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healthy eating

Healthy eating and physical fitness go together, but there are no magic foods that cause you to be one hundred percent healthy by just eating the one food. No, you need a variety of foods from each of these food groups each day. It’s also important to watch the portion size so as not to overeat. Make your mealtimes pleasant and relaxed occasions and your healthy foods will work effectively with your healthy emotions to give you a healthy body.

Berries

healthy eatingYou may like all types of berries or just one or two favorites, but you can never go wrong by adding a few fresh berries as a quick energy snack or frozen berries made into a luscious smoothie in place of calorie laden desserts. Berries are high in vitamin C across the board, but some are high in other nutrients as well. Choose ripe blueberries for vitamin C and heaps of anti-oxidants for the health of your circulatory system. Gogi berries are less well-known but are wonderfully rich in many of the nutrients your body needs to be nutritionally and physically fit.

Citrus

The foods of the citrus family are widely recognized as a valuable source of vitamin C. Choose fully ripe citrus fruits for the best nutritional value and choose citrus as near to the tree as possible. Tree ripened fruits picked at the peak of perfection and consumed with hours of picking give you the top nutritional rating. Try grapefruit for breakfast. Add a dash of fresh squeezed lime to your salad as a dressing and enjoy slices of orange with coconut in a light honey dressing for dessert.

Vegetables

The variety of vegetables is amazing. For people who are vegetarian or vegan, choosing vegetables to be part of a nutritionally sound diet is a way of life. Your vegetable group provides many of the minerals required in a good diet. For example, you may realize that potassium is necessary for healthy nutrition. Many people claim the benefits of potassium found in a single banana. But did you know, you can also get adequate potassium in your diet by eating a stalk of broccoli? Try a salad of fresh young spinach topped with pine nuts and stirred with lightly cooked penne’. Feta cheese and a light vinaigrette dressing to create the perfect light luncheon meal.

Whole Grains

Like many other of the best foods, choosing only one type of whole grain for your meals doesn’t provide all the variety you need to be nutritionally sound. Often, mixing two or more whole grains together will give you complete proteins. For example, brown rice and wheat kernels with a spicy seasoning are a popular dish in many countries.

Salmon

Salmon is lean fish and nutritionally one of the best fish choices. It is rich in Omega-3 oils that are noted as helping improve the functioning of the brain. Salmon baked whole with just lemon or lime as a seasoning makes a fantastic main dish or a hearty luncheon featured menu item. Salmon is also commonly found in chilled seafood dishes.

Legumes

A legume is the name for a variety of fruits with a single dry seed. Legumes are sometimes called pods. Examples of edible legumes are soybeans, peas, dried beans and peanuts, among others. Legumes are rich in iron and high in fiber, making them excellent nutritional choices. Peanuts are a type of legume that have been used to make hundreds of different products some edible and others with various types of helpful uses.

Nuts and seeds

Nature has packed a lot of goodness into small packages. Most everyone has heard of walnuts and pecans which are very good nutritional products, but did you realize that flax seeds are brain food–containing critical non-meat sources of the Omega-3 oil.

Lean proteins

The keyword here is lean. Americans eat far too much protein compared to the rest of the world. Cut down of portion sizes–three ounces will provide all the needed protein needed for your day. Also, trim all visible fat from your protein source. Alternatively, use non meat substitutes such as the complete proteins found in vegetable dishes like beans and brown rice.

Tea

Depending on the type of tea you prefer, you can get an energy boost from a cup of green tea, or the calming effect of chamomile tea. Get going with mint teas or start your day with Earl Grey Breakfast Tea. Herbal teas are soothing, tasty and good for you. Non herbal teas will help you to stay alert when you need help to function.

Olive oil

Olive oil is probably the healthiest substance you can use to keep fat in your diet. You can use it on your salad, mix it with a little vinegar to create your own, or fry other foods in the hot oil. Just make sure that the temperature is not too hot so that the oil is broken down.

10 Top Healthy Foods To Keep You Fit

Latest Update:Monday, April 22, 2019

4 Steps To Better Health

It’s possible to learn HOW to better your health in only 4 steps and this article will show you how. Each step is a bite-sized nugget of healthy living information you can actually use.
Let’s get started…
Step 1: Nutritional Supplements
In my opinion, they are very necessary and very beneficial- especially when combined with healthy eating habits. It’s very difficult to get all the nutrients your body needs through food alone, but combining proper nutrition with nutritional supplements is very powerful.
That being said, the one supplement everyone should be taking is a good multi vitamin/mineral. Look at it as added insurance- eating well is crucial, but now that you’re also taking a multi, you can rest assured you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.

Step 2: Nutrition

Good nutrition is SO important. You are what you eat…remember that. Make a conscious effort to gradually improve your eating habits, eating more of the good foods (nuts, berries, peanut butter, olive oil, greens, chicken, whole grains, etc.) and less of the bad foods (fried food, saturated fat, fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, etc.). Reading the label of what you’re eating will tell you a lot.
You may think you lack the needed will power, but you’ll be amazed at what happens when you start to gradually improve your eating habits.

Step 3: Exercise
Exercise is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to better health. There are so many benefits of exercising, including stronger bones and improved libido- it’s a no brainer to start doing it. Your goal should be to exercise 3-5 times a week with a combination of cardio exercises and strength training (but no more than 1 hour per workout session).
It’s been measured that if you add 3 pounds of muscle to your body, this added muscle will burn as many calories as if you ran 1 mile. Muscle burns calories!

Step 4: Stress Management and Sleep
Stress management and getting good sleep each night round out your path to better health. Until you find a way to manage your stress, it will continue to do damage to your body. Two tips you might want to implement include prioritizing your day each morning and practicing deep breathing exercises (yes, you probably already knew this, but have you tried it?).
Getting enough sleep each night is equally important when you consider your body uses this time to repair itself. You should aim for 7-9 hours each night. Two tips you might want to implement include exercising and avoiding late night eating.
Now that you have the basics, expand on this information. Step 1 research more about Nutritional Supplements, Step 2 research more about Nutrition and so on. I guarantee after the 4 steps you’ll feel more confident about reaching your health & fitness goals.

4 Steps To Better Health

Latest Update: Monday, April 22, 2019

cardio training

cardio trainingBefore you start wasting hours upon hours on those boring treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines, let’s examine if low-moderate intensity, long duration cardio exercise is really doing your body any good, or if it is mostly a waste of time. I hope you will concede upon finishing this article that there is a better way to get in great shape, and it doesn’t have to involve endless hours on boring cardio machines.
It is common to hear fitness professionals and medical doctors prescribe low to moderate intensity aerobic training (cardio) to people who are trying to prevent heart disease or lose weight. Most often, the recommendations constitute something along the lines of “perform 30-60 minutes of steady pace cardio 3-5 times per week maintaining your heart rate at a moderate level”. Before you just give in to this popular belief and become the “hamster on the wheel” doing endless hours of boring cardio, I’d like you to consider some recent scientific research that indicates that steady pace endurance cardio work may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

First, realize that our bodies are designed to perform physical activity in bursts of exertion followed by recovery, or stop-and-go movement instead of steady state movement. Recent research is suggesting that physical variability is one of the most important aspects to consider in your training. This tendency can be seen throughout nature as all animals demonstrate stop-and-go motion instead of steady state motion. In fact, humans are the only creatures in nature that attempt to do “endurance” type physical activities.
Most competitive sports (with the exception of endurance running or cycling) are also based on stop-and-go movement or short bursts of exertion followed by recovery. To examine an example of the different effects of endurance or steady state training versus stop-and-go training, consider the physiques of marathoners versus sprinters. Most sprinters carry a physique that is very lean, muscular, and powerful looking, while the typical dedicated marathoner is more often emaciated and sickly looking. Now which would you rather resemble?
Another factor to keep in mind regarding the benefits of physical variability is the internal effect of various forms of exercise on our body. Scientists have known that excessive steady state endurance exercise (different for everyone, but sometimes defined as greater than 60 minutes per session most days of the week) increases free radical production in the body, can degenerate joints, reduces immune function, causes muscle wasting, and can cause a pro-inflammatory response in the body that can potentially lead to chronic diseases. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training has been linked to increased anti-oxidant production in the body and an anti-inflammatory response, a more efficient nitric oxide response (which can encourage a healthy cardiovascular system), and an increased metabolic rate response (which can assist with weight loss).
Furthermore, steady state endurance training only trains the heart at one specific heart rate range and doesn’t train it to respond to various every day stressors. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training teaches the heart to respond to and recover from a variety of demands making it less likely to fail when you need it. Think about it this way — Exercise that trains your heart to rapidly increase and rapidly decrease will make your heart more capable of handling everyday stress. Stress can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase rapidly. Steady state jogging and other endurance training does not train your heart to be able to handle rapid changes in heart rate or blood pressure.
For example, lets say you jog trying to maintain the same pace for a good 45-minute run. As long as you didn’t encounter any big hills along the way, you probably maintained approximately the same heart rate the entire time – let’s say it was 135 beats/minute. Now, let’s contrast that with a much more effective workout of doing 20 minutes of alternating all-out wind sprints with walking for a minute or two in between sprints to recover. With this more effective workout, you’re rapidly changing your heart rate up and down on a much larger scale, forcing it to grow stronger to be able to handle varied demands. Your heart rate would probably alternate from 110-115 during the recovery walks all the way up to 160 bpm or more during the sprints. This doesn’t mean that sprints are the only way to take advantage of this style of training. Any style of training that incorporates highly variable intensity will give you these improved results.
The important aspect of variable cyclic training that makes it superior over steady state cardio is the recovery period in between bursts of exertion. That recovery period is crucially important for the body to elicit a healthy response to an exercise stimulus. Another benefit of variable cyclic training is that it is much more interesting and has lower drop-out rates than long boring steady state cardio programs.
To summarize, some of the potential benefits of variable cyclic training compared to steady state endurance training are as follows: improved cardiovascular health, increased anti-oxidant protection, improved immune function, reduced risk for joint wear and tear, reduced muscle wasting, increased residual metabolic rate following exercise, and an increased capacity for the heart to handle life’s every day stressors. There are many ways you can reap the benefits of stop-and-go or variable intensity physical training.
In addition to the previously mentioned wind sprints, most competitive sports such as football, basketball, racquetball, tennis, hockey, etc. are naturally comprised of highly variable stop-and-go motion. In addition, weight training naturally incorporates short bursts of exertion followed by recovery periods. High intensity interval training (varying between high and low intensity intervals on any piece of cardio equipment) is yet another training method that utilizes exertion and recovery periods. For example, an interval training session on the treadmill could look something like this:

Warm-up for 3-4 minutes at a fast walk or light jog;

Interval 1 – run at 8.0 mi/hr for 1 minute;

Interval 2 – walk at 4.0 mi/hr for 1.5 minutes;

Interval 3 – run at 10.0 mi/hr for 1 minute;

Interval 4 – walk at 4.0 mi/hr for 1.5 minutes;

Repeat those 4 intervals 4 times for a very intense 20-minute workout.

The take-away message from this article is to try to train your body at highly variable intensity rates for the majority of your workouts to get the most beneficial response in terms of heart health, fat loss, and a strong, lean body.
Latest Update: Monday, April 22, 2019