Follow along with SNAP-Ed NY Nutrition Educator, Alyssa, as she walks you through how to know the health benefits of doing physical activity, how to identify body cues that happen when doing physical activity, and how to identify the five food groups and name different examples in each group.
Just like the muscles in your arm, your heart is a muscle. It works all day and night without ever stopping, pumping blood and oxygen to all parts of your body. To make your heart strong and healthy, you have to exercise it.
Physical activities that help your heart are called GO activities. They get your body moving and heart pumping. You can tell if an activity is a GO activity from certain changes in your body while doing those activities. These changes are called body cues. A few examples of body cues are a fast heart rate, sweating, a warm feeling in your face, or harder breathing.
If you place your hand on the left side of your chest, you can feel your heart beat. This is your heart pumping blood through your arteries, resting, and pumping again. This pulsing motion can also be felt on your wrist.
Here’s how you can feel your pulse on your own wrist: With your left palm faced open, take the middle and index finger of your right hand and place it firmly yet gently on top of your left wrist. If you sit still, it is easier to find your pulse.
How do you get your pulse to speed up? Physical activity! Even running in place for 30 seconds can make your pulse go faster.
So how many minutes of GO activities do you need every day? You should be doing about 60 minutes of physical activity every single day. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. You can split the time up throughout the day. For example, you could walk to school or to the bus stop in the morning with a friend or sibling, play on the playground at lunchtime, and take a bike ride after school. What are some of your favorite GO activities?
While being physically active is important, it’s also important that we fuel our body with the right food. MyPlate is a guide that helps us guide our food choices by splitting foods into 5 food groups. Let’s talk about each of them.
Try to choose whole pieces of fruit, such as one banana or one apple. More examples of fruits include pineapple, grapes, strawberries, and watermelons.
Vary your vegetables by choosing different kinds or different colors. See if you can eat a rainbow of vegetables by choosing options from the different color groups. These include dark greens, reds, oranges, and yellows. Each color group has different vitamins and minerals in them that help your body in different ways. Some examples of vegetables are carrots, broccoli, corn, and bell peppers.
Make half of your grains whole grains every single day. This means that you should choose grain products that are made with whole grains, such as whole grain bread instead of white bread. Or you could choose brown rice over white rice. Whole grains have a lot of great nutrients and fiber in them. Some examples of grains are pasta, bread, cereal, and oatmeal.
Try to eat a variety of protein foods and choose leaner proteins that are lower in fat. For example, baked or grilled chicken has less fat than fried chicken. Seafood and beans are also great low-fat protein options. Some examples of protein are fish, turkey or chicken, beans, eggs, and nuts.
Dairy is a great source of calcium, which helps keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong. Dairy includes foods like cheese, yogurt, and milk.
Eating a variety from these food groups not only gives you balance in your body but also the energy you need to perform GO activities.