Healthy Habits Healthy You

Healthy Habits Healthy You is a diabetes and heart disease prevention program.

Take steps to prevent diabetes and heart disease by making healthy food choices, losing a small amount of weight and moving more every day. Find ways to keep calm during your day to lower your stress.

This information is intended for individuals who are 18 years and older only and those living in the Sentara/Optima Health service areas.

  • Make Healthy Food Choices
    • Make half of your plate vegetables and fruits.
    • Choose 100 percent whole grains like whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice.
    • Cut back on high-fat foods like whole milk, cheeses and fried foods.
    • Try grilled chicken or salads at fast food restaurants instead of a cheeseburger or pizza.
    • Learn more about healthy eating from the Eating for Life program.
  • Manage Your Weight
    • Put less food on your plate.
    • Try not to skip meals.
    • Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass.
    • Read the food labels on packages.
    • Visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov to create a daily meal plan.
  • Be Active
    • Try to be active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
    • Up to 60 to 90 minutes daily may be needed for weight loss.
    • Walk in a safe place like the mall or at community centers.
    • Dance and turn up the music when doing household chores.
    • March in place while you watch TV.
    • Request the WalkAbout with Healthy Edge program and exercise DVDs.
  • Cut Back on Foods High in Sugar, Fat and Salt
    • Drink water instead of juice, sweet tea or regular soda.
    • Cut back on candy, pastries and desserts.
    • Keep a healthy snack with you, like fresh fruit, a handful of nuts or whole grain crackers.
    • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin, and cook by grilling, baking or broiling.
    • Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are over 50, those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
    • Use oils to replace shortening and butter.
    • Season with onion, garlic, peppers, fresh herbs instead of salt, bacon or cured meats.
  • Find Ways to Relax and Get More Sleep
    • Try deep breathing, taking a walk, or listening to your favorite music.
    • Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily.
    • Avoid caffeine, nicotine or alcohol several hours before going to sleep.
    • Think before you eat. Try not to snack when you are bored, upset, or unhappy.
    • Avoid tobacco use.
    • Request Guided Meditation and Tobacco Cessation programs.

Complete our online form to request these programs to help you stay healthy.