Energize Yourself and Your Family
Did You Know?
Being healthy and active can help give you the energy to keep up with the
demands of your busy life, take better care of yourself, and be there for the
people who depend on you.
If you are overweight and inactive, you are more likely to get:
Why Move More and Eat Better?
Being active and making smart food choices is good for
your health. But that
is not the only reason to move more and eat better. You can:
- Have more energy
and less stress.
- Feel better about yourself.
- Tone your body.
- Look better in your clothes.
- Set a good example for your children and your friends.
Tips on Moving More
Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (like
brisk walking) on most days of the week. It is not as hard as you may think, and
you do not have to do the whole 30 minutes at one time. Try these tips to get
past things that keep you from being active.
"I don't have time for physical activity."
You can "sneak" it into your day, a few minutes at a time. Get started by
making these small changes in your daily routine:
- Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the
rest of the way (be
sure the area is safe).
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator (be sure the
stairs are well lit).
- Walk and talk with a friend at lunch.
- Put more energy into housework and yard work.
"It's too expensive."
There are lots of ways to be physically active that are free or low-cost. You
- Find a local school park or school track where you
can walk or run.
- Walk around a mall.
- Work out with videos in your home-you can find
workout videos at bookstores or your local library.
TIP: Most people do not
need to see their health care provider before getting physically active. If
you have chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
diabetes, osteoporosis, or obesity, talk to your
health care provider before starting a vigorous physical activity program. You
do not need to talk to your provider before you start a less strenuous activity
- Join a recreation center or fitness center at work or
near your home.
- Walk your dog. If you do not have a dog, pretend that you do.
"Physical activity is a chore."
It can be fun! Try to:
- Do things you enjoy, like walking, dancing, swimming,
or playing sports.
- Walk or take an exercise class with a friend or a
group. This way, you can cheer each other on, have company, and feel safer
when you are outdoors.
- Be active with your kids-ride bikes, jump
double-dutch, toss a softball, play tag, or do jumping jacks. Physical
activity is good for them too.
- Break it up into short blocks of time-taking three
10-minute walks during your day may be easier than taking one 30-minute walk.
- Use your daily workouts as time-outs just for
TIP: Keep a physical activity log. Writing down your workouts in a
notebook or on a calendar lets you see how many times you have been physically
active in a week. You can also use your log to track your physical activity and
Tips on Eating Better
It may be hard to eat healthy if you do not have time to cook or your kids
want fast food. Try these tips to eat better, save time, and stretch your food
Help Your Family Eat Well
Here are some ways that you and your family can eat better:
- Eat breakfast every day. Try a whole-grain cereal
like raisin bran with nonfat or low-fat milk, or whole-wheat toast spread with
jam. Enjoy some fruit with your breakfast too.
- Teach kids that healthy foods taste good. Make
macaroni and cheese with nonfat milk and low-fat cheese. Try a peanut butter
(spread thin) and jam or preserves sandwich instead of a burger and fries.
- Choose nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
instead of full-fat dairy products.
- Choose whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread,
oatmeal, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta more often than refined-grain foods,
like white bread, white rice, and white pasta.
- Snack on fruits and vegetables. Keep a bowl of fruit
on the table, bags of mini carrots in the refrigerator, and boxes of raisins
in the cupboard.
- Do not keep a lot of sweets like cookies, candy, or
soda in the house. Too many sweets can crowd out healthier foods.
TIP: If you cannot digest lactose (the sugar found in milk), try
nonfat or low-fat lactose-reduced milk. Or try nonfat or low-fat yogurt or hard
cheeses like cheddar, which may be easier to digest than milk. You can also get
the calcium from calcium-fortified juices, soy-based beverages, and cereals.
Eating dark leafy vegetables like collard greens and kale, and canned fish with
soft bones like salmon, can also help you meet your body's calcium needs.