Take action for your health

food and nutrition

The top action you can take for your nutritional health is to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods containing sugar. Avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup, it is the same as sugar.

Eat fresh vegetables and fruit instead of cookies and cakes.

Choose whole grains wherever possible.

Drink water. Never drink soda. Never drink juice, it contains lots of sugar, eat the actual fruit instead. Make water tasty and appealing by adding a slice or two of lemon or cucumber to your glass. Drink milk, but avoid milk drinks with added sugar.

Eat red meat no more than once a week.

Read food labels so you know what you are eating.

Avoid pre-made, processed, and canned foods whenever possible.

Use minimal salt when cooking and if you have to buy a pre-made or canned food try to get the salt-free option.

exercise

Exercise is good for you. The experts recommend at least two and a half hours of moderate exercise each week.

Make exercise fun. Find friends or family members who will join you to exercise together. Find an activity or fitness class that you enjoy.

There are lots of resources and information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

tobacco and alcohol

There is no safe level of exposure to smoke. Tobacco causes harm to every organ in the body. Carol Southard, RN, MSN, is a Smoking Cessation Specialist. She says: "Smoking cessation represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives."

If you are a nurse, join the Nightingales Nurses RN2Q1 Campaign. Every nurse will help at least one person to quit tobacco every year. The Nightingales will report cigarettes NOT smoked and profits NOT made back to the tobacco companies at their annual shareholder meetings.

Men can have 2 drinks per day, women only one. Find useful information at Rethinking Drinking.

stress

What causes stress in your life? Identify the causes and think about ways to change the causes of stress.

Get support from friends, family and colleagues.

Exercising every day is a great way to reduce your stress.

take action for your community

Be an advocate for a healthier America. What would help in your community? You might want better availability of healthy food choices. Or better labeling on foods. Or healthy fresh foods in your kid’s school. Or more sidewalks and parks where you can walk and exercise safely. Do you want a work cafeteria with fresh, and healthy choices? Decide on what you want and ask for it!

Contact your elected officials.

Write to your newspaper.

Enlist the help of groups with similar goals in your community. Involve your friends and family.

Let your employer know what you want. Encourage them to join the American Heart Association’s START program.

Sign Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution petition.

Get involved with improving our country’s nutrition policy at The Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Visit The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Support your local Farmer’s Market, buy locally grown foods.

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