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How to Stay Healthy : Be Active

Step 4: Be Active!

A healthy lifestyle includes exercise as well as a healthy diet. Maintaining your physical health will help slow the effects and pains that come with aging; it will also help you stay energized and get the most out of life.

We may find it difficult to get an appropriate amount of physical activity or exercise: we are busy beings with lots on the go. Many of us have jobs that are sedentary, which forces our normally active bodies to sit for long periods of time, contributing to posture problems and weight control issues. While there are countless gyms and fitness centers, too often many of us pay into gyms only to not be able to find the time or motivation to use our (usually expensive) memberships.

However, the benefits of daily physical activity help maintain and improve fitness, energy levels and general health. Incorporating physical activity is also easier than you think – walks, 30 min bouts of exercise, fun fitness classes, playing with children, all of these and more provide a healthy dose of physical activity.

Stuck on how to start? See the following tips on how to get moving:

Take a walk – every day!

Take a brief walk of 15 to 30 minutes. Try walking 15 minutes away from your starting point and then return. Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise and is also one of the best forms. Recently, a study found that individuals who walked for 20 minutes per day for 5 days a week lost weight, improved flexibility, balance and energy levels.

 Drive less, and walk and climb more

Instead of driving for small errands, try walking or biking. Even public transport, which is also better for the environment, will require you to walk a bit more and take stairs. If you are driving, park far from your destination in parking lots so that you have more of a walk. Take stairs instead of elevators.

 Go for hikes

Hikes are a great way to enjoy nature and your time off from work. Instead of using your free time to veg around the house, get outside and into nature. Hikes keep us fit by walking, and also up our positivity levels as we are outdoors and engaging with nature. Even if you live in a city, there are usually paths, parks, scenic waterfronts, boardwalks, and other areas to roam in. Research your routes before you head out as you’ll want to choose a hike that is appropriate in length and intensity for you. Try to go for hour long hikes on the weekend – this is especially great for those who find it hard to exercise every day.

 Play Sport and Dance

Working out doesn’t have to be a serious chore that bums you out! Find activities that you enjoy, so that you’ll want to be active and make more time for it. Throw the Frisbee around, cycle about, go rollerblading. Join recreational leagues such as soccer, basketball, softball and ultimate Frisbee. Take a dance class! These activities are fun, and encourage us to meet new people and develop relationships, which are important for our social health.

Take fitness classes

It can be difficult to motivate yourself, and to go to the gym on your own. Try signing up for group classes, such yoga, pilates, martial arts, dance fitness classes and stretching. You can try something new, have others around to motivate you, have an opportunity to make new friends and be monitored and helped by qualified instructors.

How to Stay Healthy: Check the Sunlight Outdoor

Step 5: Get outside!

Hand in hand with being active is getting outdoors. Sunlight is important to our health, just as important as nutrition and exercise as it provides us with essential vitamin D. Vitamin D helps with bone density and improve muscle weakness – it also aids with sleep, as sunlight exposure stimulates the production of melatonin (important for sleep regulation and in the fight against cancer.) Finally, sunlight makes us happy! It is a natural antidepressant and has positive effects on our mood.

It does not take much time in the sun to get these benefits: 4-10 minutes a day is often enough. Exercise caution while in the sun and be sure to protect yourself. Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses, stay hydrated, and try not to spend too much time in direct sunlight. Vitamin D is important, but too much exposure to UVB rays can also cause skin cancers and premature aging of the skin.

If we make an effort to get outside, we are also just naturally more active – walking, hiking and other physical activities. Walking about outdoors is also a great stress reliever. Our homes and offices can also cause health problems with indoor pollution: insulation traps respiratory irritants such as gases, residues, fumes, smoke, dust. Air conditioning can also irritate the throat. Getting outdoors give us that much needed breath of fresh air.

 

List of outdoor activities:

  1.  Try walking 30 minutes everyday
  2.  Drive less, and walk and climb more
  3. Instead of driving try biking. Go for hikes
  4. Take a Hikes in the nature and your time
  5. On weekends take a Picnic in the Park
  6. Throw the Frisbee around
  7. Cycle about, Or rollerblading
  8. Join a soccer, baseball or softball team

How To Stay Healthy : Drink water – lots of it!

Step 2: Drink water – lots of it!

Our bodies consist of 60% water. There are no processes or functions in our bodies that water does not play a part in: digestion, circulation, transmission of electrical currents (controlling and maintaining nerves, hormones, muscles), absorption of nutrients, detoxification.  Through sweating, urination, and crying, water also helps eliminate waste products and toxins from our bodies.

The best way to get all the benefits of water is to consume it in its purest form. Remember the rule of 8: Challenge yourself to drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day. It’s not much, but often instead of pure water, we choose juice, coffee, and other substances for hydration instead of water.  Studies show that when individuals drank 8 glasses of water daily, energy levels increased, various pains lessened, and an overall sense of well-being improved. With all the various health products and practices out there, drinking appropriate amounts of water is one of the best things you can do for yourself – and (in most parts of the world) it is cheap and readily available!

Try and drink the best quality water you can – while tap water is often safe, in some places it may contain lead, nitrates and other potentially harmful chemicals. Also, be aware that some municipalities add chloramines or chlorine to the water as a decontaminant – if you are looking to avoid fluoride, research your area’s water policies. Consider using solid carbon filters or reverse osmosis filters. Avoid bottled water – not only is it bad for the environment, but the plastic can sometimes leach into the water, especially in high temperatures. Taking water with you on the go is important, but use aluminum or stainless steel reusable water bottles – they have the least health concerns of all the reusable container options.

If you are used to something with a bit more flavor, try squeezing a bit of lemon or lime into water – it will add flavor and nutrients.