Want to feel better, look better, and have
more energy? Moving more and eating better is the
best place to start
Being physically active and making smart food
choices is good for your health. But that is not
the only reason to move more and eat better. It
can also help you:
- Have more energy.
- Look good in hip, trendy clothes.
- Tone your body (without losing your
- Reduce stress, boredom, or the blues.
- Feel good about yourself.
Tips on Moving More
Physical activity can be fun! Do things you
- fast walking
- playing sports
- group fitness classes, such as dance or
If you can, be physically active with a friend
or a group. That way, you can cheer each other
on, have a good time while being active, and feel
safer when you are outdoors. Find a local school
track or park where you can walk or run with your
friends, or join a recreation center so you can
work out or take a fun fitness class
Think you do not have time for physical
activity? The good news is that you can be active
for short periods of time throughout the day and
still benefit. When fitting in physical activity,
remember that any activity is better than none.
So try to move more by making these small changes
to your daily routine:
- Get off the bus or subway one stop early
and walk the rest of the way (be sure the area
- Park your car farther away and walk to your
- Walk to each end of the mall when you go
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator or
escalator (make sure the stairs have working
- Put physical activity on your to-do list
for the day. For example, plan on exercising
right after work, before you can get distracted
by dinner or going out.
Good as You Get Fit
If you avoid physical activity because you do
not want to ruin your hairstyle, try:
- a natural hairstyle
- a style that can be wrapped or pulled
- a short haircut
- braids, twists, or locs
activities can cause salt build-up in your hair.
To remove salt, shampoo with a mild, pH-balanced
product at least once a week.
Tips on Eating Better
Eating right can be hard when you do not feel
like cooking or there is a fast food place on
every corner. Here are some simple things you can
do to eat better:
- Start every day with breakfast. Try a
low-fat, whole-grain breakfast bar; fat-free or
low-fat yogurt; or whole-grain toast or bagel
spread with a little peanut butter, jam, or
low-fat cream cheese.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, and choose
whole grains like 100 percent whole-wheat
bread, oatmeal, or brown rice instead of
refined grains like white bread and white
- Choose low-fat or fat-free milk instead of
whole milk or a milkshake.
- Order a plain hamburger (without sauce or
mayonnaise) or a grilled (not fried) chicken
sandwich. Skip the fries and try a salad with
fat-free or low-fat dressing instead.
- Go easy on mayonnaise, creamy sauces, and
- Do not keep a lot of sweets like cookies,
candy, or soda in the house. Too many sweets
can crowd out healthier foods.
- Rather than eliminate your favorite
home-cooked foods, prepare them in slightly
different ways: bake chicken instead of frying
it; cook with extra herbs rather than extra
butter; and reduce the amount of salt you use.
TIP: Many food labels
say “low-fat,” “reduced
fat,” or “light.” That does not
always mean the food is low in calories.
Sometimes fat-free or low-fat muffins or desserts
have even more sugar than the full-fat versions.
Remember, fat-free does not mean calorie-free,
and calories do count!
Many people think that bigger is better. We
are so used to value-size servings that it is
easy to eat more than our bodies need. Eating
smaller portions will help you cut down on
calories and fat (and might save you money
Even take-out and high-fat foods can be part
of a balanced diet, as long as you do not eat
them every day and do not eat too much of them.
Here are sensible serving sizes for some favorite
- french fries: one small serving (equal to a
- shrimp fried rice (as a main dish): 1
- cheese pizza: two small slices or 1 large
TIP: Do you eat in front
of the TV out of habit? Do you eat when you are
bored, nervous, or sad? Be aware of when, where,
and why you eat, and try to eat balanced meals
throughout the day. Instead of reaching for that
cookie, do something else, like calling a friend
or taking a walk.
You can hang out with your friends and still
make healthy food choices. Try these tips when
you are out ‘n’ about:
- Encourage your friends to make healthy
choices with you. If you are all on the same
page, it might be easier for you—and your
friends—to avoid temptation.
- Order vegetable toppings on pizza instead
of salty, high-fat meats like pepperoni or
- Share popcorn (and skip the added butter)
at the movies instead of getting your own bag,
or order the smallest size. You will save money
- Choose bottled water instead of soda and
other artificially sweetened beverages like
punch or natural fruit juices.
- Munch on pretzels or vegetables at parties
instead of fried chips or fatty dips.
- If you drink wine, beer, or other alcohol,
limit yourself to one drink. Alcohol has lots
of calories but little nutritional value.
Set doable goals. Move at your own pace. Let
your family and friends help you. Allow for
setbacks, and be sure to celebrate your
successes. Keep trying—you can do it!
Check out MyPyramid, an interactive
website from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
for more information about physical activity and
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Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health,
which is the Federal Government’s lead
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and Congress with up-to-date, science-based
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physical activity, and related nutritional
Publications produced by WIN are reviewed by
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NIH Publication No. 08–4903