Luisa Martinez, Sonshine Communications
Leyanee Perez, CEO of the American Healthy Weight Alliance and Co-Chair of The Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade shares top tips to stay healthier in 2023
(Black PR Wire) Good health is important all year-round. With a healthy outlook in mind, the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, with the support from the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, continues to encourage the community to live healthier lifestyles in 2023.
A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that lowers the risk of being seriously ill or dying early. Many chronic diseases are caused by key risk behaviors. Some racial/ethnic minorities are more likely than whites to have most of the major chronic diseases. According to the Office of Minority Health, African Americans are generally at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, and HIV/AIDS.
“Eating healthy takes many forms, but it all comes down to having a well-balanced diet, says Leyanee Perez, R.D., L.D.N., Chief Executive Director of The American Healthy Weight Alliance, Inc., and Chair of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Committee for the Consortium. “A well-balanced diet is one that provides the body with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy; this means vegetarianism for some people or pescetarian for others, and even those that indulge in red meats can follow a well-balanced diet.”
Chronic diseases are largely preventable. Practicing healthy behaviors, such as eating healthy, can improve the odds of staying well, feeling and living longer. People with healthy eating habits live longer and have a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
“A healthy plate should be balanced, meaning it should contain the right amount of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy,” says Leyanee. “The amount of food per food group depends on the age, sex, weight, height and physical activity of the person.” Free tools such as the USDA’s MyPlate Plan can help identify what and how much to eat from the different food groups while staying within your recommended calorie allowance.
Regular physical activity can also help prevent, delay or manage chronic diseases. Among its many benefits, physical activity can strengthen the bones and muscles, help control weight, lower the risk of disease, increase the capacity to carry out daily tasks and benefit cognitive health. Adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day as a general goal.
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity and sleep can help prevent overweight and obesity.
“A healthy weight is more than just a number; it’s a way of life,” says Leyanee. “Maintaining a healthy weight means staying healthy of body and mind, knowing your numbers – calorie limits, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, glucose levels, and working every day on keeping those numbers in check.”
Other healthy life choices that can help in the prevention of chronic diseases are avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking and getting regular health screenings.
Making the decision to lose weight, change your lifestyle, and become healthier is a big step. “Like most things in life, everything starts with you. First, you need to want it,” said Leyanee.
Optimize your health in 2023! Implementing strategies to help you improve your health is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you need resources to help you become a healthier you, visit us at www.healthymiamidade.org.
About the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade
The Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade is comprised of over 400 organizations, all united by the common belief that through collaboration and prevention-focused initiatives, Miami-Dade County residents can live longer, happier and healthier. The Consortium initiatives are guided by the goals and objectives established in Healthy People 2020, the blueprint for health in the United States.
The mission of the Consortium is to be a major catalyst for healthy living in Miami-Dade through the support and strengthening of sustainable policies, systems and environments. For more information on the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade, visit www.healthymiamidade.org.
Leyanee Perez is a registered and licensed dietitian specializing in weight management programs for adults, adolescents and children; corporate wellness programs; and health communications. She is the Co-Chair of The Consortium for a Healthier Miami Dade Executive Committee. She is also the founder and CEO of the American Healthy Weight Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit organization established in 2012, to help the community with nutrition literacy access to healthy, nutritious foods. Leyanee played a key role in helping to optimize the health of the Miami-Dade community through The Healthy Happens Here Restaurant initiative. In collaboration with a team of registered dietitians, the Restaurant Initiative helped mom and pop restaurants and smaller chain restaurants create healthy menus.
Currently, Leyanee is working on a new project with The American Healthy Weight Alliance in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Miami Dade County, the Community Pantries Project. The Community Pantries follows a Client Choice model and aims to tackle two big problems, food waste and food insecurity. To date, the project has opened three food pantries in underserved communities in Miami-Dade County, the Village of Allapattah YMCA Family Center, Las Marianitas Sisters in Opa-Locka and Iglesia Rescate in Hialeah.
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