Achieving lifetime physical fitness takes dedication and consistency in your diet and exercise program. By living a healthy lifestyle, you will not only improve your physical wellness and appearance, but you might also be able to increase the length of your life by minimizing your risk for life-threatening diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, and many other health problems.
Reach and Maintain Your Healthy Body Weight
To achieve your ideal physical fitness level, it is important to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. Regular exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet of healthy foods (from the basic food groups) will help you achieve a healthy body weight and maintain it for life. You will need to make sure you get the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals your body needs throughout your lifetime.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your balanced diet should include moderate portions of:
- whole grain products
- low-fat dairy products
- lean meats
- essential fats
It is recommended that you limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, sodium, red meat, refined carbohydrates, sugars, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners.
Most people feel and function their best when they eat at least three or four times a day. It also helps to combine whole grain carbohydrates such as wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain pasta with proteins and healthy fats to regulate blood sugar levels. Most healthy fats and essential oils are found in fish, nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed. Your fat intake should not exceed 35 percent of you total calories.
Don’t Forget Your Water
Water is also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Drink plenty of it throughout the day, and carry it with you to workouts so you can keep your body hydrated.
Regular Exercise is Essential
A regular exercise routine is important for achieving and maintaining lifetime physical fitness. It is best to vary your workouts between low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling and strengthening exercises such as Pilates. Yoga and Qigong are also recommended to help you relax your body and your mind.
It is ideal to work out for an hour almost every day. If you can’t commit that much time to exercising, aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week, will help you become and remain physically fit.
Try to eat healthy meals in between exercising to maximize your workouts. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating before exercising. Some people prefer to wait at least an hour after eating before they exercise. Do what is most comfortable for you. Most people do not get their best workouts in right after a full meal.
Before starting a new diet or exercise program, be sure to check with your health care provider. If you require any type of physical therapy, your doctor should be the one to recommend an exercise program that will work for you.