Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Tips to Healthy Eating & Physical Activity

There are a lot of 'fad' diets out there these days, but the fact is, that being healthy is a lifestyle!  There are a few simple rules that are easy to follow, and once you embrace them it'll feel like second nature!

RULE # 1Eat Breakfast
This is so important.  After not eating all night while you sleep, your body needs to be re-fuled so that you can focus at school or work and retain information.  Some ideal breakfast choices are: cereal, oatmeal, fruit, yougurt, skim or soy milk, smoothies, and homemade granola bars (see recipe

RULE # 2Get Moving
Try taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, park far away from the store you're going in to, take the dog for a walk, ride your bike!  Try and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

RULE # 3Snack Smart
Let's face it, we all hit the 3 o'clock wall at times, and it's very important to eat something healthy rather than running for the nearest vending machine.  Try to pack things such as fruits, veggies and hummus, and yogurt.  Knowing that dinner is only a couple hours away will help you to not over eat because you'll want to save room!

RULE # 4Work up a sweat
Vigorous work-outs (sweating and breathing hard) help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look AND feel your best!  Start by stretching your muscles, inlcude 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity (running, biking, dancing, Tae Bo, etc...) and follow up with some strength training (weights, push ups, etc...).  Be sure to include a cool down at the end which includes more stretching and deep breathing!

RULE # 5Balance your food choices - don't eat too much of one thing
You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries, and ice cream to eat healthfully. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat, and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron, and calcium from a variety of foods.

RULE # 6Get fit with friends or family
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event per week, like a bike ride, belly dancing, zumba, volleyball, etc...

RULE # 7Eat more Grains, Fruits & Veggies
These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels, and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.

RULE # 8Join physical activities in your neighbourhood
If you look at your local Activity guide, you'll be able to find all sorts of activities that you can join.  Things like Zumba (as mentioned above) is great because it's an aerobic dance class, Volleyball, baseball & cross-country skiing are all fabulous ways to get out there an exercise without even knowing it!

RULE # 9Foods aren't good OR bad
A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part, or food, is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt, while others may have more vitamins or fibre. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don't forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, don't eat a third.

RULE # 10Make healthy eating and Physical activity fun
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous - try new sports, games, and other activities as well as new foods. You'll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals - don't try changing too much at once.

*Rules taken from

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