Monday, May 27, 2013

How To Live Healthy and Look Good

Summer is here which means less clothing and more skin.  Eating healthy and more exercise can save you money over the long run and add years to your life.  As we age we increase our odds of getting sick or needing a medical procedure.  Health insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses can really make a hole in your wallet.  The way the system is built it's as if we are all one medical procedure/treatment away from financial ruin.  What better way to lower our odds of needing medical attention than by taking care of our bodies.

To boost your metabolism (how fast you burn calories) start exercising both weight training and doing cardio.   Muscle mass burns more calories than fat you want to spend at least 30 minutes a day 3-5 days a week weight training.  Women do not need to lift heavy weights they need to use dumbbells/barbells that they can do several repetitions (10-15) with to burn fat and tone up.  A lot of women are concerned that they will become very muscular if they weight train, that is a myth feminine women do lift light weights.  Men on the other hand tend to lift heavy weights 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.  Pick one or two body parts to focus on when you train, biceps on Mondays and chest on Wednesdays.  Even if you have good eating habits and weight train this will not give you the body you want without the cardio.  Running is a major component of your exercise regime.  It is hard to burn fat and keep it off without strenuous jogging or bike riding.  Shoot for a 5 mile jog to start 3-5 days a week then increase it to 10 miles your heart will thank you for it.

There are numerous diets that people follow low calorie, vegetarian, vegan, low fat as well as others.  I follow a low carbohydrate and low sugar lifestyle.  Carbs make the body's glucose rise the excess glucose is stored as body fat. It may be hard to cut out the carbs entirely it is ok to stop consuming them for 2 week intervals to allow your body to get used to the changes.  I would suggest cutting all sugary drinks and replacing them with water and an occasional sugar free drink.  You want to consume complex carbs not the simple kind.  Add fiber to your diet fiber is not broken down in your body, it has less calories per volume compared to other foods and it can help lower blood cholesterol levels.  Men should consume about 38 grams of fiber a day and women about 25 grams according to the Institute of Medicine.  Some athletes eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 to boost their metabolism.

Start with an exercise routine and eating habits that you can handle.  Get active even if it is only 30 minutes a day if it seems too hard at first get a workout buddy to help.  Exercise will improve your mood, boost your confidence, help you prevent stroke, depression and certain kinds of cancer.

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