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Into Your Lifestyle

Sure, your daily life requires you to juggle constantly, but that doesn't mean you should drop the ball when it comes to getting enough exercise and eating healthy.

Minor lifestyle changes that you can work into your busy schedule can provide you with major health benefits, says the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition.

The council offers some suggestions on how to incorporate physical activity into your home and work routines.

At Home

  • Take a brisk 10-minute walk before breakfast, after dinner or both. Even small amounts of physical activity add up over the course of a week and help keep you metabolism working at a healthy rate.
  • Do leg lifts or crunches while talking on the phone or watching television. Forget the remote control and get up to change television channels.
  • Do yard work on evenings and weekends. Mowing the lawn for half an hour burns 150 calories, gardening for 30 to 45 minutes or raking leaves for half an hour burns the same amount of calories.
  • Do leisure activities that make you move. Go play in the park, walk the dog, toss a baseball, bicycle, hike, swim, or go for a walk.
  • When doing errands, park your car in a spot farthest from the mall or grocery store.

At Work

  • Instead of sending emails to people just down the hall, walk to their offices to deliver messages.
  • If you eat lunch at your desk, go outside for a 10-minute walk. That can help you avoid the mid-afternoon, post-lunch slump.
  • Start or join a recreational sports team with your co-workers.
  • Take the stairs, not the elevator. Stairwalking for 15 minutes burns 150 calories.

The council says you should set a good example for your children to teach them the importance of healthy living. Limit their time in front of the television or playing video games. Those kinds of sedentary activities should be limited to two hours a day.

Encourage your children to try many different sports and activities. They may discover one or more they enjoy so much that they'll stick with it for the rest of their lives. Use local community centers or recreation organizations to find clubs or teams for your children.

Give your children active chores, such as raking leaves. Provide your children with an hour or two after school to play outside.

The council also offers advice on how you and your family can add healthy variety and balance to your diet. Eat a wide variety of foods in moderate amounts to satisfy hunger and stay energized. Drink plenty of water or other fluids throughout the day. Dehydration can make you feel hungry and sluggish.

Encourage your children to stop eating when they're full. Don't force them to clean their plates if they're no longer hungry.

More information

You can learn more at the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition.

Reference Source 101


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