GET WELL BAHAMAS – (Healthy living through eating and exercise)
The Get Well Bahamas challengers were educated on February 7, 2012 at its biweekly educational sessions on healthy eating tips and strategies which focused on the consumption of fruits and vegetables. It was also stressed that both physical activity and exercise are major contributors to a healthy lifestyle. The lack of exercise coupled with poor eating habits leads to unhealthy living. Unhealthy living may manifest itself in obesity, weakness, lack of endurance and overall poor health that may foster disease development.
We all have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body but we have different requirements as infants, children and adults. For example, infants may require feeding every four hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually, they develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, as most parents know, kids snack between meals. Snacking is not limited to this age group because adults and seniors often do the same. This is encouraged provided that healthy snacks are incorporated into one’s diet while ensuring that proper portion sizes are adhered to.
HEALTHY EATING TIPS:
- Eat three balanced meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
- The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
- Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts).
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars; READ ALL THE LABELS because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
- Control portion sizes, eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
- Snacks are encouraged and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, and nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
- Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks.
- Avoid eating large meals at night (before sleeping).
The challengers were lead in a cardio exercise by instructors from Jemi Health and Wellness and encouraged to exercise regularly. Research has proven that regular exercise can prevent and reverse age-related decreases in muscle mass and strength, improve balance, flexibility, endurance and decrease the risk of falls in the elderly. Regular exercise can also help prevent coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY/EXERCISE TIPS:
- Regular exercise can help control weight gain and in some people cause loss of fat.
- Thirty minutes of modest exercise at least 3 to five days a week is recommended.
- Regular exercise can help increase self-esteem and self-confidence, decrease stress and anxiety, enhance mood and improve general mental health.
- Start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury, excessive soreness or fatigue.
- Children need exercise (play outside of the house is a good beginning).
Get Well Bahamas challenges everyone to get active and eat healthier toward improving the quality of your life. Without proper nutrition and exercise, your risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension are heightened. Physical inactivity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition and unhealthy eating habits will contribute to weight gain and obesity. Get active, get fit and eat right for life.