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First of all, parenting is not an easy job. Parents provide us with the necessities of life from day one. They supply food, clothing and a roof over your head- guaranteed for the first 18 years of our life. Good parents are excellent role models. They lead by example. You can see the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle by the way parents live. Their life is healthy, happy and satisfied.
The Benefits of Living Healthy Lifestyle
Take a look into your refrigerator. What do you see? If you see lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you will definitely experience the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Without eating fruits and vegetables you will be lacking food with high nutritional value. Your Refrigerators tell the story. Keep them filled with healthy food and drink choices.
Healthy Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
For one thing, eating fresh fruits and vegetables can supply you with energy. Plus, they lower your risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other forms of disease. Fruits and vegetables also increase your fiber intake. They provide an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. So, make a habit to choose a rich selection of fruits and vegetables from a rainbow of colors. Purple cabbage, yellow squash, kale, tomatoes, carrots, apples, oranges, strawberries and melons are all good choices.
Some foods promote disease. For example, red meat can contribute to colorectal cancer. In fact, red meats take longer to digest than other meats. Also, choose leaner meats. Lean meats lower your risk of having high cholesterol and more lipids (fatty acids.)
Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
- Meals are replete with nutritious fruit and vegetable content
- Lean cuts of poultry
- Small portions of fish (high in Omega-3)
- Salmon, Anchovies
- Moderate intake of red wine
- Small serving of red meats
- The Mediterranean cuisine also capitalizes on foods high in monounsaturated fats (nuts, seeds and olive oil)
- High-fiber grains, whole grain, oatmeal and barley
- The Mediterranean diet is widespread and can be found in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
The Benefits of Quality Sleep
Are you getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If not, you need to make a change. Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep gives the body time to repair and heal during the night. During deep sleep, also known as Rapid Eye Motions (REM) moments, the brain has a chance to unwind. Actually, this is the time when you are experiencing the dream state. To sum up, here are the five stages of sleep.
- Stage One: Light sleep when muscles start to unwind, as you drift in and out of sleep.
- Stage Two: Light sleep 2.0. You can still be woken up but your heart rate, brain and eye movements slow down.
- Stage Three and Four: You are in deep sleep stages, difficult to wake up. This is the most critical part of sleep, the body is repairing tissues, releases growth hormones and is preparing the body and mind for the next day.
- Stage Five: Is REM sleep, muscles will stop moving, your body will relax.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, stroke and some rare forms of cancer. Unfortunately, change in sleep patterns can be a sign that there may be other health issues to consider. Getting too much sleep, is another valid, medical concern.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- Set up a consistent routine to sign-off and wake-up each morning, even on weekends
- Turn off all electronic devices and store them somewhere outside of bedroom.
- Keep your bedroom or sleeping area as dark as possible.
- Do not consume alcohol or caffeine within a few hours of bedtime.
- A daily 30-minute exercise routine can help you have a good night sleep,
Benefits of Daily Exercise
Do you include some type of physical activity in your daily routine? Good for you. Exercise protects your heart. In fact, it also helps prevent bone loss as we age. It plays a key role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Power walking, in particular, cleared my head after going around the block. I felt like a brand-new person. Fitness experts remind us that exercise is one of the best ways to maintain weight loss. It also helps control appetite.
Otago Exercises for Seniors
Anyone over the age of 65 can add balance and flexibility training to their fitness routine. Apart from this, doing something that brings joy is so important. Whether it be dancing, swimming, gardening, or biking. Find your bliss. You are the captain of your own ship. Many senior citizens are opting for Otago exercises. This fitness program is becoming more mainstream. So, tell your moms and grammas to get off the couch and get busy.
There are five categories of the Otago Exercises. Each one focuses on a specific area of the body:
- * Posture
- * Spinal Mobility
- * Hip and Core Stability
- * Lower Extremity Strengthening
- * Balance Training
For starters, consult with your primary care physicians. After getting the OK from your doctor, enroll in an Ortago Exercise class. It takes only three sessions a week for several weeks. During your last session you will see results. You’ll notice improvement in your balance and flexibility. In addition, it can help prevent falls. Consequently, exercise, even in minimal amounts, can make a big difference in your life.
Benefits of a Healthy Body Weight
Eating a healthy diet is essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Skinny people can eat everything except the kitchen sink and never gain a pound. Despite this fact, weight watchers cannot. Unfortunately, too many of us have struggled with weight issues for far too long. Maintaining body weight is key to a healthy lifestyle.
During my early teens, my weight began to climb. Eventually, the weight-gain stopped. It reached a plateau around age twenty-five. After being in a Garden Club, I noticed how the pounds began to fall off. When I stopped gardening, the weight came back on. The moral of the story is – healthy food choices + exercise = weight maintenance.
My yo-yo dieting increased for the next ten years-Weight Watchers, Jennie Craig, Slim Fast, you name it, I had tried it.
In my forties, I started to learn about how to have a healthier lifestyle. Weekly seminars at church taught me about food choices and portion control. Eventually, I learned to control my appetite.
By the end of the year, 30 pounds were gone. What more could anyone ask for? You know what, I no longer live to eat. Instead, I now, eat to live. I am at my optimal weight and I’m feeling good. I can also thank my exercise idol, Jack La Lane. His show was my salvation.
Jack LaLanne, Godfather of Health and Fitness
Jack Lalanne created the first Health Club & Spa in 1936. He built 200 health clubs and spas around the world. He also licensed them in 1980 to Ballys Company. Later, Ballys was renamed Ballys Total Fitness.
I have worked out at many Ballys not knowing that one of my fitness heroes was founder of it. Consequently, the Jack Lalanne show was one of the top TV shows in the 80s and 90s. Lalanne created the “Jumping Jacks,” as a light aerobic warm up. He later developed the first Leg Extension Machine, Cable/Pulley machines, and calf machines.
Jack Lalanne’s Other attributions:
- Authored 10 books on health and fitness
- Wrote dozens of “self-help” pamphlets
- Encouraged women to lift weights in the 1930s
- Ran his television exercise show (my favorite))
- Inventor of the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer (sold millions) www.jacklalanne.com
My Favorite Jack Lalanne Quote
“It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all the time that counts.” This is true. Optimal health isn’t just a workout or eating well occasionally. It’s a lifestyle change. Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is not easy.
Making a Healthy Transition
After many failed diets and binge dieting, I realized that I had to make a change in my lifestyle. Eating low nutritional/high-caloric foods was no longer in my best interest. My weight continued to soar. Health problems also increased. My health, finally, reached a red zone.
With extremely high blood pressure, I was forced to reevaluate my health habits. Otherwise, there was no way to discontinue prescription medications. As a result, I chose to incorporate a healthier lifestyle. For the past decade, my blood pressure has improved. Making a transition to healthier food choices and exercising regularly is now my top priorities.
Transitioning to Healthy Food Choices
I no longer struggle with my weight issues. Fortunately, my doctor spent time with me. We discussed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. He put me on a modified version of the Dash Diet -1500 calories a day. I lost 30 pounds within a four-month period. Weight Management is feasible is you take charge of your life.
Weight Management is the Key
Weight maintenance can be a daunting part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, your weight is manageable if you stay focused and keep a positive outlook. Watch what you eat and do some type of physical activity every day. Like the Bob Marley lyrics say, “Don’t worry about a ting, every little thing gonna be alright.”
Final Take Home
Thank you for joining me on this amazing journey. Personally, I have come a long way. Keeping my life in balance is key. This means making healthy food choices, getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water (for me 2 Liters) and doing a moderate amount of exercise. Even if it’s sitting down in a chair. Yoga in a chair is awesome. Any amount works.