Article II- Your health, Your life...Your choice.
Life is hard, don't make it harder.
If you've lived past the age of 18 you already know how difficult life can be. School, finding a job, paying never ending bills, relationships, social life and on and on. So why compound that with letting yourself get out of shape or not working to be in shape?
Cardiovascular disease(CVD), strokes and obesity are leading causes of death in the United States and all 3 can be prevented (For the most part) by simply eating better, not smoking tobacco products, drinking alcohol in moderation and exercising on a regular basis. Add in stress relieving meditation and you've taken the steps necessary for greatly reducing your chances of CVD and strokes. If you're eating a balanced diet along with daily exercise you're most likely not obese. With less than 1% of the population having an actual medical reason for obesity, it's clear that our personal choices and lifestyles are responsible for this epidemic.
(Health risks associated with obesity ...Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Abnormal Blood Fats, Metabolic Syndrome, Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome, Reproductive Problems, Gallstones.)
Eating healthy isn't difficult.
I hear people say how hard it is to eat healthy or "clean" all the time. Or it's too expensive.More times than not they are the same people that are out clubbing it up on the weekends or ordering pizza and eating out on a regular basis.
To address the "it's too hard" argument, I say, "well "ha ha" how hard do you think it will be when you're in the hospital with some sort of health problem that could've been avoided?" And can say the same thing for the "it's too expensive" excuse. What do you think a week in the hospital will cost you even with insurance? The answer is quite a bit more than what it costs to eat fresh whole foods. And when you add the total of eating out or ordering pizza it's way more expensive than if you went to the grocery store and bought some lean meats, rice and potatoes and green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, avocados, tomatoes, corn, onions, etc and fruits like apples and berries for the week. Or the average cost of going out to a club on the weekend is at least $50 if you're only paying for yourself. Go out two nights is $100 and that's a very low end estimate.
Sure, if you have a family with a child or multiple children it's going to be a little more expensive but then you can get frozen veggies, or canned veggies, that have been stored in water. You can buy the meats in bulk and freeze them to save money and rice is super cheap. Potatoes don't cost much and you can make a lot of different dishes out of them. Meals like pot roast, goulash, chop suey, etc can be made cheaply and in large quantities. Pot roast and chop suey include veggies, meats, starches and fats. Everything your body needs and they don't taste bad either. Add a salad to goulash and you're good to go.
Chicken breasts and sirloin can be costly but there are cheaper options. Chicken thighs, whole chickens, pork chops, frozen chicken in a bag,London broil, flank steaks,ground beef, eggs, milk, cottage cheese are all sources of protein that aren't very pricey.
The 2nd most used excuse I hear is there's not enough time to make meals each day. That I agree with but that's why I take 2 hrs out of my day off to prep my food for the week. Bake several lbs of chicken, grill burgers or pan brown, wash, cut/chop veggies, bake a bunch of potatoes or boil yams and mash them up. Weigh it all out into individual portions and store them in the fridge and freezer. ( be sure to take them out the night before if in fridge). This eliminates the "no time to eat right" excuse.
(Steak, carrots and white rice. This meal cost about $12-15 total for two people. Use London broil and it would be about $6-8 total. Prepping all meals for the week ahead of time is a great way to stay on track.)
Your health shouldn't come 2nd
You would think that eating to improve body composition and improving your health would go hand in hand. And it should but that isn't always the case. In fact it is fairly common for a person that looks like a poster child for health to be unhealthy. High blood pressure, elevated total cholesterol, elevated LDLs, low HDLs, high triglycerides, etc.
How is that possible? Many factors can effect your health negatively such as alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, pollution of air and water, bad eating habits, etc.
Your health shouldn't be a secondary concern when having an aesthetic physique is your goal. You can do both at the same time and if you're paying attention to your health along the way you will end up looking better as a result. If you only pay attention to aesthetics your health won't necessarily improve.
(Triglycerides levels indicate wether your diet is good or bad. LDL's are low density lipids and are considered "bad" and HDL’s are High density lipids and are considered “good”)
Keeping things simple is best
There's no need to over think the whole "diet" process. And to be honest, you shouldn't even use the word diet. A diet is something that has a beginning and an ending. Focusing on eating a balanced meal plan is much better for long-term adherence. Eating desserts and sweet things or what most people call junk food like pizza isn't a bad thing. Eating them every day/all day is. Moderation is key.
This is where balance comes into play. Keep foods balanced between lean meats, dairy, whole grains, healthy fats, veggies and fruits. Try to get in an apple and a cup full of berries a day, one to two cups of veggies with each meal, a few servings of whole grains per day, a lean protein/dairy source a few times a day then add some healthy fats like avocado,nuts,etc and your good to go. Beans and lentils are also good to throw in the mix. Set a day or a couple days of the week where you enjoy a pizza and breadsticks meal or a piece of cake or pie with your dinner. Basically, don't try to be super strict with your food choices as this usually leads to binge eating which can lead to developing an eating disorder. Balance and moderation go a long way in keeping you fit, sane, healthy and happy.
Staying active each day
And while you're trying to keep your meals balanced you also need to set aside some time each day for some physical activity. Obviously, I'm all about hitting the weights especially if your goals are geared towards building muscle... The weight room is one of the best tools to get you there and a great stress reliever.
Don't have time to go to a gym? Do a 30 minute body weight circuit at home while watching your favorite sitcom or talk show. 30 minutes playing with the kids in the yard or rough housing with the dog. Go for a long walk while stopping to do 50 jumping jacks or 20 up-downs every 5 min along the way. Jogging, playing tennis or basketball. Just 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week will add years to your life and aid in keeping you healthy. Whatever it is just be active each day and you'll see a big difference in how you feel and look.
Take a little"me"time each day.
Now that you're eating better and getting daily exercise in, set aside 10-15 minutes to "zone out" and meditate. Focus on YOU and only you for 10 minutes each day. You'd be surprised how much it helps relieve stress. It's like a reset button to your day. Try it out. If you do have some extra time, taking a yoga class would be beneficial for the mind and body.
Reading a book that you like, knitting a sweater, working on an old car... Find something you enjoy and set aside some time each week for it. It may sound silly but it's the simple pleasures that will go a long way in making life less stressful and enjoyable and that adds years to your life.
*Research on Transcendental Meditation (TM) has found reduced blood pressure and insulin resistance, slowing of biological aging, and even a 48% reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death. So...take some "me" time daily. You're worth it.
(A 2012 review of 163 studies that was published by the American Psychological Association concluded that the Transcendental Meditation technique had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety and neuroticism, while aiding learning, memory and self-realization.)
A large part of how healthy you are comes from the choices you make. Of course that isn't always the case and some times the "Bad health lottery " picks people for no reason or fault of their own. That you can't do anything about but you can make lifestyle choices that better your odds and put you a position to live a long and happy life. Your health, your life... YOUR CHOICE.
JnC Fitness is BEyondlimITz
http://hyper.ahajournals.org/conten... Robert D. Brook, et al., Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/HYP.0b013e318293645f, 22 April 2013.