Step 1: Get the facts
We are bombarded every day with conflicting information about our
health. Is it better to eat a low-carb diet or a balanced diet?
Should we be physically active three times a week or five times a
week? And how can we be expected to follow any of these
recommendations when we're always so busy?
It's no wonder that many of us throw up our hands and give up. But
if we want to live long and fulfilling lives, it's essential that we
learn the real facts about health, nutrition and physical activity.
Luckily, the real facts are pretty straightforward. All you really
need to know about a healthy lifestyle is:
Eat a healthy diet
that includes fruits, vegetables and whole grain products -- and
be sure to control portion sizes.
active at least five times a week, for 30 minutes or more.
Avoid tobacco and
illegal drugs altogether.
Sounds simple, right? Well, if it were that easy, we'd all be
effortlessly fit and healthy.
Today's lifestyle doesn't allow much room for health. And that's
where "Small Steps" comes in. We know that it's impossible for many
people to make dramatic lifestyle changes. Instead, we want to help
you learn ways that you can change small things about your life and
see big results.
physical activity is important for your overall health and
well-being. Include activities that you enjoy and can easily fit
into your daily routine
-- such as walking your dog, working in your
garden or riding your bike.
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Being active for 30-60 minutes on most days can help you build
strength and fitness, relax and reduce stress, gain more energy, and
improve your sleep. These benefits all add up to decreasing your
risk of heart disease and other conditions, such as colon cancer,
diabetes, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
If you have been inactive for several years or are currently under
medical care, please consult your doctor before starting a new
Did you know…?
It's hard to judge the calories in food. For instance, a can of
regular soda can have more sugar than a slice of cake!
Housework, at a moderate level of exertion, can burn up to 300
calories an hour.
You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound of body weight.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is ready to help
you improve your physical fitness. You can set goals and chart your
progress at the
Small Steps Activity Tracker.
Topics to come: Body mass index, healthy eating, nutrition
and portion sizes, and more on fitness.
Information source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services