Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1980, National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign held every March to encourage healthy and informed food and nutritional choices. Given the timing, we’ve gathered some facts and tips below about a few ways you can integrate this annual awareness campaign into your daily routine.
Drink more water
More than half of your body is made up of water – about 60 percent, to be exact. Your body uses water to perform essential functions like helping regulate body temperature, protect tissues, and lubricate joints. However, you lose water throughout the day through things like sweat and urine. So, it’s essential to remain hydrated in order to remain healthy.
It’s typically said that the recommended amount of water to drink amounts to eight glasses per day, but that number should actually vary from person to person. Not surprisingly, as there are variations on climate, body weight and height, not to mention gender play a big factor in how much you should drink. According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink roughly 15.5 cups of water per day, and women 11.5 cups of water per day to remain properly hydrated. It’s also important to note that you can get water from a variety of foods — like fruits and vegetables, which are made up of 80-98 percent of water — in order to remain hydrated.
…men should drink roughly 15.5 cups of water per day, and women 11.5 cups of water per day to remain properly hydrated.
Incorporate a variety of healthy foods
From Keto to the Whole 30 diet, there are quite a few specialized diets that are gaining popularity across the nation. However, if you want to stick to basics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following tips for healthy eating choices:
- Half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables.
- Half your grain intake should consist of whole grains.
- Shift to low-fat and fat-free dairy products.
- Vary your proteins.
- Avoid sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.
According to The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, adults need at least 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise each week, along with at least two times per week devoted to strength training for your muscles. This can be anything from a quick walk around the block to running errands around town. Sitting for longer periods of time can also increase your risk of metabolic issues, so be sure to move around if possible.
Visit a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Looking for an expert opinion? It’s best to also consider visiting a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who can guide your nutritional decisions on a personal basis. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a handy “Find an Expert” tool on their site for reference.
Whether carrying a reusable water bottle or stepping away from your desk for a quick walk or drinking filtered water on the go, there are a ton of small ways you can begin integrating a healthier lifestyle. We’re still early in the year, so consider National Nutrition Month as just one small way to help move along those healthy living New Year’s resolutions.