Archive for Stay Healthy – Page 2

How to Stay Healthy: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

Step 3: Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

You’ve probably heard this since you were a child, but the importance of getting lots of fresh produce in your diet cannot be overstated.

Fruits and veggies are not only delicious, versatile and readily available: they are also chock full of essential nutrients to keep your body healthy and happy. This food group provides you with lots of fiber, which as we’ve mentioned, helps control your cholesterol. Fiber also ensures the elimination of toxins and waste products, and that you have proper bowel functions.

What’s more, specific vegetables and fruits have notable health benefits unique to the food, but often indicated by the colour.

Orange coloured foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene which our bodies convert in vitamin A – vitamin A helps eyesight and healthy skin. Dark leafy green vegetables – spinach, kale, collard greens, chard – are full of vitamin C, and have high levels of iron and calcium. Dark berries, such as blueberries and blackberries, have powerful antioxidants, which fight cell damage caused by free radicals. In doing so, they help fight cancers, and slow the visible effects of aging.

The best way to get all the benefits of your fruits and veggies is to eat them daily. The great thing about this food group is how versatile fruits and veggies are presented:  raw, frozen, cooked, steamed, stir-fried, boiled..the ways of preparation are endless. Try to prepare them in such a way as so they maintain as much of their nutrients as possible – the more you cook them, the more they lose their nutritive goodness. Raw and steamed are delicious ways to prepare vegetables so that they still provide a punch of benefits; frozen produce also preserve a lot of nutrients.

Try some of these following tips to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet:

A)    During meals, try to always have a vegetable side – at least half of your plate should be vegetables (No, fries don’t count!)

B)    Choose fruit for dessert and snacks

C)    Eat dark green leafy vegetables every day

D)    When preparing produce,  be aware that the brighter and darker the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrient-packed it is.

More and more we are seeing a push for organic produce. This is because non-organic produce is grown using potentially harmful pesticides and additives. As it is on the trend, organic produce is becoming easier and easier to find. Try to visit your local farmer’s market every week: you’ll be able to stock up on local, seasonal, organic and delicious fresh produce.

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