- Want to get healthy, but don’t know how to start? Start with list of small steps below and find some that work for you. Then let us help you separate healthy fact from fiction with our great selection of resources. Finish with a healthier you!
Step 1: Get the Facts
We are bombarded every day with conflicting information about our health. Is it better to eat a low-carb diet or a balanced diet? Should we be physically active 3-times a week or 5-times a week? And how can we be expected to follow any of these recommendations when we're always so busy?
It's no wonder that many of us throw up our hands and give up. But if we want to live long and fulfilling lives, it's essential that we learn the real facts about health, nutrition, and physical activity.
Luckily, the real facts are pretty straightforward. All you really need to know about a healthy lifestyle is:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products -- and also it is very important to control portion sizes.
- Get physically active at least 5-times a week, for 30-minutes or more.
- Avoid tobacco and illegal drugs altogether.
Sounds simple, right? Well, if it were that easy, we'd all be effortlessly fit and healthy.
Today's lifestyle doesn't allow much room for health. And that's where Small Steps comes in. We know that it's impossible for many people to make dramatic lifestyle changes. Instead, we want to help you learn ways that you can change small things about your life and see big results.
Step 2: Eat Better
In 2013, 154.7 million adult Americans were overweight or obese. If you are overweight or obese, carrying this extra weight puts you at risk for developing many diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Losing this weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.
But many people are confused about how to lose unhealthy weight. The good news is that this may be accomplished by eating healthy, balanced, and well-apportioned meals
Step 3: Get Active
If you think of getting active as one more thing on your long to-do list, you'll never get moving. That's why we're here -- to offer tools that make it easy to integrate activity into your daily life.
You don't need to go to the gym 5-times a week to be healthy. For instance, did you know that a 45-minute walk at a brisk pace, which is 3 to 4-miles an hour and can burn up to 300 calories? Or that by making small changes in your daily routine -- like parking further away, taking the stairs, and playing active games with your kids -- you can start living an active, healthy life? Click-here for Health Tip-of-the-Day.
Great Small Steps Today to Getting Healthy!
1. Walk to work
2. Use fat free milk over whole milk
3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV
4. Walk during lunch hour
5. Drink water before a meal
6. Eat leaner red meat & poultry
7. Eat half your dessert
8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can
9. Take family walk after dinner
10. Skate to work instead of driving
11. Avoid food portions larger than your fist
12. Mow lawn with push mower
13. Increase the fiber in your diet
14. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving
15. Walk kids to school
16. Get a dog and walk it
17. Join an exercise group
18. Drink diet soda
19. Replace Sunday drive with Sunday walk
20. Do yard work
21. Eat off smaller plates
22. Get off a stop early & walk
23. Don't eat late at night
24. Skip seconds
25. Work around the house
26. Skip buffets
27. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying
28. Bicycle to the store instead of driving
29. Take dog to the park
30. Ask your doctor about taking a multi-vitamin
31. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV
32. Use vegetable oils over solid fats
33. More carrots, less cake
34. Fetch the newspaper yourself
35. Sit up straight at work
36. Wash the car by hand
37. Don't skip meals
38. Eat more celery sticks
39. Run when running errands
40. Pace the sidelines at kids' athletic games
41. Take wheels off luggage
42. Choose an activity that fits into your daily life
43. Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato and onion
44. Ask a friend to exercise with you
45. Make time in your day for physical activity
46. Exercise with a video if the weather is bad
47. Bike to the barbershop or beauty salon instead of driving
48. Keep to a regular eating schedule
49. If you find it difficult to be active after work, try it before work
50. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a coffee break
51. Perform gardening or home repair activities
52. Avoid laborsaving devices
53. Take small trips on foot to get your body moving
54. Play with your kids 30 minutes a day
55. Dance to music
56. Keep a pair of walking/running shoes in your car and office
57. Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit
58. Walk briskly in the mall
59. Choose activities you enjoy & you'll be more likely to stick with them
60. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake
61. Take the long way to the water cooler
62. Explore new physical activities
63. Vary your activities, for interest and to broaden the range of benefits
64. Reward and acknowledge your efforts
65. Choose fruit for dessert
66. Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all
67. Take stairs instead of the escalator
68. Conduct an inventory of your meal/snack and physical activity patterns
69. Share an entree with a friend
70. Grill fruits or vegetables
71. Eat before grocery shopping
72. Choose a checkout line without a candy display
73. Make a grocery list before you shop
74. Buy 100% fruit juices over soda and sugary drinks
75. Stay active in winter. Play with your kids
76. Flavor foods with herbs, spices, and other low fat seasonings
77. Remove skin from poultry before cooking to lower fat content
78. Eat before you get too hungry
79. Don't skip breakfast
80. Stop eating when you are full
81. Snack on fruits and vegetables
82. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas
83. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta
84. Include several servings of whole grain food daily
85. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion
86. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or side dish instead
87. Ask for salad dressing "on the side"
88. Don't take seconds
89. Park farther from destination and walk
90. Try a green salad instead of fries
91. Bake or broil fish
92. Walk instead of sitting around
93. Eat sweet foods in small amounts
94. Take your dog on longer walks
95. Drink lots of water
96. Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads
97. Walk the beach instead of sunbathing
98. Walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling them
99. Carry your groceries instead of pushing a cart
100. Use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower
101. Cut high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into smaller pieces and only eat a few pieces
102. Use nonfat or low-fat sour cream, mayo, sauces, dressings, and other condiments
103. Replace sugar sweetened beverages with water and add a twist of lemon or lime
104. Replace high-saturated fat/high calorie seasonings with herbs grown in a small herb garden in your kitchen window
105. Refrigerate prepared soups before you eat them. As the soup cools, the fat will rise to the top. Skim it off the surface for reduced fat content.
106. When eating out, ask your server to put half your entree in a to-go bag
107. Substitute vegetables for other ingredients in your sandwich.
108. Every time you eat a meal, sit down, chew slowly, and pay attention to flavors and textures.
109. Try a new fruit or vegetable like jicama, plantain, bok choy, star fruit or papaya
110. Make a batch of brownies with applesauce instead of oil or shortening
111. Instead of eating out, bring a healthy, low calorie lunch to work
112. Ask your sweetie to bring you fruit or flowers instead of chocolate
113. Speak up for salad bars when coworkers are picking a restaurant for lunch, remember to count calories and pay attention to how much and what you eat
114. When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.
115. Walk briskly through the mall and shop until you drop ... pounds
116. Clean your closet and donate clothes that are too big
117. Take your body measurements to gauge progress
118. Buy set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your kids - you do it with weights, they do without
119. Swim with your kids