2013-08-09 / Sports

Jen’s Fitness Forum

By Jen Font de Bon

I believe that optimum health and happiness result from maintaining a wellrounded balanced lifestyle.

Living consciously, finding moderation, staying active, and keeping a diet rich in whole nutritious foods helps us feel our best; and if we as individuals are good, everything around us will be better because of it.

Those days of feeling like you’re running on low-bat are over! Yawn, stretch, and follow these simple tips to revitalize the body, mind, and soul:

EAT WELL, FEEL WELL. Make the most of your diet by eating three healthy meals each day. Go for fresh foods and stay away from anything processed. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Focus on plant-based proteins, such as lentils, maca, nuts, soy, and quinoa. Include fish in your diet two to three times per week, and if you consume red meat, try to limit intake to once a week. Also, choose low-fat dairy products and consume a moderate amount of healthy fats.

AVOID MONOTONY. The hectic lives many people live these days can have a huge negative impact their diets. If we always eat the same foods, we end up depriving our bodies of certain vitamins and minerals, while overloading on others. A simple and effective way to make sure you’re getting all of your nutrients is to fill your plate with color. With foods, different colors usually mean different health benefits. Also, often fatigue stems from being iron deficient. Get your daily dose of iron by consuming foods like fish, eggs, fortified cereals, and spinach.

DON’T BE AN EMOTIONAL EATER. It’s important to differentiate when you are hungry and when you’re bored or anxious, for example. If it’s been four hours since your last meal, it’s natural to be hungry. Try a healthy and satisfying snack, such as low-fat cheese, yogurt, or fruit. If you’ve eaten recently and feel like you’re still hungry, try drinking a glass of water, deep breathing, or focusing on an activity. Make sure you aren’t using food to fill a void.

EXERCISE. Putting your body in motion generates energy and muscle movement releases stress, which causes fatigue. Incorporate short bursts of activity for an extra oomph. For example, ten minutes of walking is all it takes to raise your energy level for two hours! In addition to basic physical activity, mix in three strength exercises, such as pushups, squats, pull-ups, planks, and lunges. Work in three sets of twelve throughout your day. Also, try to incorporate more intense exercise a few times each week.

BETTER YOUR MOOD. Looking to boost your mood and energy level? Reach for a banana, piece of dark chocolate, or cup of Joe. Consuming just a small amount of one of these foods when you’re feeling low in mood or energy is sure to help perk you up! Also, make time for a power nap. Adults get cranky too and just twenty minutes will reset your system, while boosting alertness and motor performance.

Questions, comments? E-mail: jennifer. fontdebon@gmail.com

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