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Fitness advice: Eating healthy, staying healthy


Last updated 3/18/2011 at Noon

Eating healthy, maintaining a nutritional diet, and exercising adequately is not the only factors needed to keep weight off and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Appearing healthy is not about being unrealistically thin, or keeping yourself from eating the foods that you enjoy. It is rather about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible, but in realistic measures. One of the most important steps to having, or maintaining a healthy lifestyle is understanding the way your body functions.

Many people still do not understand why it is that he or she eats. Often, it is because you are hungry, tired, or your stomach is rumbling. Also, many people may eat because they are bored, happy, or depressed. Those are just some of the emotional reasons why you need to eat, but more in depth, the food you may eat provides the body with the energy required for your body to function. The main form of energy for your body is carbohydrates. The body has the easiest time digesting carbohydrates just like sugar and starch.

Carbohydrates are broken down into individual glucose. Glucose is your body's favorite form of energy. Without carbohydrates, your body can not make glucose from protein or fat, and without them the body will store them as fat. Not only are carbohydrates a must for a healthy balanced diet, but protein serves as a great importance as well.

Protein in the foods you eat are broken down into amino acids. The body uses the amino acids to build and repair various parts of the body. For example, your muscles contain a lot of protein, and you need to refresh that protein through your diet. Protein is also necessary for the components of your immune system, hormones, nervous system, and organs. Calcium is another raw material that your body needs. Serving many functions in the body, but the main function is to keep your bones and teeth strong, often found in milk.

Vitamins and minerals you receive from your daily diet are just as important as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

However, they should only be conceived in small amounts.

Vitamins and minerals help chemical reactions in the body happen a lot faster.

There are many vitamins and minerals that serve our body a great purpose.

For example, Vitamin A is needed for vision, zinc is involved in numerous metabolic processes, and vitamin c helps keep connective tissue strong and the immune system functioning properly; these vitamins and minerals are known as "little helpers." Knowing your body and how it functions is vital to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but it is also good to know different ways to help keep your body flourished consistently.

There are many things that you can do to not only get healthy, but also stay healthy. When people hear "healthy," they generally think of eating the right foods, and exercising on a daily basis. This is not wrong, but there is much more to that. One of the main strategies is to eat a healthy breakfast. A healthy breakfast is necessary because the energy received from it will carry you through your morning in a more stable way than by eating stimulating foods such as sweets and coffee. Stick to eating a serving of whole grains, a digestible protein, or one or more fruits.

Studies have shown, for example, that eating breakfast can lower a person’s cholesterol. This is because breakfast tends to be high in fiber, which absorbs cholesterol in the intestines. More importantly, when we skip breakfast, our bodes go for 10-16 hours with no outside energy, which then makes us feel more tired and it slows your metabolism down. To improve your diet as well as your nutrition eat a good breakfast everyday.

Drinking water throughout the day is good for your health. It is often said to drink eight ounces of water a day. A human body is made up of 60 percent of water, and it is a main function in the body for circulation, digestion, and the absorbent or nutrients. Even though, the many foods we eat and the beverages we consume contain water, pure water is the best form to take in to our system. It is shown in recent studies that people who drink eight glasses of water a day have fewer headaches and pains, and a generally improved health than of those who do not. Frequent water consumption is an inexpensive and good health practice.

Connecting with other people, believe it or not, is another way to a healthy lifestyle. No man is an island. Connecting with other people as well as arranging bonds of communication with other people emotionally and spiritually keeps us healthy as much as a healthy diet nourishes our body.

Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that are crucial for your health.

For example, dark-colored berries carry proanthocyanidins which are potent antioxidants.

These scavenge free-radicals, slow down aging, and help fight cancer.

The orange color in carrots and sweet potatoes illustrate their high levels of beta-carotene which the body changes into vitamin A, which is important for healthy skin and eyes.

All fruits and vegetables supply the body with the correct amount of fiber needed for cholesterol regulation and proper bowel function.

Many find it hard to eat the correct amount of fruits and vegetables daily.

A few ways to do this is to emphasize vegetables in your meals, and choose fruits for snack or desserts instead of ice cream or pie.

Incorporate dark green leafy greens into your diet everyday, remember the brightest and deepest colors indicate the highest levels of nutrients.

Although, eating properly serves as a main purpose in creating a healthy lifestyle, being active physically is just as important. Many people find it hard to incorporate long term exercising into their daily schedules, but there are many activities that you can do that you have probably overlooked because they are so simple. From playing with your kids to cleaning the house, as little or as much vigorous workout you have is a good start.

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise that almost anyone can do. Just walking twenty minutes away from your house and then returning is good enough. A recent study showed that a person who walked their dog for twenty minutes lost almost 14 pounds. If you do not have a dog, walk it anyway. Even integrating little walks and activities into your daily routines will help. Walk instead of driving a car when going to do errands, or if you must drive, park in the far corner of the parking lot and take the extra walk.

Taking a hike is also a great form of exercise. It is a chance to go for a long walk but it can also provide a different type of exercising environment that will make it more enjoyable. Also, when doing your daily house chores put on some music and dance while dusting furniture, or while vacuuming. If you have a busy schedule it is important to get all the exercise that you can, and eat the right foods that will be beneficial to you.

Many of us enjoy our late night fast food joints, our high calorie coffee shops, and our highly sugared breakfast cereals, but here are some of those foods we enjoy to skip and alternatives to try.

High calorie fast food items that you should skip is the Quiznos Tuna Melt, Wendy's Baconator Triple, Burger King Triple Whopper, and McDonald's Big Breakfast, instead, try Taco Bells' Crunchy Beef Taco, Taco Bells' Chicken Soft Taco, Subway 6" Veggie Delight, and Subways' 6" Turkey Breast Sandwich.

Highly caffeinated drinks to skip is Dunkin' Donuts large Vanilla Bean Coolatta, and Starbucks large Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuchino, instead, try Dunkin' Donuts large Iced Coffee with milk, or Starbucks Espresso large Macchiato with nonfat milk.

Those sugary cereals that we are tempted to eat that should be omitted from our diet is Kellogg's Honey Smacks, Kellogg's Apple Jacks, and Kellogg's Fruit Loops, instead, try Kashi Heart to Heart Toasted Oats, Kashi Honey Sunshine, and Post Foods Honey Bunches of Oats-Corn Flakes.

Just by switching a few of our everyday unhealthy foods can make a great deal of an impact of our nutritional lifestyle.

Furthermore it is important to pay attention to your health and the type of lifestyle that you are living. The things you eat have a great impact on your daily health, which can eventually lead to lifelong. Switching your everyday junk food to a simple fruit, vegetable, or a low calorie food will eliminate weight gain. Odds are, if you respect yourself people will respect you, and follow your lead as example.

Greg Burkett “Greg The Trainer” is fitness advisor in Orange County. For more information go to or call 409-550-0777.


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