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Make Positive Changes With Group Lifestyle Balance Program

MaryLynn Marshburn and Rachel Seepie help make positive changes during the Group Lifestyle Balance Program.

A handful of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members have recently taken on the challenge of getting healthier by joining the Group Lifestyle Balance Program, a 21-day program initiated by the SRPMIC Diabetes Program. The program started October 28 and ends November 18.

The program is open to Community members and employees who are looking to break the links in the chains that hold them back from achieving healthy lifestyle goals.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3 percent of adults have pre-diabetes and may not know it. Pre-diabetes is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Evidence has shown that modest lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent among people with pre-diabetes.

Changes in physical activity and nutrition can help families in many ways. The class discussed topics of interest, such as breaking habits like eating out almost every day, noting different ways of cutting back to try to eat a home-cooked meal at least once or twice a week.

The group shared scenarios and brainstormed together on food intake, exercising and the roadblocks that come with fitness, like being too tired to work out or looking for ways to find motivation.

The upcoming holidays bring more fitness challenges, like family gatherings and work parties. The group shared different methods of tackling these challenges in positive ways.

While participants were measured and weighed, members of the class shared how their week went. One suggestion was to move unhealthy foods and snack items so they are no longer within arm’s reach at home.

MaryLynn Marshburn, health educator for SRPMIC Health and Human Services, suggested placing junk food high on a shelf or inside cabinets, making it more difficult to retrieve by adding that extra step.

“If that doesn’t work, try something different. Keep low-fat foods close by as an alternative. Thirty to 90 minutes of physical activity throughout the week can result in a loss of at least 7 percent body fat. Also, balancing meals with the Create Your Plate method also helps,” Marshburn said (see

At the end of each class, the members fill out a to-do list for the week that keeps track of their weight, eating and exercise activity, as well as personal health goals they want to achieve.

In January, Health and Human Services will start another session of this program to start off the New Year right. For more information or to enroll in the January session, or other nutrition programs, contact Maggie Fisher, R.D., CDE, Health and Human Services nutrition supervisor, at (480) 362-6640.