How do you feel today? What are you doing to make your life the best it can be? We all know that what we eat and how much activity we do, plays a large role in our overall health. The things we do as part of our daily habits reflect not only our current health, but long term health as well. Here are a few tips to get you started thinking. Read through them, pick one or two to practice on a daily basis and then when you accomplish them into your routine, pick another one. If it doesn’t work, try something else, the challenge is don’t give up!! Each step brings us closer to being in better health by our activity and our food choices.
**Choose daily activity. As the weather breaks, get outside and move! The goal would be 10,000 steps on a daily basis or at least 30 minutes of brisk activity. The time increases if we are aiming to increase our health to 60 minutes and 90 minutes if weight loss is our goal. Turn off the TV for 2 hours a night and find something outside to do, play ball with the kids, give gardening a try or just take a walk around the block with a neighbor. If I have someone to partner with, I’m more likely to continue–so grab and friend or your family and go!!
**Choose healthy recipes for meals at home. Ask yourself, what can I change to make this better? Maybe it’s just adding more vegetables, or decreasing the amount of salt it calls for. Share recipes you find that are good with co-workers and friends–we are all looking for new ideas! Don’t be afraid to try new foods too, expand the variety in your meal planning.
**Snacks - make them count with vitamins and minerals, not just empty calories. Reach for the fruits and whole grains to enjoy the nutritive benefits along with the fiber. Read the labels and watch the portion sizes too! Have foods packaged and easy to grab and go for a family on the move.
**When dining out, look for the selections that are lower in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Sometimes there are indicators on the menu, other times we may need to ask if there’s a nutritive chart available or even look them up on line before we go. I know I have changed my mind after looking at the calories in a food. Just remember to keep eating a variety of foods, balance between the food groups and moderation in all foods. For more information, check out https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ for many helpful tips to make your meals better.
Every journey begins with a single step, take the first one so that you will have better health and a longer life to share with family and friends. There’s no better time to start than when the sun is shining and there’s a spring in your step!
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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