Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Healthy Lifestyle in 4 Easy Steps

By: I. Worthington

Being in great health and fitness should be a major goal for all of us - at the end of the day the way we feel reflects the quality of our life we will lead - and what's more important than your life?? Feeling good, in essence, entails maximising your PHYSICAL and MENTAL state. This article will solely focus on the physical perspective (maybe I'll post an article about the mental factors if I receive a positive response to this one !). To make this exercise as pain free as possible I've broken down being healthy into 5 easy-to-use tips, which anyone can follow. My aim in doing this has been to eliminate factors which people tend to use as an excuse for not 'following through' with the suggested action. These factors can include financial, time and commitment restraints.

The beauty of these tips is they are extremely easy to implement and most people already know that they are correct. Therefore, why do the majority of people ignore such common sense or even do the complete opposite? The answer is simple, they have been conditioned, by themselves or society, to act and perform in a certain way. This article is not intended to change your daily routine, which may be poor or excellent, but to simply input additional easy and quick activities to that routine to improve your physical health. Here goes (please note, these are tips which have worked for me, and whilst they follow ideas extracted from extensive reading, they are not all specifically backed by proven data - that's the beauty of having an opinion folks!):-

Tip 1
Drink between 2-4 litres of water daily. Replace all carbonated, cordial, tea, coffee etc with water (don't like water? Drink it long enough you will!). I personally add a large slice of lemon to all water I consume - 1) because I adore the taste 2) lemon is alkaline, which is widely accepted to be healthier than acidic produce. Also, you should never feel a severe sense of thirst if you are in-taking enough water, as this is a sign of the onset of dehydration. Therefore, drink or sip water at regular short intervals throughout your day, increasing the intake where water is disposed from the body via sweating or increased physical activity has occurred. A water source not available to you all the time? Easy - always prepare a large bottle of water at the start of your day and keep it close to you throughout the day.

Tip 2
Don't just have your 'five a day' fruit / vegetables - ensure it outweighs the rest of your daily intake. Therefore, if you really need that juicy 12oz steak, make sure you offset it with a large salad, or a portion of vegetables which dwarf the steak in size! I'm not going to be the guy to tell you not to have certain foods, we all have our pleasures, but if you learn how to offset the pleasure (or better still, make the healthy options the pleasure - but that's delving into the mental perspective I promised not to!) with fruit / vegetables you will be on the right track.

Tip 3
Set fitness goals and broadcast them! "Why broadcast them?" I hear you ask. Well, the majority of people like to keep their word and fulfill any promises they make. Therefore, telling people who will hold you to your promise will stimulate you to complete your goal and achieve your target. Alternatively there are websites which can be used for this purpose.

Tip 4
BENCHMARK. Do you know someone who is supremely healthy, either by appearance or the vitality they exhibit? If you do, this is someone you want to interrogate (in a nice way!). Find out how they exercise, what they eat and how they operate. They have proven their method, now apply it yourself. If you don't personally know anyone who meets your specification of desired health, widen your search. Perhaps a celebrity or sportsperson has what you want. Research them, the web holds a lot of info as I guess you know, so I'm sure a person of your means can collect the 'benchmark' data you require.

Final Thought:
Actively acknowledge when you are feeling healthy. Many people do not notice the results they are achieving or believe it's pure coincidence - coincidence and health rarely co-exist! Thank you for time, I hope this article will be of some benefit to you and that you live a healthy and successful life.

My background is very sport and fitness orientated, not in my profession but in my lifestyle. I have been a keen sports player since I was 'knee high to a grasshopper' and a gym member since college. However, I honestly believe I have never felt fitter than I do at present, at the age of 32 years, 4 months and 8 days! I have recently become involved in http://www.competitiveurge.com/ , a social networking site with a difference - it actively encourages and promotes physical participation.

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