Healthy lifestyle

Achieving a healthy lifestyle is the goal nowadays and nearly everyone offers advice on what constitutes one. Nutritionists stress eating correctly from the food pyramids and taking supplement while trainers preach exercise. Certainly both elements need to be incorporated into our daily lives but there is more to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

It really is an individual thing that encompasses many universal things like diet, exercise, spirituality and interpersonal relationships. Creating a healthy lifestyle is incumbent upon each of us knowing ourselves well enough to know what elements are enriching and integrating the different elements into a life plan. When a cohesive plan is developed that is satisfying, the individual elements become less important.

For example, The Swiss have a diet that is high in dairy foods and saturated fat but they do not demonstrate the high levels of heart disease, and obesity that are associated with a high fat diet. This may be because of the high degree of exercise and fitness that is valued in the culture and to strong interpersonal relationships. One diet that continues to confound nutritionists is the French diet. This is a diet high in meat, cheese and dairy products. However, it is a diet that is also based on two fundamentals, freshness and moderation. The French culture also emphasizes strong personal bonds. Therefore, it seems that making and keeping strong interpersonal bonds is a major factor in a healthy lifestyle. It may be more efficient to eat lunch at own desk that to seek out a friend at noontime, but which will be the choice that will enrich us in the long run?

One cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle is diet. Food is a fundamental part of our traditional and social celebrations, and our current culture is riddled with debates over “diets”. Almost universally acclaimed to be the healthiest diet, the Mediterranean diet is comprised of fresh fruits, and vegetables, fish, less meat, cheese, and olive oil used not for frying but for dressing foods. These principles can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle without rigorous counting of points, calories or grams of saturated fats. Proper diet is not about watching each food molecule; it is about learning what the correct food choices are and making them more often than making poor choices.

Another fundamental of a healthy lifestyle is exercise, especially involving the large motor groups surrounding the trunk and lower body. Moving these muscle groups raises metabolic levels and burns calories. It also releases chemicals that promote well being and good sleep, not to mention appetite. Basically, when keeping your caloric intake at the same level, exercise will burn calories, increase metabolism, replace fat cells with muscle and promote well being. It is advisable to spend a portion of your leisure time getting a workout that will keep you fit. It is also appealing to spend leisure time in a sedentary way, watching TY or listening to music. These activities are to be enjoyed equally with exercise, just not chosen in preference to activity.

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