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    3. Start small. continued...

    Those changes start with behavior -- being more active and eating healthier.

    "Little things are important," Hill says. For instance, he recommends getting a pedometer and walking an extra 1,000 steps -- about half a mile -- per day. On the diet side, an example might be watching your portion size.

    "Most people can't just turn their life upside down, but they can walk half a mile more," Hill says, adding that you can log those extra steps any time during the day.

    "The thing is that you do it. It doesn't matter that you do it all at once," he says. "You never even have to go to the gym, if you don't want to. You can do it just by walking through daily living."

    Over time, those small changes make a difference.

    4. Check your environment.

    Do your surroundings promote a healthy, active lifestyle, or are they kindest to couch potatoes?

    True, Colorado has some natural perk like seasons that don't send people fleeing inside. "We have a weather pattern where you can be outside pretty comfortably summer and winter," Hill says. But there's more to it than that.

    "If you're encouraging people to walk more, do they have places to walk? Are there parks? Are employers encouraging walking? On the food side, we encourage people to make better choices. Are better choices available?"

    5. Think teamwork.

    There's no magic bullet against the obesity trend, and if states get too caught up in debating which approach is best, their efforts could get bogged down.

    "There are so many ideas around that in a lot of places, they're working more in opposition than working together," Hill says. "My solution to obesity -- someone else is going to say that's not the right solution at all; you need to do x, y, and z. I think it's been tough for people in a lot of states to come together to try to have a common strategy, and I think we're going to be able to do that in Colorado."

    For instance, Hill says that Colorado is trying to work with restaurants to make meals healthier and portions more reasonable. "The thing that makes Colorado different is that the public, private, [and] academic sectors tend to be pretty agreeable to working together to try to find a common goal," he says.

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