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Do-it-yourself fitness makeover

Adopting healthy eating habits is essential for your do-it-yourself makeover’s success.
Keeping your resolutions to live a healthier life — for longer than a few weeks — may be easier by using some tips from the experts.

The American Heart Association suggests creating a do-it-yourself lifestyle “makeover” you can stick with for a lifetime.

Whether you need to become more physically active or improve your diet, you won’t succeed long-term if you don’t enjoy what you are doing or eating.

Regular physical activities can help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. They can also help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Everyone is different, so pick the activity that fits your lifestyle and aim for a weight appropriate to your body type. To get started:

• Take a short walk near your home, workplace or in the mall. Start with 5-10 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes.
• Take a dance class.
• Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Walk down the hall to talk with a coworker rather than using the telephone or email.
Eating Healthy

Adopting healthy eating habits is essential for your do-it-yourself makeover’s success. By adding a dash of creativity and learning some basic principles of food selection and preparation, you can enjoy delicious, guilt-free meals.

What’s a healthy eating plan? Focus on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry and fish. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Keep your eyes on serving size. Remember, calories count.

Shop Smart
To make shopping for healthy foods both easy and reliable, look for the American Heart Association’s distinctive red heart with a white check mark on packages. The simple icon helps you select foods that meet the Association’s criteria for being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Products high in whole grain may also meet the Association’s standard for being high in whole grains and fiber, as well as being low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Log on to heartcheckmark.org, and create your grocery list from approximately 800 certified products with a free grocery list builder.

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