No matter what stage of life you’re in — whether you’re an adult, a senior, a pregnant woman or a parent — consuming healthy foods and beverages, combined with getting regular physical activity, stress relief and adequate sleep, may help you or your children stay healthy for life!
The recently updated National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ (NIDDK) Healthy Eating & Physical Activity for Life series offers tips for developing and maintaining healthy habits for many stages of life.
Health Tips for Adults
Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight as an adult may help prevent future health problems. Some tips to follow include making healthier food choices, being aware of food portions and the kinds of foods and beverages you consume, and how often you have them.
It’s also important to engage in regular physical activity. Try to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as biking or brisk walking. Aim for at least two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities, such as heavy gardening. If your time is limited, work in small amounts of activity throughout your day.
Finally, get enough sleep and manage your stress to stay on track with improving your health.
Health Tips for Older Persons
As you grow older, good nutrition and staying active are as important as ever. Your lifestyle choices may prevent some health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. For example, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and drinking fluids throughout the day, including those with added vitamin D and calcium.
As you get older, it’s also important to engage in physical activities you enjoy — either on your own or with a friend. Ask your healthcare professional about whether and how you can safely become active or increase your physical activity.
Also talk with your healthcare professional if you feel that changes in your home life, health, medicines, income, mobility or sense of smell and taste are affecting your interest in consuming healthy foods and drinks and engaging in physical activity.
Health Tips for Pregnant Women
Whether you’re ready to try for a baby or are already pregnant, you may be inspired to get healthy. Developing and following a healthier eating plan may help you have a safe pregnancy and delivery and a healthy baby.
Think about new, healthful foods and beverages you can try — such as berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal for breakfast; a salad with beans, tofu or other non-meat protein for lunch; and a lean serving of meat, chicken, turkey or fish and steamed vegetables for dinner.
It’s also important to engage in physical activities while pregnant. Most women need the same amount of physical activity as they did before they became pregnant.
Helping Your Child: Tips for Parents
As a parent, it’s important to share tips with your children on what to eat and drink to fuel their bodies and get them moving. Healthy habits may help children grow, learn and build strong bones and muscles while maintaining a healthy weight. Work together as a family to form healthy habits — such as consuming healthful foods and beverages, doing regular physical activity, getting adequate sleep and limiting screen time. You can set a good example by going for a walk or riding a bike. Or find an activity that you enjoy and can do together.
To find more tips and resources for weight management and healthy living at whatever life stage you’re in, or to access the Healthy Eating & Physical Activity for Life series, visit the NIDDK website at https://www.niddk.nih.gov.