It’s National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle.” Where do you want to start?
Components of a Healthy Lifestyle:
Broadly, there are two basic parts of building a healthy lifestyle: what you eat, and what you do. Those two sections have three general themes:
- Make Smart Choices
- Eat and Drink Fewer Calories
- Exercise Regularly
Let’s take a closer look at each section…
Make Smart Choices:
It’s time to get informed! The more you know about your food and exercise, the wiser your decisions will be. Talk with your doctor about your physical activity plan and do some research to see what options are available near you. You never know when a fun opportunity for exercise may present itself!
To make smart food choices, it’s all about learning where to look. When you go to the grocery store, check the Nutrition Facts labels to see whether the food is a good source of nutrients. Skip options that have too much salt, added sugar, or solid fats, choosing foods with lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber instead. When it comes to dining out, look up healthy choices before you go. If the restaurant doesn’t make its nutrition information available online (many places do these days), then consider giving them a call to find out which foods might be right for you.
Eat and Drink Fewer Calories:
Empty calories offer just that: calories without much else. No vitamins or nutrients there. Solid fats and added sugars are some of the biggest sources of empty calories, so reducing those in your diet is a great place to start with this goal. Instead of foods with empty calories, focus on fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean protein sources, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. These are all keys to a healthful and balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients.
When you exercise regularly, you reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. At the same time, you increase your chances of sleeping better and living longer. Plus, physical activity can help you manage your weight. What’s not to love?
If you haven’t been exercising at all, talk with your doctor about ways to start slowly. If you start slowly and keep going, you’ll reap health benefits and reduce your risk of injury or burnout.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.