Saturday, June 5, 2010

Diet and Fitness: A Winning Combination

Taking diet and fitness programs seriously has become the clarion call to this generation, because to varying degrees every household in the U.S. is touched by weight-gain and obesity, not to mention the deadly diseases including stroke and heart attack that flow from them.

Diet and fitness is all about choosing the right combination of diet and fitness program to maintain a healthy weight and a proper functioning body. This include three levels of activities. 

A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet should include carbohydrate, protein, essential fats, vitamins, mineral salts and fiber; obtained from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, meat, poultry, and low fat dairy products - all consumed in small to moderate quantities.

Carbohydrates converted to glycogen is the body's main source of energy. Proteins provide the building blocks for muscles and internal organs. Essential fats helps the body absorb nutrients and assist with nerves transmission; not forgetting the important roles of vitamins, mineral salts and fiber.

Food Portions
The control of food portion is essential to weight control and fitness; eating small quantity of low fat and high fiber foods at regular intervals, say five times a day, keeps you from becoming too hungry, and needing to eat a super sized meal at one sitting.

Eating a wide variety of food types offers you a higher chance of getting all the essential nutrients your body needs. For instance, wholegrain bread and cereals for vitamins and minerals; leafy green vegetables for iron; fruits for carbohydrate and fiber; and lean meat, fish, poultry and low fat dairy products for protein.

Physical Exercise
Diet alone cannot give you the healthy body you desire. The reason is all diet programs give us more calories than can be burned with normal body activities. You need to workout to burn off the excess calories. There are few things you need to know though, before starting your workout or fitness program.

Have a plane for your fitness program, regarding time allotment and the type of workout to be done. What time of the day works best for you, or are you one who prefers to workout whenever you can find the time.

A big obstacle to working out at home is the television. It's always tempting us to turn it on, grab the remote control, sit on the couch with a bag of potato chips, or a processed snack in hand, and watch the hours go by. The antidote to watching the television is to turn it off. If you can't, at least while watching your favorite show, do some pushups, situps or squats.

For snacks munch on fresh or dried fruits and cooked or raw vegetables. Stay away from processed foods like chips, doughnuts and cakes. They load you up with unnecessary calories with no health benefits.

If you are a member of a gym, decide before hand what type of training to do once at the gym. Will it be cardio or weight lifting; walking or running on the treadmill; low intensity workout or up tempo; sagittal plane or frontal and transverse planes; aerobic dancing or yoga. Your gym instructor will be glad to help you decide.

Now that you know dieting alone cannot get you the healthy weight you desire, nor can physical exercise alone get you a healthy body; a sensible combination of diet and fitness is your best bet. You will get the body you desire without starving yourself, or endangering your health.

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