National Nutrition Month: Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

Published: March 1st, 2016

Category: Student Health Care Center Blog

MyPlate says: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.Now that you’re in college, you’re pretty much on your own when deciding how to eat. March is National Nutrition Month®, so take this time to start thinking about eating more healthfully.

Eating right doesn’t have to be expensive! ChooseMyPlate.gov’s “Healthy eating on a budget”

“Enjoy the taste of eating right”

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme — “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” — encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

Going out to eat? ChooseMyPlate.gov’s “Eating Foods Away from Home”

Following are quick tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Regular physical activity is a must

Most health benefits come from at least 150 minutes a week of moderately intense physical activity, with added advantages from increased exercise and intensity. Endurance and muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights, working with a resistance band or doing pushups are also beneficial.

Everyday ways to get moving

  • Use the buddy system: Join a walking group or attend fitness classes.
  • Participate in social and competitive sports like soccer or flag football.
  • Plan a hiking or canoeing trip instead of a beach vacation.
  • Sign up for a 5k run/walk with friends or family.
  • Sneak in exercise at your desk like leg lifts and calf raises – or even buy a desk that allows you to stand while working.
  • Take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break (or walk up and down the stairs when weather’s bad).
  • Find an activity monitor to assess movement through the day – gadgets are very motivating for some!

Food is vital for energy

To maintain a physically active and healthy lifestyle, stay nourished before, during and after exercise. Before exercise, look for foods high in carbohydrates, adequate in protein and moderate in fat and fiber, like oatmeal with bananas, almonds and fat-free milk. Drink water before, during and after physical activity since dehydration can cause fatigue and impair performance.

Did you know?

Every UF student registered for classes has access to the healthcare services available at the SHCC – and the tuition-included health fee helps pay for a basic visit with our registered dietitian! (Patients are charged for things like X-rays, lab tests, procedures, medications and medical equipment.) For more information or to make an appointment, please visit our Nutrition Services web page.

Additional campus resources

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