Spring is finally here and with that brings the idea of new beginnings for many people.  Maybe now is a good time to think about how to make heathy changes to your lifestyle.  Consider adding one or more of the following eight strategies to your lifestyle.  Each strategy will help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Start by adding one, then in a week or so consider adding a second one. By summer you may have implemented all eight strategies and are on your way to a healthier you.

Move more, sit less:  

Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. It could be a 30 minute brisk walk five days a week or a combination of walking and strength training for two of those days.

Eat healthier foods:

Try adding new healthier foods to your diet.  Go for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, or low fat dairy.  Aim to have half your plate fruits and vegetables at meal time and half of all your grains whole grains.

Choose healthier drinks:

Avoid sugary or alcoholic drink and replace them with water.  Add fruit or berries to your water to add a bit of flavour.

Get enough sleep:

Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Children aged 6 – 12 need 9-12 hours of sleep and teenagers 13 – 18 years need 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night.

Be sun safe:

As you spend more time outside in the sun, remember to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses.  Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF15.

Brush your teeth:

Your teeth need brushing at least 2x per day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Stop smoking:

Talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking that are right for you.

Learn your health history:

Talk to your family and doctor about your family history.  Learn about issues that you may need to monitor for you or your children.