Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Health Division Offers Tips to Improve Diet and Exercise
ANDOVER — As many residents continue to maintain their resolutions to eat better and increase physical activity during the new year, the Andover Health Division is providing tips and guidelines to support a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on improving diet and exercise.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products and oils, and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
Additionally, about 50 percent of American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and poor bone health, many of which are directly related to lack of physical activity and poor eating habits.
“Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan can prevent long-term issues from developing later in life,” said Director of Public Health Thomas Carbone. “Whether you are working on keeping up with a resolution or just looking to lead a healthier life, we hope that providing these tips will encourage everyone to make smart decisions about diet and exercise.”
In order to develop a healthy dietary pattern, the Andover Health Division suggests that residents review the following key recommendations from HHS and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
- A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other.
- Fruits, especially whole fruits.
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grains.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas) and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Limit saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars and sodium.
The following recommended specified limits can help individuals eat healthy within calorie limits:
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
- Consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium
- If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.
In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends that adults follow this regimen:
- 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking or tennis)
- 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as jogging or swimming laps)
- An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
- Muscle-building exercises such as weight lifting and using resistance bands involving all muscle groups should be done at least two days per week. While doing these exercises, make sure that you are using exercise equipment correctly and safely.
- Increasing the time spent exercising can provide further benefits to health including weight loss and a reduced risk for heart disease.
To help residents balance diet and exercise, there are several free mobile apps available to track physical activity and dietary needs. For more information about diet and exercise, visit health.gov or contact the Andover Health Department at 978-623-8295.