Where to Start Your Health and Fitness Lifestyle Journey

Once we have noticed a problem in our lives or maybe something just missing and we come to the decision that the problem is that we are not living our lives quite as well or as fully as we should be living it, many of us have to step back a second and come to the realization that we do not know where to start. What changes should we make? Should I just dive right in fully submerged in this new lifestyle? How often and long should I be working out? These are all questions I am going to answer and more with specific instructions along with experiences of my own.

The first thing that you must do is decide on a goal for yourself. Do you want to lose weight? Do you just want to be living better? Both will lead to the same lifestyle later but if you are trying to lose weight your diet and exercise will need to be stricter. You should, also, not shy away from setting specific goals; goals that include time frames and are measurable and most importantly realistic and possible to be done in a healthy manner.

Next comes the mental prep. You need to prepare yourself for what is to come. You must be mentally tough in order to make a real life change. It will be hard and you will have moments of weakness, but you must be strong in will. This is why setting specific goals is important. Without specific goals people often lack the proper motivation that changing their lifestyle requires.

Now for the actions to be taken; let’s start with nutrition and diet. Firstly, you must remember that when grocery shopping never bring junk food into your home just because. Stop buying soda, chips, unhealthy crackers and snacks. Simply put, if they are not available you cannot have them. Limit or eliminate your intake of the obvious junk food. Now, I will not tell you that you must completely eliminate junk food right off the bat or even ever. I believe in balance. It is okay to indulge every once in a while. How I personally control my cravings and my indulgences is by only ever having those craving foods when I am eating out or on a special occasion. This is possible because I do not have these craving foods in my own home. That way I am consistently eating the things that I actually should be.

Next, you can never go wrong with vegetables. Eat as many as your heart desires and do not worry about calories when it comes to vegetables. Try to eat fresh produce or frozen and stay away from canned vegetables if possible as they are filled with preservatives and sodium. Of course you should be eating fruit as well, but make sure you are not just drinking fruit juices and smoothies as these contain no fiber. Do not overdo it on the fruits either as they do contain healthy nutrients and vitamins, but they are also high in sugar. Too much sugar in any form is bad.

When you are grocery shopping, be sure to look at nutrition labels. Know to watch out for high levels of sodium, fat, and sugar. Do not be fooled by non-fat items as they often include more sugar. Do not be too afraid of all fat as our body needs it to function. Just make sure your intake of fats is of unsaturated fats. One of my greatest fears in food is sugar. This is because I had no idea until the past few years how much sugar is in our foods. Women should only be taking in 25 grams of sugar per day and men should only be taking in 37 grams. Lastly, try to avoid the more middle aisles in the grocery store as the more you work your way towards the middle the more you are surrounded by highly processed foods. Stick the basics with real whole ingredients. I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician so I try not to give people advice that I personally have not experienced. So, I do recommend that you do some reading on your own from RELIABLE sources. I cannot stress that enough. Make sure all reading material you look towards is accurate information as so much of it out there, especially on the internet, is not.

Now, I am sorry but for the exercise portion I have to be a little vaguer. This is because everyone’s bodies require different things. Start by deciding where you want to be working out. Will you want to be doing it at home? Will you want to work out outside? Do you want to join a gym? This will dictate what kind of exercising you will be doing. If you want to work out at home you might try a highly rated workout program or home workout videos. There are also online subscriptions to workout videos as well as the free option of YouTube. I caution you, if you choose to work out at home it is easy to slack off so make sure you hold yourself accountable or have a friend join you so that you can hold each other accountable.

If you choose to join a gym, explore all the gyms in your area and make sure you choose the one that seems the best for you. The gym you join should feel like a safe place for you. Gyms can be intimidating at first. I think the best weapon against intimidation from the unknown is having a plan. Personally, when I was afraid to go into my gym I would look up workout routines so I knew exactly what I wanted to be doing while I was in there and so that I would not be nervous or embarrassed of looking like I don’t belong. Know that no one is judging you.

Find out if you enjoy just straight cardio, lifting weights, a combination of both, or something completely different such as dance workouts. Once you have found something that makes exercising fun your motivation will be much easier for you to maintain.

The last thing that I want to cover about your healthy and fit lifestyle journey is staying accountable. Make sure that before you start on this journey that you hold yourself accountable for your actions. For some people their internal drive is enough to keep them going, but for others it is not as easy. For these people I suggest telling one or many people about what you plan to do. Have others watching you so that you don’t slip up or if you do you have support. I also recommend going on this journey with a partner or friend. These changes are much easier to undergo if you are not going it alone. Lastly, don’t beat yourself up too much if you slip up every once in a while. You are forever learning and making mistakes and learning from them, but as long as you have a strong will and goals set, there is no reason you can’t accomplish them. Good luck!

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Health – Some Startling Facts Revealed

Human health has long been an issue of great interest and curiosity besides the subject of vast research and studies. What makes us tick?

The human body is like a well-oiled machine and functions well when all the systems are carrying out their ‘duties’ properly in conjunction with each other. But the larger ‘duty’ of managing the body well rests with us. Health is the vast sum of all functions that humans have to exercise in order to survive in a given situation or environment, the diverse the environment the greater the emphasis on health and its importance. But the irony is that besides illnesses and diseases that are the leading causes of deaths globally, factors like air pollution, water pollution, exposure to chemicals and pesticides also cause millions of deaths each year.

Let’s get in detail some information on this as well as other health related issues from around the world.

Risk factors

Health studies and medical data provide the startling fact that air pollution from industry and vehicle exhaust lead to the premature death of over 3.5 million people each year. When you find that that number is more than the combined deaths from Aids/HIV and Malaria, it is a rather grim picture indeed!

Particulate matter and gases like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide from vehicular emissions and burning fossil fuels are the leading causes of suppressed lung growth in young children, asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Fetal brain growth is affected severely when pregnant women are exposed to air pollution. Even in countries that have strict legislation in place and have long histories of tackling air pollution, the solution does not seem to be in sight. Globally, several countries are involved in long-running legal tussles with world environmental agencies and pollution control boards over their failure to cut pollution levels. The ill-effects of global warming and the severity in weather patterns is something we have been witnessing for over a decade now.

Nationwide statistics

A recently concluded report on the health and lifestyle habits of Australians has thrown up some very worrying facts. Australian Health Policy Collaboration released ‘Australia’s Health Tracker’ which examines the health of the people in relation to chronic illnesses and associated risk factors. The report concluded that Australia ranks as one of the most obese countries in the world with every fourth Australian being obese or overweight. An overwhelming 92 percent of teenagers had virtually no physical activity while in the adult category nearly 50% were found to have no regular exercise pattern resulting in high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and record-high suicide rates. The report also found that even when Australians were drinking less overall, the culture of binge-drinking was influencing young people to consume alcohol in excessive amount.

Over 50 public health organizations who are signatories to the report have set targets to be achieved by 2025 for individually listed health factors – 25 percent reduction in country-wide mortality rates from common cancers, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.

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Proper Care for Prosthetics

Building the perfect prosthetic takes hard work. Proper limb care and skin care is essential to your health and mobility. To avoid swelling, discomfort, abrasions, trapped sweat, bacterial and fungal infections, here are some tips on how to take care of your extremity and skin. These tips are helpful in preventing or avoiding any further damage.

How to take care of your artificial limb:

• Your limb tends to swell in hot water as it dangles when you when you sit or stand in the shower. This will make it difficult to put on your prosthetic. That is why taking a shower at night will help to avoid swelling by raising the limb.

• If you have a prosthetic which is placed below the knee. It is vital never to sleep or sit with a pillow under the knee. This will lead to an inability to straighten the knee.

• For an artificial limb which is placed above the knee, it is important not to sleep with it on. When the limb is resting on a pillow, this promotes hip flexion or inability to straighten the hip. The best way is to place a pillow between your legs. This will help to lengthen the inner thigh muscle and shorten the outer thigh muscle so when you walk you can stand with your feet apart.

• Do not rest your limb over the handle piece of your crutches.

• It’s important to stay active by doing stretching exercises. This can help to straighten your knee and hip. It’ll make it easier for you to walk and lay in bed and will increase overall comfort.

Skin Care Tips for Prosthetics Patients:

• To avoid fungal growth, it is important to wash your prosthetic with soap and water.

• Only use softening creams if the skin is extremely dry and at risk for cracking.

• Do not use alcohol or unknown chemicals on the limb.

• Check your limb for red pressure patches that last more than a few minutes after you remove your extremity; these may be a sign that the socket needs checking. If left untended, these red patches may result in skin breakdown.

There are many people and resources readily available to help with your prosthetic limb and adjusting it for optimal comfort. These specialists can answer any questions as well as give you tips on how to make things more comfortable for your individual situation. If you have a prosthetic limb, don’t live in discomfort get a specialists advice on how you can achieve the optimal fit.

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5 Basic Tips on Working Out

When it comes to working out, the “right” way to work out varies from person to person. However there are a few basic tips that most people who work out follow. I will list out 5 basic tips that are used as common guidelines when starting to workout.

Safety First – Safety being probably the most obvious is also probably the most important. When you are a beginner to lifting it is crucial you learn the proper technique and the correct weight your body can handle. Many people who have looked past safety when lifting cannot lift properly now due to an injury in the past from not lifting smart.

Nutrition – Eating properly is crucial when it comes to getting the results you want from working out. Some even say nutrition is more than 50% of the battle when it comes down to getting results. So make sure your feeling your body the right way!

Sleep – Sleep is extremely overlooked when it comes to fitness. It is very important that you are logging in around 8 hours of sleep per night to let your body recover from intense training. Less sleep results in less recovery and less energy which leads to weaker performance and overall weaker results.

Rest Days – Kinda going along with sleep, it is very important to take 1 or 2 days off (some might need more) to really let your muscles heal and grow. A lot of people think they need to lift heavy 7 days a week with no days of to get better results. When in reality, not letting your muscles recover with a day off can harshly slow down results.

Mind set – Upon starting your workout you must have the right mindset. If you go to the gym or where you go to workout and are just going through the motions and just trying to get it over with, you are not gonna come close to the results you want. You gotta want it and get after it when your working out. Focus on each rep and each exercise, know you are in there to make a change and that you know you will.

If you follow these 5 basic tops, you will be where you want to be in no time. Of course once you become more experienced, you can mold your own sort of regiment with these basic tips.

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