Eating Right and Exercising for Optimal Health

If you’re looking for ways to live a healthier life, you are certainly not alone. Americans are spending upwards of $46 billion in diet products including foods, books, and exercise machines. It’s clear that people do want to get healthy not only to look better but to feel better as well. Doing so also helps you to avoid health risks that often arise from poor diet and lack of exercises.

Starting with Dieting

One of the first areas a person zero’s in on when they think about wellness is starting a new diet. It is human nature to want fast results and instant results from a pill or a ‘proven’ new diet for melting away the pounds.

Stop and think about how many diets you have been on in your life. You probably have lost a great deal when you add up all the pounds you’ve lost in the past 5 years. However, did the weight stay off? For most, the answer is a resounding no. That’s because quick fix diets and diet pills are not the answer to weight loss or overall wellness.

Looking at Food in a New Way

While many people do suffer from being overweight, even people who are not overweight but eat a poor diet are not as healthy as they could be. Food needs to be looked at in a new way. For instance, food is not the enemy, it’s the food choices that become the problem. Eliminating certain items from your diet can greatly improve your overall health and well being.

Eliminate the following:

* Processed foods
* Fast foods \ fatty foods
* Large amounts of red meat
* Lower sodium intake for your kidneys
* Partially hydrogenated oil

The one item on the list above that you may not have heard of is partially hydrogenated oil. Back in the 1970s, foods such as crackers, cereals, chips and many other ready made food were processed with butter. The discovery of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils changed all of that.

It was clear that hydrogenated oils were much cheaper to use than butter and manufacturers quickly switched everything they could to replace butter usage and thus cut costs. Hydrogenated oils start as polyunsaturated, which is a healthy fat but it is then treated chemically through a process called hydrogenation, which makes it into a solid base and this turns into the bad trans fat.

Start Reading Labels!

When you buy products at your grocery store, read the labels to see if you see the word ‘hydrogenated‘ anywhere in the ingredient list. If so, choose another product. By eliminating foods that contain this ‘bad fat’ you can increase your overall health and wellness. In addition, by eliminating this your cholesterol levels can be impacted positively. It can also help with weight loss since you won’t be eating as many processed foods.

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Foods to Eat

Let’s face it, everyone has heard, “Eat more fruits and vegetables and lean meats” but the problem is, not everyone enjoys veggies and fruits. This is especially true if you didn’t have a good variety as a child. Veggies and fruits are sometimes an acquired taste. By slowly changing your diet and including fresh vegetables and fruits, you will begin to find you truly enjoy the taste.

Lean meats and fish especially salmon are excellent sources of protein. Whole grains are also a very good source of carbohydrates, which is what fuels your body, while protein is good for energy and your muscles. Low-fat cheese such as cottage cheese is another excellent addition for it’s calcium content.

What Exercises Actually Work?

Like diets and the many products you’ll find on the market, you’ll also find several machines and other devices specifically for various exercises. The truth is, just like with quick diets, there is no magic exercise machine that can give you rock hard abs in a month.

Some of the best exercises you can engage in include:

* Walking
* Jogging
* Aerobics
* Water aerobics
* Biking

All of these will get the heart pumping and help to bring the body into a fit state. These work well and most do not even cost anything except your time.

When it comes to your overall health and wellness, there are no quick fixes. Trying to lose weight too quickly or exercise too much, will only make you dread the ‘diet’ and the ‘exercise program’ and then being eating poorly again.

By taking small steps every day to improve your health such as eating fast foods and processed foods and learning to incorporate fresher foods will pay off. Especially when you combine it moderate aerobic exercise.

Juicing has also been shown to substantially increase overall health!

Best Practices to Maintain Your Health

Data is showing that people are experiencing more and more health problems. There are many factors that are contributing to these issues. It is important for a person to learn ways to increase overall wellness. Here are ten of the best ways to stay as healthy as possible.

1.  Rest.  In this fast paced society, people are running around everywhere. People are going to bed later and getting up earlier. Sleep is not a top priority. However, lack of sleep has been associated with an elevated risk for heart problems and high blood pressure. When a person is tired, productivity is low as well. Experts recommend that adults sleep at least eight hours of sleep every night. When a person gets the correct amount of sleep, health will become better.

2.  Proper Diet.  Everyone knows that eating well will be the best foundation for good health. A balanced diet will keep blood pressure at a good level. It also keeps dangerous diseases away. Meals filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products will be best. It is important to keep fats and sugar to a minimum. Alcohol should be consumed sparingly as well.

3.  Exercises.  To stay healthy, a person must remain active.  Experts recommend that adults partake in at least two hours of aerobic exercise every week. A person does not need to hit the gym or spend large amounts of money on equipment. Simply playing with the kids or taking a walk around the neighborhood should supply the necessary exercises to stay well. It may also be helpful to perform some muscle strengthening activities as well. Taking the stairs or working with free weights will accomplish this goal.

4.  Use Sunscreen.  Many people worry about the heart or other organs. However, caring for the skin is also a key part in maintaining overall wellness. When skin is exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, aging can occur and cancer may develop. The American Cancer Society has guidelines for adults and children regarding sunscreen. All people should wear lotion with an SPF of 15 or more and stay out of the sun between mid morning and mid afternoon. This is the time when rays from the sun are very intense. When enjoying outdoor activity, it is wise to wear protective clothing.

5.  Stop Smoking.  One in five people will die because of the smoking habit.  Smoking is often responsible for cases of lung cancer along with stroke and heart disease. Secondhand smoke is also very dangerous. Despite the addicting habit, there are numerous products on the market that can help a person quit.

6.  Lower Stress.  Stress is at an all time high in this country. A person goes to work and deals with many hassles, then returns hone to a family that has requirements as well.  Stress causes high blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety, and depression. It is essential to find ways to relax.  Meditation, deep breathing, and exercises such as yoga can  help a person unwind. When a person has a calm mind, emotions are more stable and mood is heightened.

7.  Oral Care.  A major health factor that gets ignored is oral care. Visiting a dentist is an important part of a wellness program. Taking proper care of teeth and gums can prevent problems including heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.  It is essential to brush and floss each day. A white smile is a good indication of a healthy body.

8.  Maintain Good Friendships.  Studies have shown that people who are surrounded by family and friends often have top physical and mental health. Social relationships offer a support system throughout life. This lengthens lifespan, increases immunity, and keeps the mind sharp. A person does not need to be a social butterfly to reap these benefits.  Having one or two quality relationships will provide these essential results.

9.  Protect The Body.  One of the best practices that promotes great health and wellness is protecting the body from injury.  Whenever a person drives in a car, it is essential to wear a seat belt. These devices save thousands of lives each month.  Besides seat belts, a person should wear a helmet when driving a bike or motorcycle. Helmets prevent brain injuries.

10.  Visit A Doctor.  Even when a person is not sick, it makes sense to maintain a routine of regular checkups. This is a way to detect health problems early. Immunizations, prostate exams, and pap tests are all important yearly exams.  It is also helpful to monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It does not require much effort to take preventative measures in order to stay healthy.

There are numerous practices that a person can follow in order to maintain positive health and wellness. A person must tend to both emotional and physical needs. Diet, exercises, and a balanced mind will be crucial parts of an everyday routine.  In the end, a person will be able to live a happier and healthier life.