Sleep: Adults usually need 7 to 9 hours a night. Our bodies use that time to fix tissue, make hormones, and grow muscle. Our brains use it to process the information and learning of the day into memories. Not enough sleep can make you hungrier — and make junk food more appealing. Though it helps to get a bit of extra shut-eye if you haven’t had enough, you can’t really make up what you’ve missed in a night’s sleep.
Limit yourself to 2 hours a day that does not work- or school-related. And yes, that includes your smartphone. Too much time glued to that device has led to a new condition called “text neck” that can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Screens in the bedroom can mess with your sleep. Screens during the day can make you less active and more distracted. There’s even research being done on whether screen time causes brain damage.
Most people can stay hydrated by drinking water when they’re thirsty. To set a baseline, drink at least one glass of water with and between each meal. You may need more if it’s hot or dry outside, or when you’re pregnant. Drink before you work out, every 10-20 minutes during exercise (depending on the weather and how much you sweat), and within 30 minutes afterward. A glass of water might do the trick instead when you want a snack.
Fruit per Day
Men and all adults 30 and under should shoot for 2 cups a day. Women over 30 should stick with 1 1/2 cups. What’s a “cup”? A small apple, a large banana, a medium pear, 8 big strawberries, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit. If you’re more active, you may be able to eat more since you’re burning the extra calories. Fruits have lots of nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, like vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid.
Vegetables per Day
You need more veggies than fruit: 2-3 cups a day, depending on your age and sex. Mix it up throughout the week with dark green (broccoli, spinach, kale), red and orange (tomatoes, red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes), and starchy veggies (corn, potatoes, green peas), as well as beans, peas, and other vegetables (cabbage, onions, zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms).
Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried — raw or cooked — it all counts 🙂 🙂