It seems that we are rushing here and there, doing things at the speed of light. We may find ourselves consumed by work, meetings, school, sports practice for the kids… an endless list of things to keep us active, stressed, and often frantic.
Life has become so busy that we often forget to take care of ourselves, which can dramatically increase the risk of preventable chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type-2 diabetes accounted for over 26% of deaths in the United States in 2013. Chronic stress, combined with poor planning, can likely lead to unhealthy exercise and eating habits for yourself and your family.
Planning ahead is critical in side-stepping the impacts of poor nutrition and obesity-related chronic diseases.
Follow these simple tips:
- Plan meals (including brown-bag lunches and snacks) you and your family like that include lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Save time and money by making a grocery list before going to the store.
- Be a master planner! Save your weekly meal plans and grocery lists to use again another week.
- Avoid take-out and make foods that you can bring to work the next day for lunch.
- Avoid the vending machine and bring snacks to work like nuts, fresh or dried fruit, or whole-grain crackers and hummus.
- Don’t forget to eat breakfast! A quick bowl of cereal with low-fat milk and a small cup of orange juice can help you make it to lunchtime.
- Carry a tumbler! Fill up on water all day, anywhere and everywhere, to keep you hydrated and help you to avoid sugary drinks and sodas.
Make sure to plan time each day to be active. Taking short walks and stretching at your desk can make a world of difference in your health and attitude. For additional information on healthy eating, please visit ChooseMyPlate.gov and Nutrition.gov.