Remember Mom's advice about how to stay healthy? Well, it turns out that mother may know best. Below are some time-honored "mom-approved" nutrition and fitness tips.
Don't forget to eat breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. After eight or more hours without nourishment, "breaking the fast" boosts blood sugar to fuel the brain and muscles.
Years of research show that breakfast benefits both kids and adults. Eating a nutritious breakfast may help improve concentration, memory and performance in the classroom or at work, manage weight, supply important nutrients, and enhance overall health.
Try one of these speedy breakfast ideas:
Peanut butter on apple slices with a glass of fat-fat milk
Breakfast smoothie: whirl together yogurt, frozen fruit and a splash of orange juice
Low-fat yogurt mixed with berries and sprinkled with granola
Toasted whole-grain waffle topped with sliced strawberries and nuts
Melted low-fat cheese on a whole-grain English muffin plus a fruit cup
Instant oatmeal mixed with fat-free milk, walnuts and dried cranberries
Go outside and play. With too much work and not enough play, it's no surprise that many adults aren't physically fit. Just like kids, adults thrive from physical activity and should strive for at least 150 minutes of movement a week —that's the equivalent of 30 minutes, five days a week. Walk, run, bike, hike, ski, swim or play tag or jump rope with your kids. As mom would say, get out there and have fun!
Eat your vegetables. Mom would be pleased to know that nutrition experts recommend 21/2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day for most adults. However, many people fall short and, so, are missing out on the nutrients and potential health benefits veggies offer.
Think color to get a healthy variety of veggies in your diet. Eating a rainbow of vegetables, such as orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellow corn, red peppers and deep green spinach, gives your body a wide range of nutrients.
Although getting enough veggies might seem daunting, it's really not hard. A tossed salad and cup of black bean chili for lunch, some baby carrots as a snack, and broccoli and a sweet potato for dinner do the trick.
Finish your milk. Milk is one of the best sources of calcium, and also provides vitamins A and D, riboflavin, potassium and protein. Besides its bone-building benefits, the potassium in milk and milk products may also help maintain healthy blood pressure.
Aim for three cups of milk or Milk Group foods daily. One cup of milk or yogurt, 11/2 ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese count as a cup. Choose low-fat or fat-free varieties most often.
Don't spoil your appetite by snacking before dinner. A nutritious snack at 3:00 p.m. can help power you through the afternoon, but munching chips or cookies right before dinner can fill you up too much to eat a balanced meal. If you're too famished to wait for dinner, nibble a nutritious appetizer portion of cut-up veggies and dip, an apple with a small wedge of cheese, or even your dinner salad. Mom would be proud!