Some healthy lifestyle issues you may want to learn more about are: Staying Away from Health Problems You Don’t Want to Have, Eating Right, Being Active and Keeping Fit, Having Healthy Relationships, Getting Enough Sleep, and Being Safe in your House or Apartment. These are also important things to talk about with your Circle of Support.
Kids Health is a website that gives you information about many of topics that have to do with staying healthy. You may want to look at this website with your family and have some good discussions. Check out the site for teens on living healthy.
Staying Away from Health Problems You Don’t Want to Have
Problems you don’t want to have can include such things as smoking, alcohol and drug problems. This website has information and tips on how you can protect yourself from them:
An important part of staying healthy is making good food choices. These tips might help:
Tips for Healthy Eating
What to eat
- Choose a variety of food from the different food groups.
- Choose food that is low in fat like lean meat, vegetables, and fruit.
- Eat sugary sweets only once in a while.
- Drink water instead of soda or juice drinks.
- Try not to eat too many fats like butter, margarine, and mayonnaise.
- Choose less fried foods and more baked and grilled food.
- Choose healthy food whenever you can!
How to eat
- Eat only when you are hungry and eat slowly.
- Keep portions small – don’t overload your dish!
- Eat breakfast every day.
- Make your own lunch instead of eating out.
- If you do eat out, share food with a friend or bring some food home.
- Read the labels of food you buy.
- Try not to use snack machines.
- Eat healthy snacks like nuts or apple slices when you watch TV.
- Help prepare menus, buy food, and fix meals in your home.
- Let others know how important healthy eating is to you – talk to your housemates if there are too many snacks around.
Being Active and Keeping Fit
It is important to make exercise a part of your daily routine. These tips might help:
Tips on Ways to Get Moving
- Go for a walk at lunchtime or before dinner.
- Walk instead of taking the bus or car.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take up a hobby like gardening, bike riding, or dancing.
- Do jobs around the house like cleaning or raking leaves.
- Join in fun activities like basketball, bowling, or swimming.
- Instead of TV, watch a dance or exercise video and get moving!
- Ask a friend to do something with you.
- Try doing something different and fun!
- Make a list of activities you might enjoy doing in your home and in the community and include them in your weekly schedule.
- Ask your support persons to help you deal with problems like transportation and money.
- Let support persons know how important being active is to you.
- Get a coach or trainer to help you.
- Include physical activity as a goal on your health plan.
Having Healthy Relationships and Sexuality that is Safe
A part of good health may be having good social relationships including healthy sexual relationships. As a young adult, learning about sexuality and healthy relationships may be important to you, but confusing. And many things may make this hard. This might be because you don’t have information or support. Sexuality education can help you know more about this and better understand these issues. By getting advice and good information from your family or health provider, you can learn to make healthy choices about relationships and sexuality. This means acting as a responsible adult. A manual you can review with your family or caregivers is:
- Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities (Florida DD Council)
Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is an important part of being healthy. Sleep helps to make your brain work better so you are able to learn more easily. Sleep keeps your body healthy so you have the energy you need to get things done. To learn more about the importance of sleep go to:
- Why is Sleep Important? (NIH)
- How Much Sleep Do I Need? (Kids Health): Common sleep problems, what to do if you can’t sleep, and ideas for better sleep.
Being Healthy at Home
It is important to have a clean and safe home. These tips might help:
Tips on Having a Clean Home
- Keep your home cleaned, dusted, and vacuumed.
- Clean kitchen counters and sink with cleaner and paper towels, especially after you prepare raw meat or chicken.
- Wash your hands before and after you prepare food.
- Clean cutting boards and knives right after you cut raw meat or chicken – before you cut anything else.
- Clean spills in the refrigerator and on the floor.
Tips on Having a Safe Home
- Keep pot handles toward the back of the stove.
- Use a potholder to lift pots. Make sure potholders or towels are not placed near the flames.
- Remove clutter from floors; put a light on when you enter a room.
- Keep wires and cords away from where you walk.
- Use a non-skid mat and grab bars in the bathtub or shower.
- Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Have an escape plan to get out safely if there is a problem.
To help you learn how to set health goals go to:
- My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility (WIHD): Includes sections on nutrition, physical activity, safety at home, emotional health, health self-advocacy, and setting goals.