"Healthy habits, happy life - choose to thrive, not just survive."
Making Healthy Choices
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your chances for a longer, healthier life. Regular activity strengthens the bones, muscles, heart, mind, and immune system. This helps prevent many serious diseases and allows you to experience a higher quality of life.
For best health, plan on being physically active 30-60 minutes most days of the week, doing activities like brisk walking, jogging, riding your bike, swimming, and playing active sports.
Choose activities you enjoy. Invite your spouse or a friend to join you. Keep exercise fun and social. Be active all your life.
Be careful not to overdo. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have a serious health problem.
Be Smoke Free! By not smoking you reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, stroke, and numerous other health problems. If you need help stopping, talk to your doctor. There are numerous aides your doctor can give you to help make your stopping more successful.
Maintain a healthy weight! Losing excess weight can help you feel and look your best. First, be sure you don’t gain any weight in the future. Then set a short-term weight loss goal, usually 5-10% of your present weight. Even losing 10 pounds can significantly improve your health; lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Choose healthy, lower-calorie food, smaller serving sizes, and watch seconds and late-night eating.
Choose healthy foods! Healthy foods help every cell of the body to function at their best, preventing disease, providing energy and improving health. Here are proven ways to improve your health by making healthy food choices:
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, berries, salads, and brightly colored fruits.
Choose whole grains in place of white bread, white rice, and other refined grains. Examples: 100% whole grain breads, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain waffles.
Eat nuts and seeds every day. They are packed with nutrients that protect the heart and brain; walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazel nuts, peanuts and nut butters.
Avoid red and processed meats. Replace with legumes, soy, nuts, and other healthier proteins. If you eat animal protein, fish is best.
Use healthy plant oils in place of solid/animal fats.
Limit salt and salty foods.
Limit soft drinks and other sugar-rich foods
Keep stress within manageable limits. Improve coping skills and take time to relax and have fun daily.
Sleep. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily to feel your best, prevent weight gain and to live a longer, happier life.
Happiness. Maintain a happy, hopeful outlook on life. Get help from your doctor or counselor if you often feel depressed.
Social Support. Keep socially engaged with family, friends, a faith group, and other caring people.
Hall, Don DrPH Be Well for Life: Participant’s Guide to Healthy Living, (Graphic Expressions, 2022) 5-6