What is a habit? A habit is something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way. It is important to incorporate healthy habits into an everyday routine. We encourage you to try to make small steps toward healthy habits:
- Make half your plate veggies and fruits
- Be active for 60 minutes
- Drink more water and limit sugary drinks
- Limit screen time to one hour
Veggies and fruits come in a variety of colors. These colors tell us they are rich in vitamins and minerals. To ensure we get the vitamins and minerals we need, we should fill half our plate with veggies and fruits of different colors. It is important for us to choose variety, understanding that they each have a specific purpose for our bodies. There are thousands of different kinds, so taste and experiment until you find some new ones that you like. The next time you eat a meal, split your plate in half with an imaginary line and fill one side with veggie and fruits.
Getting regular physical activity provides great benefits. Physical activity helps us increase muscle strength, build strong bones and makes our hearts healthier. Being active should be enjoyable for you, so it is important to find activities you think are fun. Going to the gym and playing sports are great ways to be active, but they are not the only choices. There are plenty of physical activities you can do, such as dancing, going on a walk with friends or family, or riding a bike to the park. Figure out what you like to do that is active and encourage your friends to be active too.
Our bodies are about 60 percent water—that’s more than half! It is important we get the water our bodies’ need, so everyone should drink water with meals and snacks, as well as throughout the day. When we are active or when it is hot outside, our bodies lose water in the form of sweat. This is a natural process that cools us down. We need to replace the water our bodies lose every day by drinking water. Did you know that one 20 ounce bottle of soda can have the same amount of sugar as 18 chocolate chip cookies? Sodas are not the only sugary drinks; teas, sports drinks and juices are also loaded with sugar.
Technology is everywhere and we benefit from it in many ways. However, it is important to remember using technology usually means a lot of sitting, and when we spend too much time in front of a screen it can keep us from being active. Screen time includes sitting in front of a computer, playing video games, using cell phones, and watching TV and movies. You should limit your screen time to 60 minutes each day. When you do have free time, think about ways you can include physical activity instead of screen time. Choose to be active and you will feel great!
It is important to practice healthy habits so we can make healthy choices. We encourage you to set a small physical activity goal or nutrition goal, and once it becomes a regular habit, set another. You can encourage others to set the same goals.