JOIN THE MOVEMENT
IT’S TIME TO GET - AND STAY - HEALTHY FOR GOOD
Healthy for Good is a movement encouraging Americans to lead healthier lives by delivering science-based recommendations, tools, tips and motivation to build healthier behaviors. It’s about taking small steps each day to make a big difference tomorrow. You can tackle several behaviors at once or take one at a time – but no matter where you start, the American Heart Association will be there to cheer you on every step of the way.
Sign up for a dose of Healthy for Good in your inbox. Our weekly newsletter offers short, snackable tips, challenges and recipes to keep your health journey top of mind.
FOUR KEY CONCEPTS GROUND THE MOVEMENT
EAT SMART: True nourishment involved making overall healthier eating choices each day. This can be daunting, but the American Heart Association is here to help with reliable information on eating smart. We will dish out ideas on better snacking, delicious recipes and meal planning tips that will make you want to eat better and make it easier to do so.
ADD COLOR: All forms (fresh, frozen, canned and dried) and all colors count: just look at your plate and add some color to it. Our goal is to inspire and teach you how to add color to every meal and snack, because adding even one serving of color in the form of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to start building a healthier you.
MOVE MORE: Our bodies were built to move, so they need daily activity to be healthy. But working out doesn’t have to take over your life – in fact, you can start by adding a few short bursts of activity each day. Whether it’s how to start walking for fitness, new ways to stay motivated or tips on working out at home, we have the know-how to put your body in motion.
BE WELL: For ultimate whole-body health, your mind and body need to rest, reset and recharge. Whether it’s stress management, tips on getting enough quality sleep or ideas on connecting with the world in a healthier way, we’ve curated the best information out there to help you be the best version of you.
HEALTHY FOR GOOD BLOG
Find more ways to be Healthy for Good through the Healthy for Good blog. Each week Healthy for Good comes to life with inspirational stories, inspiring activities, encouraging tips and other timely information. Passionate about helping others find their way to healthy? Be sure to visit the blog on the last week of each month for ways to support healthy policies in your hometown and nationwide.
HEALTHY FOR GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA
Stay up-to-date on the latest happening in Healthy for Good and be a part of the community by following the Healthy for Good social media channels. Catch us on Twitter at @AHAlivehealthy and on Facebook at @AHAlivehealthy. Join and follow the conversation on your favorite social channel with #HealthyforGood.
HEALTHY FOR GOOD MONTHLY CALENDAR
Because we understand it’s hard to focus on everything at once, the American Heart Association created an editorial calendar to take a deeper dive into the key areas of Healthy for Good. Look for content on our Healthy for Good blog, emails and social channels related to the monthly theme:
- January – Healthy reboot/ gratitude challenge
- February - American Heart Month
- March - National Nutrition Month®
- April - Move More Month
- May - Mindfulness and Nature
- June - National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month
- July - Fresh Air Fitness
- August - Sleep Well
- September - Family Meals
- October - Cool Weather Fitness
- November - Eat Smart Month
- December - Stress Management
FACTS ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
Fact 1: Poor diet is the #1 health problem in the United States.
- Only 1.5% of American adults eat the type of diet the American Hear t Association advises for ideal cardiovascular health.
- The majority (95%) of people in a recent food labeling survey reported always or sometimes looking for healthy food, but only a little more than one-quarter (28%) said it’s easy to find healthy foods.
- People living in the US consume about 34 pounds of added sugar every year from consumption of sugary drinks.
- The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day for men, and no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women. People living in the U.S. consume an average of 10 teaspoons of added sugar just from sugary drinks every day.
- The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. However, the average sodium intake for all Americans over the age of 2 years is nearly double the American Heart Association’s recommendation for ideal heart health. Even cutting back by 1,000 milligrams a day can significantly improve blood pressure and heart health.
Fact 2: Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is directly linked to a longer, healthier life.
- Eating more fruits and vegetables offers a variety of health benefits, improves your quality of life and lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Most people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Only about 1 in 10 U.S. adults eat the recommended daily amounts. On any given day, 27% of 2 and 3-year-olds do not eat a vegetable and among those who do, fried potatoes are the most common.
- Just 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- If Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day, this would save more than 30,000 lives and $5 billion in medical costs each year, according to one estimate.
Fact 3: Being physically active improves length and quality of life.
- About one in three adults participate in no leisure time physical activity at all.
- Getting recommended amounts of physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of those activities per week) is linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles.
- Adults who are active typically pay less in healthcare than those who are inactive. One study estimated physical inactivity accounts for up to 3% of total direct health expenses in the United States.
- According to one study, just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven more years of life expectancy. Regular exercise reduces the health effects of aging and increases the average lifespan.
Fact 4: Our mental and physical health are linked.
- Stress is often an underlying factor contributing to unhealthy habits. According to a 2012 report from the American Psychological Association, 39% of Americans reported eating unhealthy foods or eating too much to deal with stress, and another 13 percent of Americans report drinking alcohol to manage stress.
- Short sleep duration and sleep disorders are associated with negative health factors and cardiovascular risk.
- Getting the recommended amount of physical activity can help improve mental health, cognitive function and lower the risk of depression.
- Seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults is generally recommended to promote optimal health.
Fact 5: Avoid tobacco in all its forms to improve heart and brain health.
- No tobacco product – including e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, and smokeless tobacco – is safe to use.
- Quitting tobacco is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and to protect the health of the nonsmokers in your life!
- The health benefits of quitting start within 20 minutes as blood pressure and heart rate recover from the nicotine-induced spikes. Talk with your doctor about safe and effective ways to quit and stay tobacco-free.
- The process of quitting tobacco and nicotine can be really difficult, but the support of family and friends can help ease some of the hard times. By lending a hand and offering encouragement along the way, you’re playing a key role in helping your friend or loved one quit for good.
HEALTHY FOR GOOD ACTIVISM
You can help ensure that policies in your city, your state and across the country actually make it easier to live a healthier life. Join You’re the Cure and become a part of a network of people around the country who are taking action. You can play a crucial role from your computer or from your mobile device while you are on the go.
- Healthy Living Website
- Healthy for Good Infographic Library
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