Submitted by Wendy Chirieleison, MS Ed
Community Health Educator
Overcoming Obstacles To Eat Smart & Live Strong!
It can be difficult to meet the daily food and exercise recommendations for a variety of reasons, such as not having enough time, money, lack of transportation, or health issues that get in the way of preparing healthier meals and exercising.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are many benefits to meeting the daily food and exercise recommendations:
- Getting the vitamins, minerals, and fiber necessary to remain healthy
- Maintaining “regularity”
- Preventing or delaying chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease
- Decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression
- Building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints
- Improving strength and balance to prevent falls
- Improving sleep and feeling better overall
RECOMMENDATIONS AND STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU MEET THEM
Eat At Least 1 ½ Cups Of Fruits & 2 Cups Of Vegetables Each Day. Think about your personal challenges and see if there are some possible solutions below:
- Shop with a neighbor or friend who can drive you to the store and perhaps help you carry your groceries into the house.
- Shop when stores are less crowded and ask store personnel for assistance.
- Purchase fruits and vegetables that do not require cutting or chopping, or that are ready to eat.
- Fruits and vegetables that are in season are generally less expensive.
- If you cannot afford fresh produce, purchase frozen fruits and vegetables.
- If you are worried about produce spoiling, purchase single serving packages.
- Eat at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal.
- Try different recipes that include a variety of produce, such as orange pork chops or a pineapple orange smoothie.
- Cook vegetables longer so they are softer and easier to eat.
- Schedule at least one appointment with your dentist each year.
Participate In At Least 30 Minutes Of Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity Most Days Of The Week. Again, think about your challenges and see if you can find a solution below:
- Recruit a friend to exercise with you.
- Park your car farther away from entrances.
- Invest in a good pair of supportive shoes or sneakers.
- Call your local senior center or fitness center and ask about exercise classes.
- Find ways to make exercising a social event.
- Start out slow and gradually increase your time and effort.
- Stretch before and after you exercise.
- Visit org to view our Winter Recreation Resources, a list of fun things for you to do to stay active while the weather outside is still frightful.
For more information, visit myplate.gov, contact your healthcare provider or HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at email@example.com, see our website at nlh.org, or visit our NEW wellness center at 2 Colonial Court in downtown Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.