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Health and Fitness

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By Paul Porter

Health and fitness can seem like a very confusing topic so I’ll try to simplify things and explain why I believe you should eat healthy and join a health club. When it comes to your overall health, whether you want to become healthier or stay healthy, it is 70 percent diet, 20 percent exercise and 10 percent rest and supplements. Some will argue the percentages but that’s of little importance. Everyone agrees that diet is the most important followed by exercise and then everything else. Let’s take a look at these three things separately and break it down in simple terms. 

Diet is defined as the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats. By this definition everyone is on or has a diet. A diet, or more specific, your diet can be good or bad depending on what you eat and when.  It is important to note that diet is not starvation or deprivation. Your goal for weight management, energy production, disease prevention and overall health should be to have a good diet and not a bad one.  A good diet is one that provides your body all the nutrients it needs and accomplishes the aforementioned goals without excess. Sounds easy enough but how is the average person supposed to understand and accomplish this? Here are five general rules to follow and examples of healthy foods to make things simple.

1. Never go longer than 5 hours without eating a meal or meal replacement. The exception to this rule is at night while you sleep for 8 hours. This makes breakfast the most important meal.

2. Never eat more than 500 calories at any one meal or time.

3. Eat a carbohydrate with every meal. The best sources of carbohydrates are fruits and vegetables. Avoid grains like pasta, potatoes, bread and sugar. 

4. Eat protein with every meal. The best sources of protein come from low fat sources and vegetarian sources. Good choices are chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powder, tofu, beans and lentils.

5. Eat fat with every meal. There are three types of fats to be concerned with. The worst type of fat is trans fats. Avoid these at all costs. You should also reduce or avoid saturated fat. That is fat that is solid at room temperature and found in high fat meats. The good fat you want to consume is mono-unsaturated fat. This is the fat your body uses for a variety of functions such as hormonal production. Types of good fat include olives, olive oil, avocadoes and most nuts including almonds.

Following these rules even while eating out means you’ll be eating a healthy diet. You will eat a meal or snack every 4 to five hours throughout the day. This usually means you will eat three meals and two snacks every day to avoid cravings and be able to eat all your favorite comfort foods. Allow one to two cheat meals on the weekends. Drink plenty of water.

The definition of exercise is to engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness. The most important thing is to do it regularly. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just get involved. There are four types of exercises that you need to be aware of. These include Aerobic exercise, strength exercise, balance exercise and flexibility. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week to increase physical fitness and improve health.  ood exercise program for improving ealth and fitness­ hould include all four types of exercise. While exercise can be done almost anywhere, even at home, I recommend joining a health club for several reasons. Some reasons include but are not limited to motivation, commitment, expertise, equipment, group classes, extra facilities, other members and the social aspect. In a health club the climate is controlled year around. You don’t risk dehydration and heat stroke in the summer. You don’t risk frost bite and slippery conditions in the winter. No need to worry about rain or traffic either. Exercising at home is boring and, in a club, you’ll have several hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment to choose from. At Fitness Plus, we have a unique system that no one else has called Activtrax. Activtrax is a web based personal trainer and nutrition tracking system. Activtrax prints you a custom workout based on your strengths, ability and goals. You get a different workout every time you come to the club and our equipment is input into the system so it knows what we have. Activtrax is your GPS for success. It’s like having a personal trainer, free. We include Activtrax at no extra charge if you sign a 12-month contract at $34 dollars per month. We accept Silver Sneakers and have group exercise classes Monday through Thursday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. These classes include all four types of exercise. A warm up to get your heart pumping, stretching, strength training using resistance bands and dumbbells, the balance exercises are included at the end. Wherever you decide to exercise just get started and don’t stop.

Ten percent of your overall health is rest and supplementation. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Eight hours a night is generally recommended. Set a monthly budget on health related products such as vitamins, protein powder, oils or weight loss products. Choose what is most important to you and buy the best quality products you can find and stay within your budget.

That’s it! I have explained how to eat healthy, increase energy, lose weight, prevent disease, build muscle, strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, increase bone density and stay active into old age. Here at Fitness Plus we have lots of new equipment in a clean, friendly environment. Stop in, visit our website www.fitnessplusonline.com or call at 440-632-1212. We would love to hear from you and answer all your questions. We are located at 15980 Valplast St., Middlefield (44062).

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