It’s Not Too Late to Improve Your Health

With the start of the new year, we’ve all become a little older and wiser. So, why not put some of that wisdom into making healthier decisions over the next year? Healthy eating and regular physical activity will give you energy and help you lower your chances for developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, offers the following tips for older adults:

Healthy Eating

Help Your Child Make Healthy Eating Choices Through the School Year

The school year marks a hectic time for parents. Children run out the door to catch the bus,  then spend their evenings at after-school programs or practice. As parents rush children between activities and struggle to balance work and family obligations, many might choose the easiest option available – fast food or convenience foods, like chips and cookies.

But there’s no reason that busy families can’t enjoy healthy meals and healthy snacks through the school year. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers the following tips for providing healthy food no matter how tight your schedule:

Tips to Overcome the Barriers Keeping You from Exercising

As sunny weather beckons, many Americans dust off their jump ropes, soccer balls and sports equipment. Some prepare for the beach. On the other hand, many others are inactive. If you are one of those who struggle to fit in exercise, know that you can find ways to overcome your barriers to better health.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers tips for overcoming the following barriers:

Overcome Your Exercise Barriers

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As sunny weather beckons, many Americans dust off their jump ropes, soccer balls and sports equipment. Some prepare for the beach. On the other hand, many others are inactive. If you are one of those who struggle to fit in exercise, know that you can find ways to overcome your barriers to better health.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers tips for overcoming the following barriers:

“I am too busy.” No matter how busy you are, you can find ways to fit activity into your daily life. For example, designate one part of each day for physical activity. You can also schedule exercise in short bouts, such as taking 15-minute walks in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon and after dinner.

Try performing active chores. Examples include gardening, washing cars, mowing grass and vacuuming. You can also get your family involved by taking family walks around your neighborhood and visiting community parks and recreation centers on weekends.

“I am too tired.” At the end of a long day, doing anything but vegging in front of the television might seem downright Herculean. But here’s a secret: exercise gives you more energy. Going for a jog or brisk walk might help you feel less tired. Exercise also reduces stress, so a gentle walk can help you unwind after work. Finally, make exercise fun! If jogging on a treadmill sounds like torture, turn on your radio or portable music device and dance to your favorite song.

“I don’t like physical activity.” How many times have you said that you just don’t like exercise? To bring more joy to physical activity, ask a friend to be your exercise buddy — you can motivate each other and socialize at the same time. Also, choose an activity that you like, such as walking. You are more likely to stick with it. You can visit with a friend or take in the scenery as you walk.

For more information, call WIN at 1-877-946-4627 or visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov and read the free brochure, “Tips to Help You Get Active.”

6 Quick and Easy Exercise and Health Tips

Want to get outdoors, improve your health and socialize with friends? It might be time to put on your walking shoes.

Take a tip from Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better, a national initiative of the Weight-control Information Network (WIN): Incorporate walking into your daily exercise and health plan to:

  • Help control weight
  • Lower your risk for certain diseases
  • Build bone density

Get moving with these 6 exercise and health tips from Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better:

1. Make it fun. Find a partner. Your walking partner should be able to match your speed.

A Step In the Right Direction: Finding the Path to Better Health

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Most Americans have tried to improve their health at some point — but for many, attempts to eat less and move more do not result in success. So, can Americans truly change bad habits? The National Institutes of Health says “Yes.” No person is too out-of-shape, overweight or old to improve their health.

That said, old habits die hard, and fad diets may do more harm than good. Americans who are serious about changing their habits need to make realistic and gradual changes one step at a time and at their own pace.

Think about what motivates you, what pitfalls have trapped you before and what eating and activity habits you truly enjoy. Then make a plan. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach, so make goals that make sense to you. You can set a goal to eat oatmeal instead of a pastry for breakfast, or to park farther away from the grocery store when you shop.

Once you create your plan, track and evaluate your progress. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, offers the following tips to help you stay on task:

– Overcome your barriers. Ask family members or friends for support. If you know you can’t exercise later in the day, ask a coworker to accompany you on a walk at lunch. Plan ahead to avoid pitfalls. For example, if you usually snack on chips while you watch television, try eating air-popped popcorn or cut veggies and salsa.

– Reward yourself. When you reach a goal, buy yourself a new book or new gear or relax in a hot bath. Try to avoid rewarding yourself with high-calorie treats or time off from exercise.

– Add variety. It’s easy to get bored with one routine, so try new activities, foods and rewards.

– Plan ahead to avoid setbacks. Know what healthy activities you can enjoy in bad weather. If you know you’ll be on the go, pack healthy snacks and a lunch. Don’t give up after a setback — they happen. Simply regroup and start focusing on your goals again.

– Expand your goals. Revisit your goals, and look for new ways to challenge yourself. If you’re comfortable walking five days a week, try adding strength training. If you have successfully reduced your saturated fat intake, try limiting refined sugar.

For more information and healthy lifestyle tips, visit WIN at www.win.niddk.nih.gov.

Dads, WIN Back Your Health for Father’s Day

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Grandmothers might say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but many American dads should be paying attention to another old saying — the one about eating an apple a day. The experts at the Weight-control Information Network (WIN) want to make sure every dad is feeling jubilant and healthy this Father’s Day and for many more to follow.

So, what can dad do to stay healthy? Getting active can help men maintain a healthy weight. Couch potatoes should start with a level of activity that feels doable and then gradually increase frequency, duration and intensity of their workouts. For example, a person could start out walking 10 minutes a day the first week, then move up to 15 minutes the next week, until he meets his goal.

Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, weight training and swimming for fun. Chores, walking up stairs and playing with the kids count as healthy physical activities, too.

Of course, even with exercise, men need to watch what they eat. A healthy diet includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats and seafood, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. And even healthy foods need to be eaten in sensible amounts.

Consider the following information about portion sizes from WIN:

– Cereal. One cup, or the size of a fist.

– Fruit. One medium fruit equals a baseball in size. One-half cup of fresh fruit looks like half a baseball.

– Ice cream. Aim for half a cup, about the size of half of a baseball.

– Lean meats and seafood. Three ounces of lean meat are about the size of a deck of cards

– Low-fat or fat-free cheese. Picture four stacked dice -; that’s about the size of one and a half ounces cheese.

– Rice, pasta or potatoes. One-half cup, about the size of half a baseball.

Men whose waists measure more than 40 inches face an increased risk of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, coronary heart disease and some types of cancer. Men are more likely than women to carry extra weight around their stomach, where it may cause more problems than fat located elsewhere in the body.

For more information, see the WIN brochure “Getting on Track.” For a free copy, visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov or call 1-877-946-4627.