I also need to improve eating healthier, by including more fruits and vegetables into my daily meals and snacks. The barriers to taking action that can improve my RealAge are my environment and lifestyle. First, my environment is not actually conducive to healthy living. Smokers abound inside and outside the house, so I tend to inhale second-hand smoke, which I know is bad for my health. However, I cannot control or influence others to stop smoking. They should quit smoking on their own. My environment is also somewhat polluted, so it is not an incentive to be walking around, as there is barely fresh air to inhale.
In terms of my eating habits, college life is not essentially a haven for healthy eaters, as the study of Deshpande, Basil, andBasil (2009) revealed. College life is often stressed and students frequently skip meals or do binge eating, when they have the time, which I also frequently do. Second, my lifestyle is more or less sedentary, which also makes me not enough motivated to exercise. Sometimes, I want to exercise, but it is easy to find excuses, like it is too hot or cold outside. I can overcome these barriers by following simple advices from the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to this agency: “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three to five servings from various vegetables and vegetable juices and two to four servings from various fruits and fruit juices, depending on calorie needs” (2009a). I will put more effort into integrating fruits and vegetable juices into my life. This way, even when I do not have time to eat fruits, I can always drink fruit or vegetable juices. Furthermore, the agency noted: “The adoption and maintenance of regular physical activity... provide multiple opportunities to improve and maintain health” (2009b).
Since I do not have the time to exercise for an hour or more (four to five times per week), I can just divide these exercises into 10-minute workouts. There are already numerous 10-minute workouts in Youtube. com that I can use; so that whenever I am watching TV or passing time, I can do some exercise. I will also improve my physical activity by being more active. For example, I can do some squats or push ups, while waiting for my coffee to cool down a little, or when I am just waiting for anything. Increasing my physical activity can incrementally add up to burn more calories.
I was also surprised with the findings of the Portion Distortion Quiz. I realized that I have mostly underestimated the calories in today’s servings, especially for burgers, French fries, desserts, softdrinks, and other fast food choices. This can also be the reason why I feel sluggish after eating these foods. Evidently, they are packed with more fats and calories than I originally imagined. I plan to use this information to improve my food choices and how I eat fast food. For instance, instead of drinking a whole bottle of soda, I can divide it into two and drink the rest later.
I will also bring my own water bottle, so that I do not need to drink too much sugary drinks, like softdrinks. Furthermore, I will cut the servings of fast food meals into two, since almost all of them have twice the calories and fats I need per meal. I will also strive to eat more fruits by bring fruits with me or fruit/vegetable juices. This way, I can feel full and not eat more junk or fatty foods. Thus, through systematically changing my lifestyle, I can become pursue a healthier life. References Deshpande, S. , Basil, M. D. , & Basil, D. Z. (2009).
Factors influencing healthy eating habits among college students: An application of the health belief model. Health Marketing Quarterly, 26 (2), 145-164. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010a). Healthy People 2010: Nutrition and overweight. Retrieved May 1, 2010 from http://www. healthypeople. gov/Document/HTML/Volume2/19Nutrition. htm U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010b). Healthy People 2010: Physical activity and fitness. Retrieved May 1, 2010 from http://www. healthypeople. gov/Document/HTML/volume2/22physical. htm#_Toc4 90380794