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A New Year’s resolution

WITH the New Year just around the corner, it comes with promises we make to ourselves to improve our lives.

It is with that idea in mind that January is National Healthy Weight Awareness Month and we should all know the Importance of Physical Fitness. Our islands have seen an increase in Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs, especially among our youth. NCDs were responsible 60 percent of deaths in the CNMI in 2005.

NCDs include Type II Diabetes, which are preventable. Since 2009, Type II Diabetes has been defined as a disability under Federal Law, because it substantially limits the function of the endocrine system, which regulates insulin and blood glucose (sugar). According to U.S. Public Health Service, we can reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes through a minimum of 120-150 minutes of exercise per week. That’s only 30 minutes of walking or doing light yard per day.

Other NCDs that we can prevent are raised blood pressure and obesity. In addition to 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, limiting tobacco use and alcohol intake will help lower blood pressure and control body weight.

For those of us who are not willing or unable to go an entire month, let’s focus on January 19-25, 2016 as part of Healthy Weight Week, which is “all about encouraging people to stop dieting and pursue livable and sustainable healthy lifestyles through eating well, living actively and feeling good about themselves” – Green Mountain at Fox Run.

For more information about Non-communicable diseases and/or disabilities, please contact the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. or NMPASI at 235-7273/4, or visit us online at

Projects Specialist