Have you ever experienced a twinge of envy as you observe that some of your friends seem to never engage in the ‘battle of the bulge’, always looking fit and trim? True, some few individuals are genetically ‘lucky’, seemingly eating whatever they like and not gaining an ounce. But, really, such people are rare. Most people who don’t seem to ever need to diet have a secret – a balanced exercise and food program. While this may sound over-simplistic, it’s really the best way to achieve optimum health and a positive image in the mirror. Let’s see how you can, by forming a few new habits, be one of those people – lucky, yes, and by design.
Our formula for a balanced exercise and food program puts equal emphasis on both factors. Many people torment themselves with a stringent diet more amenable to a bird, while totally neglecting the exercise that goes hand in hand with getting and staying healthy, trim and fit. So we’ll begin with a few facts on the merits of exercise.
In the ‘old days’, when Grandpa walked two miles uphill, both to and from school, people really didn’t need to give much thought to getting adequate exercise – it was a natural result of necessarily active living. Today, most of us live a sedentary lifestyle … instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to milk the cows, feed the chickens and walk those two miles uphill to school, we grab a cup of Joe – and perhaps a donut – and rush off in our cars or to the metro and on to our offices. While our days may be filled with stressful situations, we let our bodies languish as we fret in the chair at the desk. This sort of routine is obviously not a balanced regimen of exercise and food choices. While there may not be a cow or chicken in sight of your home, there are nonetheless so many opportunities for exercise. When was the last time you took a walk? Rode a bike? Climbed the stairs, or roller-skated? Much more fun than milking a cow and a good workout for all of your muscles, a boon to your cardiovascular and respiratory health and great for a vibrant, glowing complexion. So many studies have demonstrated the huge benefits of just a half-hour of exercise, 4-5 times each week, that it’s indisputably one of the best regimens you can easily work in to your daily life.
As said before, but worth the repetition, exercise and food go hand in hand. Healthy food choices are the other half of this equation, and it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. When you shop for food, stuff your basket first with foods that are nutritious and healthful. As for the ‘goodies’, such as ice cream, candy, chips, dip and the like, try to indulge in fewer of these ’empty’ foods, week by week. If you’ve been known to down a bag of cookies in a single sitting, have a stern talk with yourself … limit your intake to a few cookies – and that, just a couple of times a week. The gradual decline in the consumption of these foods will benefit you in the long run.
The exercise and food equation really is simple … it’s a matter of moderation and balance. Try it, you’ll (eventually) like it! Especially when you get on the scale and look in that full-length mirror!