National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is an educational campaign focusing on the significance of physical fitness as well as eating nourishing meals. Taking charge of your health contributes to overall wellbeing; as well as losing weight or staying at your ideal weight, which reduces risks of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Here are some healthy lifestyle tips you should know:

Regular Fitness Routine. Daily physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but unfortunately most of us don’t include enough movement in our daily routines. Regular physical activity strengthens bones and muscles, reduces the risk of chronic illness, and fosters overall well being, which includes stress relief, more quality sleep and an improved positive mental outlook.

The key is to find activities that are enjoyable and can easily be maintained.

  • Try using the buddy system, joining a walking group or attending fitness classes.
  • Sign up for a 5k run/walk with friends or family.
  • Sneak in exercise at your desk or buy a desk that allows you to stand while working.
  • Take a short walk on your lunch break.
  • Walk up and down the stairs when the weather’s bad.
  • Track your daily movement, either by keeping a journal, using a website, or an activity tracking device.

Healthy Food Choices. Age, gender, body type, family history, existing health conditions and daily routines all play a factor in determining which foods to eat more of and which ones to avoid. Knowing which foods contain the nutrients you need is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Try to avoid prepackaged foods when possible. When you do buy packaged foods, pay close attention to the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts Panel to help you make more informed choices. The higher an ingredient is on the list, the more of that ingredient is included compared to others. This is a good way to determine if a product is made with whole grains, or has a lot of added sugars. Regardless of nutrition claims on the front of the package, it’s important to read the Nutrition Facts Panel to determine how many calories and how much fat, sugar and salt are in the package.

Keep a variety of tasty, nutritious, ready-to-eat foods nearby. This will help reduce the temptation to eat less healthy options from vending machines, convenience stores, or the break room. Healthy snack ideas include fresh fruit, air-popped popcorn, whole-wheat crackers, dried fruit and nut mixes, almonds and low-fat yogurt. Think of snacks as mini-meals to help you consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Remember to snack only when hungry, not out of boredom, stress, or frustration.

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