You are what you Eat

One of the most important aspects of health is what you eat. Our food affects everything in our bodies. In order for our bodies to function properly it needs certain amounts of different kinds of nutrients. We need Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to perform at our best level. When shopping and eating, look at the nutrition labels for the amount of carbs, fats, and proteins our foods have.

Carbohydrates provide us with energy. We should make carbohydrates about 50% of our diet. These are found in grains and sugars. There are 2 kinds of carbohydrates: simple, and complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugars. Sweets and fruits are sources of simple carbs. These are less desirable because our bodies break them down quickly, and gives us a short spike of energy. Afterward, our bodies slow down even more than before we took in the carbs. Complex carbs on the other hand, break down very slowly after we take them in, giving us lasting energy throughout the day. Complex carbs are much better for our bodies. They can be found in vegetables and whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice.

Although fats have a very bad connotation in these days, they are vital to our health. Our diet should consist of about 20% of fats. Our organs and bones need fat to serve as padding. Depending on age and gender, our body fat should be between 6 – 15%. In some cases, more or less than this could still be healthy. As with carbs, there are 2 kinds of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated is the bad kind. Saturated fats are the fats that are solid at room temperature, like the grease from bacon that solidifies itself after you take it out of the heat. Our bodies have no use for this, so they just turn it into the fatty jiggly stuff that we’re always trying to get rid of. Unsaturated fats are in things like oils, which stay liquid at room temperature. This is the kind of fat that our bodies can use for good purposes.

Proteins are what our bodies use to make tissue. This is why body-builders take in so much protein. Because they need it to get bigger. All of us, whether big or small need protein to stay healthy. Our bodies use it to fortify us, give us strength, repair damaged tissue, and so on. Protein should make up about 30% of our diet.

There are many other aspects of nutrition that we need to understand to keep a healthy, balanced diet, but this is one of the most important. Try paying attention to it as you eat. If you follow this, you will feel a big difference in your overall well being. thanks for reading!

Good luck!

Get a bike!

One of the main problems in our age is that we are so pampered by our technology, it seems like we hardly ever need to use our bodies for anything anymore. With cars, computers, and cell phones we can do most everything we need with as little effort as possible. While this is very comfortable and convenient for us, it takes a toll on our bodies. Our bodies become weak, soft, uncoordinated, and unhealthy. Keeping our bodies healthy is vital to keeping our minds invigorated and happy. If we let our body go, our mind will slump with it. We don’t want that. We should do whatever we can to make use of our bodies every day, to keep that from happening.

One of the very best ways to do this is to get ourselves a bike. We are so used to hopping in the car to go to work, school, or just down the block, that we don’t even think about it any more. That has become our sole means of transportation. An alternative to driving is biking. It takes a bit longer, and requires more effort on our part, but it is very enjoyable and very healthy.

Plan out your schedule to give yourself a little extra travel time so that you can bike instead of drive. Biking is a great Cardiovascular activity, and is great for your legs. It’s also fun to do with friends. Its much better than running because it doesn’t hurt your knees or joints. Another benefit is the cost. It really saves on Gas money. As you bike from place to place you will notice more about your city and your surroundings, and will likely end up meeting more people.

Make sure to always wear a helmet, and follow all traffic rules as you bike around town. Make it as safe as it is fun. When you get into the habit of biking you’ll never want to go back to driving. This is one of the healthiest lifestyle changes we could do. Pass the idea on. More people ought to do this.

For those who live in an area where biking may not be possible for whatever reason, you can always look at getting a stationary exercise bike and using it in your home.

Good luck with it! See you next time!

Discovering the Great Outdoors

One of the healthiest exercises for your mind and body is hiking. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good hike. There’s something about being up high on a mountain or out in nature that seems to make our problems melt away. Hiking is not only good for relieving stress, but it’s very healthy for our bodies.

Chances are wherever you’re at, you can hop on the internet and do a Google search for hikes in your area, and you’ll find more than enough to keep you busy. Hiking is one of the most common hobbies in the world, and you’ll find that nearly every nook and cranny of this planet has been hiked and recorded, so use your resources and find some good hikes to explore.

Plan carefully. While it’s fun to be spontaneous, and take off to be one with nature in a moment’s notice, it isn’t very wise. There are many things that can happen on a hike, sometimes with serious consequences if we aren’t prepared.

Make sure the trail is clearly visible, and don’t go too far off it. If you can’t see the trail it’s very easy to get lost. This can be very dangerous, so avoid it at all costs by only going on hikes with clear trails, or taking a guide. Exploring can be fun, as long as you’re being safe.

Take others with you. If you’re by yourself, and you get hurt or stuck, nobody will be able to help you. Many hiking tragedies could have been prevented if people had not gone alone. Sometimes you may want to go alone. If you really want to go hiking alone, make sure that you tell people exactly where you’re going and when you plan to be back. That way people will know where you are if anything were to happen. Keep a cell phone with you, but don’t depend on it. All too often, people depend on their cell phones, only to find them to be out of service and useless on hikes.

Bring water, food, and the right clothing. Some hikes are much longer than others. Its important that you plan for the length of the hike, and the intensity of it. Wear proper hiking shoes and clothes, and make sure to always bring some form of first aid kit. Hikes are much more enjoyable when you’ve prepared properly.

Once you’re out there, relax! Don’t worry about hurrying through as fast as you can. Take time to enjoy the scenery, the plants, the animals, and the fresh air. Take time to rest when you need to. Make it as relaxing and enjoyable as you can.

Good luck with it. Feel free to tell us about any hikes you’ve gone on recently.

Let’s try some Yoga!

Have you ever noticed how many people are doing Yoga these days? It has become one of the most widely used fitness practices in the country. If you have ever thought about trying it out, we recommend it. It is a very effective method for not only staying healthy physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. The benefits of doing yoga stretch into all aspects of your life, and help you throughout the day.

Before trying out Yoga, take time to learn some of the basic considerations you should be aware of. This will help you to decide whether you want to try it out or not.

Lets go through some do’s and don’ts. Don’t be afraid to show your feet. Yoga is always done barefoot. It would be impolite to your instructor to wear shoes. It would also make the experience less effective.

Don’t be chompin’ on gum the whole time. Spit it out beforehand. Yoga requires you to be very still for extended periods of time, to help you focus your mind. This is impossible if you’re chewing gum the whole time.

Don’t eat before you go. You will find it much easier to bend and stretch and concentrate if you haven’t eaten for several hours. Plan ahead for your yoga class to arrange for this. If you do Yoga in the morning, you could consider eating something light, just to get your metabolism going.

Yoga is all about self control. Therefore if you have any addictions such as smoking, alcohol, or coffee, tea or anything else, try to quit and break the habit immediately. This will greatly enhance your ability to focus and gain control of yourself.

Pay attention to what you wear. Make sure your outfit is comfortable and keeps you feeling free. If you wear jeans, dresses, or dress shirts, you will wish you hadn’t. Make sure to wear clothes that keep you uninhibited from moving as much as you want. This will make a big difference.

Follow the tradition of using a Yoga Mat. You may not think it is important, but your mind can focus better when you use a mat because it perceives the mat as “your space” and doesn’t worry about taking in all of your surroundings as much. Also if you fall you will be grateful for your pad.

If you’re not flexible, don’t worry. That will come. Just give it the best you can and you will see results in your body, in your mind, and in your spirit.

Good Luck!

Step #1 – It’s all about Routine!

Of all the places to start changing your lifestyle for the better, the first step is your ROUTINE. All of our days are based on a routine that we’ve either carefully constructed, or allowed to be dumped on us. The first step to taking control of your life is taking control of your routine.

With just a quick glance at your regular routine you might say, “I get up, go to work, come home, eat, read a book, watch TV, surf the web, and go to bed.” That’s a pretty average routine. Fun life eh? It will be different for each person, but sometimes not much. The trick is getting down into the nitty gritty of how you spend the minutes of the day.

Tips: In the morning, how early do you wake up? Do you have any sort of exercise routine? If not, then this is your first step. Figure out how to add one in. Don’t worry too much about what to do for now. Just focus on setting aside time (30 min or so at least) to do SOMETHING Physical. Lots of people like to run in the mornings. For me, if its less than 40 degrees outside I don’t like to (I know, I’m a pansy) so I use a treadmill. Treadmills are Wonderful motivators to get you active in the mornings. Mine has helped me immensely. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. They don’t have to cost a lot. Here’s a great site to help you choose one and save money on it if you’d like. If you’re man enough to brave the weather, go for it! Just do something!

If a morning time exercise routine doesn’t work consider another time. It is imperative to your health and happiness that you make time somewhere. We can all do this no matter how busy we think we are.

Ideas: Aside from this one chunk of time, it’s important to stay as active as we reasonably can throughout the day. Even if it means taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If it’s possible to walk to work or school instead of drive, do that! Get a dog and play ball with him or take him on walks. Anything that will get your heart going a little throughout the day. Find a dance class, take up tennis or basketball or some other hobby. These kinds of things are always available. Whatever you do, MAKE IT FUN.

Good luck. Stay tuned for our next post.

Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to Healthy Lifestyle Changes! You’re here because you are interested in making changes in your life so that you can be healthier. That’s a great thing! The first step to making any kind of change in your life is having motivation. If you don’t feel like doing it, you never will. So congratulations for caring enough to come here and learn how.

This blog is going to be dedicated to helping you achieve one thing- making lifestyle adjustments that will benefit your overall health. There are so many things you can do it is pretty crazy to think about. There are little things like simply parking farther away from the store. There are big things like changing the types of food you eat. We are going to cover them all.

Getting in shape and being healthy is not hard. It is not time consuming. It is all in your lifestyle. If you do not have a healthy lifestyle, then you do not enjoy great health. Follow our tips and learn how to change your life to be as healthy as you can be. Stay tuned for regular posts to begin soon!