Basic Tips for a Long, Happy, Healthy Life

Dr. Purushothaman
January 9, 2014

Everyone will say they want a healthy and happy life, but fewer people are ready to adopt the necessary discipline that is required - even though it's not that difficult.
Staying on the move and eating properly are fundamental for creating long-term health and wellness -- and a tiny bit of positive prevention is worth a tonne of cures. The more you know about how your whole being responds to your lifestyle choices, or mistakes, the better you can develop a healthy nutrition and exercise plan that suits your needs.
When you eat a balanced diet - five servings of fruit and vegetables daily - increase your physical activity, and exercise at the right intensity, you are requiring your miraculous body machine to burn a considerable amount of fuel. This means your system burns fat more efficiently for energy.
Sensible eating habits plus daily, relatively intense exercise generates a higher level metabolism, which, gives you more energy so you can do more physical work with less effort.
The real purpose of exercising is to program repeat messages to the body calling for improvement in metabolism, greater strength, higher aerobic capacity and more efficient fitness and health.
Each time you exercise, your body upgrades its fat burning capabilities throughout the day and night, keeping you trim.
Exercise doesn't have to be so intense that its a four letter word for you; what it does need to be is regular and consistent.
The fitness academics recommend that you do regular cardiovascular (heart healthy) exercise, most days of the week, for at least 30 minutes per session. They say that to live a long life, you should also take part in resistance (weights) training four times a week, also for about 30$minutes per session. Just a total of some four to five hours total each week - you probably currently watch more television.
Such a balanced activity plan delivers a one-two routine, combining the benefits of aerobic exercise to burn stubborn fat and to provide more oxygen, with resistance training to increase your lean body mass and kill more calories.
Here's a possible template exercise program for you:
1. Warm Up -- about 8 minutes of light aerobic activity to increase your blood flow and to loosen and lubricate those tendons and joints.
2. Resistance Training -- Cover all your major muscle groups, doing 2 sets of each exercise. Rest 45 seconds between these sets.
3. Aerobic Exercise -- Pick two of your favorite activities, perhaps brisk
Walking (the best and safest exercise), jogging, swimming or cycling - whatever fits your lifestyle. Do about a quarter of an hour of the first activity and continue to do 10 minutes of the second. Always cool down for at least the last five minutes.
4. Stretching -- Complete your exercise routine by gently stretching, deep breathing,
relaxing and meditating - a great way to reduce stress and pamper your mind..
When developing and beginning an exercise program, make sure you have realistic expectations - you don't have to be an Olympic athlete.
Based on how fit you are, you should likely expect these changes in your mind and body.
A. From 1 - 8 weeks -- You will feel much better and discover more energy.
B. From 2 - 6 months -- You can expect to 'shrink' around your waist, stomach and thighs. You will discover a leaner you. Your clothes should begin to be a looser fit. If you stick to your regime - and here's where the discipline comes in - you will actually gain muscle
while also shedding unsightly fat.
C. Hang in there for 6 months -- You will have lost a good deal of weight and become the subject of comments by your friends.
D. But don't forget the D-word (discipline) -- When you make the promise to yourself to regularly and consistently exercise most days of the week, don't stop there. You also really should also change your diet and get rid of any poor eating habits.

You don't want to punish yourself by counting calories or calculating grams and percentages of what you are eating. Instead, follow these simple guidelines.
1. Rather than three solid meals every few hours, train yourself to eat small snack style meals every two hours.
2. Plan your meals so that each is balanced -- have hand-sized portions of proteins like lean meats, fish, dairy products and egg whites. Eat clenched fist-sized portions of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and pasta, wild rice (not white), multigrain cereal and potatoes. For desert, eat similar portions of fruit and vegetables.
3. Restrict your intake of unhealthy fat. Have just what you need for adequate taste and flavor. You don't have to be a Spartan but moderation is the key.

4. Keep properly hydrated by drinking at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water every 24 hours.
5. Don't be afraid to take vitamin and mineral supplements each day so you
can be very sure your body is getting the proper nutrition.
Many of these tips may sound like something your mother might tell you, but it really boils down to your own personal discipline and some basic common sense, if you want to live a long, happy and healthy life.
It's up to you.

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