Healthy living … easier said than done, right? But did you know that adopting a healthy lifestyle is easier than you might think? Health is a State of Mind and Body. Achieving such involves being aware and making healthy choices about diet, exercise, and staying positive. This is the most important investment you can make in your life. Strive for the best health you can have in all areas of your life by making mindful, healthy choices. There are many steps you can take to improve your health, prevent health problems, or take your healthy lifestyle to the next level.
This guide is going to help you to take the next step in your journey of healthy living.
KNOW WHAT YOU EAT
What you eat is closely linked to your health. Balanced nutrition has many benefits. By making healthier food choices, you can prevent or treat some conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A healthy diet can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol, as well.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE
• Exercise can help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. People who exercise also get injured less often. Routine exercise can make you feel better and keep your weight under control. Try to be active for 30 to 60 minutes about 5 times a week. Remember, any amount of exercise is better than none.
Building Your Healthy Diet
While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select the healthiest options.
The key to a healthy diet is to:
• Eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
• Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs.
• Don’t get thirsty. We need to drink plenty of fluids to stop us from getting dehydrated – the health authorities recommend drinking from half a gallon up to a gallon water a day. Not soda, but water. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat.
• Try to avoid sugary soft drinks that are high in added sugars and calories, and are also bad for teeth.
• Don’t skip breakfast. Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that people who regularly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. Breakfast has also been shown to have positive effects on children’s mental performance and increase their concentration throughout the morning.
• Start reading labels if you are not doing so yet. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide enormous amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
PROTEIN: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Other than water, protein is the most important nutrient in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make hormones and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Proteins can be found in animal products like meat and dairy products, as well as some plant products like beans, nuts, grains, cereals, and vegetables.
CARBOHYDRATES: THE BODY’S PREFERRED SOURCE OF ENERGY
Carbohydrates give you energy and help with weight control. They also benefit your heart and promote a healthy digestive system. There are complex and simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates include bread, pasta and cereals. They are digested at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates. This slower digestion offers a more continual and stable flow of energy. Whole-grain carbohydrates are especially nutritious because they provide dietary fiber, which can help to keep your cholesterol in check.
Simple carbohydrates deliver the same amount of energy, four calories per gram, but at a far more rapid pace. Simple carbohydrates should be avoided within your diet. They include sugar, soft drinks, candy, and others. These foods contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on, rather than sugars that are found in things such as fruit and milk.
Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. Consuming more than 38 grams of sugar a day is not recommended.
A regular soda contains around 38 grams of sugar which equals your DAILY AMOUNT of sugar. So, if you ever wondered where your extra fat came from, you just got your answer.
FAT: WATCH YOUR SATURATED FAT
Fat accomplishes many things: it gives us energy for activities, surrounds and protects vital organs, takes part in cellular function and structure, gives a longer lasting feeling of satiety, regulates hormonal production, balances body temperatures, and transports fat soluble vitamins. Fat is the last nutrient to digest and leave the stomach. This supplies a delayed feeling of satisfaction after eating.
There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as: sausages, biscuits, cream, butter.
FIBER: HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Eating foods high in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans) can help you lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also improve your skin and even help you to lose weight. Depending on your age and gender, nutrition experts recommend you eat at least 21 to 38 grams of fiber each day for optimal health. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t eating even half that amount.