Separate the science from the mess. It’s time to focus on real, SOLID nutrition facts.
I love staying active, and also finding new, creative ways to do so. It is for this reason, that I am incredibly thrilled with the Fitness Revolution program, put together by The City of Pensacola. Every Saturday in January at the Community Maritime Park, you can try an array of FREE fitness classes ranging from Kickboxing, Crossfit training, Insanity and many many more. If you live in Pensacola, I highly recommend that you take advantage of this wonderful event. Most of these fitness classes are conducive for all ages, and it is also a great way to try some classes out before deciding whether or not to commit fully.
As a partner, I was able to set up a table where participants could sign up for my upcoming nutrition education classes, and also receive additional information about my individual and group nutrition counseling services. I also served up one of my infused water recipes-with mint leaves, blueberries, lemon, oranges, and cucumbers. It was both delightful and refreshing. Participants were also given fresh oranges, donated by Bailey’s Produce & Nursery. It was important for me to be able to show that healthy eating can be affordable, and to connect them with local businesses such as Bailey’s that provide quality produce from local farmers. I also thoroughly enjoyed participating in some of the fitness classes as well. Although January is almost over, you still have one more chance to participate. Check out the following website to learn more about the event http://goo.gl/su83Gl Be well!
Health is Wealth. This is such a simple yet powerful statement that I believe in wholeheartedly. Without good health, you are unable to function at your best. How does one define health anyway? I think the World Health Organization (WHO), defines health beautifully. It is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Based on this definition, being healthy translates to maintaining a healthy lifestyle through achieving a positive mental, emotional and of course, physical well being.
Taking these factors into consideration, I have put together some simple tips to guide you on your journey to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
1. Maintain a healthy diet: You really are what you eat. If you’re fueling your body with junk, you are increasing your chances of becoming susceptible to chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Make sure to consume a balanced diet -which means a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, adequate in protein, fat, carbohydrates, and calories, and moderate in amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, refined sugar, salt and alcohol.
2. Maintain a healthy weight: If your Body Mass Index (BMI) indicates that you are in the overweight or obese category, aim to lose weight slowly and steadily until you are at a healthy weight. Also, if you are underweight, strive to gain weight gradually, until you are within an Ideal Body Weight range. Contact a Registered Dietitian in your area who can develop an appropriate meal plan for you.
3. Get moving!: Physical activity has a lot of benefits that include stress reduction, weight maintenance, and improved cardiovascular function to name a few. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult needs 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week AND muscle strengthening activities 2 days a week that focus on the major muscle groups i.e. chest, legs, and arms.
4. Sleep tight: The National Sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. Not getting enough sleep can increase your vulnerability to illnesses such as the cold and flu, as a result of a weakened immune system. Also, the body goes into a state of stress when it is sleep deficient which causes production of stress hormones, and an increase in blood pressure. Getting enough snooze time will help you stay healthy, and sane.
5. Stay hydrated: Studies have produced varying recommendations of fluid intake. However this depends on a host of factors such as health, climate, and age . According to The Institute of Medicine (IOM), a healthy adult male residing in a temperate climate needs about 13 (8 oz) cups of total beverages a day, while women only need about 9 (8 oz) cups of total beverages a day. Make at least half of your beverage consumption, water. Lack of water can cause dehydration which can lead to lethargy and even shock.
6. Manage stress: Stress is akin to poison, it can literally kill! Manage your stress by setting realistic work deadlines, spending time with people you love, engaging in activities or hobbies you enjoy, and most importantly making time for yourself to just relax.
Although sleep is a necessity of life, most individuals do not get adequate amounts of snooze time. Not getting enough sleep has both short-term and long-term consequences. For example, inadequate amounts of sleep can impair your judgment; affect your mood, and can put you at an increased risk of contracting colds. The National Sleep foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults.
The relationship between sleep and certain health conditions:
- Getting less than the recommended amount of sleep per night can lead to impaired glucose tolerance which is a precursor to developing diabetes.
- Long term sleep deprivation causes an inflammatory response in the cardiovascular system which can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
- Insufficient sleep leaves you vulnerable to illnesses such as the cold and flu, as a result of a weakened immune system.
- Hormonal imbalances as a result of sleep deprivation can lead to obesity. The proposed mechanism of action is that it lowers levels of leptin, a hormone that promotes satiety.
- The body goes into a state of stress when it is sleep deficient which causes production of stress hormones, and an increase in blood pressure.
Tips for getting adequate sleep:
- Create a dark, quiet and relaxed sleeping space.
- Set a routine, and ensure that you go to bed and rise around the same time each day.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
- Make sure your bedroom is free of distractions such as the TV.
- Engage in regular physical activity, which can promote better sleep. However, do not exercise too close to bedtime.
- Nap smartly as this can interfere with night-time sleep. If you must nap, try to nap earlier in the day, and limit naps to 30 minutes.