Many of us make a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and move more. spring is the perfect time to check on any resolutions or goals we have set for ourselves. Are you still on the right track or have you lost track of what you were looking for weeks ago?
Start with your physical activity and consider your level of activity in a typical week. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that adults get 150 to 300 minutes per week. By making sure you choose a variety of activities that you like to do, it will be easy for you to reach your minutes each. The focus should be on moderate-intensity aerobic activity—anything that gets your heart rate up.
Some ideas are walking, cycling, swimming, sports and gardening. At least two days a week, it’s important to include muscle-strengthening activities that involve lifting weights and doing resistance training using a resistance band.
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To reduce the risk of falls and maintain our independence as we age, it’s essential to include bone-strengthening activities like jumping jacks, running, and brisk walking. To help maintain balance, some exercises involve walking backwards and standing on one leg.
If you’re not very active right now, every minute you add to activity each week counts towards the impact physical activity can have on your overall well-being. Start slow and increase over time. This will help you stick with it and make it part of your daily routine.
When choosing your activities, make sure you have the proper footwear. The sole is most important to ensure you have the support you need to help prevent injury. The toe box, which is the front of your sneaker, needs enough room to move your toes.
Regular physical activity helps improve sleep, prevent disease, lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and provide energy for the day. As daylight is a little longer at this time of year, take the opportunity to get out and move.
Once you’ve checked your physical activity, made a game plan for the goals you’d like to achieve, take a look at your eating habits. How do you balance your plate?
Not just your plate, but all your meals and snacks. Keep a variety of colors and food groups in mind, including at least 3-5 different food groups with meals and two different food groups with snacks.
Start building that plate with colorful fruits and veggies, add lean protein, watch your portion sizes, and fill your plate with whole grains full of healthy benefits for your digestive system and energy source.
Take advantage of spring to redefine your goals; aim for balance with healthy daily habits.
An equal opportunity institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, Dean and Director. Single copies of UF/IFAS extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are free to Florida residents of county UF/IFAS extension offices.