Living healthy is on the minds of many Americans. Obesity and being overweight affects 34 percent of American adults over the age of 20. Weight gain is also affecting children in epic proportions. According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, nearly 17 percent of American children are obese; this number has tripled from a decade ago. Living a healthy lifestyle is critical to avoid future complications including heart disease, diabetes and other factors.
The American Heart Association suggests working out 30 minutes a day, for five days. Exercise maintains a healthy weight and is a source of cardiovascular and physical health. The activity time can be split into smaller increments of 10 to 15 minutes each, if scheduling and time are a factor. Exercise should be scheduled for the same time every day to become a regular part of a routine. The association states physical activity is anything that gets the body moving. People are more apt to participate in activities they enjoy. Setting goals and choosing a work out partner are motivational techniques that can be implemented. The association states one of the simplest forms of activity to incorporate into almost any schedule is walking. Walking the mall or choosing the stairs instead of the elevator are quick ways to add exercise into the day.
Nutrition and Diet
Eating the right types of food is essential to the body’s overall health. Foods rich with vitamins and minerals are such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains should comprise the majority of the diet. These foods can lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol. People should avoid empty calorie foods – foods high in calories but a poor source of nutrition. The American Heart Association suggests eating fish twice a week. Foods should be prepared by baking or grilling. Frying foods is an unhealthy way to prepare meals because of the high fat content in cooking oils and grease. If cooking oil is necessary, olive or canola oil make healthy options. Dairy products should be low-fat or fat-free for optimal health. A healthy daily diet contains 1,500 mg. of sodium or less.
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests patients regularly screen for heart disease by having their blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Cholesterol checks involve taking a small sample of blood and should begin when people are in their 20s. High blood pressure checks are noninvasive and occur around the same time.
- American Heart Association: American Heart Association Guidelinesrel="nofollow"
- American Heart Association: Diet and Lifestyle Guidelinesrel="nofollow"
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Heart Disease: Tips for Preventionrel="nofollow"
- USDA: Play Hard Your Wayrel="nofollow"
- American Heart Association: Getting Started: Tips for Long-Term Successrel="nofollow"
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.