America on the Move
About five years ago, I found the America on the Move website. I printed out a few pages, used them for a few weeks, and filed them away. Looking through my files yesterday, though, I was delighted to come across them once again. I quickly jumped online to see what they’d added in five years, and it appears to be quite a bit! Unfortunately, my computer isn’t allowing me to download any of their resources, so for now I’ll have to suffice with my printouts.
There are literally hundreds of manageable diet and exercise tips within the pages of the two documents I have at my side. I’ve chosen some of my favorites, adapted them to fit my life, and have shared them below. As always, add to the list if you have an idea for me.
Tips to Get Moving
- Run errands without using the car – go to the bank, pharmacy, library, and convenience store on bike or foot.
- Leave the room during television commercials. Use the break to put away dishes and laundry, or to accomplish other tasks that add movement.
- Walk while talking on the phone. Take your cell phone with you on a walk around the neighborhood.
- Choose a Playaway (similar to a book on tape) that you’re only allowed to listen to while exercising or on a walk. You’ll find yourself walking farther than normal when you’re engrossed in a great story.
- Store a pair of comfortable shoes in the car and at school so you’ll be ready for a walk after work or on the run.
- Hold classes outside. Fresh air boosts creativity and the extra steps add up.
- Be a role model! Encourage students to be more active and eat more healthfully by doing these things yourself.
- Circle around the block once when you take out the trash.
- Make several trips up and down the stairs to do laundry or other household chores.
- Invite friends or family to join you for a walk.
- Benefit a good cause by joining a charity walk.
- Sign up for a community 5k or 10k walk.
- Park in the far reaches of the parking lot.
- Dance the night away at a club.
- Take a walk around a local university, hike on a wilderness trail, or drive to a new walking trail – anything to change the scenery.
- Meet a friend for lunch or coffee at a restaurant you can walk to.
- Look on Craigslist or the newspaper for garage sales. Walk to those in your neighborhood.
- Drive to a neighboring community and tour it’s main street on foot.
- Sign up for an exercise class.
- Spend a day at the beach and walk the shoreline.
- Take care of household chores and get moving at the same time – scrub the floors, vacuum, or mow the lawn.
- Tour a local trail by bike.
- Paddle away calories on a raft, kayak, or canoe.
Tips to Eat Right
- Pre-wash baby carrots, celery, grapes, and apples for a quick snack.
- Have dairy products on hand like low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Make a “healthy snack” shelf at eye level in the cupboard. Place unhealthy foods in an inconvenient location.
- Place a bowl of fresh fruit in the center of your kitchen for easy access to a delicious, low-calorie, low-fat snack.
- Plan your meals for the week. Take a few minutes to write a list before going to the grocery store. This will keep you from forgetting items you need, and prompt you to think of ingredients for your favorite quick and healthy recipes.
- Make fresh fruit salads for dessert instead of baked goods or other sweets.
- Make sure you have applesauce on hand. You can use it for a quick snack or as a substitute for butter in baking recipes.
- Steam vegetables to preserve nutrients and avoid added fat. Season with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, or fresh herbs.
- Serve dinner on appetizer plates to control portions.
- Freeze individual serving sizes of meals so you have a backup on busy days.
- Slow down! Put your utensils down between bites to slow your eating place.
- Listen to relaxing music while eating instead of sitting in front of the TV.
- Pack your lunch – homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads can be more healthful because you control the ingredients.
- Grabbing breakfast on the run? Reach for healthy options – low fat muffins, fresh fruit, smoothies, and water – instead of a doughnut and coffee.
- Keep foods away from your desk and eat them at planned times to avoid unmindful snacking.
- Bring a fun water bottle to school and make an effort to drink several glasses of water. Staying hydrated perks up your energy and curbs your hunger.
- Bring a healthy mid-afternoon snack to school, like low-fat yogurt or a piece of fruit, so you won’t be tempted to overeat junk food.