If there is one principal health and fitness guideline, it is definitely related to your diet. It is important to eat healthy and in moderation.
The food you eat works as the fuel for your body to function properly. What you eat and the amount you consume can directly affect your health and fitness goals. When you eat unhealthy foods, your body will be more susceptible to diseases.
Eat two to three proper meals a day with a few snacks in between. Bear in mind that a heavy meal should keep you full for about 5 hours while a healthy snack should keep you full for about 3 hours.
Never skip breakfast. Start your day with a healthy breakfast consisting of fruits, cereals, whole-grain bread, eggs, along with a healthy drink.
Keep your dinner as simple and light as possible. Make sure you sleep at 2 to 3 hours after eating your dinner.
If your health allows, try intermittent fasting to help maintain a healthy weight, improve your overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Choose your foods wisely to ensure a healthy balance of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
When it comes to overall health, proper hydration is a must. To maintain proper hydration, drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
Water plays a key role in removal of toxins from the body, absorption and digestion of food, regulation of body temperature and maintaining healthy skin.
It also helps the body metabolize stored fat and acts as an appetite suppressant, which is important for weight loss.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research reports that drinking 500 ml (a little more than 2 cups) water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner each day for 8 weeks reduced the body mass index (BMI), body weight and body composition of 50 overweight girls.
Similarly, a 2010 study published in the American Chemical Society reported that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals enables people to shed pounds.
Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of a healthy and disease-free life. Regardless of age or fitness level, it is important to make time for exercise.
A 2006 study published in the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry highlights the health benefits from regular exercise, including improved sleep, increased interest in sex, better endurance, less stress, better mood, increased energy and stamina, increased mental alertness, weight loss, reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness.
A 2010 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine pointed out that higher levels of physical activity help prevent late-life disability due to cognitive or physical impairment, separately or together.
Furthermore, a 2013 study published in Neurobiology of Diseases reports that regular workouts support cognitive health and prevent degeneration.
On the other hand, physical inactivity can lead to numerous age-related conditions, such as osteoarthritis, ostoporosis, risk of falls and hip fractures, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, cancer, diabetes, obesity and decreased functional capacity.
Deep breathing, also known as controlled breathing, paced respiration or diaphragmatic breathing, plays an important role in making you healthy. It even helps develop a stronger body and mind connection.
Through controlled breathing, more oxygen enters the body and more carbon dioxide exits. Oxygen helps you enjoy better sleep, manage stress, reduce anxiety, ease digestive problems and improve heart health.
When the body lacks oxygen, you may feel tired and have headaches. Exhalation of carbon dioxide helps fight toxicity in the body and even purifies the body.
Deep breathing for a short duration of even a few minutes had a positive effect on lung function in healthy young volunteers, who participated in a 2011 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
One year later, another study published in the same journal highlighted the influence of deep breathing exercise on spontaneous respiratory rate and heart rate variability.