Healthy Changes For a Healthier Life

With advances in nutrition and exercise science, we now know how much our lifestyle choices affect our health, well-being and longevity. Find out how small, but consistent lifestyle changes can help you reduce your risk of chronic diseases, maintain a healthy weight and stay active and vital as you age.

Good Nutrition for a Lifetime

Eating well is vital for people of all ages. For infants and children, proper nutrition not only aids growth and development, but it also helps instill healthy eating habits for a lifetime of wellness. As we age, good nutrition becomes even more important as it may help prevent chronic illnesses. Whatever your age, you can make positive changes for your health and well-being by following the guidelines below.

A Balanced Diet

A balanced diet contains the right proportions of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water necessary to maintain good health. Eating only from selected food groups can create nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. That’s why it’s so important to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups to get all the essential nutrients your body needs to feel its best.

The Energy You Need

By consuming enough calories—a way to measure the energy you get from food—you give your body the fuel it needs throughout the day. The number of calories you need depends on your age, gender, height, weight and activity level. Consuming too few calories for your activity level can lead to nutrient deficiencies. But consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain, which is a concern for older adults because it can worsen joint problems and increase the risk for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Remember, it’s not just the quantity of the calories you consume, but also the quality that counts. Many processed foods are loaded with excess calories, but have very little nutritional value. So reach for nutrient-rich foods instead, such as lean meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy.

Diet and Digestion

Your food choices also affect your digestion. For instance, not getting enough fiber or fluids may cause constipation. Eating fiber-rich foods, such as whole-grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as drinking more water and getting enough exercise may help reduce constipation.

Nutritional Supplementation

At times, it may be challenging to get all the nutrients you need to thrive from your diet. Nutritional supplements have been shown to help improve clinical and functional outcomes in aging adults and prevent the adverse effects associated with inadequate nutritional intake.


Most of us know that exercise can help control body weight and composition by burning excess calories. But regular exercise also provides a number of other benefits that contribute to overall health and well-being, which is why it’s so important to incorporate physical activity into our lives at every age.

Benefits of Exercise

  • Controls body weight and composition
  • Reduces risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis and certain types of cancers
  • Builds strong muscles, bones and joints, and may reduce the risk of falls and injuries in the elderly
  • Improves flexibility
  • Wards off depression
  • Improves mood, sense of well-being and self-esteem

Make One Change at a Time

Remember, living well isn't just a diet or exercise program that you can practice for a few weeks and then go back to your old habits. To adopt a healthy lifestyle that you can continue for years to come, start by committing to one change, making a habit of it and then building on each success.

Talk to Your Doctor

Don’t forget to talk to your healthcare professional before adding supplements or making changes to your diet or exercise routine.