Start a Healthy Life With This Easy Program

By Spring Estep

How many times have you gone to sleep at night, swearing you’ll go to the gym in the morning, and then changing your mind just eight hours later because when you get up, you don’t feel like exercising? While this can happen to the best of us, it doesn’t mean you should drop the ball altogether when it comes to staying fit.

What people need to realize is that staying active and eating right are critical for long-term health and wellness. The old adage, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to staying healthy.

The more you know about how your body responds to your lifestyle choices, the better you can customize a nutrition and exercise plan that is right for you. When you eat well, increase your level of physical activity, and exercise at the proper intensity, you are informing your body that you want to burn a substantial amount of fuel. This translates to burning fat more efficiently for energy.

In other words, eating healthy and exercise equals fast metabolism, which, in turn gives you more energy throughout the day and allows you to do more physical work with less effort.

The true purpose of exercise is to send a repetitive message to the body asking for improvement in metabolism, strength, aerobic capacity and overall fitness and health.

Each time you exercise, your body responds by upgrading its capabilities to burn fat throughout the day and night, Exercise doesn’t have to be intense to work for you, but it does need to be consistent.

I recommend engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session, and resistance training four times per week for 20 to 25 minutes per session.

This balanced approach provides a one-two punch, incorporating aerobic exercise to burn fat and deliver more oxygen, and resistance training to increase lean muscles and burn more calories around the clock.

Here’s a sample exercise program that may work for you:

  • Warm Up — seven to eight minutes of light aerobic activity intended to increase blood flow and lubricate and warm-up your tendons and joints.
  • Resistance Training — Train all major muscle groups. One to two sets of each exercise. Rest 45 seconds between sets.
  • Aerobic Exercise — Pick two favorite activities, they could be jogging, rowing, biking or cross-country skiing, whatever fits your lifestyle. Perform 12 to 15 minutes of the first activity and continue with 10 minutes of the second activity. Cool down during the last five minutes.
  •  Stretching — Wrap up your exercise session by stretching, breathing deeply, relaxing and meditating.

When starting an exercise program, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending on your initial fitness level, you should expect the following changes early on.

  •  From one to eight weeks — Feel better and have more energy.
  • From two to six months — Lose size and inches while becoming leaner. Clothes begin to fit more loosely. You are gaining muscle and losing fat.
  •  After six months — Start losing weight quite rapidly.

Once you make the commitment to exercise several times a week, don’t stop there. You should also change your diet and/or eating habits. Counting calories or calculating grams and percentages for certain nutrients is impractical. Instead, I suggest these easy-to-follow guidelines:

  •  Eat several small meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day.
  •   Make sure every meal is balanced — incorporate palm-sized proteins like lean meats, fish, egg whites and dairy products, fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice, multigrain cereal and potatoes, and fist-sized portions of vegetable and fruits.
  • Limit your fat intake to only what’s necessary for adequate flavor.
  •   Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water throughout the day.
  • I also recommend that you take a multi-vitamin each day to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

These are a  few tips for starting to get healthy.  Stick with it and you will get results.  Enjoy life, we all deserve it.


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Healthy Habits for Life That You May Want to Skip?

By Reid Terranova

Let’s look at some of the healthy habits for life that you thought were set in stone and find out where you might have some wiggle room.

Remember all those health rules that your parents drummed into your head when you were a kid? Well, while admittedly, some of those rules do make a lot of sense (smoking is bad for you), not everything does (sitting too close to the TV won’t ruin your eyesight).

The thing is, parents have done the reading and they’ve found that scientists recommend certain things. The problem is, that when they write those health articles, scientists don’t mean for them to apply to every person out there. They only mean for them to apply to most.

Of all the healthy habits for life that you usually get preached, the ones to do with eating green leafy vegetables and drinking a glass of water a day are the most universally hated.  However, these don’t have to apply to everyone.  For example, if you take blood thinners like Warfarin, including lots of green leafy vegetables in your diet may actually be bad for you.

For people with cardiovascular diseases, one thing that doctors often like to guard against is how their blood can just form clots spontaneously, for no reason. Warfarin helps the blood not clot like that, and helps prevent strokes, by making sure that the body doesn’t get any vitamin K. The problem is that green leafy vegetables have lots of vitamin K so you see where eating leafy greens may cause a problem.

And as for all that water you’re asked to drink every day, it doesn’t apply to everyone. It actually depends on the kind of bladder control you have. If you’re having trouble with incontinence, the eight glass rules could be cut in half. As long as you’re going to pee three times a day, you can be pretty sure you’re doing fine.

Of all the healthy habits for life that you are preached, the one to do with taking regular walks every day so that you can get your blood pressure as low as possible, is an evergreen standby. But what about outdoor walks if you live in a polluted city?

Smog is not  good for you! Exercising indoors is much healthier on the other hand.

And then, there is getting the blood pressure down. While it’s a commendable goal, if you have high blood pressure, getting your blood pressure down lower than 120/80 may put  you closer to heart attack risk. You absolutely need to check with your doctor about what sort of exercises are okay for you!

Don’t get me wrong, you do want to create healthy habits for life, but they need to be tailored to your individual health issues and as always, check with your doctor first.

Living a Healthy Life Myth Busters?

By Reid Terranova

Sometimes, when an idea about living a healthy life gets repeated often enough, people just begin to believe in it. Here are a few examples that may well be myths according to some studies.

The idea that stress is a killer is one of those.  Apparently, researchers and scientists, even if they did propose the idea themselves to begin with, never completely believed in it.

How can you actually find out if a stressed-out person lives less than a smiling yoga instructor? You find out by taking a number of these people up and then following them for as long as they live. That’s exactly what scientists did with 1500 people in California.

The study, if you are interested in it is called the Longevity Project. And they have found that living a healthy life for a long time doesn’t come down to being a cheerful, unstressed person. Here are some of the startling findings the study has found.

Before you left the idea run away with you that stress it’s not a killer that particular assertion comes with a caveat. Certain kinds of stress can kill; if you happen to have a very stressful job, like the job of a doctor, that you are good at and that makes you happy, that kind of stress actually helps you live longer.

If you happen to be an artistic sort and you find yourself in an accounting job chasing down numbers all day, that’s the kind of stress that will kill you. Find a job that truly absorbs you, and it’ll help you in living a healthy life for a long time – even if it stresses the living daylights out of you.

Worrying happens to be a close ally of stress. And this study doesn’t find that a person who habitually worries necessarily lives a less healthy life or that he lives less long.

Just as with stress, there happens to be a healthy kind of worrying and unhealthy kind. When worrying makes you constantly think of a situation, imagine it in your mind turning it over constantly, that’s an active and involved kind of worrying that actually helps you live longer than a person who just has nothing to really concern himself with.

A pathological worrier, someone who worries like they have an anxiety disorder – that kind of person really does have something to worry about, for empty worrying shortens life.

Does bonding with a pet help you in living a healthy life and in living longer? Not according to this study. Not that bonding to a pet has no health benefits; a relationship with a pet can be all of that.

It’s just that often, people misinterpret the whole exercise of bonding with a pet and think that it could actually be a substitute for human contact. Bonding with a pet, when practiced in addition to bonding with people and forming relationships, can be great. But human relationships are the fundamental ones that you need to think about.

And finally, comes the real kicker – if you don’t like formal exercise – jogging, time at the gym, and so on, you really shouldn’t go. That kind of stress can be far more harmful than whatever the actual exercise gets you. Activity is what matters for a long, healthy life, not exercise.

Stay Healthy in a Modern World

By Reid Terranova

With plenty of things in today’s world to compromise our health, it seems we are constantly having to think of ways to stay healthy to balance out modern conveniences.

The world is a convenient place now, meaning we have to do less physically to accomplish what we need to do to live. You no longer have to grow your own food or build your own shed.

There is someone out there doing it for you as long as you have the money to pay them. You don’t have to cook dinner and there is a machine that washes your dishes. These are not bad things, but they can lead to a sedentary lifestyle that can be very unhealthy.

Your doctor will have a lot of suggestions on what you can do to stay healthy, and most of what they say is based on what they see in their practice. There is a good reason they are giving you the advice they are giving, but that does not mean you are going to listen.

The number one things most doctors say first is that if you smoke you should quit. Not only does smoking lead to cancer, it compromises your health in many other ways. If you have children, your smoke could be hurting them too. It is very hard to quit smoking to stay healthy, but keep trying until you succeed.

You can also stay healthy by cutting down on the processed foods that you eat. This helps you with your weight, overall energy levels, toxins in the body, and your sodium count. If you have high blood pressure, it is very likely because you have high sodium levels (though not always).

You have to cut down on the salt. Just don’t cut it out completely, as the body needs salt to function. Instead, eat more natural and unprocessed foods and then salt what you like rather than getting your sodium as someone else sees fit. You will feel so much better and so will your heart.

One message that seems to go around as much as the quit smoking message is the message to get moving. This is a hard one for some people who have jobs that require them to sit for a long period of time each day.

Get up and walk around, take the stairs, and park far away when you are going somewhere. Take a walk on your lunch hour or after you get home from work.

Do what you can to stay healthy by joining a gym or even organizing things to do with your family on the weekends that are active and fun. It is hard to start exercising, but it feels darn good once you are done.

Happy people take care of themselves. If you are always depressed, you are not going to take care of yourself. You may not live as long. Don’t be afraid to see someone for help if you are always feeling sad.

Keeping a positive light in your life can also help you stay healthy.Try to see the good in things as well as the bad for a good mental balance. You can plan for the worst in life, but you should always hope for the best. You may be surprised at how a good, positive attitude can help you live a happy and healthy life.

 

No Nagging About Healthy Lifestyles

By Clare Jamison

Women tend to think of how good healthy lifestyles can be, and they wonder about how the men in their lives can just ignore something so obviously true and desirable. What does one do when the man in one’s life just hates to exercise or live healthy?

Women in loving relationships have a hard time knowing what to do about keeping the man they love healthy and living as long as them. Statistics clearly suggest that not only do men in general live seven fewer years than women, they don’t even stay healthy the whole time they stay alive.

Truth be told though, nagging into adopting a healthy lifestyles, may work some of the time, but it really takes something out of the relationship.

This is what you need to do to influence the man with love to get results.

When someone ignores something that one considers obvious, it can be quite hard to bring the thing up for discussion in a really sincere way. One is just so annoyed at how one has to force someone to do something that obvious. Heartfelt sincerity though is considerably underrated. If you could set all the annoyance and anger aside and approach the problem with heartfelt concern, it can often make a huge difference.

Showing your concern, you can start with talking about what you know of the family history of the man in your life. If you could bring up specific instances of heart disease or anything else on his mother’s side or that of his father’s, that could really build your argument up.

Healthy lifestyles can be a lot of work. Nothing says that you really care about a person the way helping with all that work can. Planning heart healthy meals that appeal to the man in your life could be a great start.

Men love to grill. It makes them feel like they’re doing something hard that should deserve appreciation. The good thing in this is that grilled food can be very healthy. The heat of the grill tends to melt all the fatty parts away.

Planning exercise together can put out a particularly positive message. In fact, research finds that couples that exercise together stick to their schedules for far longer. Group bike rides out together, group dance lessons, walks together and gym time together can all really set things up the way you hope.

There are all kinds of little changes that can really add up. Changing the brand of juice you buy so that you go sugar and additive-free, parking the car farther away than usual when you go anywhere, choosing whole-wheat over refined – can all make a difference.

And finally, almost nothing works when you reason with a man about being sensible like appealing to his provider instincts does. Men want to know that they will forever be looked to as the family’s provider. Healthy lifestyles is certainly a way to make sure he is going to be around to be that provider.

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Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy

By Gwyn Seabrooke

If you decide to get healthy, don’t forget to stop and make plans for staying healthy as well. Otherwise, all your hard work will be for nothing.

Our world moves at a fast and furious pace and we pack more and more into our days to keep up with what we think is the ideal lifestyle. Because of all of the modern conveniences in our lives, we eat the wrong foods even with the best of intentions. We don’t have time to think about things that in the past were normally well planned out, such as meals.

Some people say that staying healthy is a lot harder than getting healthy. It can be a breeze for some people to lose the extra weight, but they have no idea how to keep those pounds from coming back. Just as with anything else, we often look for a quick fix that does not make a lot of sense in the long run.

We don’t care though, as long as we can shed those pounds quickly we will do just about anything. This is why staying healthy is such a hard thing for some people. These quick and so-called easy fixes are not meant to go on forever, and if you don’t know what to do once you have reached a goal weight, you may as well kiss that new body size goodbye.

Staying healthy means getting healthy in a sensible and sustainable way. You can shed twenty pounds in a month if you eat nothing but grapefruit, but what happens when you stop eating it?

You can not go about the rest of your life on grapefruit no matter how much you like it. It is simply not possible. Instead of learning good eating habits for staying healthy in the long run, you have just learned how to use questionable methods for losing weight quickly. It is never as simple as a crash diet because they simply do not work.

Instead, think of losing weight in a way that helps you with staying healthy long after you have found a happy number on the scale. You should learn eating habits while losing weight that you can hang on to and use for the rest of your life to keep your weight in check.

Though a good weight is a big part of staying healthy, there are other things that you have to worry about too like heart health, as well as staying away from diabetes if at all possible. Your diet should be healthy for all of those things, but not just limited to your jeans size.

Choose sturdy diets that offer a wide variety of good foods that you can eat for a long time to come. You should learn about calories, portion control, appetite cues, and emotional eating when you want to lose weight and if you want to go about staying healthy for the rest of your life.

If you want to lose five pounds to fit into a bridesmaid dress, a crash diet will do that for you. However, the next time you have to wear one, you may find yourself stressing about those same five pounds if you don’t choose a different path to good health.