How to Keep Your Resolutions to Eat Healthy and Exercise Regularly
For release January 24, 2005
The New Year always means new opportunities to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and getting regular physical activity. But as many of us know only too well, making New Year's resolutions is often much easier than keeping them.
This is why county health officials are offering tips on how to keep two very important healthy lifestyle changes that all Contra Costans should strive for this year: Eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day and get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
"Because eating healthy and exercising regularly are long-term goals, it makes sense to set weekly and monthly mini-goals to get yourself on your way," says Gwenn White, coordinator for the county's On the Move With FoodWise food, nutrition and physical activity project.
According to White, weekly mini-goals could be as simple as finding out where to get fruits and vegetables at a time when the weather may not be ideal and many fruits and vegetables are not as plentiful.
"We sometimes forget that frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables do count as part of our five to nine servings a day," White says, adding that we can't use winter as an excuse for not getting our fruits and vegetables.
White says that if you're not getting at least five servings, you should aim to add one serving at a time, making that another weekly goal. "You could also aim to include a new fruit or vegetable to your diet, or to snack on fruit instead of cookies or chips," she adds.
To get regular physical activity, White suggests breaking up the 30 minutes of physical activity required daily into increments of 10-15 minutes if you need to. If it's too wet or cold outside, White says turning on some music and dancing inside the house, or doing push-ups, sit-ups or leg lifts are terrific alternatives.
"Find a physical activity you enjoy doing and have someone else join you so you could motivate each other," she says, adding that if you start small, stay positive and keep your eye on the ultimate reward of looking and feeling better and improving your health, you can make 2005 your healthiest year yet.
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