Celebrate National Nutrition Month: 5 Steps for a Healthier You

March is National Nutrition Month. It’s a time to focus on developing healthy eating and physical activity habits you can follow all year long. Choosing nutritious foods and getting enough exercise can make a significant difference in your health. This is a great time to evaluate whether you are meeting your nutritional and exercise needs and start building a healthy life. Here are five steps you can take today to kickstart your journey towards a healthier, more vibrant you.

5 Habits to Start Building Today

  1. Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and veggies add color, flavor, and texture plus vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber to your plate. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Farmers market season is quickly approaching. Visit your local farmers market or grocery store and make a goal to try at least one or two new veggies or fruit. Experiment with different recipes and flavors to keep your meals exciting and nutritionally rich.

  2. Move Your Body. Physical activity is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise like walking fast, biking or playing pickleball and at least 2 days of strength training each week like lifting weights, working with resistance bands or doing body-weight exercises like pushups.

    Only 46.9% of adults age 18 and older are meeting the recommended guidelines for aerobic activity each week and only 24.2% are meeting the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity each week. Exercise not only contributes to weight management but also boosts mood, enhances energy levels, and supports overall cardiovascular health.

  3. Get to Know Food Labels. Reading the Nutrition Facts panel can help you shop and eat or drink smarter. Nutrition labels recently got a makeover. The new and improved Nutrition Facts label will help you make better decisions about the foods and beverages you eat and drink. Become a smart shopper by reading food labels and start making healthier choices today. Learn more about the new nutrition labels and how to read them.

  4. Meal Plan. Ask yourself the What’s for dinner question once a week instead of every night. Take the time to look over the calendar for the week, select meals based on foods you have in your kitchen or refrigerator, and then shop for the ingredients you need. Having nutritious options readily available reduces the temptation to opt for convenient, less healthy choices.

  5. Reduce Added Sugars. Foods and drinks with added sugars can contribute empty calories and little or no nutrition. Review the new and improved Nutrition Facts labels or ingredients list to identify sources of added sugars. Learn more about why reducing your sugar intake is good for your health.

National Nutrition Month serves as a reminder that small, consistent changes in our habits can lead to significant improvements in our health. By implementing these five habits, you’ll be taking meaningful steps towards a healthier, more balanced life. Start today, and let this month be the catalyst for a lifetime of well-being.

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