Small changes to extraordinarily improve your health
Although you cannot change your genes, you can work on changing your eating habits, levels of physical activity, and other factors. Try the ideas below.
Get regular physical activity
Try these tips for starting or maintaining an exercise program:
- Get at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderately intense aerobic activity each weekthat raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Brisk walking, biking (with a helmet), swimming, and playing tennis or basketball are fun choices that you can do with others for support.
- You can spread the 150 minutes out in short spurts over the week. Do house or yard chores briskly, walk the dog at a quick pace, or dance to your favorite music for at least 10 minutes at a time.
- Aim for 300 minutes (5 hours) of aerobic activity a week to prevent gradual weight gain in adulthood. If you are at a healthy weight now but used to be overweight or obese, experts encourage 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day to keep the weight off.
Most adults don’t need to see their doctor before starting a physical activity program. However, those who should see a doctor include men older than 40 and women older than 50 who plan a vigorous program or who have either a serious health condition or risk factors for a serious health condition.
Eating healthy foods has vital health benefits, too, including weight loss. To start eating better, try these tips:
- Eat the rainbow. Make half of what’s on your plate fruit and vegetables.
- Replace refined grains with whole grains, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
- Get your protein from healthy sources, like seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
- Instead of sugary drinks, choose unsweetened tea, low-fat milk, or water.
Remember, weight control is a lifelong effort. Starting now with small steps may improve your health. A healthy eating plan and regular physical activity can be steps to a healthier you.