National Nutrition Month
03/26/2003

At least four of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States – cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes – are directly related to how we eat. According to recent studies, decreases in physical activity and healthy eating habits have put 58 million Americans over what is considered a healthy weight.

March is National Nutrition Month and there’s no better time to set goals to improve your diet and increase physical activity. A healthy diet depends on a variety, balance and moderation of all foods and beverages. Eating healthy does not mean you have to give up your favorite foods; it just means you should eat them in moderation.

Incorporating regular physical activity into your life such as brisk walking, biking, dancing and swimming builds healthy bones, muscles and joints and can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Physical activity does not have to be strenuous to have health benefits. What’s important is to include activity as part of your regular routine.

To help you accomplish your nutrition and physical activity goals, the American Dietetic Association offers these tips:

  • Be Realistic – Make small changes over time in what you eat and the level of activity you do. After all, small steps work better than giant leaps.
  • Be Adventurous – Expand your tastes to enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Be Flexible – Go ahead and balance what you eat and the physical activity you do over several days. No need to worry about just one meal or one day.
  • Be Sensible – Enjoy all foods, just don’t overdo it.
  • Be Active – Walk the dog, don’t just watch the dog walk.

Talk to your physician before starting an exercise program and ask for more information on healthy eating.