Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fruits and Veggies. More matters!

The other day in one of my classes, our TA asked how many of us eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day. I immediately shot up my hand and was expecting most everyone else to as well, but was so surprised that were are only about 10 other people out of about 80 who raised their hand! If people in a health major aren't eating at least 5 servings, it is kind of scary to think what the average American is missing out on.

Fruits and veggies are SO SO good for you! They provide so many phytochemicals and antioxidants that fight off free radicals in your body. The also contain fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that help protect you from chronic dieases. Also, they are naturally low in calories.

There are so many varieties in fruits and veggies. Also, with spring here and summer just around the corner, there will be many more fruits and veggies that are cheaper at the grocery store! They are the perfect snack and can also add so much volume to a meal. In reality, our plates should look like this at a meal:

Do your portions look like this?

The next time you reach for a snack or are still hungry at a meal, try eating fruits and veggies instead of something else! And remember, when it comes to fruits and veggies...MORE MATTERS!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SMART goals

Many people set goals, especially when it comes to exercise, weight loss, nutrition and health. It's safe to say that most adults have been on some type of "diet" or "weight loss program" in their lives. In fact, a recent study was done that found 87% of Men and 92% of Women were currently on a diet as a means of weight loss and 67% of Men and 66% of women were on some type of exercise program to try to lose weight.

However, much of the time, these goals are not achieved. Many find these types of goals extremely overwhelming, discouraging and/or they don't end up with the results they had hoped for. When it comes to goals, I feel that the only way to truly be successful in accomplishing them, is to take the time and go through each of these steps of the SMART acronym. There are a few different versions of it, but I like this one a lot. I would add, to the "R", the word recorded. Keeping track and recording one's progress is a huge step to success.

Although it takes time to set up and create goals using the SMART method, it can really help to have a plan of action and a way to ensure one will accomplish what they set their mind to!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is your BMI?

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measure of an adult's weight in relation to their height. It is a very convenient way to determine whether or not your weight is in a healthy range.

To find your BMI, just take your weight in kilograms and divide it by your height in meters (squared). BMI can help you determine if you are underweight, normal weight, overwieight, obese or extremely obese.

Underweight = Less than or equal to 18.4
Normal weight = 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight = 25.0 - 29.9
Obese I = 30.0 - 34.9
Obese II = 35.0 - 39.9
Extreme obesity = Greater than or equal to 40

(Or you can just look at this chart)
Although BMI is a simple way to classify your weight, it is important to remember that BMI works well for the general population and not for individuals necessarily.
For example, look at this picture below:

These males are the same height and weight, so therefore, they have the same BMI and they are both classified as obese. But clearly, the male on the left is not "obese". He is in great physical shape and has a great amount of muscle mass. It is important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat.

So when figuring out your BMI, don't get too caught up in the numbers. BMI is just a good way for most people to classify their weight to determine if it is healthy or not. It is also good to keep in mind that if someone is classified as "underweight", they can be more at risk for disease/complications than someone who's weight is classified "normal".

Welcome To My Blog!! :)

I am totally pumped about starting this new health blog! I have wanted to do it for some time now, but finally decided that NOW was the time to get it started.

I will be posting things that I learn from class, textbooks, professors, personal experiences and research studies. I will also post healthy recipies, ideas, tips and opinions on things related to health, fitness, wellness and nutrition!

If you ever want to know more about something, want to give an opinion or just want to give input, please leave comments and I will do my best to respond to you.

I believe that I have the best major there is (I think that everyone should feel that way about their major!) and I can't wait to share my knowledge, ideas and passion through this blog!

Here's to being healthy and being happy! :)