Why is physical activity a big deal?
Physical activity builds muscles, so even if you don't lose pounds, you will look and feel better when you are more active. Being active also reduces your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, even if you are overweight.
Im thinking about becoming more physically active.
Whats the best kind of activity?
First, ask your family doctor if there is any kind of physical activity that you should not do.
Aerobic exercises, such as swimming, walking or jogging, raise your heart rate and help burn calories. The longer you exercise, the more fat your body will burn. Walking can be very helpful even if you don't walk fast.
Light weight training also has many health benefits. It helps add muscle mass to your body. Muscle burns calories faster than fat does.
How can I change my eating habits? (Click HERE to see Heart Healthy Tips by Dr. Carlos Saenz)
Change them one at a time. Healthy habits include:
- Eat breakfast.
- Eat your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime.
- Begin meals with a low-fat salad, soup, broth or a glass of water.
- Eat more vegetables and whole grains at each meal.
- Drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages (such as regular soda and fruit juice).
- If you drink more than one regular soda per day, replace one of them with a diet soda, water or skim milk.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Know what 1 portion looks like -- and stick to it.
- Eat slowly so your body has time to know when you are full.
- Be more active in your daily life.
- Replace some of the sugar in your diet with non-caloric sweeteners
- Get support from family and friends. Support is very important for long-term success in adopting healthy habits.
Whats so bad about foods that are high in fat and added sugar?
Foods that are high in fat and added sugar have lots of calories. Foods high in calories from fat and/or added sugar include:
- Pastries, doughnuts, cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, pies
- Most crackers and chips
- Cooking oils, margarine, butter, lard, shortening
- Cream, ice cream
- Fried foods, hot dogs and luncheon meats
- Regular soda and fruit-flavored juices
Why is skipping meals not helpful?
Though skipping meals may work for a while, it backfires in the long run. When you skip a meal, you are likely to get too hungry, and then you may eat too much at once.
What can I do when my friends or family members pressure me to eat?
Sometimes a direct explanation and a request for support are enough to get people to understand that you're trying to improve your health habits. If that doesn't work, telling them it's your "doctor's orders" may do the trick. If not, you may have to avoid those people until you feel comfortable enough with your new habits to handle the pressure.