Healthy Eating

Outdoor activities make staying healthy and staying in shape more interesting. Here are some activities that you can also include in your routine that takes away boredom and puts the fun into exercise.

Go Swimming

Swimming is a popular outdoor activity that stimulates all the muscles in your body. If you have easy access to a pool, go and take the plunge. Swimming can be fun and at the same time, it helps tone your body muscles. Exercising on a treadmill can be a bore most of the time but with swimming, you can cool off, enjoy, and get in shape. You will not even notice how many hours you have spent swimming when you do so.

Dog Walking

When you have a dog, you can exercise by walking or jogging with him. What is great about exercising with your dog, especially if you are a dog lover, is that you won’t mind how long it would take for you to walk or jog because you are with your canine best friend. Other than walking, you can also play fetch with your dog or play roughhouse with him.

young athletic woman running on the road with white labrador, exercise outdoors

  It may not seem strenuous as going on a treadmill for hours, but this type of exercise can be a great workout that benefits both you and your dog.

Go Hiking

Why spend hours and hours on a treadmill just to work on your leg muscles when you can do something more fun like hiking along a nature trail. Hiking works greatly on your leg muscles and you will be more interested when you get to see different things along your journey. You can get someone to go with you to make it more exciting. Of course, you can also bring along a camera just in case you come across something interesting.

Cycling

Cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise that you can enjoy especially when you do it around your community. If possible choose quiet routes away from traffic.

Some would even opt to cycle to different distances not only as their workout routine but as a way to enjoy different sights. Work your quadriceps while enjoying scenic views when you go cycling.

Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

When you have a hectic daily schedule, it would be hard to find time for exercise especially when there are tons of things to worry about such as packing everyone’s lunch, sending the kids to school, work, picking them up from school, cooking dinner, and the list would go on. Exercise should be part of a your daily living especially if you have a busy schedule as it can energize the body and handle stress that can be a cause for obesity.

When you can’t find time to do some outdoor exercises, or get on the treadmill for hours for cardio exercises, there are different exercises that you can do just about anytime and anywhere – and this time, no more excuses. Amidst your busy schedule, you can insert a time slot for exercise because there are activities that you can do any place that you think is convenient for you. Keep in mind that you should always start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down exercise.

Do it Right

Always consider doing the right exercise for a specific muscle. Keep in mind that some movements are not correct even if it feels good. It is important to keep track of how a specific exercise should be done and not to base it on how it feels like.

If you are new to the world of exercise, prepare your mind and emotion. Do not set the bar too high but see to it that you engage yourself in doing the exercises well. It always takes time and patience to see results.

It is good to learn slowly and progress the type of exercise once you have mastered one. Proper exercise will enable you to attain cardiovascular fitness, good flexibility and excellent muscle strength. It will also help you lose weight and it is a relaxing activity after a day of stressful work. An added bonus is the release of endorphins or happy hormones in the body. These hormones improve the well-being of a person. Increased ability to concentrate and higher energy throughout the day are also an advantage after doing exercise. Keep determined to succeed and you will achieve the desired effects.

Young woman in sport wear doing sport in gym

Exercising is a smart move, especially if you want to lose weight and improve your overall health. You can perform your exercises at home or in gyms. But the question is, which is more effective, training at home or in a gym? To answer this question, let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

What are the benefits to working out at home?

 At home, you can enjoy your privacy. You don’t have to sweat it out in full view of a group of strangers.

 You can work out any time you like. You don’t have wait until the gym opens and hurry out when it is about to close for the day.

 You don’t have to go outdoors especially when the weather is bad to get to the gym.

 You can tailor your home gym to meet your specific fitness needs.

 A home gym is usually less expensive than a gym membership.

 You can make no excuse not to be able to exercise because the gym is right where you are – at home.

Before you decide whether a home gym is right for you, take a look at the following factors:

 Your fitness needs.

 The type of workout that you want.

 Your budget.

 The amount of space you are willing to provide for your home gym equipment.

When you have finally decided that a home gym is the best for you, you will need to carefully pick the best home gym equipment. Several home gym gadgets let you perform several types of exercises on one piece of equipment. This is suitable for people who have limited spaces in their homes. It is also affordable for the average person.

One negative aspect of a home gym is that you do not have access to workout professionals who can help you learn to use the equipment and develop an exercise routine that is best for you.

However, there are a couple of ways you can deal with that. Exercise equipment that you purchase frequently comes with instructional videos. You can watch the video thoroughly. Sales representatives are also trained and they can help you learn to use the equipment. You can also hire a personal trainer for a session or two just to help you get started on your exercise routine.

The Gym

Even though the home gym is the runaway winner when it comes to cost, gym memberships come with several perks that may not be present at home. Some gyms have fitness classes and you have to agree, it is very encouraging to exercise more when you are with peers. Other gyms have spa services and that would be very difficult to duplicate at home. You can even have massage therapy in membership gyms. First class gyms come with complete exercise facilities, something that you would not be able to fit at home.

 Whether you choose the home gym or the membership gym, enjoy it and make it fun.

Strength training is the type of work out that employs resistance to make stronger and shape up the skeletal and muscular system of the body, enhancing muscle tone and stamina. Strength training is synonymous to other exercise terms such as weightlifting and resistance training.

Physically, the benefits of steady strength training include a boost in muscle size and tone, increased muscular power, and amplification in bone, tendon, and sinew strength. Strength training can also develop one’s psychological status by increasing confidence and self-esteem.

Here are other worthy benefits of strength training:

  • Energy Boost: additional endurance, control and strength resulting in more energy.

  • Better digestion. Your body is designed to be active in many ways.

  • Superior cerebral activity and output. Mental relaxation is a benefit.

  • Improved sleep: Strength training develops a better sleeping pattern for you.

  • Weight loss: with strength training, the muscles burn more calories than fats because of improved metabolism.
  • Tougher bones: increased bone mineral density resulting from loads placed on the bones during the strength training.
  • Depression control: While exercising, the brain sends out endorphins resulting in a happy state of mind during and after exercise.

  • Reduced stress

  • Protection from heart disease: reduced blood pressure and weight loss

  • Improved self-confidence and self-perception

  • Body fat percentage reduction

  • Lean tissue increase

  • Strength increases

  • Lung function improves

  • Bone mineral density increases

Due to the improvement of mental and physical stamina you will be able to tolerate the stresses of your work and home life better.

Another one of the many benefits of a good strength training program is its effect on our appearance. As a result our self-esteem and level of confidence improve.

Strength Training Can Slow Down Aging

Strength training is essential in inhibiting muscle loss that usually accompanies the aging process. There is no reason why all of us can't be physically, psychologically and socially active, living a healthy life into our later years.

The reason why many elderly people have become slower and fatter is simply because over the years, their muscles have wasted away without strength training. This has resulted in the decrease of their body’s physical performance and metabolism, which is the reason why they have become less efficient.

The body needs consistent strength training in order to slow down muscle and bone weakness. Constant physical movement prepares the body for the future years. You will eventually notice that mature people who have had ample physical activity in their youth are still capable of doing a lot of things without supervision when they get old.

If you have a deskbound job, you can just imagine how your body feels towards the end of each working day. Have you noticed that you have tight muscles, a painful back, and you feel totally worn out even though you really have not done anything remotely similar to a total workout?

Asian businessman with pressure about this work

Your shoulders may be burning from tension and your head hurts from gazing at the computer screen for the longest time. Afterwards, imagine how the body feels after a real workout. Your muscles become warm and lithe; the blood is freely flowing through your entire body delivering much needed oxygen and energy. You feel keyed up, positive and even proud of yourself. The feeling is entirely different. Our bodies are designed for motion--not stay at one place and sit around the whole day.

Cardio Results in Better Life Quality

People have become preoccupied with how they look, so much so that they do not really care how they feel. If you take a second look at the benefits mentioned, all of them point to the direction of feeling good not only now but in the future as well.

Cardio training promotes movement and this increases blood flow. Cardio training reinforces the heart and lungs and trains the heart to work more efficiently. When you perform cardio training, you also set a good example for your kids and this could spell a better future for them.

Portrait of a happy family on summer vacation at beach

Performing cardiovascular workouts also positively modifies the hormonal aspects of your body significantly. It releases 'feel good' hormones that will help relieve signs of despair and exhaustion as well as releasing appetite decreasing hormones. In the end, cardio exercises aids in healthy gradual weight loss. This is great for people not only for people who are overweight but for those who have health issues like diabetes and hypertension, conditions that are worsened by excess body fat.

As we mature, our muscles constrict and tighten. This makes the range of motion in our joints curtailed and minimized. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily living activities easier. Almost anyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of our daily habits. Speak to your physiotherapist or gym instructor as to which stretches would be beneficial for you.

young health couple doing stretching exercise relaxing and warm up after jogging and running in park

You can even do stretches while in front of the TV, after a long night’s sleep, or before going to bed. You will need to do stretches in between sets if you are doing strength training exercises. Stretching makes you feel good and it prepares you for the workout ahead.

Benefits

Stretching does not require a lot of time. Despite this, stretching can really help you achieve amazing results with your workouts. Here are some of the many benefits that you get from regular stretching:

 Increased blood circulation to the different parts of the body

 Boosted energy levels

 Less muscle tension

 Increased flexibility and movement in the joints

 Improved muscular synchronization

Stretching offers a lot of advantages to people of different ages. As already mentioned, one of the benefits of stretching is the increase of the range of movement in our joints. The extra movement can absorb injury better.

Post-exercise stretching can also help in workout recuperation, reduce muscle discomfort, and make certain that your muscles and tendons are in good working order. The more hardened and toned your muscles and tendons are, the better they can cope with the rigors of sport and exercise.

Stretching is natural to all of us. You have most probably noticed that if you have been sitting in a particular position for a long time, you stretch automatically even without thinking. Stretching alleviates tension and it makes you feel good.

Work and other non-exercise activities can cause tension. Tension can lead to pains in the muscles. Stretching helps relax your muscles and it aids in the prevention of muscle cramps. Post workout stretching will definitely help you improve your flexibility and reduce the chances of injury.

Heart Rate Monitor Shows Cardiac And Coronary Health

Maintaining the right body weight reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases as well as other forms of cancer and type two diabetes. These diseases do not progress in a short period of time, they develop through the years, and that is the reason why keeping your body healthy and fit is your best shot at preventing these types of diseases.

A healthy body maintained by exercise is your passport to a more meaningful and longer life.

Make Sure You Know Your Limitations prior to Taking on an Exercise Regimen.

Exercise can be precarious especially for people who have specific health issues and those who have not done any strenuous physical activity for a long time. Obese people are also advised to consult health specialists before embarking on an exercise regimen. Immediately beginning a demanding type of workout can lead to serious body injury. It is important to be familiar with the steps.

Know Your Limitations

PAR-Q is the standard used to gauge fitness safety. This tool is used by health clubs, physical trainers and even doctors all over the world. The name is short for Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire and it is usually composed of 5 to 7 questions that can help a person determine if there are any health concerns that need to be addressed before undergoing an exercise program. These questions are answerable by yes or no. Here are some of the questions:

 Has your doctor prescribed drugs for you for blood pressure control or any heart condition?

 Are you suffering from any joint or bone problem which could be made worse if you undergo any strenuous physical activity?

 Have you ever lost balance because you felt dizzy? Do you occasionally lose consciousness?

 Have you experienced chest pains in the past, even if you are not performing any physical activity? Do you feel pain in your chest when you perform physical activity?

 Has your doctor diagnosed you as having a heart condition? Has your doctor ordered you to refrain from doing any physical activity that he did not recommend?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, it is best to consult your doctor and get cleared before you start with any type of workout.

Aside from this, here are other high risk conditions that require sanction from the doctor before you begin exercising:

 Being 20 pounds overweight

 Chain smoker

 Suffering from arthritis

 Having high blood pressure

 Diabetes

 Other chronic medical conditions

 This does not mean that you cannot do exercise if you are hypertensive or diabetic. In fact, exercising is more often than not an essential part of treatment for these types of conditions. However, you may have limitations and your doctor is the best person to help you with these special concerns.

You need to warm up before exercise and cool down afterwards. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity. E.g. do not perform excessive sit ups on your first day of exercise. Do things gradually.

Cardio Training for a Healthy Body

Cardio training is any form of training that amplifies the work of the lungs and the heart. Some of the most common forms of cardio training include walking, jogging, running, and biking. Other forms of cardio training include swimming, cross training, and rowing.

health and fitness lifestyle concept with young athlete swimmer recreating on olimpic pool

The benefits of cardio training are limitless and they include:

 Improved muscle mass

 Less risk of osteoporosis

 Enhanced heart function

 Enhanced blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels

 Reduced heart disease risks

 Weight loss

 Increased density of bones

 Stronger heart and lungs

 Reduced stress

 Reduced heart disease risks

 Reduced risks of acquiring some types of cancer

 Confidence in how you look and feel

 Better sleep

Relief from anxiety and depression is an added benefit.

An average adult should spend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 4 days a week.

Why It’s Important

When your metabolism is working at its peak, you are able to burn more calories which your body uses for energy. This would also result in lesser aches and pains. The body needs lots of vitamins, dietary fibre, minerals, carbohydrates, and fatty acids in order to allow all body processes to function properly. Regular night bed rest is also necessary.

When you sleep, the body goes to work and repairs damaged cells. Deficiency in sleep, good nutrition, and exercise can deny the body of essential elements that will result in fatigue and stress.

The national Sleep Foundation says that ample sleep makes you less vulnerable to colds and flu. Getting enough exercise and the right kind of food can leave a person physically and mentally sharp. Constant workouts prepare the different parts of the body like the muscles, heart, lungs, and bones for the demands of daily life.

Beautiful blonde woman sleeping peacefully in her bed under her brown patterned duvet with a calm serene expression

When the body reaches a healthy level and stays on that plateau, it would be able to withstand extraordinary stress and it would less likely give in to simple infections and other common diseases. When you do regular exercise such as aerobics, you effectively toughen your muscles and bones and this helps you avoid sprains, bone fractures, and even pulled muscles.

When you are fit, you can move more. Movement promotes calorie burning and this will eventually aid you in maintaining your weight. Half an hour of exercise each day will balance your calorie intake.

As well as doing exercises, eat foods that are rich in fibre and low in fat. This will help you control your weight. High fibre nutrition also encourages a healthy cardiovascular system.

Diet plans that don’t have adequate water intake and hydration can impede excellent workout performance and fast recovery. Dehydration can lead to muscle fatigue and cramping.

teen model closup of drinking water out of clear water bottle

It makes you feel more awake and energized, does wonders for your skin and makes you feel fuller so you wind up eating less! Cutting down soda and replacing it with water will do wonders for you. About 98% of people are clinically dehydrated and this can make you feel tired all the time. Often hunger is mistaken for thirst.

Eat Fresh and Healthy

Cooking the foods that you just purchased is the most ideal way to know that what you are consuming is fresh. Also, if the foods’ colour retention is alright, then it is fresh. By planning your foods on a weekly basis, you will be able to minimize the number of times you eat out. Plus, food preparation at home also helps you save a lot.

Eat Colourful

Kozzi-fresh-mixed-salad-442 X 293

Another way on how to maintain your weight loss is to try various shapes and colours when purchasing fruits and vegetables. Purchase violet, green, orange, red, yellow and other colours. Did you know that colours determine the vitamins it contains? Thus, you have to balance what you purchase. If you are intending to make a salad, you have to experiment with the fruits and veggies you include.

Eat With Assortment

When it comes to food, you should always be creative. You can modify the taste of your fruit shake, tenderloin or pasta. With foods, there is no boring day. In order for you to lose weight effectively while giving your body the right nutrition it needs, you have to let your imagination work.

Eat Moderately

These days, several foods have unhealthy ingredients. In order for you not to fall into their trap, you have to read the labels. Admit it, you find most unhealthy foods delicious and addicting, so you get tempted to eat too much of them sometimes. If you really want to lose weight the healthy way, you should condition your mind that eating too much fatty, sweet and salty food in the long run can only lead to serious diseases.

Just Eat Less

One of the major causes of unhealthy eating is huge servings whether at home or in the restaurant. You really have to watch your servings and cut back on them. Also, eat with your tummy and not with your eyes. You have to cook or order only what you can finish. This way, you will be able to save time, effort and money.

Enjoy Your Meals with People

happy young family have healthy breakfast at kitchen with red details on bright morning light

When you eat out with your friends or family, you will have more appetite to eat. You will also be able to communicate with others and have a good belly laugh. However, make sure that the foods served on the table are healthy.

If you want to maintain your weight, you have to keep an eye on what you eat.

A lot of foods nowadays are toxic because of the synthetic chemicals present in them. When you're attempting to eat correctly, you are much less likely to get these toxins into your body as one of the basic principles of eating correctly is that you shouldn’t eat anything that's man-made.

If you wish to minimize your chemical residue, antibiotics and growth hormone intake, you need to consume animal products, grains and organic produce that fit your diet.

Organic Benefits

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of insecticides, 60% of herbicides and 90% of fungicides are carcinogenic or can cause cancer. Organic produce is free from chemical residues, making it a great choice if you prefer to feature veggies and fruits in your diet without increasing the pesticide load of your body. Likewise, traditionally farmed animal products have antibiotic residues and growth hormones. In accordance with The Organic Food Shopper's Guide, 90% of non-organic United States beef has 6 different growth hormones—all of which have been barred in the European Union because of health concerns. Animal products and organic meat don’t contain antibiotics or growth hormone.

Nutritional Comparison

While several organic food proponents have suggested that it comes with more nutrients than traditionally farmed foods, the proof of science suggests that the organic and non-organic foods’ nutritional profiles are significantly the same.

When weighed against equal traditional produce, some organic vegetables and fruits may have higher polyphenols and antioxidants, in accordance with Ph.D. Christine McCullum-Gomez, registered dietician and author of the book entitled Perspective on the Benefits of Organic Foods.

Eat bigger meals early on in the day.

Your metabolism decelerates toward the end of the evening and is less efficient at digesting foods. That means more of the power stored in the food will be stacked away as fat and your body won't absorb as many nutrients from the meal. Try eating a medium-sized meal for breakfast, a big meal for lunch, and a little meal for dinner. It would be better to consume 4-6 small meals over the course of your day. It will satisfy you with fewer calories and will forestall overeating and obesity with all its consequences. Get the habit of eating slowly.

When you eat better, you'll find that you are able to do your work in a much better way. You are able to exercise more, travel more, play more, work more and therefore make your life more productive.

Fresh mixed colorful healthy salad closeup vegetarian food

 Our blood sugar level can be a factor affecting moods. If we are hungry and haven’t eaten for a while, then we can get grumpy or negative. By eating small healthy meals three times a day with a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon, we can avoid this drop in our blood sugar.

Chocolate can elevate our mood as the sugar level rises quickly, while a low mood can follow as the sugar level falls. By having healthy food choices we can keep a more even balance to our sugar level.

Your body needs fuel in order for it to perform any physical activity optimally. Glucose is the favourite sugar of your body as it is a major energy source. To tell you the truth, most of the fuel your body utilizes during exercise originates from the glucose stored in your muscles as glycogen. To put it simply, the foods you consume on Tuesday and Wednesday could fuel your workouts on Friday and Saturday.

The pace at which foods are converted into energy greatly depends on the food type. This pace is also called the food glycaemic index. Foods that rank high on the glycaemic index will quickly be converted to fuel and can give your body energy for workouts.

Low-calorie Complex Carbohydrates

Never skip a workout or meal on an empty tummy. Without adequate energy to fuel your workout, you will become exhausted quickly. In order to boost your performance and nourish your muscles, it is important to consume low-calorie foods prior to performing any exercise. Choose foods with complex carbs in order for you to obtain the best energy source. Don’t forget that your goal is to have 100-200 calories around 30 minutes before performing any physical activity.

Sample Snacks

The following are some of the most ideal low-calorie foods that you can consume prior to performing any exercise:

  • Cereal
  • Yogurt (fat-free)
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit Juice
  • Sports energy bar/sports drink

For you to consume an adequate amount of calories prior to performing an exercise, all you have to do is mix and match these foods. Also, take note that eating fewer than 100 calories may lead to poor exercise performance. By eating correctly, you will make certain that your metabolic functions - most notably your immune system and your gastrointestinal system - keep working correctly