Survey shows people have little time for healthy habits

Survey shows people have little time for healthy habits
Heart association finds Americans struggle to eat right, exercise and brush their teeth regularly.

(HealthDay) -- Lack of time seems to be the key reason why only 12 percent of American adults regularly practice such healthy habits as eating right, exercising, and brushing and flossing their teeth, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) survey.

The survey found that 80 percent of respondents said they struggled to eat at least nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and about 60 percent said it was difficult to get the recommended levels of exercise -- at least 150 minutes a week of such as brisk walking.

The survey also found that 25 percent of respondents don't brush and rinse twice a day or floss at least once a day, as recommended.

On the positive side, however, the survey showed that 90 percent of respondents said they did want to improve their health.

"Whether it is simply adding a 30-minute brisk walk to your day, eating a few more with your meals, balancing your calories and physical activity to achieve a healthy body weight or creating routine oral-care habits -- it all contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle," AHA spokesperson Dr. Tracy Stevens, a professor of medicine and cardiologist with Saint Luke's Cardiovascular Consultants in Kansas City, Mo., said in an AHA news release.

The AHA has a healthy-living initiative called "My Heart, My Life," which provides simple ideas for improving nutrition, physical activity and children's health.

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians offers tips for healthy children and families.

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