From the Extension: With Spring here, no better time to start those healthy habits

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and move more; spring is a great time to check in with those resolutions or goals we have set for ourselves. Are you still on track, or did you lose track of what you were striving for weeks ago?

Start with your physical activity and consider your activity level on a typical week. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest adults do 150 to 300 minutes per week. Making sure you choose various activities that you enjoy doing will make it easy to achieve your minutes each. The focus should be an aerobic activity at moderate intensity, which is anything that increases your heart rate.

Some ideas are walking, biking, swimming, sports, and yard work. At least two days during the week, it's important to include muscle-strengthening activities that involve lifting weights and resistance training by using a resistance band.

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To reduce the risk of falls and maintain independence as we age, it's essential to include bone-strengthening activities like jumping jacks, running, and brisk walking. To help maintain balance, some exercises include walking backward and standing on one leg.

If you are not very active right now, every minute you add with activity each week matters to the impact physical activity can have on your overall wellness. Start slow and build up over time. It will help you stick with it and become part of your daily routine.

As you choose your activities, make sure you have the appropriate footwear. The sole is the most important to ensure you have the support you need to help prevent injury. The toe box, which is the front of your sneaker, needs enough space to move your toes around.

It's recommended to get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.
It's recommended to get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

Regular physical activity helps to improve sleep, disease prevention, reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and provide energy for your day. As the daylight is a bit longer this time of year, please take advantage of it and get outside and get moving.

Once you have checked in with your physical activity, made a game plan for goals you would like to work towards, take a look at your eating habits. How are you balancing your plate?

Not just your dinner plate but all your meals and snacks. Keep in mind a variety of color and food groups, including at least 3-5 different food groups with meals and two different food groups with snacks.

Start building that plate with fruits and veggies full of color, add lean protein, keep an eye on your portion size, and round off your plate with whole grains full of heart-healthy benefits to your digestive system and energy source.

Take advantage of spring to reset your goals; aim for balance with healthy habits every day.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, Dean and Director. Single copies of UF/IFAS Extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications) are free to Florida residents from county UF/IFAS Extension offices.

This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: With Spring here, no better time to start those healthy habits