Fit for life   

Fit for life

10 steps to a longer, healthier life.
1. Make health one of your top priorities.
Making your health a priority is one of the best and most practical choices you can make to lead a longer, healthier and happier life. Be responsible for your health because in many ways, the decisions you make every day will affect your health in later years.
People often focus on career and financial objectives when they're young, but it's important to keep health the number-one priority. The reality is that as you get older, you can't enjoy what you've worked for if you don't have your health.
Set goals to achieve good health. Think of feasible resolutions in areas where you need improvement. Do you need to change your diet? Do you want to be physically active? Know what needs to be worked on and make long and short-term plans. Team up with your physician.
2. Eat right.

At every stage of life, healthful eating and active living help people feel their best, work productively and lower their risk for some diseases.
Nutritionist recommends grain products (rice, corn, bread, cereals), vegetables (dark green, leafy and yellow), fresh fruits, reduced-fat milk products (skim milk, low-fat milk, low-fat cheese), lean meat, fish, poultry and legumes (monggo, beans). Cut down on fats (oils, butter, bacon, mayonnaise) and sweets (creamy pastries, rich desserts, ice cream). Recommends 60 percent of total calorie intake be derived from complex carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, cereals and vegetables), 10 to 15 percent from lean meat and low-fat dairy, and 20 to 25 percent from fat. 
3. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is probably one of the best things you can do to age successfully. The benefits are endless, and can include improved blood and oxygen circulation, increased muscle mass, weight control, better balance, enhanced flexibility and greater endurance.
Regular physical activity cuts your risk of premature death, stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression and anxiety, falls and broken bones, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer. 
Children ages 2 to 6, most women and some older adults : 1,600
Average adult : 2,000
Older children, teenage girls, active women and most men : 2,200
Teenage boys and active men : 2,800
Exercise enhances your mood, and can also help you sleep more soundly.
Doctor recommends aerobic exercises for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Walking and running are two popular forms of aerobic exercise. Exercise will help treat diabetes as it burns stored sugar. If you are middle-aged or older, consult your doctor before engaging in exercise, particularly if you have a chronic health condition. Start slowly. 
4. Maintain a healthy weight.
One's weight has to be within the normal range.
A good way of determining whether you're overweight or underweight is by measuring your body mass index. BMI is another tool for helping you judge your body weight and whether you're at risk for health problems. Multiply your weight [in pounds] by 704, then divide the product by the square of your height [in inches] :
Weight = 110 Ibs
Height = 5' 2" (or 62 inches)
BMl = (110 x 704)/(62*62)
BMI = 20.1 
Your body mass is normal if it ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. You're already overweight if it's between 25.0 and 29.9, and obese if 30 and above.
Being overweight or underweight increases the risk of health problems.  Ask your doctor for help in determining ideal proper calorie intake depending on your age, gender and activity level. Try to meet your calorie goal by watching what you eat. Know the calorie content of foods you often eat by referring to a calorie table or by reading the nutrition information on the label.
One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. If you need to lose weight, you can cut 500 calories a day from your meals and you will lose 1 pound in a week. Or you may opt to burn the 500 calories by increasing physical activity. Never go on crash diets; instead, set realistic weight loss goals that would help you lose weight gradually and more effectively. 
5. Manage stress.
Stress can be mild or severe, short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). The sources of stress are varied, but one of the most common is work. There are also situations in everyday life that bring seemingly unrelenting pressures, which can cause chronic stress, such as relationship problems, financial troubles, loneliness and health worries. The link between stress and illness has long been established.
Manage stress by:
• Simplifying your life
• Using humor to reduce tension
• Exercising
• Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing
• Clearing your mind
• Praying or meditating
• Setting aside personal time
• Starting a hobby
• Cutting down or eliminating caffeine consumption
• Taking a vacation
• Reading a good book or seeing an uplifting movie
• Establishing a support network of friends and loved ones 
6. Love your heart.
Take care of your heart by leading a healthy lifestyle or, as doctors put it, making lifestyle modifications. Eat balanced meals; exercise; avoid smoking, drinking too much alcohol or taking prohibited drugs; and manage stress. Recommends eating foods that are low in cholesterol and high in fiber.
Drink lots of water and eat fruits and vegetables.
Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure or hypertension usually has no symptoms, which is why it has been called the silent killer. Hypertension results in the narrowing of blood vessels. The higher the blood pressure, the greater tile risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. 
7. Get regular checkups.
Many diseases are treatable when detected early.
Pay attention to your body and watch out for symptoms of disease. Get periodic screening for chronic, serious illnesses, such as diabetes and common forms of cancer.
8. Quit smoking.
Change your diet, exercise, and practice stress management techniques, since many smoke when under stress. You may need a personal plan to help you quit smoking. Find support groups or go for individual counseling with a trusted physician, psychologist or counselor. 
9. Reduce your alcohol intake.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. It also can harm the liver, brain and heart. Alcoholic drinks also contain calories, which matter if you are trying to lose weight. If you drink alcoholic beverages, have only a moderate amount-one drink a day for women; two drinks a day for men.
What counts as a drink? Twelve ounces of beer (regular or light, 150 calories); or 5 oz of wine 100 calories); or 1.5 oz of 80-proof whiskey (100 calories). 
10. Foster intimacy and loving relationships.

Study after study throughout the world show the same thing: People who feel lonely and isolated have a 300 to 500 percent increased risk of premature death and disease. Not only from heart disease, but from all causes when compared to those who have a sense of love and intimacy, and connection and community in their lives.

Happy reading,

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