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Sunday 21 January 2018
Features

Planning ahead

Focus on eating a variety of foods, moderation, and portion control in the context of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

DR CLAUDETTE MITCHELL

As 2018 begins some people may take time to do reflections - reviewing achievements, evaluating finances, failures, household budgeting, work ethics, academic performance, health and nutritional status, and much more.

Establishing new goals for progress, development and advancement in the new year should be considered.

By now you can conclude that planning, organisation, and time management along with good health and wellness are essential for success.

The approach

Research shows that good nutrition, regular exercise, management of stress, getting adequate sleep, and taking time to relax can provide great health benefits. If you wish to evaluate your meal plan, you can begin by checking which foods and beverages are frequently consumed.

The aim here is to consume balanced meals even on special occasions, and to drink water, limiting concentrated sweets, high fat and salty foods. Avoid consuming an excessive amount of starchy foods, and adding too much salt and sugar when preparing your favourite dishes.

In addition, take a few minutes to read the food label when grocery shopping. Try to do more home cooking and include a staple, protein food, vegetable and fruit at each meal.

Focus on eating a variety of foods, moderation, and portion control in the context of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Another step

Be determined to take charge of your health. Get moving, participating regularly in physical activity may more than likely improve health and fitness, and lower your risk or prevent chronic diseases. If you may be unable to go to the gym, consider joining a community group that forms an exercise club engaging in brisk walking, jogging, aerobics, swimming, and track and field events.

Also, aim to include your family members bringing together children, adolescents, parents/guardians, young and older adults; by using this approach you are building a supportive network.

While getting started can be sometimes difficult, making the effort to add physical activity to your schedule three or more times weekly can help in maintaining health.

The recommendations: for adults 18 – 64 years, 150 minutes weekly; older adults 65 years and over – 150 minutes weekly; and children and adolescents six – 17 years old are encouraged to do 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day and should participate in activities that are age-appropriate, enjoyable and offer variety.

Dr Claudette Mitchell, Ph.D., RD – assistant professor, University of the Southern Caribbean, School of Science, Technology, and Allied Health.

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