As we spring forward in March, most of us are falling back into habits we swore on the new year we wouldn’t do anymore. This is why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds us every March of the importance of combining healthy eating and physical exercise by celebrating National Nutrition Month, their eat-right campaign. We’re here to show you the easy ways to incorporate healthy habits into you and your family’s daily routine.
Learn your needs. There’s no miracle menu or trending diet that is suitable for everyone’s needs. This campaign recommends that people see registered dietitians and nutritionists to understand the ways their gender, family history, age, body type, daily routine and existing health conditions affect their dietary needs.
Healthy exercise routines. With more than one-third of U.S. adults being obese, National Nutrition Month is a crucial reminder of the importance of seeking opportunities to increase physical activity. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition advises that youths (6-17 years old) should be active for 60 minutes a day and adults (18 years and older) should be active for 30 minutes a day. Benefits of an exercise regimen go far beyond a slim physique. A healthy exercise routine can relieve stress, reduce your risk of depression, improve sleep, increase energy and boost your self-esteem.
Make informed food choices. While nutrition facts and ingredient lists aren’t exactly light reading, it’s important to understand what we’re putting in our bodies. The higher the ingredient is on the list, the more of it there is in comparison to the other ingredients. When foods are labeled “reduced salt” or “reduced sugar,” the ingredient list is a good place to see if anything’s been added to make up the reduction.
Don’t deprive, satisfy. The Internet bombard us with diet fads that aren’t designed to promote long-term changes in eating habits. Because diets are considered to be temporary, you should think of it as a healthy lifestyle change instead. Begin with short-term goals, such as starting with fruit or vegetable substitutes for that mid-morning snack. Eventually set a long term goal, such as incorporating one vegetarian dinner into your week.
Healthy dinner decisions. Not everyone meets the five-a-day fruits and vegetables quota. One thing you can do is cover one-half of your dinner plate with fruits and vegetables. Turn your dinner plate into a dinner palette. Having a variety of red, orange and dark green colors is a good way to make sure you and your family will be getting the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need. We also suggest reaching for fat-free or low-fat dairy products instead. You’ll be getting the same amount of calcium but fewer calories and saturated fat.
Enjoying a healthy lifestyle balance is important to the doctors at American Family Care! That’s why we offer health and wellness programs to help you stay up to date on ways to practice healthy eating and incorporate physical activity into your routine.