Do you believe a physically active lifestyle keeps you
looking young and healthy? Do you watch what you eat? Do you make
sure you eat a well-balanced diet?
Here are 6 tips that will help you improve your dietary and exercise habits quickly and easily:
Begin your day by eating a balanced breakfast! Breakfast can help you jump start your day by providing your body with energy. Skipping meals only leads your body to believe that you are starving, and thus slows down the rate at which it burns calories. If you miss breakfast, you'll be hungrier at lunch, which can result in overeating.
Eat small meals throughout the day.
In addition to eating 3 meals a day, have a snack mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon. It will help you feel less hungry at lunch and dinner. After eating, your body secretes a hormone called insulin, which helps your body's cells utilize glucose (broken down carbohydrates) for energy. The more frequently you eat, the more stable your blood glucose levels will be.
Don’t skip any meals.
It’s not wise to skip any of your 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). When you fast, your metabolism slows down and burns fewer calories.
Exercise when you feel most energized.
There is a lot of advice available regarding when it is best to exercise in relation to when you have eaten. It is not good to wait too long after you eat to exercise because you need the energy provided by food to support the activity that you are doing. But exercising too soon after you eat may cause you to get an upset stomach. Really, the time you exercise should be determined by how you feel. If you feel faint or light headed while exercising, this may be a sign that you needed to have more food in your system before exercising. Pay attention to the signals your body gives you, and adjust your exercise timing accordingly.
Exercise your arms and legs.
When you do an exercise that requires you to move both your arms and legs, you burn more calories than when you exercise with either your arms or legs. If you enjoy doing an exercise or sport in which you can vigorously move your arms and legs at the same time, go for it! Try walking, dancing, swimming, or running.
Increase activity gradually.
Have you tried to gradually increase the intensity, frequency, or duration of your regular physical activity? Gradually increasing any of these variables (intensity, frequency, or duration) at your own pace will enhance the benefits of exercising. You will see improvement in physical and mental well-being, and sustained weight loss, among other health benefits.
*Dr. Lara-Pantin, a nutrition specialist, is Vice President of Product Development for DrTango, Inc.
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