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Live It, Change It

Healthy Living

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Nutrition: Small changes can make a big difference.
You already know that what you eat is important. It effects how you feel. How you look. And what kind of life you'll live when you're older.

Things you should know:

  • Diabetes and obesity greatly increase the risk for having babies with birth defects
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Add fruits and vegetables into every meal
  • Drink water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Limit sweets, fats, salt, and soda
  • Eat less fast foods and instant foods
  • Start out every morning with breakfast to provide your brain and muscles with the fuel they need for energy throughout the day
  • All women should take a multivitamin with 400-800 micrograms of folic acid every day
  • Taking daily folic acid (400 micrograms) for 3 months prior to getting pregnant can greatly reduce a baby's risk of birth defects

Exercise: Getting active is easier than you think.
There are lots of benefits from making some type of exercise part of your normal routine. Regular physical activity strengthens your heart, helps control blood pressure, maintain your weight and can even help your mood.

Things you should know:

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  • Women who are underweight or overweight are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant and experience problems in their pregnancy and labor
  • Gardening or mowing the lawn is a great way to get some exercise in your day
  • Moderate activity should be done for AT LEAST 30 minutes a day 5 days week
  • Moderate activity can be something as simple as a brisk walk, swimming or walking
  • More intense activity should be done for AT LEAST 20 minutes a day 3 days a week
  • Intense activity or exercise can be running, jogging or dance workouts
  • Spread your activities out during the week - try breaking it up into 10 minutes at a time throughout the day
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator to strengthen your muscles
  • Consider walking or riding your bike to work, school, the store or your place of worship

Healthcare: It's up to you to make smart choices.
We can't wait until we're sick to think about healthcare. Regular check-ups matter. Healthy habits matter. It all helps you take charge of your health and prevent problems down the line.

Things you should know:

  • Don't wait until you are sick to visit a doctor
  • Keep up with regular checkups - it is easier to identify when something's wrong if your doctor is familiar with your medical history
  • If pregnant, begin prenatal care as early as possible
  • Know that prenatal care is not always enough to reverse the affects of past behaviors and influences
  • Create and build a relationship with your doctor
  • List questions on a piece of paper and take that with you into your next visit
  • Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about any question or concern you may have
  • If you're planning for a family, ask your doctor for tips on family planning services that are available to you
  • Immunizations (vaccines or shots) are an important tool in helping to prevent some infections that can affect pregnancy