Would you like to achieve physical fitness without having to spend a dime at the gym?
Do you want to learn how to minimize your risk of becoming chronically ill without having to spend much?
In the world where unhealthy habits abound, you would no doubt agree that it is a challenge to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is thus important for you to know where and how to begin with your lifestyle change.
With this article, I will not only provide you tips on how you could attain a great body figure but also orient you on how to go about with the concept of healthy living.
** Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that I can receive a small payment if you make a purchase through my links.
To make it easier for you to remember the points of this article, I have summarized the key concepts under what I term as the ABCs of good health.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Of course, the first step to becoming healthy is to avoid unhealthy habits. What are the unhealthy habits that you should avoid?
As we are all aware of, smoking does no good at all to the body. On the contrary, smoking drastically shortens an individual’s lifespan and even those who only get to inhale the individual’s smoke.
When you smoke, you cause irreparable damage to your cells, particularly to your brain. Various chronic diseases plague those who choose to smoke, foremost among which is cancer.
2. Not drinking enough water
Our bodies mainly consist of water. Thus, water makes life possible for us. Without water, our cells shrink, and we are unable to function normally.
Also, the absence of water makes it impossible for nutrient transport to occur in our bodies, which then lead to the dysfunction of our body organs.
How much water should we drink every day? Health experts recommend that we drink at least eight regular glasses of water on a daily basis.
You will know if you are drinking enough water by monitoring the color and odor of your urine. A person who does not have enough water in his or her body will have dark-colored urine with a particularly strong smell.
3. Not getting enough sleep
It is during sleep that our body gets to repair the damage that free radicals have caused to our cells. Thus, when we sleep, our body gets to rejuvenate itself.
If you are in the habit of not getting enough sleep, your cells do not get the chance to repair their damage. What would happen next?
Individuals who lack sleep note a decrease in their body’s immunity against diseases and find that they easily get sick.
How many hours of sleep should one get every night? Medical experts say that we need at least eight hours of sleep every night to give our body ample time to repair itself.
Be physically active
Living a sedentary lifestyle will speed up your body’s ageing process.
Why? Your body needs to burn the calories you consume, so they do not just build up on your system and harm your health.
The only way for your body to burn your calories is through physical activity.
When your body engages in physical activities, it burns your calories to provide you the energy you need to accomplish your tasks.
It is thus hardly surprising that those whose only physical activities involve pressing the television’s remote control keys and the like are at a high risk of developing chronic diseases.
What kind of physical activities can you then engage in to optimize your health?
As the onset of this article has mentioned, you can become physically fit even without going to the gym.
How? Consider the following fitness methods that you can carry out on your own.
Fitness experts note that taking brisk walks every day can do much to improve your body’s circulation. Walking at least 20 minutes on a daily basis enables your body to have continuously fresh oxygen supply.
When your body always has an adequate supply of oxygen, it is then able to carry out its functions efficiently and effectively.
For instance, your brain would perform better, and you will find that you can retain information easily and for a long time.
Do you want to have a firm body and a flat tummy? If so, you can benefit from some of the exercise routines you’ll read about below.
1. Crunches and Sit ups
Crunches and sit ups are very effective in helping you get rid of belly fat and increase your muscle.
How do you do this? First, lie on your back and bend your knees while planting both of your feet firmly on the floor.
Then, position your arms behind your ears and then try to sit yourself up, repeating such motion for 15-25 times.
As you sit up, exhale; inhale as you lie back down again.
You may also perform crunches with a twist. Instead of fully sitting yourself up, try to raise your upper body and then twist to your side.
First, twist your body to the right, bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Then, do the same to your left side, this time touching your right elbow to your left knee.
Repeat the same motion for 10-15 times on each side
2. Leg Drop
For leg drop, you would need to lie flat on your back and then raise your legs so that they form a 90-degree angle with your hips.
Then, lower both of your legs gradually and go as low as you possibly could without touching the floor and without raising your back.
Hold that position for as long as your body can take it before raising your legs back up again to the original 90-degree position.
Repeat the motion for at least ten times.
3. Side Plank
Instead of lying flat on your back, you would need to lie on your sides for the side plank.
You may begin on any side you want, but let us take, for instance, that you choose to begin on your right side.
First, make sure that you extend your legs as you lie on your right side. Then, with your right elbow supporting your weight, try to lift both your knees and hips from the floor and hold that position for as long as you could.
Do the same thing on the other side and repeat the same motion.
Control your appetite
If you want to lengthen your years and minimize your risk of developing chronic diseases, you would have to be careful with what you eat.
When it comes to nutrition, your focus should not be on how tasty your meal is but rather on the quality of the calories you consume.
You need to keep in mind that the taste of what you eat does not dictate the nutritional value of the food.
If your concept of an ideal meal is a slice of pizza or a generous serving of cake, you would need to rethink your meal preferences.
What, then, makes a healthy meal?
Nutritionists have developed a formula for a healthy meal to make it easier for you to determine the nutritional value of your food.
Half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. Why? Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which adds bulk to the calories you eat.
Not only that, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are essential to our system. For instance, if you want to improve your vision, you can include broccoli, kale, and spinach to your diet.
Citric fruits like lemons and oranges are also a great source of Vitamin C, which can boost your immune system.
What else do fruits and vegetables contain? Aside from essential vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables also contain a high level of antioxidants. What do antioxidants do? Antioxidants work to defend our cells from oxidative damage that free radicals cause.
Free radicals come in many forms such as environmental pollutants and metabolic wastes. When our body is not able to neutralize the presence of free radicals in the bloodstream, these cause damage to our cells and weaken our immunity against diseases.
It is no wonder, then, that pharmaceutical companies take advantage of antioxidant-rich fruits such as cranberries to manufacture products that would fight diseases!
Pharmaceutical companies, for instance, market cranberry extracts for the treatment of urinary tract infection and the prevention of cancer.
How will we know what vegetable or fruit is rich in antioxidant content? Researchers say that fruits and vegetables that have a dark color contain a higher level of antioxidants.
To get the most out of your meal, and then, you need to make sure that you consume fruits and vegetables in various colors better yet consider smoothies on your diet plan.
You then need to divide equally the other half of your meal and set aside a quarter of your plate for protein sources.
Excellent sources of protein include fish, beans, nuts, and eggs. Such protein sources will help you build lean muscle and strong bones.
Fish and eggs also contain healthy fatty acids that will optimize your cardiovascular health by regulating your blood cholesterol levels.
The remaining portion of your plate should be for whole grains such as oats, barley, and wheat.
Why do we need to eat whole grains instead of processed grains? Whole grains contain a high level of dietary fiber, which keeps you full for a long time and thus helps you control your calorie intake.
Ashley Sotelo is a pro-active health enthusiast; she does research for various leading health companies–focusing mainly on the different alternative treatments available for chronic illnesses. Writing health articles has grown to become her passion, becoming the author of roughly a hundred of such articles and currently writing at BRI Nutrition whose sole purpose is to provide natural and safe supplements. When she is not writing or engaging in her regular fitness routine, she could be found curled up in a nook and reading her favorite books.
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