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Staying healthy during COVID-19
5 Steps to a Healthier You
 

There is little doubt the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives-from virtual classrooms to telecommuting to restaurant closings to outright quarantines.  Observing public health measures and reducing exposure to the virus are required to slow the spread of COVID-19.  No one knows how long these virus safety measures will need to stay in place, but this is a perfect time to protect and improve your health while practicing social distancing.  The following steps will help protect and improve your health.

5 Steps to a Healthier You

1. Get Enough Sleep
•You should get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep most nights of the week.
•People who get less than 7 hours are more likely to be overweight.

2. Eat breakfast
•Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
•People who eat breakfast feel better all day and are more alert and creative.  They also perform better with longer attention span and memory.
•Eating breakfast helps avoid headaches and stomach aches from hunger.
•People who don’t eat breakfast, eat more calories throughout the day.
•About 25% of Americans do not eat breakfast.
•People who eat breakfast weigh, on average, less than those who skip breakfast.
•When you skip breakfast, your metabolic rate slows down and your blood sugar drops, causing hunger and fatigue.  This will cause overeating at lunch and/or dinner and impulsive snacking.

3. Rethink Your Drink
•Beverages can contain lots of calories.
•When we think about how many calories we are consuming, we leave out the calories from beverages.
•Evidences shows the body does not respond to calories in beverages the same way as it does to food calories.
•Your body may not register the calories you drink, so you could end up consuming more calories than you need.  Calories from liquids may not help you feel full.
•Decreasing sugar-sweetened beverages is a good strategy to decrease calories and help manage weight.
•A study found that women who cut back on their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages reduced their daily intake by about 300 calories.

4. Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables
•Fruits and vegetables are low in calories.
•They provide a sense of fullness
•They are high in fiber.
•Buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables.
•Adults should eat 1-2 cups of fruit a day and 2-3 cups of vegetables a day.

5. Get Moving-Move More
•Move more every day.
•Schedule exercise daily.
•Moving more helps lower the risk of chronic disease.
•For good health, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
•To manage body weight and prevent weight gain, adults need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
•To sustain weight loss, adults needs at least 60-90 minutes of daily, moderate intensity physical activity.
•Benefits of physical activity include helping manage stress, sleep better, increase energy levels, improve self-esteem, build healthy bones, muscles and joints and lower risk of developing osteoporosis.

For more information contact Jami Lawhon at jclawhon@ncsu.edu


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