With spring time in full gear and summer right around the corner, attending gatherings with family, friends, and delicious food is most likely on your agenda. Like many others, you may be wondering “How do I maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the many spring and summer parties I plan to host or attend?” If you’ve asked yourself this question, try a few 5-2-1-0 tips in order to enjoy a healthier spring and summer.
Start with 5 (Fruits and Vegetables a Day)
When planning the meals for your get-togethers, be sure to include lots of fruits and vegetable options (remember when you can’t buy fresh, frozen and canned (with no salt or sugar added) are just as good!). Adding steamed or boiled dishes such as broccoli, squash, turnip, peas, carrots, onions or steamed apples with cinnamon to your feast will help boost your intake of these essential foods. When selecting what to put on your plate, divide it into quarters. Recommendations on how to divide your plate include one quarter meat or protein, one quarter starch and the other half fruits and veggies. If you are attending a gathering, remember to fill up on the above fruit and vegetable essentials!
Think 2 (Hours or Less of Recreational Screen Time)
Minimize the amount of time you spend recreationally in front of a screen (i.e. recreational screen time would include playing games on a computer or surfing the net, etc.) Screen time may be an essential part of your work day, so when the “closing bell” rings step away from the screen. Take advantage of the warmer weather and get outside. Whether it is to take a walk, cultivate your garden or relaxing in a comfortable chair with a good book or magazine, take it outside.
Number 1 (Hour of Physical Activity)
Don’t worry – this doesn’t have to be in one chunk! Just like Move and Improve, you can do 10 – 15 minutes of moderate physical activity throughout your day to add up to one hour. For example, once everyone has finished eating at your gathering, suggest a walk around the block before dessert is served. Take a ball out in the back yard and have a family game. Remember what you used to like to do as a child during the summer, such as throwing a Frisbee around or a fun game of tag, reintroduce these activities at your event and get moving while having a good time.
And 0 (Drink Less Sugar, More Water and Low-Fat Milk)
Try water or low-fat milk rather than sugar-sweetened beverages. If you do enjoy summer time drinks, consider those with fewer calories and fat. Hydration is important during those hot summer days. A good idea to stay well hydrated would be to keep a water bottle filled with water with you at all times! Quench that thirst with good ole fashioned water!
Have a happy and healthy spring and summer season!
For more information on 5-2-1-0 and healthy lifestyle tips visit 5210healthylife.org or www.letsgo.org.
Prepared by Lee Averill, Program Coordinator, Let’s Go! – EMHS and Martha Bell, Regional Program Associate, Let’s Go! – EMHS.