Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but if you want to get healthier you will have to remember so does fitness and the right diet. In this post we look at the importance of combining the improvement of diet and activity levels together in order to achieve fitness and health goals.
A Harvard Medical School health blog states that if you are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle then it is best to improve nutrition and activity levels at the same time. The blog post reports on a study testing 200 people over the age of 44 whose health and diets were below healthy standards. The 200 participants were split into four groups with only one group combining both fitness and nutrition. The group that improved both diet and fitness levels were the only group to meet the health targets set by the test. Kathy McManus, director of the nutritional department at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, believes that people looking to get healthier through lifestyle changes are encouraged by other success stories and methods. She states, “without confidence behavior changes are slim.” The knowledge that you are not the only person who wants to change helps give people the confidence to take action and change their diet and fitness levels.
Online lifestyle magazine Real Simple suggests that it is important to set goals before starting to change your lifestyle. For example, if you want to reduce the risk of heart disease then you should tailor your diet and exercise regime to improve cardiovascular capabilities. Real Simple indicates doing aerobic exercises such as running or cycling for at least 150 minutes a week. If your plan is to drop a dress size then the focus has to be more on diet. The magazine informs that it is easier to deny yourself 500 calories a day than to exercise it off. For example, shedding 500 calories will take an hour of moderate cycling in the gym when instead you could swap a Starbucks Grande Mocha with milk (no whipped cream) which is 200 calories for a brewed coffee which is only 5 calories. These simple changes are the most effective in reaching your goals because they are more time effective and can be done without dramatically changing your schedules.
Diet is important but there is a lot of misinformation and misconceptions surrounding a healthy diet. Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine (WHFM) in their blog post ‘6 Nutrition Rules to Live By’ put “carbohydrates are not evil” as their number 1 point. Carbohydrates have had a bad rep in recent years as dieters consider avoiding all carbs as an easy way to lose weight. Yet the body needs carbohydrates for energy and muscle repair, and depriving your body of carbs can lead to problems such as low blood sugar levels, low energy and the weight returning quickly when people come off the diet. WHFM recommend that you embrace carbohydrates but make sure you only consume complex carbs such as oats, rice, and dark rye while avoiding simple carbs such as white bread, pasta, and processed foods. Sports drinks and fizzy drinks are also carb heavy and can be consumed a lot easier than eating the equivalent in food.
Eating healthy though should never be a chore. Toosta offer an alternative to eating the standard 5-a-day in the form of a healthy snack. The example they give is making healthy ice-lollies that are tasty, containing fruit and are without sugar. These lollies are a great way to ensure that you don’t reach for the unhealthy snacks when you feel hungry. One recipe they recommend is mango lime pops.
You will need:
2 ripe mangos, chopped
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup of water
9 plastic 3oz cups / popsicle moulds
Small wooden craft sticks
In a blender, puree all the ingredients. Taste and adjust.
Pour into cups / molds and freeze for a least 4 hours. After the first 2 hours, place the sticks into the partially frozen pops.