As the new year quickly approaches, many of us will be making resolutions to improve our lives. There are four simple things you can do to improve your health in 2016: eat healthier meals, be more physically active, quit smoking, and get screened for cancer. Today we will focus on simple things you can do to eat healthier and be more physically active.
To be successful in keeping your New Year’s resolutions, divide big and vague goals like “I will eat better” into smaller, more specific goals like “I will eat one more vegetable every day.” Remember, while your goals should be challenging, they should also be reachable. Portion control is a great tool to help you eat healthier. Try using smaller plates. That way you feel like you’re eating a whole plate of food without overindulging.
Add colorful fruits and vegetables to every meal to help you feel full without many calories. Visit eatwellbewell.gov for healthy tips and recipes. You can learn more about steps you can take to eat healthier meals at choosemyplate.gov. The Arizona Nutrition Network is a great resource for healthy eating, including healthy recipes.
Did you know that being physically active can help you increase your chances of living longer, feel better about yourself, decrease your chances of becoming depressed, sleep well at night, and stay at or get to a healthy weight? Adults should aim for at least two and half hours of physical activity each week. If you are just starting out, remember to build up slowly. This will help to prevent injury. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
You can do strengthening activities at least twice a week. Activities that build strength include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, working with resistance bands, or heavy gardening. Simple changes in your daily routine can also help you be more active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work and walk. No matter which activities you decide to do, remember to not overextend yourself, and have fun.