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Shape Up For Spring

During the spring, we may feel like refreshing out home by cleaning and organizing closets. Maybe we should do a diet and physical activity checkup to find out if our lifestyle needs to be refreshed.
Shape Up For Spring

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

Eating a healthful diet and being more active can help lower your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You can have fun and feel more energetic in the process!

Track Your Eating Habits

For a couple of days as a starting point, write down what and how much you eat and drink. Use a journal, log your intake on your calendar, or use an online tool such as SuperTracker at www.choosemyplate.gov. Don't forget to include beverages, sauces, spreads, and sides. It all counts.

    • Diet Checkup: Are you missing any food groups? Many people are short of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Adults should aim for 4.5 cups of colorful fruits and vegetables each day.

Try These Tips to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables.

    • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a stir-fry or soup.
    • Include a green salad with your dinner every night.
    • Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
    • Pack a clementine, banana, or grapes in your lunch.

Track Your Activity

For one week, write down the physical activities you do. Log each activity that you do for at least 10 minutes at a time. Use SuperTracker, a phone app or a journal, or make a calendar.

    • Physical Activity Checkup: Are you getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days of the week?

Try These Tips to Stay Active.

    • Set some "exercise dates" and write your plans on a calendar. Check off the activity after you do it.
    • Plant a garden in your backyard or in a community garden. Raking, planting, pulling weeds and harvesting all count as physical activity.
    • Check out community classes. Does your community have a "fun walk" or "fun run"? Pull together a team and train together.
    • Take regular breaks from technology. Turn off the TV and computer, and put away phones and other devices. Go outside and enjoy a park or walking path.

For more tips to increase fruits, vegetables or other food groups and more ideas to be active, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise April 2016 newsletter (PDF)



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