Women of all ages can improve their health by making wise choices about eating and physical activity. By lowering the number of calories taken in and being physically active, women may reduce their chances of becoming overweight or obese. They may also reduce their chances of developing certain life-threatening diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.
Here are some tips for healthy eating and physical activity from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:
- Start your day with breakfast.
Breakfast fills your "empty tank" to get you going after a long night without food. Easy to prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat or fat-free milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, or whole-grain waffles.
- Get Moving!
It's easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike, or jog to see friends. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read or watch TV. Try to do these things for at least 30 minutes on most if not all days of the week.
- Snack smart.
Choose snacks from different food groups, such as a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk, an apple, or celery sticks with peanut butter.
- Work up a sweat.
Regular vigorous workouts—when you're breathing hard and sweating—improve the health of your heart and lungs, help relieve stress and anxiety, and reduce some of the effects of aging.
- Balance your food choices.
Choosing foods based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's My Pyramid Plan and checking out the Nutrition Facts label on food packages will help you get all of the nutrients you need without taking in too many calories.
- Make healthy eating and physical activities fun!
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat healthy foods you like. Be adventurous—try new sports, games, and other activities, as well as new foods. Set realistic goals—don't try changing too much at once.
Current as of December 2006