Nearly half of all adults in the United States have a chronic, diet-related condition, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and overweight/obesity. Healthy eating and staying active are essential tools for reducing your risk for serious diseases and conditions in addition to promoting your quality of life and energy levels. The university setting may be a challenging environment in which to set healthy habits, but establishing positive routines now can help you lead a balanced life for years to come.
HEALTHY EATING TIPS
- Don't skip meals (especially breakfast)
- Drink plenty of water
- Plan your meals at the beginning of each week
- Limit the junk
- Keep a food diary
- Shop smart at the grocery store
- Read the Nutrition Facts
- Replace your favorite foods with healthier options
- Pack healthy snacks
- Ditch sugary drinks
- Follow proper portion size
- Don't fight stress by eating
- Switch it up
- Treat yourself
- Get help for eating disorders
SPECIAL DIETS AND DIET TRENDS
We often hear about a variety of unique diets from our friends, family, and the media. Some diets are supported by scientific evidence, while others may be rooted in false information and can be dangerous to your health. Make sure that you do your research and consult your doctor before adopting any kind of diet routine. Ask yourself the following questions when researching special diets:
- Who published the source? Is it reputable and trustworthy?
- Who is the author and what are their credentials?
- Is this information clearly backed up by science?
- Is this information current?
- Is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda? Is there bias in the language?
EATING ON A BUDGET
- Plan your meals in advance
- Don't shop on an empty stomach
- Stick to your grocery list
- Buy generic brands
- Use a calculator while you shop to total the prices
- Cook more than you need and save leftovers
- Plan healthy snacks high in protein and fiber to keep you full longer
- Visit a local food bank
Physical activity comes in many forms, and it can help improve your flexibility, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. The CDC recommends that adults partake in at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate to high-intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TIPS
- Stretch as you warm up
- Ride your bike
- Play a sport
- Head to the Rec
- Take advantage of Kinesiology courses
- Walk to class or work
- Incorporate different kinds of exercise in your routine
- Make it fun
- Take the stairs
- Bring a friend