It does not include smoking but does include regular exercise, healthy food choices and what is deemed a healthy weight for your height. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
But even the most simplistic choices seem so dramatic to the point where it is difficult for someone to make that choice. Alas, have no fear. There are a few ways to make these choices easy for you to choose. Healthy living can be done without drastic changes.
Exercise There is an epidemic in America...aside from obesity. It is lack of activity. Today’s society is plagued by long work hours, more pressure from work and children, and the ever-growing presence of technology. We all know exercise is good for us, but we can all conjure up an excuse that seems to permit laziness. However, no matter the excuse, the simple truth is any movement is movement, and that makes us just a little bit healthier. So no matter if that movement comes in the form of household chores or gardening, the fact that you are moving can make a difference.
Movement can improve your quality of life through:
Reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and/or diabetes
Studies have proven these and more positives that occur due to exercise. All it takes is a little motivation and a positive attitude.
Where to Start Now that we know the benefits, where do we begin? Not everyone is ready for a structured, exercise routine, but there small ways to start incorporating a little bit of movement to your daily routine.
· Turn off the television
Whether it is once or week or daily, turn off the television and do something physical with your family;
an hour bike ride, playing games like tag, building a snow man. These small activities are enough to get your blood moving and your family together.
· Walk more
The easiest way to get moving is to start walking. The human body’s most primal form of movement is nothing short of helpful. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Park your car further from the door of your work place or the mall. Use the treadmill 5 minutes in the morning before work for a burst of energy.
· Do more chores
House cleaning is no one’s favourite idea of a Saturday afternoon activity. However, they can still burn calories. Shoveling snow, gardening, mowing the lawn, vacuuming the pool, raking leaves can all burn an extra hundred calories. The best part about it is that you weren’t really trying!
· Pace about
What better way to burn a few calories than when talking on the phone. By pacing back and forth while talking on the phone, you will surely get your blood moving and burn a few calories in the process.
· Make a list
In order to visualize your improvements, make a list of the physical activity you accomplished in a day. In a week or two, look over what you accomplished and up the ante. Decide to increase your walk on day one an extra 5 minutes on day 15. By making slight increases in your exercise, you keep your body guessing, increasing its effectiveness.
Eating Well Eating well is the most difficult change to make. You are not the only one who may struggle to make diet changes, but you are also not the only one who can do it. Some simplistic changes to make in your diet will do wonders for your health. Just remember, it starts with small changes.
· Eat more fruit
Fruit such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries make great additions to salads, cereals and dinners.
· Eat more veggies
Adding avocado as a spread on top of a burger, adding a tomato to your sandwich or adding more peppers on top of your pizza can all satisfy your daily serving of vegetables. Pre-cut and pre-portioned are also great for grab-on-the-go snacks.
· Switch out your salad dressings.
Those creamy salad dressings are high in fat and calories. Try switching to vinaigrettes or calorie-wise options.
· Switch to low-fat or fat-free
Switching to skim milk from 1 or 2% milk or switching to fat-free yogurt can all make a difference in your diet, and your waist line.
· Make substitutes
Next time you are making a grocery list, write down nutrition label information, such as serving size, calories, fat and sodium content. Search for like items with healthier properties.
Reality: work, kids, housework, sleep, repeat. This is the North American lifestyle for many. How do any of us have time to fit in exercise? We all know exercise make us feel good and after persistence and patience, make us look good too. But, did you know it can also relieve stress? In fact it can. But how can you fit exercise into your already so-full day? The answer: whole body vibration.
Whole body vibration was used in the 1960’s to combat muscle atrophy in Russian cosmonauts and astronauts. Since then, this machine has been used widely in sports and rehabilitation. Simplistically, whole body vibration is a machine only a slightly bit larger than a human weight scale. No more than 3 feet by 3 feet, this machine moves from side to side, up and down. Standing on this machine, the human body combats this movement, incorporating all muscles to keep stable whilst this machine is moving. This machine, on average, can create 30 involuntary muscle contractions per second. These muscle contractions are “fast twitch” motions, meaning the muscles act at lightning speed, exerting more force, in order to keep the body stable. That being said, this machine has been said to have the same amount of positive impact on the body in 10 minutes as a normal workout would have in 1-hour.
This machine has been used in chiropractic offices, rehab centres and in sports locker rooms. This machine is safe for anyone to use. Its ability to fit into a corner of a room in a house even makes it attractive to the normal consumer to bring it home. The idea that you are just standing on a vibrating platform means that even those with limited movement can get in a work out that they otherwise could not do with conventional work out routines. There are no excuses with this machine.
Since the human body gets a work out in just 10 minutes on this machine, it comes close to being the most time-effective work out. This machine is perfect to use first thing in the morning to get your blood pumping. This machine is perfect to use on your 30-minute lunch break. This machine is perfect to use at 5:30 in the evening just before dinner. It is so easy to fit in 10 minutes on this machine; all you have to do is make a point of it.
So, how does this machine relieve stress? Simple. As with all forms of exercise, there are many benefits.
· Increases the production of endorphins
Physical activity of any kind, whether it is standing on the whole body vibration machine, raking the leaves for 20 minutes or running a marathon, the brain produces feed-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Also known as “the runner’s high”, this feel-good exertion is good enough to relieve any stress.
· Moving meditation
All too often we focus too much on the negative. While taking a nature hike, a walk around the block, or a game of tennis, the mind shifts to the “now” and you start to focus on your body’s movement along with the positivity, energy and optimism of being active. Let your stress just melt away.
· Mood lifting
When you incorporate exercise as a regular activity, it increases your self confidence, self esteem and self worth just to name a few. Those feel-good endorphins have a tendency to stick around. Regular exercise also improves sleep patterns and decreases insomnia.
· Walk before you run
If you are just starting a workout routine or are getting back into it, do not set high goals right off the bat. Setting achievable goals will lower the amount of stress you have for your workout.
· Love what you do
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to what they like to do for exercise. Some love running and some hate running. Some love tennis while others hate tennis. Find out what you love to do. When you love something, it does not become a chore to do and you will not stress out over thinking about it.
· Make a date
Life is hectic and crazy, hence why we are a stressed nation. If you make working out/exercising a priority, trying to fit it in will not become stressful. Remember, there is no wrong in taking time for you.
· Make it a lifestyle
We all have been to the point of discontent and disheartenment. Remember, setting achievable goals will make your workout more enjoyable. When you notice a plateau, change it up a bit; increase the time spent doing one activity by 5 reps or by 5 minutes, increase the weight by 1 pound. This will keep your body guessing and you will continue to see results.
By incorporating exercise into your routine, just like you would brushing your teeth and showering, it becomes a part of who you are. It becomes a priority and it shows the world, and yourself, that you love you.