Healthier You

A healthier, happier and more successful you

Chapter 1: Introduction about Healthy Lifestyle


You can become a healthier, happier and more successful person by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. You will have to make changes to the overall you, not just change the amount of exercise you do or your diet. The secret to achieving happiness and a healthier you is to balance your body and mind in harmony, it is only when we are balanced in physical health, mental and spiritual that we are truly healthy.

If we are healthy then we are happier and can reach success more easily in life, here are some ways you can bring back harmony and balance to your life

Exercise is an essential part, it helps to tone our body, keep our heart and lungs healthy and detoxifies. Exercise can be anything from more vigorous routines such as aerobics to simply walking, pick your favorite activity and set aside a specific time of day and commit yourself to devoting a half-hour per day towards getting your body back into shape.
Eating right is the next essential step to maintaining a well-balanced life; our bodies need the right amount of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to work at its best. Making changes to our diet is easy, keep away from fast foods which contain a lot of saturated fats and sugar and start including more whole grains, chicken, fish, plenty of green vegetables and try to eat fresh fruit instead of juice when available.

Along with making changes to your diet you should include supplements such as vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Modern farming methods strip many of our foods of the minerals our bodies require and now just provide us with the basic nutrients. Due to this we might be lacking in certain minerals and vitamins, by supplementing your diet with vitamin and mineral supplements we can ensure we still get all the vital minerals, nutrients and vitamins we need in our daily diet.

Reducing the amount of stress we have in our life plays an important part in how we are able to cope with it. Stress can do much damage to our body and mind and has been linked with “burnout”, fatigue, sleep problems, depression and it lowers our immune system. Learning techniques on how to cope with stress and worry are essential to keeping yourself balanced and full of energy. There are a wide variety of techniques from simple breathing exercises which can be done anywhere, at anytime, to yoga which is a full system for relaxation and de-stressing to meditation. There are many books, DVDS and CDS available on the subject or there are courses you can attend.

Lastly but by no means the least important is keeping life fun, doing something which you enjoy doing and makes you feel relaxed and happy each day. No you are not being selfish by taking time out each day just for yourself, this time is essential. It is just as important as exercising, eating right and reducing stress, your time could be spent doing a hobby or pastime that you enjoy, sitting quietly and reading, taking a hot bubble bath while listening to your favorite music or spending quality time with your family or friends. It can be anything as long as it’s something you like to do and enjoying doing.
12 Tips for better health The biggest step to aiming towards better health is admitting the fact that you need to make changes towards becoming healthier and fitter. Here are some tips to help you improve your health and help you to reach a new and improved you.

1. Make it a life goal to obtain a healthier outlook on life which will undoubtedly lead to a healthier you, if you are determined to reach a better state of health, making it a reality will be so much easier.

2. Support your new way of thinking by learning everything you can about ways of reaching better health and living a healthier lifestyle. You can use the internet, books, DVDS, clubs, gyms and support groups to your benefit, knowing all you can about healthy living gives you a great base to work from.

3. You have to start somewhere so start by taking a look at your kitchen and reorganizing in preparation for your new way of life. Reorganize your kitchen cabinets, cupboards and refrigerator to ensure that there are no signs of the old you and all the signs of the things that will help you in your new lifestyle.

4. Replace old food with your new healthier choice and don’t forget to purchase any small appliances which you will need to support your healthier way of eating, such as blenders and food weighing scales.

5. Get a large planner calendar, pin it up in your kitchen and mark the day when you choose to begin your new lifestyle and stick to it no matter what.

6. From day one keep a journal, this can either be a traditional one or use your computer. You should include all thoughts and feelings about your new ways along with all the changes you see about yourself. This is essential to look back on to see the positive changes that are occurring due to your positive outlook and changes you have made.

7. Positive thoughts and self talk or affirmations are a necessity; they will give you confidence at the beginning and will continue to take you through the tough times which will often occur during the early changes.

8. Along with changes to your diet you will also have to make changes to the amount of exercise you do per day, while good healthy food is essential, exercise is also just as important to help ward off the onset of diseases such as heart disease, as well as helping us to firm up our body or lose a few pounds.

9. Give up any bad habits such as smoking or drinking, you will never reach your optimal peak of health while you are puffing away on cigarettes or drinking on a regular basis.

10. Make sure that you get the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veggies per day on your new regime, fruit and veggies are packed full of essential vitamins.

11. Make sure you learn ways to eliminate as much stress from your lifestyle as you possibly can, there are many ways to do this with one of them sure to be suitable for your situation.

12. Cut out excess salt, sugar and fatty foods from your diet, this will effectively lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Notes on Nutrition

The best place to begin taking notes about nutrition is with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA offers recommendations about what they find to be healthy eating-related habits for the general public. And their information covers these main areas of focus: nutrition pyramid, needed nutrients, weight management, physical fitness and food safety.

Nutrition Pyramid

The USDA has revised dietary guidelines and lists a food pyramid with color scheme to help people eat in a healthy manner.

Needed Nutrients The USDA advises people to drink and eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense beverages and foods from the basic food groups they note in their nutrition pyramid. They also suggest limiting alcohol, salt, added sugars, cholesterol, saturated and trans fats. And they recommend following plans like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)

Eating Plan or their USDA Food Guide. Weight Management The general weight focus of the USDA stresses that people strive to maintain body weight in a healthy range, balancing calories from beverages and foods with those expended. And to help manage weight control as aging occurs, people are to gradually decrease the amounts of foods and beverages consumed and increase physical fitness. Physical Fitness The USDA desires people to regularly partake in physical activity while decreasing sedentary activities in order to promote not only healthy bodies but overall general health and psychological well-being. Optimum activity is targeted at around 30 -90 minutes minimum a day of moderate to intense physical, depending upon weight status, age and eating habits. For even more health benefits, a combination of either more intense activity and / or longer periods of activity is advised for most persons instead of just 30 minutes, checking with healthcare providers first for approval. Key areas of focus for physical fitness are stretching exercises for increased flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and calisthenics or resistance exercises to improve endurance and muscles. Food Safety

The USDA recommends that people avoid microbial food borne illnesses by thoroughly washing hands, surfaces where food is handled and vegetables and fruits. They also advise against washing meats and poultry; however, separate raw foods from those that are already cooked or ready to eat when shopping, handling and storing foods. They also recommend that foods need to be cooked at temperatures safe enough to destroy microorganisms and promptly stored in refrigeration or freezers if perishable. And they advise people to avoid:

• Raw or unpasteurized milk
• Products created from unpasteurized milk
• raw or partially cooked eggs
• Foods containing raw eggs
• Raw or undercooked poultry and meats
• Unpasteurized juices
• Raw sprouts.

Chapter II: Look Good, Feel Better

How we look on the outside very often reflects how we feel on the inside, if we know we look good on the outside and are getting praise and compliments this automatically gives us a boost and makes us feel good on the inside. Ways to looking better on the outside and ultimately feeling better on the inside include dieting, eating a well balanced diet, exercising, and taking general care of your body and also taking care of your mental health.

Staying active

Keeping active by exercising not only helps you to lose those few extra pounds but also tones your muscles leaving you looking better but also feeling healthier by helping to ward off diseases. There are many forms of exercise and it doesn’t have to be expensive, you can buy cheap basic gym equipment to use in your own home or even take up a form of great exercise which doesn’t cost a penny, walking. In order to maintain the peak of health you should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day every day of the week while maintaining a healthy balanced diet.

Eating right

A well balanced diet consists of eating at the right times without snacking in-between and eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. If you are trying to lose a few pounds then it is essential that you don’t eat more calories per day than you are burning off and cutting down on foods rich in salt, fats and carbohydrates is essential to maintaining a healthy body. A well balanced diet is considered to be one that includes bread, cereals, fish, lean meat, chicken, potatoes, and dairy products, this along with exercise not only makes you look better but can help to counteract the onset of many health related problems.

Taking general care of your body includes numerous small things which go towards making you look good, for example having a make over by way of changing your old hairstyle, getting it cut and dyed can make a huge difference to how you feel and give you a much needed boost. Paying a visit to a manicurist or pedicurist will give your hands and nails a treat, having your teeth whitened at the dentist can give you good reason to smile more. It’s all the little things that can come together to make a big difference that you have
to take into account when looking for ways to make you feel better on the outside.

Mental health is important too

Your mental health, your feelings and thoughts can also make a huge difference to how you feel on the outside and inside. If you have negative thoughts and feelings on the whole then your outlook will be one of negativity that leads to low self-confidence and low self-image. Daily affirmations can help you to change your pattern of thinking and help you gain self-confidence and are an enormous confidence booster.

All of the above when combined together can lead to a healthier and happier person who not only looks good on the outside and oozes self-confidence, but is also healthier and fitter on the inside with a better outlook on life in general and so is better able to cope with life.

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Being overweight not only looks unsightly and makes you feel less attractive it also poses a far greater risk, a risk to your health. Therefore, there are many reasons why it is important that you maintain a healthy weight by eating well-balanced meals and getting regular exercise. Being over weight has been linked with many conditions affecting not only our physical health but also our mental health, studies have shown that those people who are overweight and don’t get regular exercise are more at risk of developing depression than those that exercise on a regular basis and eat a well balanced and varied diet. Experts have agreed that the more overweight a person is then the more likely they are to suffer severe health problems, however once the person takes steps to start losing weight and changes their lifestyle, then the percentage starts to drop. If you are overweight then even just by losing 10 or 20 pounds you can begin to reduce the increased associated risks to your health and make improvements. You should defiantly consider losing weight if you are overweight and any of the following conditions apply to you.

If there is a history in your family of certain chronic diseases – people who have relatives with heart conditions or diabetes have been known to develop these conditions if they are overweight.

There are any pre-existing medical conditions – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and levels of high sugar are all signs of illness due to being overweight. Having an apple shape – if you carry more weight around your stomach then you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, some forms of cancer or developing heart problems.’

Illness associated with being overweight

– Problems with the gallbladder and especially gallstones
– High blood pressure
– Developing certain types of cancer
– Developing diabetes
– Developing gout
– Developing problems with the breathing such as sleep apnea, which causes a person to pause when breathing while asleep
– Chest problems such as asthma or bronchitis
– Gallbladder problems

Although it is not clear why, being overweight can have an affect on the gallbladder, gallstones are a very common problem in someone who is overweight and causes severe problems with those who are obese.

Heart disease

If you are overweight you are twice as likely to suffer from high blood pressure that is the major cause of and a big risk factor in heart disease and strokes. Being overweight can lead to a condition known as angina, angina is felt as pain in the chest caused by a decrease in oxygen to the heart. If you are severely overweight or obese then this has been linked to causing sudden death without any warning signs from a stroke.

Diabetes

Being overweight has been linked to type 2 diabetes and is a known contributor to health death, heart disease and blindness; people who are overweight are twice as likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes as those people who are of normal weight.

Lowering your cholesterol

Keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy level is essential if you want to remain healthy. There are many ways in which we can reduce the amount of cholesterol to ensure it remains at levels within the guidelines and to avoid illnesses such as heart disease. Here are some ways you can successfully lower your cholesterol level.

Changing your diet and eating your way to a lower cholesterol level is the easiest way, tips for doing this include:

– Burn off at least as many calories as you eat during the course of a day
– Make sure that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day of the week
– Eat a wide variety of foods that are rich in nutrients
– Include at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day in your diet
– Eat lost of high-fiber, wholegrain foods in your diet
– Include fish in your diet at least twice a week
– Cut foods poor in nutrients out of your diet
– Cut down on the amount of trans-fat and saturated fat foods in your diet
– Remove the skin from chicken and eat only lean meat in your diet
– Only include fat free and low fat dairy products in your diet

In order to reduce trans fat in your diet cut out foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil:

-Include very little or no salt in your diet

– Only drink alcohol in moderation

– Always read nutritional labels on food. You can keep your levels of cholesterol under control by exercising on a regular basis and here are some tips for getting started on a fitness program:

– Start off slowly and gradually build up until you are getting 30 minutes of exercise per day

– Make your daily workout become a part of your life by doing it at the same time everyday whenever possible

– Make sure you drink enough water to ensure that you don’t dehydrate

– Enjoy your workout by joining a gym or working out with a friend

– Keep a journal of your workout and write down the benefits you feel after exercising

– Walk instead of taking the elevator, leave the car at home or walk or cycle to work

– Vary your routine, go swimming one day, cycling the next, walking e.t.c

– If you feel unwell then take a break from exercising and pick up your routine when you are feeling better

– You should also aim to make changes to your lifestyle in order to keep your levels of cholesterol down and here are some tips for making those changes:

– Get nutritional and physical advice from a healthcare professional

– Always read food labels so you know how much fat, sodium and other ingredients you are eating in your diet

– If you smoke or drink then seriously consider giving up

Why Weight Watchers Doesn’t Work

We have all heard of Weight Watchers and many of us who have struggled with diets with the need to lose a few pounds may have even tried attending Weight Watchers meetings, some have success while many others fail miserably. Weight watchers cannot work magic, just like any other form of dieting the success behind it is all down to the person not the plan to lose weight; sadly, there is no magic formula which will help us to shed the pounds overnight while we sleep. Understanding why any diet does not work is critical for success and the Weight Watchers program is no exception, so why do so many of us fail when it comes to dieting and following a program such as Weight Watchers?
Persevering with the plan

The biggest mistake that many of us make is not sticking to the plan, a program such as Weight Watchers requires you to pay a membership fee so it is essential that you have the commitment needed to go into the plan and follow it through by sticking to it before signing up for membership. Weight Watchers relies on the person keeping track of what they eat and taking full advantage of the support that Weight Watchers gives to members. All diets basically rely on counting calories or points, values of the food we eat and weight watchers relies on a points system, a point value is assigned to each food based on the amount of calories and fat content within that particular food. A person is then allowed a certain number of points throughout the day based on their sex and weight, the system of course will work adequately if the number of points are stuck to per day but if the person continually goes over the recommended daily allotted amount of points then quite simply they are not going to lose weight and indeed could in fact gain weight.

Failing to keep a journal

It is essential for a plan such as Weight Watchers to be successful that you keep a journal and write down all the foods and keep a count of all the points which you are eating throughout the day, simply relying on your memory to keep count is not good enough. Besides simply forgetting you ate something you could also conveniently forget all about that nibble you had with your coffee, if you are going to be successful with the Weight Watchers program then you have to keep a written journal and include every single point that you put through your lips.

Guesswork

One of the biggest reasons why so many people fail at Weight Watchers is they underestimate the number of points they have eaten throughout a day. By guessing the number of points in a plateful of food you are on the track to failure, by repeatedly underestimating the number of points you are eating and by doing this you can never expect to lose weight. Some people who follow the weight watchers system also misunderstand the system because certain foods such as vegetables have no points as long as you measure that amount in one cup. However they get misled into thinking that you are allowed as many vegetables as you wish and its still classed as no points, therefore some people think they are allowed to eat an unlimited amount of these types of food which is wrong. Always be sure you totally understand the points system of a program like Weight Watchers and if in doubt ask a representative for advice on calculating using the points system.

Any type of diet requires willpower and determination and Weight Watchers is no exception, only by following the guidelines set out will you be successful in your weight loss program, proper calculation of points and keeping a written account if everything you eat is essential to making the program work as is sticking with it over time and changing your lifestyle and the way you eat after you have successfully lost the amount of weight you want to lose.

Drop and Give Me 10! Ways to Lose 10 Lbs.

Sometimes you just want to kick start an exercise program into gear or lose some weight in order to look good for an upcoming family or other event or just to feel better and fit into your clothes better. For those and any other occasions, it sure would be nice to lose 10 lbs fast. Well, help is here with tips form the pros who’ve been there, done that. So dig in and drop 10!

Make Time

Make no more excuses! Your health and fitness is priority and there is no better time than now to lose. If you do not set aside time and schedule fitness goals into your regular daily plans, you are not planning to succeed, but rather failing to plan. So grab your day planner and calendar, and jot down at least 30 minutes a day for working out with physical fitness activities.

Plan Your ‘Fat’ Attack

Next do a little homework and plan your attack on those extra fat pounds. You can choose among many popular fitness and weight loss plans like Weight Watchers, the Suzanne Somers Weight Loss Program, the Mayo Clinic Plan, Atkins, Bill Philips Body for Life Program, Jenny Craig, Slim-Fast and more. Or you can head to your local gym and hire a trainer or just get moving on your own, noting reps, and resistance for increased endurance and strength training.

Mental Mindset

Make an attitude adjustment so that you have a positive, healthy outlook for your fitness goals. For help getting this mindset and keeping it going throughout your program, head to your local library for motivational and inspirational books, audio cassettes, DVDs, videos and articles. Also look on the Internet for helpful tools: articles, ezines, MP3 and other audio files, video clips, ebooks, reports and training.

Change Your Diet

Take charge of your nutritional needs by setting up a good diet or choosing a good diet plan. A good place to look online is at eDiets.com where many popular diet plans are linked up for you offering recipes, a community forum for reaching out to new healthy friends online, meal planning and journaling and a lot more. Head to the library for helpful materials, too, and other dietary and nutritional sites online.

Track Your Journey to Success

Grab a notebook and journey your way to your goals and beyond. Clearly write out what you want to accomplish, by what date and how you intend to get there using what methods, for instance: working out 30 minutes a day and eating right following the Weight Watchers program guidelines.

Fitness with Friends

Make friends and help support each other along the way. Search “fitness forum” on the Internet to locate free places to register and chat away.

Set Realistic Goals

Get real and focus on what works best like losing 2 lbs per week. Losing more any faster often results in the pounds returning. Using Your Weight Loss Plan to Help Others
If you have been successful at devising and sticking to a weight loss plan then you should share your plan and success with others who are striving to have the same success as you. There is nothing like motivation to encourage others to stick to it and succeed and if they see it working then they are more likely to be want to stick with a plan too and gain the same success in their life. Sharing and motivating each other is the number one reason why weight loss clubs such as weight watchers have such a high success rate, knowing you are not the only one out there who is struggling and needs to shed a pounds can make a huge difference just by giving the confidence a boost. So if you have been successful in your weight loss plan then what can you do to get it out there and share it with others, here are ideas to get you started.

Write a blog

The Internet is an excellent place to write a blog and it enables you to get your thoughts and ideas out there to millions of people throughout the world, there are many websites that now offer free blog space and this is ideal for getting your information out. A blog space can be thought of like an online diary, your space to share thoughts, feelings and ideas and you spread it by word of mouth all over the world. Use your blog space to share your successful weight loss plan and write down all that it took to get you where you are today in detail. You can include the plan you used along with exercise routines and menus that you followed along as well as your thoughts and feelings as you went through the plan to encourage people that dieting can work.

Have weekly meetings

If you know a group of friends who are wanting to diet then get together and hire a local meeting hall weekly or alternate going to different homes every week for a diet club meeting. Getting together once a week means you can all get weighed together at the same time, share your highlights and console those who have faltered throughout the week. Keep written records for all members of the group and plot your progress weekly, if one of you has been particularly successful in the past with your weight loss plan then maybe you are the one to lead the group and encourage other members to follow the same plan you did.

Write an e-book

If you have had great success on your weight loss plan then consider writing a small e-book about your experiences and success in order to encourage others. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and all computers come with word processing software, start by mapping out from the introduction, then go through various chapters and when you have finished print it out and distribute it among friends, it’s a great, fun way to get your success story out there and to give others the encouragement they might need.

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