They say most new year resolutions fail by February. But that doesn’t mean you should give up just yet. “Maybe instead of trying to change everything at once -- because that is overwhelming -- maybe it’s just changing one thing at a time,” Dr. Lori Zettell said.

Dr. Zettell founded Outside the Box, a hub in Marshall for those who want a practical approach to health and wellness. 

“I just realized pretty early on that in order to help patients be successful and to really help them make a difference in their health and wellness, we needed to do something more to partner alongside them,” she said.

Dr. Zettell is a functional medicine doctor, different from a nutritionist, for instance.

“I’m an MD, I’ve gone to medical school,” she said. “A nutritionist will really just talk to somebody about their food or diet choices. But I’m an MD, I can do labs and prescribe prescriptions and supplements, and can go into a much different level.”

While Outside of the Box includes a doctor’s office to help get to the root of chronic conditions, there’s also a health coach, a naturopathic medicine practitioner, a café, a business incubator, gathering space, and classes for exercise and cooking.

Here are businesses and events in Calhoun County that can help you keep your resolutions, including Outside the Box:

Eat better

If you’re looking for a healthy lunch alternative, Outside the Box Café serves up greens, grains and proteins with house-made dressings. You don’t have to be a patient to eat there, and they do have delivery.

The cafe tries to accommodate different dietary restrictions, whether it’s gluten free, vegan or keto.

“What we put into our bodies affects how our body functions and works. So a lot of physicians will talk to their patients about eating healthier, exercising more, but I really wanted to incorporate what that might look like and how to go about that,” Dr. Zettell said.

It’s also a place for another wellness objective: connecting with people. You’re welcome to linger over a sweet treat and some coffee from Dream On, a company that roasts coffee beans in the building.

There’s also fast WiFi, if you’re looking for a place to sit and get some work done.

Start walking

Walking is good for your heart, according to the Harvard Medical School. This simple exercise “improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation.” Studies have also found that going for a walk can be good for your mental health and reduce stress.

Calhoun County has many lovely walking paths. We’re the meeting place for three major trails: The North Country Trail, the Great-Lake-to-Lake Trail and the Iron Belle Trail. 

The Battle Creek Linear Park is 26 miles long and has various loops, depending on what kind of workout you want. For a more woodsy walk, go to Historic Bridge Park and start on the Calhoun County Trailway there. Brooks Nature Center takes you through wetlands and prairie grasses in Marshall. The Albion River Trail is a paved path along the Kalamazoo River, good for kids with bikes.

Aim for a 5K

Some people find they stick with running longer if they have a goal. Think about signing up for one of these events for a 5K (or 3.1 miles):

  • Pastrami Joe’s Reuben Race (10K and 5K) on March 21. Run past historic buildings in Marshall, on a course that goes through downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Raises money for the Marshall Fountain Clinic.
  • Run the Rock (5K, kids fun run) on April 24. Run through the picturesque campus of Albion College.
  • Oaklawn Hospitality Classic (10K, 5K, fun run) on May 16. Oaklawn Hospital promotes fun and fitness with this annual race that is accessible for the entire community.
  • History Hustle (5K, kids fun run) on June 26. Run past historical sites in Albion, such as the Sunday night hang-out for the Purple Gang.
  • Cheetah Chase (Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk) on June 27. Run through Binder Park Zoo, which combines exotic animals and Michigan woodlands.
  • Battle Creek Half Marathon and 5K on July 4. Run though one of Battle Creek’s biggest festivals, the Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival. A balloon launch is planned for the time of the event.
  • Forks 5K and kids fun run on Sept. 18. Run along the Kalamazoo River during Albion’s Festival of the Forks.
  • Calhoun County Trail Run (8K, 20K) in September. The Calhoun County Trailway is a great running trail, especially during fall.
  • Tinsel Toes (5K) in December. Wear your ugliest sweater and run through downtown Battle Creek, which is decorated with lights for the holiday season.

Reduce stress with booksStress doesn’t just make life miserable, it can affect your body, as well. Reading has been proven to help decrease symptoms of stress, such as lowering blood pressure and the heart rate. Check out these three bookstores in Calhoun County for reading suggestions: Mitten Word in Marshall offers book reviews and staff recommendations. Stirling Books & Brew in Albion is a community meeting place with a cozy atmosphere – if you’re looking to reduce stress, though, maybe go for an herbal tea instead of a coffee at the store’s café. If you’re in Battle Creek, Barnes and Noble is the closest bookstore. It has a large selection and friendly staff.Want local feel-good news, events, photos and a trivia contest? Sign up for Dear Battle Creek, a monthly newsletter by the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau.