Good nutrition and routine physical activity help keep you healthy and minimize the impact of stress to your body.
Good nutrition and healthy eating behaviors help you respond to stressful situations by strengthening your immune system and improving your mood and overall well-being. Healthy eating does not have to be complicated. Prepare meals and snacks from a variety of sources:
Choosing foods from these categories in the amounts that are right for you will likely provide you with the nutrients you need to remain healthy. Some people feel more confident when consuming a supplement as an additional source of nutrients. If this is you, purchase a standard multivitamin and mineral supplement. Large doses of some individual vitamins and minerals can be harmful.
It is also beneficial to:
Stress influences hunger and food choice. So, overeating and developing a preference for comfort foods — usually high-fat or high-sugar foods — is a common coping mechanism for stress. If this is you, try to reduce this need to eat by redirecting or distracting yourself. Follow this advice:
Some people lose their appetite when they are stressed. Because regular eating is important for stress management, these individuals might try to:
Exercise in practically any form improves your health and sense of well-being. Physical activity is known to:
The best exercise for you is the activity that you enjoy and the one you can do and will do!
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes per week (approximately 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for adults. Include muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week. Additional benefits might be gained by spending more than the minimum time being physically active each week. But research also tells us that any activity is better than no activity. Furthermore, you don’t need to do all your exercise at one time. Several 10-minute sessions throughout the day should provide the same health benefits as one 30-minute session.
Once you have selected an exercise you enjoy, get started!
How well you cope with stress depends in part, on the choices you make. Choose healthy eating, and choose to be more physically active.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans Eighth Edition. https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/201...
Physical Activities Gudelines for Americans. https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-act...
Elizabeth Gollub, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., Assistant Professor
School of Nutrition and Food Sciences