Here are 8 benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

This Article is written to reach the public with a simple and clear method to point out and to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle while reducing the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

With the increased understanding of our bodies that we have gained from science over the past few decades, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are becoming more apparent, along with the reasons why we should detoxify the body at least once a year to remove harmful bacteria, and even worms, from our digestive system. For people of all ages, weights, and abilities the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are endless. But for now let’s look at eight simple benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

1. Your Health:

Good Health is not something that you buy from a drug store or a department store, but can be achieved by practicing collective patterns of health-related behavior, based on choices made from available options. Following this logic, if you wish to realize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you have to repeat some healthy pattern as a part of your daily or weekly activities, some patterns like eating right and exercising. Other benefits includes: Reduced health care costs, reduced illness and injuries, reduced doctors visit, Keeps you employed and improved employee/employer relations.

2. Weight:

Managing your weight is the key to attaining all of the health benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle. A weight reduction of just 10 percent will significantly reduce risk of heart disease and other obesity-related illnesses. Obesity/overweight is the second leading contributing factor to many childhood diseases such as orthopedic disorders, sleep apnea, type II diabetes mellitus, asthma, high blood pressure and cholesterol, skin disorders, emotional and psychosocial problems (Spigel, 2002), and many more. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking and strength training helps slow the onset of and/or prevent osteoporosis and some research shows that participating in such activities can actually build bone density and begin to reverse the disease. Other benefits are: Weight reduction, reduced tension and stress, improved well-being, Enhanced self-image and self-esteem and improved physical function.

3. Exercise:

Although drugs alone can often bring cholesterol down to normal levels, diet and exercise provide benefits that drugs don’t. They’ll lower blood pressure, reduce weight, and lower the risk of developing diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle is a dangerous risk factor for disease. Exercise and a healthy diet helps the body use insulin more efficiently and can help control, alleviate and prevent many diseases. Exercise, cessation of tobacco consumption, eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet, controlling body weight, and learning to cope with stress, reduce the risk of heart disease.

4. Medical:

We all want a trim and have healthy body for a variety of aesthetic, social and medical reasons. Healthy living is truly the best medicine. In a study conducted by Tufts University at the New England Medical Center, among patients with cardiovascular disease, an exercise program was shown to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and other risk factors beyond what’s provided by drug therapy. Even modest weight loss can help reduce medical and pharmacy costs, help avoid bariatric surgery, and co-morbidities such as asthma, hypertension, and diabetes.

5. Wellness:

Wellness is about being comfortable in your space: your body, your attitude, and your environment. A healthy lifestyle can greatly increase a person’s longevity. And even though catching something contagious like a cold or flu is sometimes unavoidable, having the wisdom that feeling healthy is a better way to live should have you asking yourself why you are not taking action to live each day as beneficially as possible. The issue with a lot of people nowadays is that they are so busy working and/or taking care of everyone around them, that they neglect their own health and wellness. Make sure your heart is healthy and your bones are strong and Keep it that way to see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

6. Care:

The best way to ensure good health is by taking care of yourself. The Care stakes are high but the potential rewards are great-preventing premature death, unnecessary illness, and disability, controlling health care cost, and maintaining a high quality of life into old age. With a healthy lifestyle, you are who you are and you don’t have to be self-conscious about those things that you otherwise would be if you didn’t care about your lifestyle

7. Control:

With a healthy lifestyle, you have more control of your life as you work with your body against those aspects of living which may work to hold you back if you would let them. With a healthy lifestyle, you have control over your sleep patterns so that you feel generally well rested throughout the day. With a healthy lifestyle, everything works together to help other aspects of your lifestyle make sense and benefit you. Science has proven that healthy weight loss, healthy eating and fitness routines make dramatic improvements in health, and help control common chronic illnesses like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, and general lack of stamina.

8. Strength:

Another benefit of a healthy lifestyle is a steady flow of stamina and strength; you can perform activities and exercises that will enhance your flexibility. With a healthy lifestyle, you have a balanced and varied diet that provides your body its needed nutrients and energy as well. You have strength to train to help build the muscle that supports the bones and joints; therefore decreasing the risk of falls and fractures. Cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, strengthens the heart muscle, therefore increases the heart’s efficiency. As we age, our bones biologically begin to lose mass and strength. Weight-bearing exercise such as walking and strength training helps slow the onset of and/or prevent osteoporosis and some research shows that participating in such activities can actually build bone density and begin to reverse the disease.

The good news is you don’t have to train like an Olympic athlete to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The secret and logic are repeating a chosen healthy pattern as a part of your daily or weekly activities. We hope that this will get you to a healthy lifestyle if you are not there already. A healthy lifestyle is a way of life.

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

 

Can fish and meat textures and tastes be found in a vegetable? Chinese Black Fungus is renowned for these qualities, its vital nutrients and its valuable contributions, as a dietary supplement, to overall fitness and health. Usually obtained in dried packaged form, it requires washing before use.

As a Health Supplement

Enriching blood and preventing iron deficiency anemia, Western medical science has found Black Fungus very effective in blood viscosity modulation as it inhibits platelet aggregation thus lowering blood-viscosity levels. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) its applications include anaemia, uterine bleeding, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. It also figures significantly in cancer prevention and relief.

A very common and inexpensive ingredient in Chinese cuisine, it also has been recognised within TCM as a medicinal food for thousands of years. Black Fungus, rich in nutrients such as iron, protein, fat, vitamins and polysaccharides, also contains vital trace elements like potassium, selenium and manganese essential to the body’s long-term health.

Black Fungus’ bittersweet taste is not particularly strong, its texture is decidedly meat-like however. Its’ presence in dishes serves rather to enhance the flavours of the main ingredients.

As a Diet Aid

Black Fungus is a potent ally in the fight against obesity. Whilst very low-calorie, its meat-like texture (and taste) when boiled make it particularly appetite satisfying. It is frequently added to other dishes to ‘enrich’ them, to bulk these up for dieting/ slimming purposes as well as for its valuable nutritional contents.

Definitely not ‘fast-food’ it needs extensive soaking and cleaning before use. Available from most Chinese supermarkets, Black Fungus is sometimes stocked by inner-city branches of Tesco.

‘Fat Busters’ to Enjoy Alongside It

Keen dieters can wash down their Black Fungus with other proven Chinese slimming, weight-loss and nutrition aids like Green Tea (Lu Cha) and Bojenmi Tea.

Green tea stimulates the heart, aids digestion and provides a general ‘wake up’ call. Encouraging fat metabolization and popular for dieting and slimming, general bodily detoxification is also encouraged by Green Tea drinking.

Anaemia sufferers (and women during their menstrual period) should avoid Green Tea as it inhibits iron-assimilation somewhat. These should switch to Bojenmi Tea (see below) and/ or consume Black Fungus to remedy iron deficiencies.

Bojenmi Cha, also known as “good health, nice appearance flesh-reducing tea” also encourages slimming and weight loss. A blend of 12 medicinal herbs based upon an ancient Ming Dynasty remedy, this pleasant tasting tea aids digestion, lowers cholesterol levels and has a mild laxative effect.

Overall

Both teas help flush out fatty deposits from internal systems. Inexpensive Green Tea’s fat removal effect’s are such that Chinese restaurants use left-overs to clean grease from tables at closing time.

Black Fungus, Green Tea and Bojenmi Tea all have internal cleansing, detoxifying and longevity-inducing effects encouraging their inclusion in anti-aging and health and fitness dietary regimes. All three can be found in most Chinese Supermarkets

 

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

  • Balance
  • Reaction Time
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of Physical Fitness emphasizes the difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Its point-of-departure is the “health” of the US nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that respect, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components are more important than those related to Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Although the concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with “good health”, the 5 Components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow for their measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the objective of measuring the 5 Components is to advise clients about their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Health Related Fitness, which is of direct interest to the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard which allows for consistent application.

It is therefore important for those working in the health and fitness industry not to mistake “overall physical fitness” with “Health Related Physical fitness.”

To conclude, let us consider this distinction between Physical Fitness and Health Related Fitness

One needs to bear in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall Physical Fitness, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The distinction therefore, between these two terms, exists in that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where the “rubber hits the road.” The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired fitness goals.

 

The 5 components of physical fitness are often used in our school systems, health clubs and fitness centers to gauge how good a shape we are truly in. The 5 components that make up total fitness are:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance

 

  • Muscular Strength

 

  • Muscular endurance

 

  • Flexibility

 

  • Body Composition

Total fitness can be defined by how well the body performs in each one of the components of physical fitness as a whole. It is not enough to be able to bench press your body weight. You also need to determine how well you can handle running a mile etc.

A closer look at the individual components:

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Examples would be jogging, cycling and swimming. The Cooper Run is used most often to test cardiovascular endurance.

Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle can produce. Examples would be the bench press, leg press or bicep curl. The push up test is most often used to test muscular strength.

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform continuous without fatiguing. Examples would be cycling, step machines and elliptical machines. The sit up test is most often used to test muscular endurance.

Flexibility is the ability of each joint to move through the available range of motion for a specific joint. Examples would be stretching individual muscles or the ability to perform certain functional movements such as the lunge. The sit and reach test is most often used to test flexibility.

Body composition is the amount of fat mass compared to lean muscle mass, bone and organs. This can be measured using underwater weighing, Skinfold readings, and bioelectrical impedance. Underwater weighing is considered the “gold standard” for body fat measurement, however because of the size and expense of the equipment needed very few places are set up to do this kind of measurement.

Why the need for physical fitness testing?

As stated earlier the 5 components of physical fitness represent how fit and healthy the body is as a whole. When you have the battery of tests performed you will receive information on the specific areas you made need to work in. A very specific goal oriented fitness program can be developed from the test battery.

If body composition is of (higher fat compared to muscle mass) there are many health related diseases and illnesses you have a higher chance of contracting. It is important to combine healthy eating habits with your exercise program.

If you scored low on the cardiovascular test you would have a higher chance of being at risk for heart related illnesses and would not do well with activities that require longer times to complete. You would participate in things such as long bike rides, swimming and jogging for extended periods of time to correct this component.

The next three tests can have results that are isolated to specific joints and muscles of the body or affect the body as a whole.

If you score low on the flexibility tests, you have a greater chance of decreased performance in daily living activities/sports and a higher risk of injury. You may also experience low back pain. It would be important to included flexibility training into your workout everyday.

If you scored low on the muscular endurance test you fatigue early into the exercise or activities of daily living. Many exercises that require high reps and low weight would be implemented into your training program.

If you scored low on the muscle strength test you do not have enough strength to perform well in sports, resistance training and activities of daily living. Your fitness program would have a progressive strength training component added that would allow you to become stronger with little chance of injury over time.

Fitness testing has its limitations – while it gives you a good idea of where your body is, it does not paint the entire picture. As stated earlier some of the above tests are only testing specific body parts. Other important factors such as balance and agility are not tested. It also requires the ability to perform the tests. It would be dangerous for someone who is in poor condition and does not exercise to participate in fitness testing.

Before deciding to undergo fitness testing, make sure you know why they are being done and determine that it is safe for you to participate.

 

Located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America, Costa Rica boasts a proud culinary heritage. Many scorn Costa Rica food selections for being high in saturated fats, but in actuality Costa Ricans are far more active than other cultures.

Costa Rican’s, locally called Ticos, never eat excessively. Limiting their portions is one way they stay so healthy. Also, lunch is the most important meal of their day. In fact, like many Latin nations, businesses and schools close down for a couple of hours at lunch so that employees and students can go home and have a leisurely meal with their family. This allows both a strong focus on family life, but also on slowing down a meal. In America, a typical school lunch lasts a mere twenty minutes at most and work breaks are usually an hour tops, so many must eat at their desk or machine. A Costa Rican’s lifestyle is completely different.

Costa Rica food often revolves around rice and beans, such as Gallo Pinto, a dish that translates to “Spotted Rooster”. Gallo Pinto is a dish that includes black beans at a three to two ratio to rice. Also added are onions, garlic, and salt. Meats are eaten sparingly, while beans provide a high content of fiber. Fiber can help counteract the saturated fats. Costa Rica food choices rarely include dairy or cheese.

As Costa Rica has water on both sides with the Pacific to the west and the Caribbean to the east, fresh seafood is always available. Unfortunately, the seafood is also extremely expensive as the country exports the bulk of its seafood. Chicken, pork, and beef are the more popular meats. Costa Rica food supplies use organ meat as well; so expect to find dishes involving stomach, brains, and other organs on the menu. Other staples of Costa Rica food choices include fresh vegetables such as tomatoes and a variety of beans, fruits, including plantains, and rice.

Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, is packed with outstanding restaurants and cafes. In San Jose, one can experience bold foods and beverages. Staple beverages such as sugarcane soaked in hot water are second only to the nation’s delicious Costa Rican coffee. Drinks mixing corn meal and milk are also common. Plantains are similar to bananas in appearance, but they cannot be eaten raw. Plantains are pounded flat, battered, and fried tender.

As one travels to other regions, the choices for Costa Rica food also decrease and become more traditional with the beans and rice dishes. Beans and rice dishes are usually served alongside a carrot and cabbage or lettuce and tomato salad. Sometimes Arroz, (fried shrimp or chicken), are found on the table instead of beans and rice. The salads are typically larger than the portion of beans and rice and that helps the Ticos to stay fit.

It is possibly to choose healthy selections of Costa Rica food. Stick to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the delightful blend of culinary flavors.