The new year is just around the corner, and resolutions abound! Here's a guide that features 3 simple tips for building a healthier future. Share it with your clients today, and don't miss the free handout hiding at the bottom of this post!
Skip the diet this year and focus your energy on exploring a balanced eating pattern instead. Not sure where to start? Try these great options...
- MyPlate lays out a straightforward guide to healthful meals -- simply make your plate look like MyPlate! Fill half of it with fruits and vegetables, then add some whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. There are lots of great resources to help you follow this eating pattern, so don't miss the tools at www.choosemyplate.gov.
- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans offer research-based eating advice that lends itself well to building a healthful eating style. Check out the Foods to Increase section for meal inspiration!
- The DASH diet is an eating pattern that is highly recommended for good health. DASH is short for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, and this eating plan is great for your heart. Plus, there are lots of ways to make simple and tasty meals while sticking to the foods featured in DASH.
Tip #2: Find Some Way to Get Active
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, "Being physically active is one of the most important steps that Americans of all ages can take to improve their health."
Most adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week or at least 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Some combination of the 2 approaches would also work well. Avoid being sedentary.
The guidelines assert, "Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes. Some physical activity is better than none [… and the] benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes."
- Go for a walk during lunch
- Join a running group
- Lift weights with a personal trainer
- Exercise with a friend
- Join a workout class at the gym
- Rent or download a workout video
- Go for a swim
- Get some home exercise equipment
- Take walks as a family after dinner
- Try yoga
The most important thing is to simply get moving. Talk with your doctor about healthful approaches to physical activity today.
Tip #3: Follow Your Priorities
What's most important to you? Pick a priority and find a few different ways to bring it to the forefront of your life. For example, if you're most concerned about hypertension and improving your blood pressure, consider reducing the salt in your diet. You can do this by cutting back on restaurant and fast food meals, replacing frozen foods with fresh options, etc. Set a goal that focuses on what really matters to you and you'll be amazed at how easy it is to stick to it!
And there you have it! 3 tips to help you and your clients build a healthier future. Here's a handout that features the highlights of today's post.
There are lots of other great resources in the Nutrition Education Store. Check out these phenomenal health and nutrition toolkits...
Hungry for more? Don't miss even more tips for the future -- they're available to all members in the post 2 More Tips for Building a Healthier Future...
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.