February 4, 2020
CHICAGO – Millennials are always on the move. They're a generation in the midst of building their careers, starting families and trying to carve out time for fun with their friends.
With a calendar full of activities, eating on the go isn't unusual for many millennials. But no matter how busy, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to develop good eating and physical activity habits to maintain good health for a lifetime.
Work Out at Work
"I advise my clients to squeeze in physical activity whenever they can," says registered dietitian nutritionist Debbie Petitpain, a national Academy Spokesperson in Charleston, S.C. "I use the restroom one flight above my office. When I use the stairs, I go up and down about five times to get my heart beating and tire out my legs. Since I keep a large cup of water at my desk, I'm sure to make that trip several times per day."
Lunchtime is a good time to get moving. Go for a walk or drop by your office's fitness center. Download a fitness app to track your steps which will encourage you to move more, Petitpain recommends.
On the Go
Don't let a work trip get you off track, Petitpain says.
"At an airport or train station, instead of sitting at the gate, I explore the concourse," she says. "I take the stairs instead of the escalators and – time permitting – I skip the moving walkways."
Petitpain says she packs envelopes of instant oatmeal in flavors that are lower in added sugars and a plastic spoon so she can eat them anywhere she can find a cup of hot water. "Because oatmeal is a good source of dietary fiber, it keeps me full for a long time."
Petitpain always brings a reusable water bottle when she travels so, once she gets through security, she can fill it up to stay hydrated. "Drinking water fights the dry skin and fatigue that comes with flying."
Hanging with Friends
"My friends and I work hard, but we have fun too. We catch up over dinner, and we also like to get active," Petitpain says. "I suggest that my clients enjoy a day at the beach, play badminton in the backyard, go for a hike or go out dancing. Try something new. My friends and I did yoga with baby goats at a local farm!"
At mealtimes, Petitpain recommends watching your portion sizes. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are full. Take that time to savor your meals and enjoy spending time with family and friends before reaching for a second helping of food.
"Incorporating healthful foods and physical activity habits into each day is something all of us can do," she says. "Small changes can lead to big health benefits in the long run."
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help create an individualized plan to help you meet your health goals. Use the Academy's online Find an Expert service to find one near you.
National Nutrition Month® 2020
National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March, encourages people to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits all year long. This year's theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite.
As part of National Nutrition Month®, the Academy's website will host resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. The public can also follow National Nutrition Month® on the Academy's social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.
Representing more than 100,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at eatright.org.