Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people of all ages can do to improve their health. Physical activity helps prevent many diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes and some cancers), strengthens bones and muscles, reduces stress and depression and makes it easier for people to maintain a healthy body weight or reduce weight if they are overweight or obese. Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Children and teenagers should do one hour of activity each day.
Eating healthy can help lower people’s risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers, and help people maintain a healthy body weight. Healthy and safe eating is important throughout the lifespan. Eating healthy means consuming a variety of nutritious foods and beverages, especially vegetables, fruits, low/non-fat dairy products, and whole grains; limiting intake of saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium; keeping trans fat intake as low as possible; and balancing caloric intake with calories burned to manage body weight, as described in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015. Safe eating means ensuring food is free from harmful contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses.
Examples of Evidence-and Practice-Based Strategies:
- Encourage community design and development that supports physical activity.
- Facilitate access to safe, attractive, and affordable places for physical activity.
- Support workplace policies and programs that increase physical activity.
- Promote and strengthen childcare and school policies and programs that increase physical activity.
- Assess physical activity levels and provide education, counseling and referrals.
- Increase access to healthy and affordable foods in communities.
- Implement organizational and programmatic nutrition standards and policies.
- Improve nutritional quality of the food supply.
- Help people recognize and make healthy food and beverage choices.
- Support policies and programs that promote breastfeeding.
- Enhance food safety.
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For additional information and tips about healthy eating, check out the Get Moving – Get Healthy lunch and learn series here.