7 Tips On Improving Your Health

Add Fiber To Your Diet

I am sure you have heard about adding fiber to your diet. However,eating foods that are full of fiber will help you shed weight quicker,reduce food craving,balance your mood swings and increase your energy while significantly reducing the risk of diabetes.

Would you rather fill up on a high cholesterol breakfast of have a healthy bran muffin? The importance of dietary fiber in the prevention of disease cannot be overstated.As part of the body’s waste removal system, fiber helps transport everything from digested foods to unwanted hormones. I used to think bran was one of the only ways to get fiber. This is not true.Eating vegetables and fruit will do the trick.

Renowned author,and stress management consultant,Loretta LaRoche said, “Some people take oat bran in everything. They become so stopped up with fiber they don’t go to the toilet for a month. When they finally do,they pass a wicker chair.”

Fiber can be divided into two categories-insoluble( bran type) and soluble (brocolli and apples type). Each type functions differently and provides different health benefits. A balance of both is best. A high fiber diet is not only great for disease prevention, it also helps absorb food and slows the entry of sugar into the blood,thus stabilizing insulin. It enables your body to better use the food for fuel,rather than for storage as body fat. As a bonus,it fills you up.

Fiber is found only in plant foods,including fruits,vegetables,beans,whole grains,nuts and seeds. Unfortunately,many of us find that getting enough fiber in our diet is difficult.

Infact, most people consume only half of the recommended twenty-five grams per day. But if you eat mostly natural foods,you will probably get the right amount of fiber. Eating right is one of the keys to good health.

Understanding Cholesterol

Knowing your total cholesterol is a good thing. But knowing your LDL and HDL levels is even better.

LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) is considered the bad cholesterol. I find it easier remembering the L stands for lousy. Bad cholesterol clogs our arteries.

HDL (High-density lipoprotein) is known as good cholesterol.Remember,H stands for healthy. This lipoprotein keeps our arteries clear.

LDL = Lousy Normal range 2.20-3.40

HDL =Healthy Greater than 0.090

Body Mass Index

This is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. Body Mass Index is one of the most accurate ways to determine if those extra pounds mean a potential health risk.

20-25. Healthy Zone

25-30 Increased Risk Zone(you need to lose some weight)

30+ High Risk Zone

Keep Tab On Preventable Diseases

I met a woman who claimed she hadn’t been to the doctor for at least ten years. She said fear kept her away.She didn’t want to know if anything was wrong with her and preferred to live in denial. This is a very dangerous game,especially when we can prevent so many progressive diseases if we diagnose them clearly enough. It is everyone’s responsibility to be smart about their own health. A monthly breast self-examination for a woman is a must. Do a skin self-examination periodically and have anything suspicious checked.
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Surprisingly,not everyone goes for a yearly medical and physical check-up. For prevention this is essential. Make sure you include a yearly mammogram.

The recommended age to start is forty,although I personally think thirty five is better. A pap smear and pelvic exam,complete blood work,urinalysis and cholesterol screening should all be included. If you are older than fifty,I would suggest having a rectal exam and stool blood test annually,and a home density screen to check for osteoporosis. Good health is all about being proactive and taking responsibility.

Enjoy Physical Fitness

When you think of exercise,do you picture a beautiful,lean blonde doing a workout on the fitness channel? Or do you see yourself on one of those machines at the gym,panting and sweating heavily? Cardiovascular activity is a crucial aspect of getting fit,but many women don’t know much about it.

Here are some facts:

  • As a woman,your metabolic rate naturally decreases after the age of thirty. Hormonal and lifestyle changes are the usual culprits. But if you build lean muscle,you will naturally increase your metabolic rate,no matter what your age is.
  • If cardio is your only activity and you are not eating sufficient calories,you may be cannibalizing your own muscle which decreases your metabolic rate and set you up for instant weight gain if the cardio is stopped.
  • One half-hour session with weights can easily consume more calories than a moderate period of cycling,brisk walking or jogging. Your body will burn calories faster for up to two hours after a strenght-training session.
  • At rest,each pound of active muscle tissue burns thirty five calories a day,while a pound of dead fat burns only two calories per day.
  • You won’t look like a bodybuilder. Women don’t have the testosterone that builds big,bulky muscles. Your chances are about as good as growing moustache.
  • A combination of weight training,cardiovascular activity and stretching is best for proper fitness. Doing only one activity is not as beneficial as a diversed,effective and fun combination.
  • Muscle is the engine that burns fat. It increases your metabolic rate and it builds and maintains strong bones. It can also improve your posture. If you want to shed weight,replace your old beliefs with this fact- muscle is the engine that burns fat.

Weight Training

Training with weights will create resistance in the muscles you are working. This resistance builds more muscle. Although,there are many ways to cause resistance, I recommend that

you keep it simple by doing weights at home or by using dumbells,barbells,fitballs,and weight machines in a fitness facility where they will be able to set you up with a customized program. Be sure to select the right program to best suit your lifestyle.

Building healthy abdominal muscles will help keep your back strong. There are many great exercises to strengthen your core muscles too. With all of the fun equipment-handheld weights, rubber tubing and a football will do the job as well.

Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular activity is the key to building a strong heart and healthy lungs. Typically this activity is aerobic( aerobic means “with oxygen”). Aerobic activity includes a jog without stopping,a power walk,a high-impact aerobic class and swimming laps without stopping.

Cardio activity can also be a mix of aerobic and anaerobic (circuit training with weights and stationary bike,basket ball,tennis,volley ball,or any stop-and-go activity). To achieve an effective metabolic rate,it is best to do at least twenty-five minutes of cardio before breakfast,or as early in the day as possible.

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Cardiovascular activity is all about breathing. Breathing oxygenates our bodies and gives us life.It helps us to breathe deeply. Practice taking three deep breaths every day. Breathe from the nose right down to the diaphragm in your navel area. Let the air out slowly through your mouth.

As you get older,stretching your body is always a good thing to do. Stretching is good for keeping joints supple,and muscles relaxed and active. Follow a good stretching routine everyday to keep your body younger for longer. A good time to stretch is right after you have exercised,while the muscles are warm.

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