your BMI (a measure of body fat based on height and weight): between 18.5 and 24.9 can also help keep or lower your cholesterol to a desirable range?

In fact, do you know your number, your cholesterol number that is? Here are some quick facts about healthy cholesterol numbers and what they mean:

Cholesterol: total cholesterol, less than 200 mg/dL; “good” HDL cholesterol, 50 mg/dL or higher; “bad” LDL cholesterol, less than 160 mg/dL to less than 100 mg/dL, depending on your heart risk

If you don’t know your cholesterol numbers and haven’t had your cholesterol checked recently, it might be a good time to visit your doctor. Schedule a baseline screening with your physician and/or lab service provider to make sure you are on the right track to health. Don't have a doctor? Don't have a doctor?
Visit Saint Barnabas’s website to locate a physician.

The more you know about your numbers, the more you can participate in maintaining and improving your health.


Commit To A Healthier Lifestyle


On any given day, most of us strive to make healthier choices, but it’s not always that easy. From the office donut drop-off, to the meal on-the-run, we are faced with a multitude of selections every day that we may or may not end up regretting.


But, there is a way we can set ourselves up for greater success if we plan our day
a little in advance. For instance; planning your meals ahead of time is one way that
can help because you will have all the ingredients, on hand ready to make a healthy
meal, instead of having to choose a fast meal that may not be as healthy.  Try making
your lunch the night before instead of waiting for morning, or you might run out-of-time
to make yourself a healthy lunch.

Another suggestion that experts recommend is scheduling time for daily exercise. Whatever type of calendar or day planner you use, set aside a timeslot for exercise. You will have a better chance of achieving success if you plan for it.

More Tips To Keep You On Track

Create An Exercise and Food Calendarcalendar

To help you stay on track, create a daily agenda or calendar and plan your activities and meals. It doesn’t matter if you use a printed journal or an electronic calendar, just use your calendar of choice to record your scheduled exercise times, your daily meal plans and to track your healthy goals. This will give you a better chance to achieve
those goals, goals like; losing weight, lowering blood pressure or walking 10,000 steps-a-day. Use your calendar as a tool to plan ahead and to help you stay motivated
and to stick to a particular exercise and diet regimen.


While a calendar is a tool for planning ahead on your diet and exercise regimen, a log
is a record of what you actually did in terms of diet and exercise. Both may be useful in
helping you meet your goals but have different functions. With a calendar you can plan
ahead, create time for your exercise and know what foods you need to buy. A log will
help you track how well you are meeting your goals.


Healthy Summertime Activities for the Whole Family

family on beach

Although it can be tempting to put your healthy lifestyle on-hold during the summer, we’ve got some fun activities and healthy recipes to keep you going in the right direction; a healthier life.

Enjoy the Outdoors

- Take a nature hike. Visit your favorite park or discover a new one, and set out to walk 5,000 steps together, enjoying nature as you stroll.

- Walk the beach. Instead of lying on the beach all day, take a 30 - 40 minute brisk walk with your family and pick up seashells along the way.

- Start a walking group. Set up times and places to meet other friends and families and walk together. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water!

- Play outdoor sports. Take advantage of a beautiful summer day and put together a softball game with friends. Or kick a soccer ball around after dinner.



Goal Setting

Not that you’ve determined you need or want to lose weight. Setting realistic attainable goals are just as important to the “how” you’re going to lose weight. First set weekly and monthly goals. How much weight you should lose every month? How are you’re going to attain your weight-loss goal; eating healthier, counting calories, adding or increasing your exercise, going on a healthy diet?  How will you reward yourself; new workout clothes, a massage or a new wardrobe? Sit down and write down your goals. Put them on paper and share them with your Lighten Up 4 Life team.

Understand that the recommend healthy weight-loss is 1 – 2 pounds per week not 5 – 10 pounds a week. And add exercise to your daily routine in safe increments. You don’t want to overdo it and get discouraged.

Here are additional tools and calculators to set your goals:


WebMd Personal Diet Evaluator: This tool will help you assess your weight loss goals and give you the amount of calories you should consume to meet your goals. As well as give you a report you can share with your doctor.



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