Being healthy isn’t always easy. In fact for many Oklahomans it’s hardly ever easy. We want to help make the healthy choice the easy choice by advocating for state and local policies that remove barriers to healthy living in Oklahoma. But there are steps everyone can take toward living a happier, healthier life.
While food can serve to bring people together in times of celebration and to comfort us in times of sadness, on a daily basis it should be viewed as fuel to help our bodies serve us to their full potential. The human body is an amazing and complex system of systems. To ensure all these systems are in balance, it is our responsibility to give them the fuel they need and limit the foods that disrupt that delicate balance. Although we know maintaining that balance is also good for our mind and emotional well-being, it’s not always easy to make the healthy choice.
The new MyPlate guidelines are a great starting point for a healthy diet. The idea is to balance calories while increasing healthier foods and decreasing foods with lower nutritional value.
- Whole Grains
- Lean Protein
- Low Fat or No Fat Dairy
Limit these foods:
- Foods high in solid fats
- Foods with added sugars
- Food high in sodium (salt).
Simple first steps:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables (Remember, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables count!)
- Control your portions. Try smaller dinner plates and eat slowly so you know when you’re full.
- Limit intake of soda and sugar-sweetened fruit juices and replace them with water or low fat milk.
After you’ve fueled up properly, you’ll feel better able to get the physical activity your body needs. Physical fitness isn’t just about looking better–it’s about feeling better and strong! Daily physical activity has been proven to improve mood, sleep, lifespan and quality of life. And kids who get regular bouts of physical activity throughout the school day get better grades, have less behavior issues and concentrate better in the ￼classroom.
Lack of physical activity is linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, early death and countless other health problems.
The CDC recommends children get 60 minutes of physical activity a day and adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity a week.
You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to get the exercise you need. A daily walk will do you more good than you may realize.
Simple first steps:
- Get your family and friends involved–accountability helps keep you motivated!
- Shooting some baskets with the kids or riding bikes with a friend is a great way to bond and have fun while doing your body good.
- Use commercial breaks during your favorite program to do some easy at-home exercises like pushups, crunches and jumping jacks.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Park at the back of the parking lot in shopping centers and at work.
- Walk or bike to work and/or school.
- Ask your child’s school if they participate in the “walking school bus” and if they don’t use your voice to get one started for your child’s school today.