Maintain a Healthy Weight
Although your BMI may indicate you fall within a healthy weight range for your height, you may not be doing much to ensure you stay healthy. Having healthful lifestyle behaviors is just as important as losing weight to fall within a healthy weight range. Below are a few ways to get your behaviors on track to a healthy, happy you.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a necessity for good health. It helps your body recover from the stressors of the day, repair and rebuild tissues, and balance hormone levels. But more than a recovery for the body, scientists are now seeing sleep as an important tool for preventing illness and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Balance Your Nutrition
Following a meal plan that is full of variety and balance is essential for long term weight management- and good health. Here are some of our favorite nutrition tips to get you started on a path to balanced nutrition. Just remember to start slow. If you see a few different practices you would like to make your own, practice these Steps to Success:
1-2-3: Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. We obtain carbohydrates primarily from four food groups- Grains, Fruit, Vegetables, and Dairy. To meet daily grain goals, choose high fiber, whole grains. For fruits and vegetables, focus on vegetables, as they provide about 2/3 less carbohydrates per serving than fruits. When eating fruits, enjoy whole fruits versus juice most often. In the dairy group, watch out for added sugar in milk, yogurt, and frozen desserts. Remember, 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. So, if your yogurt contains 24 grams of sugar, you’re eating roughly 3 teaspoons of added sugar (because milk items without added sugar naturally contain about 12 grams of lactose [milk-sugar]). For cheese, choose low-fat versions, control portion sizes of high fat versions, and use grated varieties for cheesy flavor without extra fat.
The best resource to learn what calorie goal to aim for and how to achieve this goal one food group at a time is MyPyramid. MyPyramid was developed by the USDA as a revision of the old Food Guide Pyramid. The great aspect of MyPyramid is that it can be tailored to meet most healthy adult’s nutrition needs.
Daily Physical Activity
Your body was meant to move. Whether you like to dance, hike, walk in the park, or ski, let it do its thing! Daily physical activity does more than help manage your weight. It builds strong bones, maintains muscle mass (which burns more calories than fat!), helps burn off stress, keeps your core muscles in check (important for balance), makes you feel good about yourself, and maintains a strong heart.
If you do not participate in any form of physical activity, but would like to begin, it’s essential to start off small and slow. First and foremost, consult a physician before you start working on the three components of physical fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strengthening, and flexibility.
How much each day?
Being physically active each day means participating in activity above your normal daily activities. Here are the USDA 2005 Dietary Guidelines for becoming physically active each day. Which goal is best for you?
How do I choose a gym?
With so many different options out there, it is important to find a fitness center that delivers. Look for a club that offers the safest and best exercise equipment, programs, and personnel to meet your needs. Regardless of how cheap the membership fee is, you need to screen potential centers before signing the dotted line.
When you are stressed, regardless what the cause is, you react physically. Specifically your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and muscle tension increases. If left untreated, living in a constant state of stress could lead to digestion, sleeping, psychological, and immune system problems. Therefore, your long term health depends on our ability to cope with both daily stress and stressful events.